Fox-Cablevision Battle Factored Into Stocks: Analyst

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As News Corp. and Cablevision Systems' face-off over retransmission-consent fees nears its Oct. 15 deadline, one analyst says he's already factored the outcome into his earnings estimates for the two companies.

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In a research note distributed Wednesday, David Joyce of Miller Tabak + Co. noted that News Corp. and Cablevision "are still in contentious last-minute negotiations," with Cablevision saying it already pays News Corp. $70 million a year for its channels and that the programmer is seeking $150 million. (Those figures include some networks whose distribution deals are not expiring this month, but might be included in a new agreement.)

Meanwhile, he notes News Corp. claims Cablevision is taking "cheap shots" at Fox and that it already pays more for Madison Square Garden network channels than all 12 Fox channels.

In his report, Joyce estimated that Cablevision pays about $8.6 million a year for WNYW-TV and WWOR-TV in New York, and  that News Corp. is now seeking $34 million a year. The cable networks whose deals are expiring: Fox Business Network, which Cablevision currently pays $3.7 million a year for; National Geographic Wild at $2.9 million; and Fox Deportes at $500,000.
Joyce estimates News Corp. is seeking $18.4 million, $14.7 million and $2.3 million a year, respectively, for those channels in its new contract.
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