Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fox - Cablevision Dispute Means No Baseball, No Glee

Cablevision customers missed out last night on game one of the NLCS Giants - Phillies series. Despite ongoing negotiations, neither side could agree on a new contract. And rather than think about the customer, the signal went dark. "News Corp./Fox has argued that Cablevision has focused more on getting the two parties into binding arbitration, which Fox rejects, than reaching a solution." Regardless, Cablevision customers missed Fox's Saturday Night programming.

Of the voices complaining, the one that seems silent is that of Major League Baseball. It is a key time for MLB and they should be furious that the number one market in the country lost a chance to watch their programming. Yet I have not heard or read a word from MLB voicing their dissatisfaction with this outcome.

Now there is one thing worth noting, Fox is a broadcast channel and consumers could have just as easily gone out to their local store, picked up a digital antenna, and tuned in. Yes, it is a backwards step, but it was the fastest solution. The fact that Fox ads argue to switch providers may be nice, but the time it takes to get an installer into the home to switch to another company may take at least a week. By then the negotiations will likely be resolved and Fox will be back on the air.

Should consumers still switch? Well this isn't the first time a network went dark with Cablevision. Those tired of these shenanigans may switch anyway knowing that this scenario will only play out again and again.

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