ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC have asked a federal court to stop the Internet video service FilmOn.com from offering TV channels over the web and on Apple Inc.’s iPad for free.
Cablevision Systems COO Tom Rutledge wouldn’t discuss Thursday how many subscribers the cable company likely lost due to its recent public program showdown with News Corp./Fox, which kept key programmers off its cable systems for two weeks. But on Cablevision’s quarterly earnings conference call, he defended the company’s stance against Fox and its hopes for government intervention.
After 43 years of selling radio and TV commercials, Fox ad chief Jon Nesvig is calling it quits. He reflects on a satisfying career that began in the Mad Men era and ended in a time of “refined silence.”
The New York-based media giant controlled by Rupert Murdoch said Wednesday that net income in the fiscal first quarter, which ended Sept. 30, rose 36% to $775 million. COO Chase Carey said hard stands with cable and satellite companies were necessary to “set the market” for Fox stations and bring broadcasting to a “new level of profitability.”
Wall Street analysts Monday morning analyzed the weekend’s resolution of the Fox-Cablevision and Dish Network program fee showdowns, highlighting the entertainment giant’s leverage and guesstimating that the cable operator likely lost a few thousand subscribers in the worst case scenario.
The online service that streams local broadcast signals said its subscribers grew by 323% during the Fox blackout on Cablevision’s New York and Philadelphia systems.
A recent spate of TV blackouts and the lack of government intervention suggests that broadcasters have the upper hand over TV signal providers when it comes to negotiating fees, at least until Congress decides to act.
Fox and Cablevision reached an agreement Saturday that will restore programming to more than 3 million New York-area subscribers who have been without some of their favorite shows and baseball playoff games for two weeks.
The month-long dispute over programming fees between Dish Network and News Corp. is over. The two companies announced Friday that they have reached a distribution and carriage agreement restoring FX, National Geographic Channel, and Fox’s 19 regional sports networks to the satellite provider. It also averts further programming blackouts. Dish’s contract to carry dozens of local Fox TV stations was set to expire at midnight on Sunday.
Another week has gone by, and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has yet to step into the middle of the bitter Fox-Cablevision retrans feud. Good for him. ~~ Cablevision seems to have lost its mind with some of its tactics. ~~ It’s funny that neither side is spending more time encouraging consumers to put up antennas. ~~ Fox’s hard line shows the driving determination to get paid for its programming and I’ll bet that later Fox affils will be trying hard to hang on to their own retrans dollars when affiliation renewals contracts come up. ~~ Broadcasters may start to feel an unexpected retrabs backlash as cable operators begin to challenge the legality of duopolies.
In another sign of the strong demand among advertisers for commercial time during big TV events, Fox Broadcasting has sold all the spots it plans to run in Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6.
The Cablevision blackout led to slashed ratings in New York for Fox drama Glee this week, with the Halloween-themed hour down 29% compared to the previous original episode. On Tuesday on WNYW, Glee posted a 2.84 in the 18-to-49 demo, down 29% from a 4.01 on Oct. 12. Nationally, ratings were up 4% in the key demo. With WNYW off the air in 43% of the New York market, its late local news continues to suffer ratings drops at much higher percentages than that.
Fox on Wednesday rejected a last-ditch offer from Cablevision Systems Corp. to pay it more for its TV stations’ signals, a move that could leave some 3 million Cablevision subscribers in the New York area with few options besides heading to a bar to watch baseball’s World Series on TV.