Fox blackout 'villain' blames politicos

News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) COO Chase Carey, the man painted as the villain in the prolonged blackout of Fox Networks on Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) during, among other things, the Major League Baseball playoffs, says it wasn't his fault.

"This process would have been resolved more easily, more quickly" had government agencies not waffled on whether or not they would get involved. "I would actually contend we wouldn't have gone off the air at all," said the man widely regarded as News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch's top lieutenant.

There are those in Cablevision who would disagree. COO Tom Rutledge, for instance, has taken the FCC to task for its inaction. "We thought the FCC should be involved; that's why we asked them to be involved and they chose not to be," Rutledge said during a third quarter earnings conference call where he also called the retransmission process with News Corp. "a very unpleasant way of doing business."

At least on that score Carey apparently agreed. "This wasn't a good experience," he said. "Everybody here found this really painful."

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