UPDATE: Fox Calls Cablevision's Offer a "Publicity Stunt"
Rather than making real progress, Fox and Cablevision have taken their negotiations public, with Fox sending out a terse statement turning down Cablevision's offer of earlier today. Saying Cablevision seeks the package discount without choosing the package, Fox tabled any suggestion of taking Cablevision's latest proposal.
Fox' full statement is here.
THIS IS BREAKING NEWS...
Variety's Cynthia Littleton is reporting that Cablevision has made the first public move in the tense negotiations to get Fox stations back on the air in New York and Philadelphia. Cablevision is willing to enter into a one-year agreement with News Corp to retransmit the three stations presently blacked out to Cablevision subscribers at the same rates Time Warner Cable presently pays.
According to Littleton, Time Warner enjoys what she calls "a favored-nations clause to ensure that Time Warner Cable does not pay a higher rate for the stations than any other subscription TV provider." Fox has yet to issue official word on Cablevision's proposal. The two sides had sought a three year contract prior to the most recent breakdown in negotiations.
The stations have been blacked out since October 15th when the retransmission contract between News Corp and Cablevision expired. This is the third such blackout for Cablevision in the past calendar year.
We'll continue to update coverage of this story as tonight's World Series opener approaches. Maury Brown will be reporting live from San Francisco for Game 1 and will have the latest developments from on-site.
Click here to read the full release from Cablevision.
CABLEVISION STATEMENT REGARDING NEW OFFER FOR FOX 5
BETHPAGE, NY, October 27, 2010 – Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) today issued the following statement regarding a new offer for Fox 5.
"In the interest of Cablevision’s 3 million households and our mutual viewers, today we have made a new offer to News Corp. Simply put: we agree to pay the rate Fox charges Time Warner Cable for carriage of WNYW-Fox 5 New York and WTXF-Fox 29 Philadelphia for a period of one year. This is higher than the rate we pay any other New York broadcast station. This solution is in the best interest of not only baseball fans but of all Cablevision customers and Fox viewers. We look forward to a positive response."
STATEMENT FROM FOX IN RESPONSE TO CABLEVISION
OCTOBER 27, 2010
We remain committed to negotiating a fair deal with Cablevision, but today’s incomplete proposal is not acceptable. Cablevision is seeking a discounted “package rate” without buying the entire package. We have told Cablevision all along we are willing to negotiate a deal – based on an entire suite of channels – under the terms we have reached with Time Warner Cable and other providers, or a stand alone agreement for WNYW FOX5, WTXF FOX29 and WWOR My9. Cablevision’s offer – sent to the press just as it was provided to us – is yet another in a long line of publicity stunts.
Joe Tetreault is Managing Editor 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. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball
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