Scripps And Cablevision End Food Network/HGTV Standoff

The long regional nightmare is over: Cablevision and Scripps have ended their passive-aggressive standoff and come to an agreement that put Food Network and HGTV back on Cablevision customers’ TVs. The secret ingredient: an undisclosed amount of cash.

The companies agreed to a deal that returned the two channels to Cablevision’s 3.1 million customers starting today, according to a joint statement. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Scripps pulled the channels Jan. 1 after failing to reach an accord with Cablevision by the Dec. 31 deadline.

Scripps had sought a fee increase for the Food Network, which costs distributors on average about 8 cents a month per subscriber, according to researcher SNL Kagan. Scripps said the channel brought in some of the lowest fees among the top 10 cable channels. Cablevision said Scripps wanted a 200 percent annual rate increase for the channels combined. It refused to pay, saying costs would have to be passed to customers.

Time Warner’s contract with Scripps also expired on December 31, 2009, but the channels have remained available while the companies sort out their differences. IN KITCHEN STADIUM!

Cablevision, Scripps Reach Deal on Food Network, HGTV [BusinessWeek]