At midnight, News Corp. pulled off WNYW 5 and WWOR 9—also known as channels 5 and 9—from Cablevision, leaving over 3 million people in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in the dark after being unable to come to terms with a contract. Actually, not the dark—Newsday reports that at 12:04 a.m., "screen appeared saying 'in these economic times, demanding $150 million dollars is unfair. Cablevision is willing to accept binding arbitration. We apologize for News Corp.'s action.' A voice-over blamed 'greed' on the Fox parent for pulling the stations." You can see the message here.

According to Cablevision, News Corp. is demanding higher fees for WNYW Fox 5, "higher" than the other broadcast networks combined, saying it pays $70 million for a total of 12 Fox channels, but now News Corp. wants $150 million. Additionally, Newsday explains, "Some industry observers speculated Friday that Fox is bound by a so-called
'most favored nations' clause in a recent pact with Time Warner, which forbids it from agreeing to lower fees from another cable operator. If it were to agree to those lower rates with Cablevision, then Time Warner would automatically get those lower rates - meaning potentially the loss of millions of dollars in retransmission fees to Fox. (Time Warner has roughly 13 million subscribers.)"

Cablevision has argued for binding arbitration (which many lawmakers support), but News Corp. fired back with a statement, "Cablevision needs to stop hiding behind a call for binding arbitration and negotiate in good faith," while saying it was concerned "for protecting viewers’ access to programming... Direct business-to-business negotiation is the only way to resolve this issue, while also preserving the long-term stability of the broadcast system. We will continue to negotiate and are committed to putting all our resources towards reaching a fair resolution.”

Earlier this year, Cablevision's and Disney's dispute over contract fees prompted the media company to pull its channels—including WABC 7, ESPN, Disney—from the cable provider.