Fox channels go dark amid financial dispute

cablevision_fox2.top.jpgCablevision (left) and Fox (right) have attacked each other in ads over a financial dispute. By CNN Wire Staff


NEW YORK (CNN) -- News Corp. pulled the plug on Cablevision customers Saturday, blacking out more than 3 million households in the New York area over a programming fee dispute.

The blackout affects Fox 5 and My9, Charles Schueler, Cablevision's vice president of communications, said in a statement.

"Cablevision is calling on News Corp. to immediately put Fox 5 and My9 back on Cablevision and submit to binding arbitration under a neutral third party to reach a fair agreement," he said.

Fox Networks is entangled in a financial dispute over programming with Cablevision.

Cablevision (CVC, Fortune 500) says that Fox, which is owned by News Corp. (NWS, Fortune 500), is demanding too much money.

"In a difficult economy, it is unfair and wrong for News Corp. to demand a huge fee increase from Cablevision customers for Fox's Channel 5 and My9 -- and then threaten to pull the plug if they don't get want they want," Cablevision said in a statement.

But Fox says it deserves the money for quality programming.

"Our position in these negotiations is entirely reasonable -- we are simply asking for fair compensation for the value Fox5 and My9 programming offers," Fox said.

Cablevision says it is paying more than $70 million annually for Fox programming, and says Fox wants to bump it to $150 million.

Fox would not confirm or deny the details of the finances.

Cablevision has been running ads in an attempt to appeal to subscribers caught in the middle. One of the ads depicts a woman saying, "Hey News Corp., don't make me part of your latest drama."

Outside of this dispute, Fox is still caught up in its pay dispute with another network. Fox blocked 19 regional sports networks in a rate increase dispute with Dish Network at midnight on Sept. 30.

The Federal Communications Commission urged the companies to "engage in good faith negotiations" and resolve their differences.

"I am disappointed that Fox and Cablevision have not found a way to ensure that consumers could enjoy uninterrupted carriage of Fox broadcast stations on Cablevision systems," said Julius Genachowski, FCC chairman.

The companies should protect their audience's interests, he said.

-- CNN's Rick Martin contributed to this report. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,805.41 127.51 0.76%
Nasdaq 4,483.72 30.92 0.69%
S&P 500 1,964.58 13.76 0.71%
Treasuries 2.27 -0.00 -0.09%
Data as of 12:04pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 13.78 -0.62 -4.31%
Microsoft Corp 46.13 1.11 2.47%
Apple Inc 105.22 0.39 0.37%
Bank of America Corp... 16.72 0.12 0.72%
Yahoo! Inc 43.50 0.90 2.11%
Data as of Oct 24

Sections

New York headlines took a straight forward and direct approach with NYC's Ebola news. More

The midterm elections are around the corner, and the economy remains a top concern. With unemployment down and inflation low, why do people still feel the economy stinks? More

Shares of Facebook recently topped $80. They've more than quadrupled from their post-IPO lows of two years ago. Can Mark Zuckerberg keep the momentum in mobile going? More

Host a furniture market. Here's how small town High Point, N.C. rakes in this much money -- twice a year. More

If you're looking to fly this holiday season, the clock's ticking to get the best prices. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.