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Cablevision Blacks Out WPIX

Fee dispute leads to a blackout of the Tribune-owned station.

 

A dispute over retransmission fees has pushed WPIX-TV off Cablevision.

The Tribune-owned station was dropped from Long Island's dominant cable provider's channel lineup over what Cablevision called "anti-consumer demands" by the WPIX parent.

But WPIX said it had hoped to keep the station on air while negotiations continued.

In a statement, Tribune wrote that "without warning, Cablevision unilaterally removed four Tribune stations in four markets from its cable systems. Cablevison took this action despite our offer of an unconditional extension of the current carriage agreement with no change in terms while negotiations continued."

Cablevision, meanwhile, fired back, arguing that Tribune was trying to solve its financial problems "on the backs of Cablevision customers."

Other Tribune-owned stations also went dark in south Jersey and in Connecticut.

Editor's Note: Patch has a partnership with PIX 11, called where the station features major stories from Patch sites in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Brian Moloney - The Freelance Retort August 18, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Cablevision customers are always the unwitting pawns in these retransmission fights and in the end the only ones to lose out by enduring constantly increasing television fees. However, free, over the air stations are wrong to suddenly ask for their piece of the pie after 30 years. That said, Cablevision is wrong to play a game of “Chicken” by pulling the stations off the air, if that is indeed what has happened. Especially if the station agreed to let Cablevision carry the station until an agreement could be reached. I hate to say it, but other than that I have to side with the cable companies here. Out of control programming costs are the reason cable TV is so outrageously priced, while internet and phone fees are reasonable, especially phone I am not without my Cablevision nit-picks, though, which I outlined, last year in a piece called. “Cablevision...Again - I Owe TV” http://freelanceretort.blogspot.com/2011/08/cablevisionagain-i-owe-tv.html
linda vazquez August 18, 2012 at 03:27 PM
It's not the Tribune Co using its customers, it's Cablevision that is using us during their financial negotiations. Tribune offered to continue programming transmissions but Cablevision must figure they can screw Tribune more if their customers can't see the ads during programs. Gee, do you think Cablevision will be giving us its customers credits on our bills for these stations going black? Who is taking advantage here folks? You know.

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