News Corp., Cablevision Sounding Sour Note

The past few days the New Orleans Hilton Riverside Hotel served as the site for both the cable industry’s CTAM conference and local auditions for the popular Fox broadcasting music competition reality series American Idol.

American Idol judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson were here to listen to the best and brightest young performers from the Crescent City sing their way to a spot on the immensely popular Fox network-distributed reality series.

Meanwhile more than 1,300 miles away at least a few of the 3 million New York area Cablevision subscribers may be wondering whether they’ll get an opportunity to see the upcoming season of American Idol.  The series doesn’t launch its 10th season on Fox until January, but the sour note being sounded between Fox owner News Corp. and the MSO in their carriage negotiations is deafening.

The dispute, which jettisoned Fox broadcast station WNYW from 3 million Cablevision subscriber homes on Oct. 15 over carriage fees, shouldn’t last that long. But the two media conglomerates’ dispute is now in its fourth day, and there doesn’t seem to be a resolution in sight.

As it stand right now, Cablevision subscribers could be looking at a long stretch without News Corp.-owned WNYW and WWOR, as well as cable networks Nat Geo Wild, Fox Business Network and Fox Sports Deportes. The dispute come just as Fox’s coverage of baseball’s San Francisco Giants-Philadelphia Phillies National League Championship Series is in full swing, and a less likely but still potential New York Yankees appearance in the World Series sits on deck — not to mention Fox’s weekly New York Giants National Football League game telecasts and new episodes of Fox primetime series House and Glee.

Hopefully the two parties will be singing the same tune by the time Tyler, J.Lo and the talented, New Orleans-based contestants strut their stuff on American Idol.