Blah blah blah three million Cablevision customers in NY, NJ and Pennsylvania remain without News Corp. channels, like WNYW 5, WWOR 9 and Fox News, for a sixth day as the companies have still not reached an agreement on transmission fees. The past few days, the two sides haven't really even held substantive negotiations, and FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said the FCC should "take a very serious look at whether ‘good faith’ negotiations are indeed occurring" and "move promptly to protect consumers" if they are not.
NJ Governor Chris Christie, who criticized Cablevision earlier in the week, said yesterday, "I’ve done everything at this moment that I can do so far by referring it to the Board of Public Utilities. These are two privately held companies. At the end of the day, they’re going to make the decision. But they also are going to suffer the ramifications that come along with it." And a NJ lawmaker sent a letter to Cablevision CEO James Dolan, demanding that Cablevision customers get a refund: State Senator Tom Goodwin (R), "As a Cablevision customer and a lifelong Phillies fan, I am outraged over the pace of these negotiations and the unjust punishment that your customers continue to endure. I appreciate your consideration of my request. I hope your company chooses to do the right thing and reimburse your customers for each day they are being robbed by this continued blackout."
The Cablevision-News Corp. dispute has implications for Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal. The Wrap explains, "Being questioned is an unprecedented tactic Fox employed early in the Cablevision dispute and only for hours -- blocking Cablevision’s internet subscribers from accessing Fox content on Hulu... Dish Network, DirecTV and the American Cable Association on Wednesday wrote FCC chairman Julius Genachowski warning about the tactic and its potential impacts in the $30B Comcast/NBCU deal." The groups said, "Without appropriate safeguards, it is reasonable to assume that Comcast/NBCU would take similar action against non-Comcast broadband subscribers in the event of a dispute because it could increase its leverage in carriage negotiations and encourage subscriber defection to Comcast’s own video and broadband platforms."