During its ongoing staring contest with NewsCorp over carriage fees, Cablevision has repeatedly asked the broadcaster to enter into binding arbitration. This apparently has the folks at the NFL Network wondering why Cablevision isn’t so eager to sit down at the arbitration table with them.
Cablevision is one of the few pay-TV carriers that don’t currently carry the NFL Network, which means those subscribers won’t be able to watch Thursday night NFL games on the league’s official channel when they start Nov. 11.
(NOTE: Please keep in mind that the following quote and story first appeared as an exclusive in the NY Post, a newspaper owned by Cablevision foe NewsCorp.)
The Post quotes an NFL Network insider as saying, “Cablevision has been urging Fox to agree to binding arbitration — the same strategy we’ve been offering Cablevision — but we continue to get sacked.”
The NFL Network’s official position, set forth in a letter from the channel’s head to Cablevision CEO James Dolan, is a little less metaphoric:
“I’m encouraged to hear that Cablevision supports binding arbitration and would recommend that approach in our own discussions with you for carriage of NFL Network… This is an ideal opportunity for both of our organizations to come to mutually agreeable terms for carriage.
A rep for Cablevision gave Consumerist the following statement about the NFL Network situation:
This has nothing to do with broadcast network retransmission consent and if the NFL was serious about getting its network on Cablevision, it would make us a proposal for the NFL Sunday Ticket, a service the NFL only offers to a satellite competitor.
Do you think Cablevision is being hypocritical by asking NewsCorp to enter into binding arbitration while not heeding the NFL Network’s request for the same?
NFL’s Cable Play [NY Post]