Cablevision and Fox make ‘unfair’ settlement
November 1, 2010
The carriage fee stand-off between Cablevision and Fox, came to an end at the weekend. Cablevision will pay an increased rate to carry Fox programming – though terms of the new deal were not disclosed.
Fox had withheld its three public stations and three cable stations from Cablevision since October 16th, when the deadline for a renewed contract expired. Fox demanded an increase in the fees that Cablevision paid to carry its content. Cablevision said the fee hike was unreasonable. Details were not revealed, but Cablevision said Fox was asking for a more than doubling of their annual fees, from $70 million to $150 million though Fox this.
In a statement announcing the end of the stand-off, the cable company made it clear it was still not happy with the terms of the deal.
“In the absence of any meaningful action from the FCC, Cablevision has agreed to pay Fox an unfair price for multiple channels of its programming including many in which our customers have little or no interest,” the company said. Cablevision conceded because it does not think its customers should any longer be denied the Fox programmes they do wish to see.”
The spat and Fox’s ‘victory’ is being seen as an indicator of how the balance of power is shifting between content companies – who can now reach consumers direct – and their traditional distribution networks.