Monday, October 18, 2010

News Corp. and Cablevision

by Dick Mac

News Corporation has pulled Fox 5 New York, MY9 New York, Fox29, FOX Business News, FOX Deportes, and Nat Geo Wild, from Cablevision.

On October 15, 2010, the agreement between News Corporation and Cablevision expired. Cablevision expected a price hike from the $70 million it paid for the last contract, and News Corporation sent a bill for $150 million. More than double the original price. Cablevision will not pay that much.

News Corporation has a lot of leverage in New York, because they have been allowed to own multiple broadcast outlets in this single market. The practice was unheard of in the past. Never was a single entity allowed to own multiple television stations in the past - before deregulation became the be all and end all of American patriotism.

One of the reasons that single entities were not allowed to own multiple stations in a single market was to prevent situations exactly like this. A corporation is holding a section of the market hostage and will stop at nothing to get more money.

I am thrilled that six News Corporation channels are off-the-air. I hope more go off the air, too. New York is a pretty big market and I hope Cablevision stands firm and demands NO INCREASE in the cost of these stations. I can sacrifice a few NFL games, some MLB playoffs, and Fox's original programming.

Someone needs to stand-up to News Corporation -- they are the closest thing we have to an evil empire in the USA -- and I hope Cablevision stands firm!

If Cablevision sticks to its guns, they will become heroic in my eyes.

People who need to have these Fox outlets can switch their service to satellite or high-speed. Those of us who care nothing about these stations can stay with Cablevision. Eventually, they will come back to Cablevision, because it's the best deal: Verizon demands a two-year contract for FiOS, and the satellite technology can be lost due to weather. Cablevision has excellent internet connectivity, no contract requirements, and phone service.

In the end it's all about what you get for your money. If you need Fox, then go to the other vendors. I don't need Fox, so I'll stay with Cablevision. In the end, the bottom-line for most people is money and value.

I get good value with Cablevision. I don't like them, but I get good value.

The battle for the hearts and minds of consumers is playing-out on the internet. Here is a pro-Fox site with pages of comments. Problem with this site is that there isn't anywhere to leave a comment. This leads me to believe that News Corporation has done what they do best: they have fabricated the comments.

Cablevision has published this FAQ about News Corp. Programming, and has a Facebook site where users can leave comments.

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