For Cablevision, arbitration is an occasionally splendored thing


Executives at Cablevision may be all over bringing in arbitration to settle its dispute over retransmission fees with Fox. But it wasn’t so keen on it when DISH wanted access to its MSG Network. Now the NFL Network is asking Cablevision to stop stonewalling its call for arbitration so it can transmit its Thursday NFL games to fans over Cablevision systems.

Fox noted that Cablevision officially protested the use of arbitration or the compulsion of providing content after contract expiration while negotiations continue. Fox wrote, “Not only is this demand totally without merit, it is also the height of hypocrisy since just three weeks ago the Cablevision family submitted a filing with the FCC arguing against using arbitration or stand stills to resolve disputes!”

Cablevision denied access to Madison Square Garden content during the DISH dispute. Fox commented, “The fact that hundreds of thousands of NY-area viewers have lost access to games of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils does not seem to trouble them when they’re on the other side of the table.

According to the New York Post, the NFL Network has been trying to get to an arbitrator with Cablevision so it can gain access to the MVPDs viewers. NFL Network says it has steadfastly refused.

RBR-TVBR observation: Government intervention is a wonderful thing, except when you have the upper hand, when it suddenly becomes intrusive. How long are media conglomerates going to be able to get away with trying to play the game both ways?