Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cablevision and Fox: Still No Deal

It is more than a week, the NLCS series is over and done and the World Series on Fox begins tomorrow night. And still no agreement. I have already heard from friends in the area; some were able to switch to FIOS and others only wish their area had FIOS. With no end in sight, a dish or antenna seems the next best solution.

In addition, the NFL Network has voiced an opinion. Not about Fox, but about their own need for binding arbitration to conclude a deal. Does any network get a break with Cablevision? The proof is in the pudding. And now the government is involve. "A senior Federal Communications Commission official wants to know whether Fox and Cablevision are negotiating in good faith or are spending all their time running attack ads against each other." To what extent the FCC can impact remains to be seen.

It may also reveal an even bigger issue between programmer and distributor. Part of the hang up is online content. Fox is a partner of Hulu and Cablevision may see Hulu as more a threat than complement. It also illustrates the challenges a Comcast-NBC deal may bring to the industry should the merger be allowed to continue.

Many want this Cablevision and Fox business to go away; unfortunately, its public airing of dirty laundry only goes to further exemplify the issues of content and distribution owned by one entity. On the surface it is about license fees; but dig a little more and it is clear the issues are far more complex.

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