"Cablevision Systems said Thursday that it would submit to binding arbitration to resolve its carriage dispute with Fox Networks, but the broadcaster said its differences would be better solved through direct negotiation," reports Multichannel News.
According to the article, Fox said in a statement, ""Binding arbitration would, unfortunately, reward Cablevision for refusing to negotiate fairly and will only ensure that more unnecessary disputes arise in the future. 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 continue to negotiate and are committed to putting all our resources towards reaching a fair resolution."
Interestingly, the usually outspoken mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg, has been staying quiet about the dispute, reports Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog.
Bloomberg traditionally recuses himself from media issues, since the media company he founded, Bloomberg Media, owns a cable company that’s carried by Cablevision and which competes against Fox Business Network, the story points out.
Neither Fox nor Cablevision has talked to the mayor’s office about helping solve the dispute, which centers around fees that Fox wants Cablevision to pay in order to continue to carry certain TV stations.
If the stations are pulled from Cablevision, it means the cable operator’s 3 million New York-area subscribers would miss the New York Giants football game on Sunday, the article points out.
Nevertheless, even if Mayor Bloomberg won’t get involved, others in his administration could, with Deputy Mayor Steve Goldsmith a possibility, the story says. But as of Thursday, Goldsmith hadn’t gotten involved, it adds.