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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cablevision yanks another channel – blames channel.

I should just cut and paste that headline. A “Dear Customer” email. Not quite as bad as breaking up over Facebook, but still, it’s never cool seeing those words in an email. So Cablevision went ahead and pulled another station. This time, Fox 5 in New York City. Now before you jump on and say, no, Fox pulled their channel or wants more money or... well, that’s the point. Viewers and consumers don’t know who the villain is here.

Providers play He said/She said while we lose out.


“We regret to inform you that in an effort to get outrageous fees from Cablevision and you, our customer, News Corp has pulled Fox 5 New York and My9 New York off of your television.

Please note that this only affects Fox 5 and My9, and does not affect WTIC–Hartford (channel 25; channel 6 in Litchfield) and MyTV9–New Haven (channel 24; channel 17 in Litchfield and New Haven). Fox programming on WTIC and MyTV9 will continue to be available, and is not subject to disruption.

You can make a difference in this dispute. Call 1-877-NO-TV-TAX (1-877-668-8829) or visit and tell News Corp to put Fox 5 and My9 back on the air and not hold their own viewers hostage to get what they want.

Thank you for your patronage and your support.”


Trust me, it’s not by choice that I’m still with Cablevision, especially given a lack of reasonable alternatives to the quality of their service. (Lag times. Signal interruption. LOUD emergency tests every night, late. Converter box cycling off whenever it wants.) I still have access to Fox through WTIC and MyTV9.) But the fourth channel dispute in less than a year.

One thing in that email though stands out, and is an integral part of these types of *disputes* lately:

“You can make a difference in this dispute.”

Cablevision and all providers: It’s not my problem that you can’t work out your licensing arrangements – but you’re making it mine. Why should I call on your behalf for a channel I signed up for in the first place?

I’m no lawyer – always trust the internet for legal advice by the way – but isn’t yanking stations like this illegally unfairly changing the terms of the customer agreement? They never said when I first signed up that certain channels could possibly be unavailable due to contract disputes.

Cablevision: where it’s never our fault.

1 comment:

Jeff Kwiatek said...

Sounds like a nasty divorce where the providers are using the kids (customers) are being used as leverage.