James Dolan sends a letter saying he
wishes to meet with the FOX and FCC Chair
Julius Genachowski on Weds. in an attempt
to get the World Series on blacked out FOX
stations back on Cablevision (PDF)
The battle over carriage rights between News Corp.’s FOX Television Station, Inc. and Cablevision took a personal turn on the eve of Game 1 of the World Series as Cablevision President and CEO James Dolan sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in which Dolan said, “In the interest of ending the impasse with New Corp. and ensuring that our customers are not deprived of the World Series, I am writing to reconfirm our commitment to a mediation process and to let you know I will be in your office tomorrow, Wednesday, October 27, to meet with New Corp.’s Chase Carey should you call a meeting.”
(READ THE ENTIRE LETTER FROM DOLAN - PDF)
FOX is opposed to binding arbitration believing fair market, business-to-business negotiations are the way to solve the stalemate between the parties.
FOX pulled WNYW, WWOR-TV and WTXF-TV, blacking out 3 million Cablevision subscribers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
On Monday, Cablevision submitted to the FCC that FOX was not negotiating in good faith and offered up what they see as evidence to back their case, part of which states that “News Corp. deliberately timed the deadline to black out Fox 5 and My9 to ensure that Cablevision customers would be denied access to major national sporting events including Major League Baseball playoffs and the World Series unless Cablevision accepted its ‘take it or leave it’ demands.”
FOX shot back by going point by point within the FCC’s rules saying, “Cablevision claims that Fox deliberately structured the timing of its agreements so that expiration would coincide with ‘must see’ programming. Nothing in such a tactic would be a violation of good-faith negotiating, and there is no FCC precedent that would support this assertion. “
The lengthy response was accompanied with a letter from Michael Hopkins, President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for FOX saying, “Fox has at all times during its negotiations with Cablevision conducted itself in full compliance with its obligations to engage in good-faith negotiations.”
Game 1 of the World Series from San Francisco’s AT&T Park is scheduled to start at 7:30 ET on FOX. There is likely to be statements from Cablevision and FOX as game time approaches.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Maury Brown will be reporting from Game 1 of the World Series all day on Weds. Check BizofBaseball.com for continued details
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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