Cablevision and FOX TV are currently in a dispute over fees that left three million people in the New York metro area without access to Game 1 of the World Series last night. Hours before the first pitch, Cablevision made an offer that News Corp (FOX TV’s parent company) eventually rejected.
The rejection by FOX may have been a foregone conclusion once the Yankees and Phillies lost in their respective League Championship Series. If either (or both) of those teams were in the World Series, Cablevision and FOX would have been forced to find a resolution.
Meanwhile, Cablevision is offering to reimburse customers who buy MLB.com’s online package to watch the Series.
The real test will come this Sunday. That is when FOX is set to air the New York Jets big match up against the Green Bay Packers. In fact, it is so big, the Jets owner, Woody Johnson, has reached out to both Cablevision and News Corp, hoping to get the Jets game aired even if an agreement hasn’t been reached. Johnson noted that both sides are aware of the fans’ desire to watch the game, but neither side made any indication that the game would be aired.
It is not clear if the passion of the Jets fans will be enough to get a deal done before Sunday. Their games are usually aired locally on CBS, so FOX and Cablevision may not feel enough pressure from the fans to get just one game back on the air.
If a typical Jets game is aired in 750,000-1,000,000 homes in the New York market and not all of those fans are Cablevision subscribers, those fans may not make enough noise. And with “American Idol” idle until January, this bickering may not be resolved anytime soon.
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