Programmer Calls for MSO to Offer Rebates For Lost Shows
Mike Farrell --
The retransmission consent standoff between Fox Networks and Cablevision Systems continued into Saturday, its eighth day, with no resolution.
Negotiations appear to be on hiatus --- the two sides haven't spoken since a brief phone call last Thursday - and there were no indications that they would resume Sunday.
Late Friday Fox issued a statement calling for Cablevision to offer rebates to all of its subscribers for the lost programming during the dispute. Fox pulled the signals of its broadcast stations - WNYW and WWO in New York and WTXF in Philadelphia - and cable networks Fox Deportes, NatGeo Wild and Fox Business Network on Oct. 16.
In the Friday statement, Fox said it had determined that Cablevision customer service reps were offering subscribers who call up to cancel service a $20 per month credit for up to two years, nearly a $500 value.
"It seems unfair that only customers who call, wait on hold for up to 30 minutes and threaten to leave are receiving this rebate. After all, these customers have lost the National League Championship Series, the NFL on Fox, and a full week of Fox's primetime shows due to Cablevision's refusal to negotiate," Fox said in a statement. "In the interest of fairness to consumers, Cablevision should listen to the calls of policymakers and their own customers and ensure that same rebate is applied to every Cablevision household."
Cablevision has repeatedly called for Fox to agree to binding arbitration to settle the matter. Last week Federal Communications Commission Media Bureau chief Bill Lake asked each company to prove it was negotiating in good faith by Oct. 25, which Cablevision embraced. Fox said it would respond directly to the FCC.
Cablevision customers will likely miss tonight's NLCS Game 6, scheduled for 7:57 p.m. Tomorrow's football lineup on Fox is not New-York centric (the New York Giants are playing on Monday Night Football on ESPN) but Cablevision subscribers could miss the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Tennessee Titans at 1 p.m.
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