Contract Dispute Left Millions Without Fox Network Over Weekend


Three million households in the New York area were left without Fox programming this weekend as a contract dispute between Cablevision Systems (CVC) and News Corp. (NWS) rumbled on.

Millions of New York sports fans were unable to watch the Phillies play baseball on Saturday night and the Giants play football on Sunday, The New York Times reported.

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The two companies are struggling to agree a retransmission price for the Fox network.

The dispute could have major consequences. Some lawmakers have proposed reforming the retransmission process and are watching the dispute closely

Meanwhile, Fox has an eye on the clock. At the end of this month, some of the Fox local stations' contracts with Dish Network will expire.

If they don't' reach a new agreement, more than three million of Dish's 14 million subscribers could miss out on Fox programming.

The network is already running ads warning that coverage of the World Series could be disrupted.

The owners of local stations have been raising their retransmission fees in a bid to reduce reliance on advertising. Distributors are fighting back, worried that higher retransmission fees will raise their customers' monthly bills.

"These disputes are happening more often and they're lasting for longer periods of time," Derek Baine, an analyst at SNL Kagan, told The New York Times.