As Scripps Networks Interactive's carriage battle with Cablevision Systems entered its third week, the programmer announced plans to air encore presentations of popular Food Network and HGTV shows on New York-area broadcaster WPIX Jan. 24.
WPIX will broadcast HGTV's House Hunters and House Hunters International from 5p.m. to 6p.m. and Food Network's Iron Chef America from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Sunday.
"We're hearing from our loyal fans that they are looking for alternatives for seeing Food Network and HGTV. Working with PIX 11 to air some of our programming is one small way to let the viewers know that we miss them too," said Food Network president Brooke Johnson in a statement.
Scripps pulled Food and HGTV from Cablevision's New York area systems on Jan. 1, after it could not reach a carriage agreement with the operator. Cablevision has claimed that Scripps is demanding carriage fee increases of as much as 200%. Scripps has claimed it is only asking for fair value for its programming.
This would not be the first time that Scripps has aired programming on WPIX, which is owned by Tribune Broadcasting. Tribune is a minority owner of Food Network.
On Jan. 8 the network aired HGTV Dream Home Tour 2010 on WPIX, followed by an episode ofIron Chef America on Jan. 10 that featured an appearance by First Lady Michelle Obama. Scripps claims the encore episodes attracted strong ratings.
Cablevision was not impressed.
"If Scripps wanted people in this market to see their programming they shouldn't have irresponsibly yanked Food Network and HGTV off Cablevision, effectively holding their own viewers hostage in pursuit of a 200% rate increase," Cablevision said in a statement. "The channels where HGTV and Food Network appeared on Cablevision remain available, and if Scripps really cared about their viewers they would put their channels back on Cablevision while we negotiate an agreement that is fair for everyone, something we have repeatedly urged them to do."
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