Cablevision-Fox I: Fox accused of 'bad faith' negotiations

Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) says that News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) is negotiating in "bad faith" by issuing a "take it or leave it" attitude about retransmitting its local broadcast networks. Further, the MSO says in a letter to the FCC, the broadcast blackout-which has gone on for more than 10 days-was deliberately timed to coincide with the baseball playoffs and World Series.

Not surprisingly Fox, no stranger to wars of words, denied all of this and accused Cablevision of taking a "cynical political strategy" in its ongoing pleas to the FCC.

In a statement released to the media, Cablevision asked the FCC to "assert its authority to immediately restore the broadcast stations and order the companies to submit to binding arbitration ... and prevent a blackout of the World Series in New York."

Cablevision also asserted that News Corp. has abused FCC waivers that allow it to own multiple broadcast licenses and newspapers in the New York market and is "attempting to leverage its unprecedented government-enable media consolidation to force Cablevision to accept unreasonable fee demands." Cablevision already pays $70 million annually for Fox content; News Corp., it said, wants $150 million.

Fox, as would be expected, denied all charges, claiming through a spokesman that it has "negotiated in good faith" and is not asking for $150 million in fees.

For more:
- see this news release
- see this story

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