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FOX gets tough on NY viewers

Not political, although it might end up that way. Right now it's a fight between FOX and Cablevision. Oddly, or unfairly, it seems Cablevision gets 12 channels from FOX, but pays more for two channels from the Dolan family group which also owns Cablevision. Obviously there's a conflict of interest in how fees are negotiated by Cablevision. FOX however seems to be using the special relationship (nepotism?) between Cablevision and the MSG and MSG Plus companies as a wedge to greatly increase their contract amount with Cablevision. Solution? Maybe lower the amount paid to MSG and MSG Plus to actually meet market forces, and then both Cablevision and FOX could play fair in negotiations and not go whining to the FCC and others about it.

News Corp.'s Fox pulled its channels off Cablevision early Saturday after the companies' programming deal expired and negotiations for a new one stalled, threatening broadcasts of baseball playoffs for some 3 million Cablevision subscribers in New York and Philadelphia.

The blackout affects Fox 5 and My9 in New York and Fox29 in Philadelphia. Subscribers also lose access to cable channels Fox Business Network, NatGeo Wild and Fox Deportes.

Fox rejected the call for arbitration, saying the process would "reward Cablevision for refusing to negotiate fairly."

"Direct business-to-business negotiation is the only way to resolve this issue," it said in a statement.

While Fox didn't dispute Cablevision's claims, it called Cablevision "hypocritical" because it pays more for two of its sister company channels, MSG and MSG Plus, than it does for all 12 Fox channels. MSG and MSG Plus are owned by Madison Square Garden Inc., which like Cablevision is controlled by the Dolan family.

Lawmakers have begun to speak up on the issue, including...(see article)

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