No Movement in Cablevision/Fox Dispute


The Fox and Cablevision camps were quiet on Sunday, with no new reports or any progress in their now nine-day retransmission-consent impasse.
Fox pulled its broadcast stations WNYW and WWOR in New York and WTXF in Philadelphia as well as it cable networks Fox Deportes, NatGeo Wild and Fox Business Network from Cablevision Systems on Oct. 16.
After days of back-biting and accusations from both sides, Fox and Cablevision were relatively quiet on Saturday and Sunday. Late last Friday, FCC Media Bureau chief Bill Lake had asked both sides to prove they were negotiating in good faith, and wanted that proof by close of business on Oct. 25. Cablevision, which has been calling for Fox to agree to binding arbitration to settle the matter, welcomed FCC intervention in the dispute. Fox said in a statement that it would respond directly to the FCC by the close of business on Monday.
While neither side in this dispute has been afraid to express its opinions, the pressure may be mounting as the battle moves closer to the start of Major League Baseball's World Series, slated for Oct. 27. Cablevision's 3 million customers already have missed out on the National League Championship Series (won by the San Francisco Giants). And though the Fall Classic does not have an East Coast team in the mix - the Texas Rangers defeated the New York Yankees for the American League pennant - leaving one of the largest constituencies in the New York metropolitan area without access to such a marquee sports event could increase political pressure for a deal.