News Articles

The week that was

3/31/2002 07:00:00 PM Eastern

CABLEVISION'S TRICKY 'OFFER' TO YES

Cablevision Systems' fight with the New York Yankees
is going extra innings after the team's new regional sports network rejected the operator's difficult offer to carry the channel.

The Yankees are slated to open the season this week on the team's new Yankees Entertainment & Sports
network but without Cablevision's 3 million subscribers in the market. Cablevision, whose MSG Network
lost Yankees rights when the team decided to go it alone, has so far refused carry the channel on terms agreed to by other MSOs in the market.

Last week, Cablevision attempted to come off as the nice guy by offering to make YES a pay channel and let the network keep 100% of the subscription revenue. But YES, not Cablevision, would set the retail price.

Cablevision President James Dolan
said he wants to give all his customers access to New York Yankees games but doesn't want to force all his basic-cable customers to pay YES's high $2-per-month license fee. Dolan called the offer "extraordinary and unprecedented."

YES CEO Leo Hindery
rejected the offer, saying he wanted carriage as a basic channel on terms conventional for virtually all other networks. He said YES wants to be "carried by Cablevision in the same manner agreed to by every other multichannel operator in the market and in the same manner with which the Yankees have been carried throughout the Greater New York area for more than a decade."

NEWS FROM ALL OVER

Just because PBS
is tired of having old guys do old shows doesn't mean that cable nets—such as CNBC
and CNN—feel the same way. Both cable news networks are in talks with 69-year-old Louis Rukeyser
after Maryland Public Television
threw him off the helm of his 32-year-old program, Wall $treet WeekWith Louis Rukeyser. MPT says it decided to can Rukeyser based on viewer input.

MPT plans a new program hosted by Fortune
Editorial Director Geoffrey Colvin, 48, and a woman who has yet to be selected. MPT had intended to have Rukeyser stay atop his program until June 30, the date his contract expires. But, after an on-air tirade against MPT's management on Friday, March 22, MPT pulled the plug prematurely. ...

Tribune Entertainment Co.
said it's a firm go for its September launch of Beyond With James Van Praagh, its new weekday half-hour strip featuring the famed psychic. It's cleared in 85 markets (27 of the top 30), representing 75% of the nation's eyeballs. CBS
presents a four-hour miniseries on Van Praagh for its May sweeps. ...

Viacom
won't have to honor a standing FCC
order to sell enough stations to get below the 35% cap on TV-household reach, the agency said, because the fate of the cap was cast in doubt in February when a federal appeals court ordered the FCC to justify the rule or scrap it. The stay will be in effect for 12 months after the FCC issues new rules. Viacom's household reach stands at 41%. ...

Discovery Kids
will re-edit its popular Walking With Dinosaurs
and sequel Walking With Prehistoric Beasts
for kids as part of its Saturday-morning programming deal with NBC ,
which starts Oct. 5. All meet the FCC requirements for children's educational television. Also part of the package is Croc Files
and a kids version of TLC's Junkyard Dogs. ...

XM Satellite
and Sirius Satellite Radio
added another car manufacturer to their lists, with Infiniti
and Nissan
offering a choice of the two providers in some 2003 models. Infiniti will offer XM and Sirius in the Q45, G35
and I35; Nissan will offer them in Pathfinder
and Murano
SUVs. Also last week, both radio companies announced similar deals with Volkswagen
and Audi. ...

News Corp.'s Andrew Setos
was named president of engineering for the company, giving him authority over all of Fox's engineering divisions. Previously, he was senior vice president of broadcast operations and engineering for Fox Television
and executive vice president of the News Technology Group. Setos joined Fox in 1988. ...

Fortune
columnist Stanley Bing, whom many of us know by his real name (Gil Schwartz) and his day job (CBS
executive vice president, communications) would like all of you to buy his latest book Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up, a wickedly accurate guide to "managing" your boss (that's the elephant). B&C's favorite chapter: "Giving Credit to the Elephant for Work It Did Not Do."

March