Faster Forward: Cablevision-Fox slapfest drags on

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By Rob Pegoraro
Friday, October 29, 2010; 7:45 AM

When I wrote last Sunday's column about the dispute between Fox and Cablevision over what the New York cable-TV service should pay the network to carry its channels, I worried that the piece would be overtaken by a Saturday-morning settlement.

Guess I shouldn't have worried: It's now a week after I filed that column, and the two companies haven't budged. While they have kept themselves busy issuing dueling press releases (and buying full-page ads in newspapers), Cablevision viewers have now gone almost two weeks without their local Fox stations.

As one result, they're missing the World Series.

On Wednesday, Cablevision offered its viewers a deal to make up for that: If you pay to watch the Series online via Major League Baseball's $9.95 Postseason.TV option, we'll put a $10 credit on your account.

On Thursday, a post on the Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD site by Peter Kafka quoted Cablevision as saying "thousands" of viewers have requested reimbursement so far.

This could set up a nice little dialectic here. The short version comes in the headline on Kafka's piece: "Another Cable Company Shows You How to Live Without Cable." The slightly longer version: Cable company fights back against network by telling viewers other ways to watch a third party's TV content -- in this case, even reimbursing them for it -- which in turn gives everybody a chance to realize that said content need not be handcuffed to traditional distribution channels.

This could be interesting to watch.

How much longer do you think the Cablevision-Fox standoff will run? And what are the odds that Dish Network subscribers will lose access to Fox as well, starting Nov. 1?

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