Cablevision, Fox end retrans stalemate [Multichannel News]
Fox was restored last night to Cablevision's 3 million customers minutes before the first pitch of Game 3 of the World Series. In an announcement void of the usual kiss-and-make-up language, Cablevision issued the following icy statement:
And if that wasn't clear enough, the cable operator added:
Fox has maintained that they were only asking Cablevision to pay what others have agreed to pay. The disupte lasted two weeks. In addition to Fox's regular entertainment programming, Cablevision customers were denied access to the National League Championship Series, The first two games of the World Series and one New York Giants game.
In response, Cablevision offered their customers a reimbursement if they purchased a post-season package from the Major League Baseball website for $9.95 which would have provided live coverage of the games via a broadband connection.
I'm thrilled that Cablevision customers will be able to watch the rest of the series on their TV's. However, the problems that led to this unprecedented withholding of such a high-impact event, like the World Series, are still in place. With networks and local stations demanding higher and higher carriage fees, expect to see more of this type of hardball negotiating tactics.
In case you've missed them, I wrote a number of posts during the past two weeks. They illuminate a multitude of issues that have led to this situation and why something needs to be done to prevent more of these network withdrawals.