Talk about preaching to the choir. Rep.
Steve Israel (D-NY) will officially announce his call for binding
arbitration and a standstill on an signal-pulling in the
Fox/Cablevision retrans fight
at a sports bar surrounded by New York Giants fans.
Israel made it clear why he didn't want
the Fox stations to go dark on Cablevision's Long Island systems if
there is no deal by the Oct. 15 deadline. He said the impasse "might
result in the Giants game this Sunday not being
shown." That came in a release announcing what he planned to announce
at 5 p.m. at the Main Events Sports Bar in Plainview, NY.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said
Thursday that the commission was working with both parties to try to get
a deal done, but Israel wants binding arbitration that would keep the
games on the air.
While the FCC has been asked to step in
before and keep signals on the air, it has historically treated retrans
as a marketplace negotiation that it leaves to the parties unless they
can show that the bargaining is not being
conducted in good faith.
Israel's call comes a day after Rep.
Peter King (R-NY) made a similar request, saying Long Island consumers
losing their programming "would be an unconscionable result and unfair
to sports and programming fans who have no part
in this fight."