NEW YORK — Fox and Cablevision reached an agreement Saturday that will restore programming to more than 3 million New York-area subscribers who have been without some of their favorite shows and baseball playoff games for two weeks.
Signals for all stations and cable channels were restored before the first pitch of Game 3 of the World Series between the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants, Fox said.
"In the absence of any meaningful action from the FCC, Cablevision has agreed to pay Fox an unfair price for multiple channels of its programming including many in which our customers have little or no interest," Cablevision said.
Cablevision, which had been without Fox signals since Oct. 16, thanked its customers for staying with them throughout the dispute.
"In the end, our customers will pay more than they should for Fox programming, but less than they would have if we had accepted the unprecedented rates News Corp. was demanding when they pulled their channels off Cablevision," the statement said.
The channels restored were Fox 5, Fox 29, My9, Fox Business Network, National Geographic Wild and Fox Deportes.
The two sides declined to release details of the agreement Saturday.1 comment on this story
Cablevision subscribers have been victims of multiple blackouts this year. In March, customers lost their ABC station in New York in the hours leading up to the Oscars. Viewers missed the first 15 minutes of the awards show before Cablevision and Walt Disney Co. reached a tentative deal.
Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.'s Food Network and HGTV also went dark for three weeks in a similar dispute. Separately, Cablevision's Rainbow Media unit played hardball this summer with AT&T Inc. in fee negotiations over three channels: AMC, IFC and WE tv. That threatened AT&T's U-verse television customers' ability to watch the season premiere of AMC's "Mad Men."
Other industry standoffs this year have pitted Time Warner Cable Inc. against News Corp.'s Fox channels, which threatened the college bowl season and new episodes of "The Simpsons," and Mediacom Communications Corp. against Sinclair Broadcasting Group.
The latest dispute is another example of how networks are struggling to find profits as advertising revenue dwindles and programming costs grow. Networks are transmitted freely over the airwaves, but expensive event programming has increasingly led the companies behind them to demand fees from cable TV and satellite operators for retransmitting those signals.