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No End In Sight For Scripps-Cablevision Spat; No HGTV, Food Either

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Licensing deals for some Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) channels ended at midnight New Year’s Eve for Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC). So why can Manhattan cable subs still see the Food Channel while their Long Island neighbors are blacked out? On the surface, it’s simple enough. Scripps and TWC agreed to keep talking and to keep Food and Great American Country live. Scripps and Cablevision stopped talking — and, in a first for the programmer, Scripps took Food and HGTV dark across the cable operator’s three million households. Since then, Scripps execs have said repeatedly they are willing to reopen discussions; Sunday evening, in a statement primarily aimed at placing the blame on Scripps, Cablevision said — sort of — that it was open to negotiations. That’s where it stops being simple.

The fact that Scripps and TWC are still talking and the lights are still on suggests that the gap between the increase that the programmer wants and the amount the distributor is willing to pay is narrow enough to cross. But Scripps says the 25 cents per sub per month that Cabelvision currently pays for both networks is already “substantially” lower than the amount paid for other top 10 cable nets separately — and less than Cablevision pays for some “less popular” networks from its own Rainbow Media. The programmer claims the “take-it-or-leave-it” CVC offer would leave the highly ranked Food Network near the bottom in pay. CVC says Scripps wants a more than 200 percent increase; neither is detailing the offer. The upshot: no room for movement, no extension.

Here are the statements each released Sunday evening so you can get the full taste:

Cablevision: Cablevision offered Scripps the ability to continue delivering HGTV and Food Network to our customers while we negotiated a new agreement. This is common practice in the cable industry, and such an extension occurred in the recent dispute between Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) Cable and the Fox Network, and in Scripps’ own negotiations with Time Warner Cable. But instead, with virtually no warning, Scripps took the extraordinary step of flipping a switch and removing its channels from Cablevision – effectively holding their own viewers hostage in order to pursue a more than 200 percent fee increase from Cablevision and our customers. The channels where HGTV and Food Network appeared on Cablevision remain available, and if Scripps really cared about their viewers Scripps could put their
programming back while we negotiate a new agreement. We believe it was irresponsible for Scripps to take the channels off, and it is irresponsible for them not to put the channels back on.”

Scripps’ response: Cablevision simply is not telling the truth. Scripps Networks Interactive has been trying to have productive negotiations with Cablevision for more than six months, but to no avail. Repeated requests to sit down together to discuss a fair market price for our networks have been rejected

23 Responses to “No End In Sight For Scripps-Cablevision Spat; No HGTV, Food Either”

  1. Anonymous

    Is Cablevision lying about the the so-called $20,000,000.00 it would cost if they paid the so-called 200% rate increase to Scripps? I wouldn’t be surprised, and the math seems to support the idea. Cablevision has roughly 3 million customers in the tri-state area. Currently they pay Scripps about 25 cents per customer, about $750,000 a year. If the rate is increased to 75 cents per customer, the cost would go up to $2,250,000. The last time I checked, 2.25 million does not equal 20 million. As a former Cablevision employee, I am legally obliged to not speak ill of the company, but it’s no surprise that they pay less than any other cable provider does for programming. After all, look at how they pay their own employees.

  2. I agree with all the comment s here.I paid to have The Food Network and HGTV included in my package.Now wheres my discount for losing the channels. Dolen Family what you don’t make enough money already? What Scrpps is cuttng into your multi millions. I’ve been on unemployment for a year and you are bitching about having to pay more.Everytime something happens you seem to know how to raise our rates…that you know how to do well.I think we should all call everyday harrassing Cablevision till they do the right thing.

  3. ManhattanMatt

    “Holding its customers hostage”?? Lord, there’s no shortage of drama queens around here. Get a grip, people, it’s HGTV and Food — it’s not like they’ve cut off your telephone or electricity service.

  4. Cablevision is greedy and it’s disgusting how they are asking us to get involved by going to Scripps. I don’t care who Scripps is and the deal they have with cablevision. In the end, they are my provider and the service I bought includes these channels. If they can’t and won’t provide it because of their greed… I’ll go to DirectTV or Dish Network.

  5. carolyn

    I don’t know if anyone else received a hike of $4.20 on the last cablevision bill. With over 3 million viewers that’s about $12 million to start the new year off!!!! They just keep raising the rates & taking away or changing the programming. Come on Dolan Family give us a break….aren’t you making enough….give us back our HGTV & FOOD NETWORK & stop holding your customers hostage! I don’t know or care who the villian is here, just stop playing the schoolyard antics & have a little respect to those who keep your companies in business!!!!


    What I really don’t understand is this:
    they give us SO many Spanish language channels. (I’m part Spanish….but that isn’t the point).
    I find it unfair that people who are Filippino or Russian, have to pay 19.99 more a month to see programs in THEIR language.
    I think that Cablevision really should take all those Spanish channels off, or, better yet, if people want it in Spanish, PAY for it like Russians and Filippinos do.

    My neighbor called Cablevision today, and he was told that they have so many “wonderful” cooking shows and gardening shows on WLIW ….please. We don’t NEED Cablevision to get Public Channels…
    what point are they trying to make?

