Cablevision and Fox have until end of day today to file documents with the FCC proving that they have been negotiating in good faith in their carriage dispute that has kept Fox blacked out in 3 million Cablevision homes for the past 10 days. Cablevision has already sent its response, in which it defends its negotiating tactic, accuses Fox in bad faith negotiations and urges the FCC to intervene with the World Series coverage on Fox only 2 days away. Fox, which is yet to file, issued a statement blasting Cablevision’s accusations. Here are an excerpt from Cablevision’s FCC filing and Fox’s response:
[-] News Corp. has refused to negotiate in good faith by demanding a “take it or leave it” rate for Fox 5. Further, News Corp. has claimed it cannot show any flexibility in its demands for Fox 5 because it is bound by “Most Favored Nation” (MFN) clause based on a rate it claims Time Warner Cable agreed to pay in a much broader, national agreement. This is a self-imposed limitation that is a clear violation of the FCC’s good faith rules.
[-] News Corp. deliberately timed the deadline to black out Fox 5 and My9 to ensure that Cablevision customers would be denied access to major national sporting events including Major League Baseball playoffs and the World Series unless Cablevision accepted its “take it or leave it” demands.
[-] Cablevision has engaged in good faith negotiations and made numerous proposals – significantly increasing in value – since May in an effort to reach agreement, including four new proposals from Oct. 15 to 17… Cablevision already pays News Corp. more than $70 million a year for its channels, and News Corp. is demanding more than $150 million a year for the same exact programming.
For Cablevision to still be making those claims is yet another example of their ploy to secure an advantage through government intervention.
Fox once again calls on Cablevision to stop punishing their subscribers in service of a cynical political strategy and resume constructive negotiations.
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