Tennis-Cablevision Carriage Of U.S. Open Still Stuck In Net

Parties reaffirm positions in distribution stalemate

It's day two of the U.S. Open tennis championships and the distribution volleys continued between Tennis Channel and Cablevision, as the parties remain stuck looking at each other over the carriage net.

The programmer, which is serving up 240 hours of coverage from Flushing Meadows, including 72 for live matches, is seeking penetration reaching about 50% of the operator's 3.1 million video customers in the New York DMA.

For its part, Cablevision, which recently became a member of the National Cable Television Cooperative, wants Tennis to authorize its signal, so the distributor can launch standard and high-definition versions of the network on its sports tier.

It appears as if that is not going to happen during the course of the Grand Slam fortnight, as Tennis issued the following statement this morning: "Cablevision has taken a step that raises serious problems for all cable programmers. We are sorting out these issues and will decide what steps to take when we are ready to do so. They are too important to the future of cable programming to be governed by the immediacy of the U.S. Open, as much as we would like to help people see it. Cablevision's decision to wait until just before the US Open began to demand carriage under the NCTC agreement makes it responsible for this situation; it could have given us notice of its intention to do so well before now, so that the questions could have been addressed and resolved in advance."

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