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Cablevision Offers To Pay Fox 'TWC Rate' For a Year
Cable Firm Wants To Get WNYW, WTXF Back On Lineup As World Series Looms
Mike Farrell -- 10/27/2010 2:01:54 PM

As the first game of the World Series approaches, Cablevision Systems fired off a revised offer in its retransmission consent dispute with Fox Networks, agreeing to pay the same rate Time Warner Cable pays for broadcast stations WNYW and WTXF for one year.

"In the interest of Cablevision's 3 million households and our mutual viewers, today we have made a new offer to News Corp.," Cablevision said in the statement. "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."

Fox's WNYW, WWOR, WTXF and a trio of cable channels came off Cablevision on Oct. 16. Cablevision has repeatedly called for binding arbitration in the dispute, while Fox has insisted that face-to-face negotiations is the best path to a resolution.

Time Warner Cable reached a retransmission agreement for WNYW in January. While terms were not disclosed, some analysts estimated that Time Warner Cable agreed to a multi-year deal that started at between 40 cents and 60 cents per subscriber per month and stepped up to $1 per subscriber per month in the last year.

Fox told the FCC in a filing this week that on Oct. 6 it made a proposal to Cablevision for just the standalone broadcast stations, and that Cablevision on Oct. 12 replied by "effectively reiterating" an earlier proposal that Fox had rejected. Fox also said that it told Cablevision a standalone rate for the stations would be higher than if Cablevision bought other Fox products. Time Warner Cable's January agreement also covered numerous Fox cable outlets, including FX, Speed, Fox Movie Channel and regional sports channels. Renewing those channels presumably brought down TWC's license fee for WNYW.

Cablevision's latest statement seemed like an effort to enable customers to watch the first game of the World Series, which is scheduled to air on Fox tonight at 7:57 p.m. WWOR is a MyNetwork TV affiliate and will not broadcast the game.


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