Big Blues For Cablevision Football Fans

New York Giants football fans in parts of New York and New Jersey were without their favorite team on Sunday, as the dispute between Fox Networks and Cablevision Systems lingered on after the 1:03 p.m. kickoff of the contest pitting Big Blue against the Detroit Lions.

News Corp. pulled its Fox broadcast stations in the New York area as well as cable channels Fox Deportes, NatGeo Wild and Fox Business Network from Cablevision Systems at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 16. The two parties had continued negotiations into Saturday - although a Fox spokesman said both were far apart on price - and agreed to resume talks at noon on Sunday in New York. As of 12:10 on Sunday, a Fox spokesman said that Cablevision representatives had not yet arrived at a planned meeting to hammer out a deal.

In hindsight, that could have been taken as a hint as to the direction negotiations were headed.

Cablevision had claimed throughout the dispute that it has offered a fair price for the stations - equal to or above what it is currently paying other broadcasters - but that Fox has rejected its proposals. Cablevision added that Fox is demanding $150 million annually for its programming (including channels not part of the current dispute) more than double the $70 million the MSO currently pays.

Fox has countered that it is merely seeking fair compensation for its content and notes that Cablevision already pays about $124 million per year for its sister sports channels MSG and MSG Plus, despite lower ratings than Fox content.