Ivi TV, the online streaming service that has
drawn the ire of broadcasters, pitched its online lineup of TV station signals
as a chance for Cablevision subs to watch baseball, football and other
programming regardless of whether or not Fox and Cablevision come to a
retransmission consent deal.
In a release issued late Friday and calculated to
capitalize on the retrans impasse whose deadline is midnight tonight (Oct.
15), ivi TV said it would continue to stream Fox's WWOR and WNYW, two
stations involved in the negotiations, regardless of whether or not it is
pulled from Cablevision Systems.
"New York consumers can remain unaffected and
watch their favorite NY football team on ivi TV. That's a battle consumers
are actually interested in watching," said ivi Chairman Ron Erickson,
"not this spectacle over millions of dollars being fought over between
cable companies and TV networks."
Ivi, which launched its service in early
September, says that it pays broadcasters "in the same fashion as
prescribed by law for cable companies," but broadcasters strongly disagree
with that assessment.
Ivi, which has not negotiated any retrans payments individually
with stations, argues that for the purposes of copyright law, it is an online
cable provider that is allowed to retransmit the signals, but that it does not
fall under the definition of a cable system when it comes to the requirement of
negotiating retransmission consent.