Fox, Cablevision Take Spat to TV, Web, Radio

WNYW-WWOR New York VP/General Manager Lew Leone has used his current “Lew’s View” editorial slot to tell Fox’s side of the News Corp.-Cablevision retrans spat.

Leone says he’s got some skin in the game–his monthly Cablevision bill is $211, he says. (My initial reaction: Wow, that’s a lot of HBOs.) If the row is not resolved by tomorrow night’s deadline, he says he’ll head over to his folks’ and watch Sunday’s Giant game there.

Leone says:

Cablevision charges you a substantial amount on your monthly bill for access to Fox 5, My 9 and many other broadcast channels. They do not share that money with us and we don’t think that’s fair.

They also take nearly 4 dollars per month from your cable bill and pay the Cablevision family for the MSG channels.

We encourage you to call Cablevision at (866-575-8000) and tell them you want to keep Fox5 and MY9…. Tell them you want to see the National League playoffs, World Series, your Giants and Jets games, The Super Bowl, American Idol, GLEE, House, Fox 5 and My 9 News, 21 Yankee Games on My 9 next season as well as all the other quality programming you count on.

For its part, Cablevision has a section of its website dedicated to telling its side of the story, though I don’t think you’d ever find it from the Cablevision home page.

The site reads:

Unfortunately, yet another company, News Corp, is making outrageous fee demands for its television programming, and is threatening to pull the plug on its channels if they don’t get what they want. 

UPDATE: Just heard a Cablevision ad on the radio (yes, I still listen to terrestrial radio) in which Cablevision says Fox parent News Corp. is demanding more than what Cablevision pays the local CBS, NBC, ABC and Univision combined for retransmission.

“This is News Corp.’s decision, not ours,” the narrator says. “We ask you to stand with us.”

The narrator then offers a phone number with ‘NO TV TAX’ within it.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.