    When my neighbor asked how much money he’ll be reimbursed for the 2 channels he isn’t getting, the CV rep didn’t give him an answer, just went on and on about the “many other quality” cooking and gardening channels CABLE has to offer.

    My neighbor is now switching to FiOS TV, as well.

    I wonder how many people have left Cablevision so far over this?

    Cablevision seems to be pretty smug in all of this, stating in a few reports that I’ve read, that it would really be a “hassle” for people to leave them, especially their Triple Play customers.

    They seem to think that people will just accept this because they don’t want to go through the “hassle” of getting a new set-up?

    I had Triple Play, and by this time tomorrow, I’ll be watching HGTV and FOOD NETWORK…on FiOS.
    No hassle……..

    Jim Dolan really should be concentrating on business here…instead of entertaining Tiger Woods at his Long Island Estate.

    Come ON, Jim. Tiger lost ELIN…
    YOU are gonna lose CUSTOMERS………..

    8 months of talks….and Jim won’t budge. Shame on you, Jim. I’ll bet your father, Charles isn’t thrilled with this latest debacle……

    Jim and Charles (aka Chuck) have been at odds in the past over how Jim handles things, and at one point, the company was almost split in 2..with Charles and son Tom, running one half, Jim running the other.

    Charles..HELP US!!!


    After all the money we subscribers pay for Cablevision, they have the nerve to drop Food Network & HGTV? Why not drop one of their numerous sports channels? The Dolans are money grubbing misogynists. Come on everyone send Dolans a real message,switch to Verizon !!!!!!!!!!!!


    After following the story and remembering how the YES thing went down…(we had to wait a year to get it back), I finally did make the call today.
    Fios will be installed Thursday.
    I’ll be able to catch re-runs of what I missed on New Year’s Day….and be done with Cablevision’s selfish B.S.
    It’s such a good feeling to know I’ll be able to watch my favorite programs again.
    I’m a happy camper.

  9. zooky19

    Hi im chris im 10 years old and i loved food network they cant just bail out. We should protest. i tried calling they dont even pick up there just not picking up.

  10. H. Woflin

    Cablevison must back down or they will lose my subscription for sure. Fios is looking better and better as each day passes without my favorite channels.

  11. A. Charin

    It is typical to put the burden on loyal customers. How can anyone not work in good faith to get these programs back on the air? Is this just indicative of the greed that is rampant in our country and already has brought us to our financial knees? Wake up and deal in good faith and get these programs back on the air.

  12. I am going to to get a cheaper rate for more service from Fios, so as of Thursday bye bye cable..The dolans care only of themselves. they scrimp on the service they provide but have million dollar “company” yachts and horses.

  13. I only wish that I had a way to switch to either FiOS or Direct TV. I live in a condominium in New Jersey with no FiOS available to us and satellite dishes not allowed. We NEED cable competition. CableVision sucks in caring about what customers want!

  14. I find it laughable that CableVision is so outraged over what they perceive to be an unfair rate increase. Really? Welcome to the world of your subscribers.

  15. Roy Fuchs

    This problem is the best argument for competition among cable providers, at least until Steve Jobs or someone like him provide us a la carte Tv via the Internet

  16. Tipping Point

    Cablevision’s handling of this issue is an insult to its customers. Given that Cablevision doesn’t want to hear from its customers, I am doing the only thing I can – Moving to Fios.

  17. KGB in CT

    Dolan’s are greedy. Period. How much did they pay to get rid of Stephon Marbury last year? They can’t spare a few dimes to carry 2 of the best networks on Television?
    Greedy greedy greedy. Gross.

  18. Mark Cotrupe

    It’s pretty obvious that neither of them care about the consumer. While they have their little spat, us viewers can no longer watch HGTV, and personally, I don’t like the way we were cut off, and will look for optional channels to watch. I understand Scripps wants more money, and it may even be reasonable, but they cut us off. We should stop watching their shows…

  19. All these companies have us by our balls. We are the eyeballs they want. and they collectively make money on both advertising and cable subscriber fees. If we as consumer pay for cable/tv, we should not see a single tv ad! I will be cancelling my cable service asap.


    Fios is going to be VERY busy on January 4th, with all the Cablevision customers calling to get their service so they can continue to enjoy HGTV and Food Network.

    Sad to think that this has been going on for SIX MONTHS…and that Cablevision is the company that pays the LEAST for those 2 VERY good channels. HGTV and Food Network are quality channels.

    Cablevision is using their customers as pawns.

    We’re not stupid, and I think after alot of folks leave for FiOS, Cablevision will also make sure that there are CONTRACTS and FEES for TERMINATION…because if they keep THIS up, they are going to need it. I’d rather have a contract with FiOs. At least I know they are willing to pay for quality shows and keep them on the air. Smart.

    If I want to watch Fine Living Channel, I have to pay EXTRA with Cablevision. FiOS has it IN THEIR LINE UP.. as well as DIY NETWORK…and YES. (remember YES? Cablevision took THAT one away….yet it still shows up as a channel that is included if you’re looking to get Cable TV. Isn’t that false advertising?)

    Shame on you, Cablevision. You’re losing customers..and your stocks will go down.