Cablevision, Fox News Reach Deal

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In the first of the contract renewals, Fox News Channel reached an extension with Cablevision Systems.

Deal terms were not disclosed, but industry sources said Cablevision will pay the cable news leader a monthly per-subscriber fee “north of 75 cents” on a multiyear pact that will run into the early part of the next decade.

The deal represents a significant jump in Fox News’ monthly per-subscriber fee of 25 cents, and it came in well above the estimates of media analysts like Merrill Lynch’s Jessica Reif Cohen, who estimated that the service would ink a deal that would boost its monthly subscriber take to 50 cents.

The parties, though, have not come to terms yet on the business channel Fox is expected to launch in the middle of 2007.

Fox News’ original 10-year contract with Cablevision expired Oct. 7, but the service continued to air on the systems owned by the operator, which counts some 3 million subscribers in the New York DMA.

CNN -- which Fox News surpassed in the ratings rankings early in 2002 -- receives a monthly subscriber fee of 45 cents-55 cents, according to industry estimates.

“We’ve enjoyed a good relationship with Cablevision and look forward to continuing our partnership,” said Tim Carry, senior vice president of affiliate sales for the network, in a prepared statement.

“We are happy with our new agreement with Fox News Channel,” Cablevision spokesman Jim Maiella said in a prepared statement.

A Fox News spokeswoman declined to comment about deal terms.

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