Originally published: October 27, 2010
Last updated: October 27, 2010 - 6:26pm
With only a few hours before the World Series was to begin on Fox, Cablevision said that it had put a new offer on the negotiating table to end its dispute with News Corporation over retransmission fees. But News Corporation, which owns Fox, rejected the offer and said it was "yet another in a long line of publicity stunts," making it more likely that the first game of the World Series would be blacked out in Cablevision's 3 million homes in the New York metropolitan area.
Cablevision and Fox have not held serious negotiations since the middle of last week. In a statement, Cablevision had said that "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." Fox said Cablevision's proposal was "incomplete" and "not acceptable" adding:
"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."
By offering to match the Time Warner Cable rate, at least temporarily, Cablevision went a long way toward addressing Fox's claim that it cannot lower its asking price for its stations due to a most-favored-nation clause in its contract with Time Warner Cable. Essentially, if Fox lowered its price for Cablevision, it would also have to lower its already-agreed-upon price with Time Warner Cable, which is a much bigger distributor. By rebuffing Cablevision's offer, Fox was putting the ball back in its opponents' court.
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