×

FCC pushes Cablevision, Fox to settle

Demands explanations of negotiating efforts by Monday

The FCC is turning up the heat on Cablevision and Fox to resolve the retransmission dispute that has knocked Fox’s Gotham and Philadelphia stations off of Cablevision systems for the past seven days.

William Lake, chief of the FCC’s media bureau, sent a letter Friday to Cablevision prexy and CEO James Dolan and News Corp. chief operating officer Chase Carey asking them to justify by Monday the moves that each side has made in the long-running retrans wrangle. Lake’s letter asks the toppers to explain how the sides have been negotiating in “good faith,” as called for in the law governing retransmission consent deals between subscription TV providers and broadcasters. Lake’s letter follows a statement from FCC Julius Genachowski earlier this week that criticized both companies for “spending more time attacking each other through ads and lobbyists” than negotiating. Cablevision and Fox execs have not held face-to-face negotiations since Monday, though the sides have had brief telephone conversations.

“We ask each of you to describe to us how your company is satisfying this important statutory obligation in the context of your retransmission consent negotiations,” Lake wrote. “In particular, we request that you describe with specificity what has transpired since you initially began your negotiations, and detail the efforts your company is making to end the current impasse. If you are aware of any conduct by the other side that you believe violates the good faith requirement, please so indicate and provide supporting evidence. Please submit this information to me by the close of business Monday, October 25, 2010.”

Lake further asserted that the shutoff of Fox’s WNYW and WWOR New York and WTXF Philadelphia for Cablevision’s 3 million subscribers “affects millions of innocent consumers who expect to watch their preferred broadcast programming without interruption. We urge you to place the interests of these consumers first and conclude your negotiations promptly.”

Fox said it would respond to the FCC by Monday but had not further comment.

In a statement, Cablevision’s Charles Schueler, exec veep of communications said: “We welcome the FCC’s intervention. Whether through FCC action, binding arbitration or any other means, the time has come for News Corp to end the Fox blackout of 3 million Cablevision households.”

More TV

  • Luna Nera Netflix Italy

    Italy's Women Filmmakers Set to Make Waves

    The Berlinale in recent years has been a prime launching pad for Italian films directed by women, which though fewer in number to their male counterparts, make up a considerable portion of the country’s representation on the festival circuit — Alice Rohrwacher (“Happy as Lazzaro”) at Cannes, Susanna Nicchiarelli (“Nico”) at Venice, and Berlin regular [...]

  • Love Me Scandinavian Cinema

    Scandinavia Ups Its Game With So Many Markets for Its Fare

    When the Nordic entertainment group, one of Scandinavia’s largest media groups, announced last month during the Goteborg Film Festival that it was pulling out of non-scripted content to focus on scripted drama, and film production and distribution, it underscored two market trends in the Nordics: Subscription-based services, whether local or global, are driving the region’s [...]

  • Louis Hofmann in Prélude

    Berlin: Louis Hofmann Cast in Damian John Harper's 'Fresh' (EXCLUSIVE)

    German star Louis Hofmann is set to topline Damian John Harper’s upcoming drama “Fresh,” a German-language adaptation of Scottish writer Mark McNay’s novel of the same name. Hofmann plays a young man who must emancipate himself from his tyrannical older brother. Unlike the book, which is set in the outskirts of Glasgow, the film’s story [...]

  • Steve Stark

    Steve Stark Named President of Newly Formed MGM/UA Television

    The newly formed MGM/UA Television label has found a president in Steve Stark, who previously served as MGM’s president of scripted television production and development. MGM Worldwide Television Group chairman Mark Burnett made the announcement late Friday, adding that Stark has extended his contract with the studio as part of his new role. “We are [...]

  • Bad Education

    TV News Roundup: HBO Sets Premiere Date for Hugh Jackman's 'Bad Education' (Watch)

    In today’s TV News roundup, HBO Films set the premiere date for “Bad Education” starring Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney and “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” tapes Chris Harrison and Sage Steele as hosts. CASTING “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison will host “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” alongside co-host Sage Steele of ESPN, ABC announced. [...]

  • Randall Park Ed Helms

    Randall Park, Ed Helms to Host Hybrid Alternative-Scripted Series 'True Story' for NBC

    Ed Helms and Randall Park are attached to co-host a hybrid scripted-alternative series titled “True Story” at NBC. The hour-long show has received a six-episode order. It is based on the Australian series “True Story with Hamish & Andy.” In the series, everyday Americans sit down with Helms and Park to share their most extraordinary [...]

  • Annie MurphyGlamour Women of the Year

    'Schitt’s Creek' Star Annie Murphy Cast as Lead in AMC's ‘Kevin Can F— Himself’

    “Schitt’s Creek” star Annie Murphy has been cast as the lead in AMC’s upcoming series “Kevin Can F— Himself.” The dark comedy centers around Murphy’s Allison, Kevin’s wife, who escapes her confines and discovers her rage. “Kevin Can F– Himself” probes the secret life of a type of woman we all grew up believing we [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content