Dolan Asks Genachowski to Mediate - Broadcasting & Cable

Dolan Asks Genachowski to Mediate

Willing to talk with News Corp. president at FCC Wed
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Cablevision
says that only with the intervention of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski
will it be able to negotiate a retransmission consent agreement "in good
faith" with Fox.

That came in
a letter to the Chairman Octt. 26 from Cablevision President James
Dolan with the World Series scheduled to start Wednesday, Dolan said
that he would be in Genachowski's office tomorrow
(Oct. 27) if he would arrange a meeting there with News Corp. COO Chase Carey.

"[O]nly with our assistance in brining the parties together in your office will productive, good faith talks occur," Dolan wrote.

Dolan said
he would come prepared with a new offer. In essence, he was asking the
chairman to mediate, something Cablevision has been asking the FCC to do
since Fox pulled its New York, New Jersey
and Philadelphia stations Oct. 16.

He pointed
out that the FCC had offered to media earlier this month, and urged the
chairman to put the parties together in his office to "resolve this
matter and bring the World Series to over three million
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut homes.

"It's encouraging that Cablevision has a new 'constructive offer' and is
prepared to negotiate in 'good faith,'" said a senior FCC official. "But
they should spend less time writing publicity-seeking letters to the FCC, and
more time at the negotiating table reaching an agreement. Consumers
deserve no less and the law demands it. That's the only way to get programming
back on the air. By now the message from the FCC should be crystal clear: Stop
the stunts and start negotiating."

"Cablevision has and will continue to negotiate in
good faith," said Cablevision EVP Charles Schueler. "We are trying to
reach a deal that is fair for everyone, including our customers, but there has
been absolutely no movement by Fox in their attempts to gain massive fee
increases from Cablevision customers to carry broadcast signals that are free
over the air."

"The FCC is the government agency charged with protecting
television consumers and oversight of broadcast licenses. We do not
understand how protecting and interceding on behalf of TV viewers in 3 million
blacked out households in the Northeastern United States does not fall under
the FCC's purview. The FCC has the facts and our customers are demanding
that the FCC act."

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