Fox Says No Thanks
Mike Farrell -- , 10/14/2010 5:03:44 PM
Cablevision Systems said Thursday that it would submit to binding arbitration to resolve its carriage dispute with Fox Networks, but the broadcaster said its differences would be better solved through direct negotiation.
In what has become a common call to action by MSOs in carriage disputes - Time Warner Cable, Mediacom, and Cablevision have all asked for it in earlier carriage spats - Cablevision said it would submit to binding third party arbitration to settle the dispute, which would also mean that Fox would not be able to pull its signal after the Oct. 15 deadline. So far, a pair of Long Island, N.Y. Congressmen - Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) - have urged the two parties to submit to arbitration.
In a statement, Cablevision said it would "work around the clock" to reach a new agreement and urged Fox not to pull its signals.
"Cablevision would never take these broadcast stations away from our customers," executive vice president of communications Charles Schueler said in a statement. "While we would rather come to terms directly with News Corp., binding arbitration may be the best and fairest way to resolve this matter."
Fox respectfully declined.
"Binding arbitration would, unfortunately, reward Cablevision for refusing to negotiate fairly and will only ensure that more unnecessary disputes arise in the future," Fox said in a statement. "Direct business-to-business negotiation is the only way to resolve this issue, while also preserving the long-term stability of the broadcast system. We continue to negotiate and are committed to putting all our resources towards reaching a fair resolution."
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