Cablevision Blacks Out WPIX

Fee dispute leads to a blackout of the Tribune-owned station.


A dispute over retransmission fees has pushed WPIX-TV off Cablevision.

The Tribune-owned station was dropped from Long Island's dominant cable provider's channel lineup over what Cablevision called "anti-consumer demands" by the WPIX parent.

But WPIX said it had hoped to keep the station on air while negotiations continued.

In a statement, Tribune wrote that "without warning, Cablevision unilaterally removed four Tribune stations in four markets from its cable systems. Cablevison took this action despite our offer of an unconditional extension of the current carriage agreement with no change in terms while negotiations continued."

Cablevision, meanwhile, fired back, arguing that Tribune was trying to solve its financial problems "on the backs of Cablevision customers."

Other Tribune-owned stations also went dark in south Jersey and in Connecticut.

Editor's Note: Patch has a partnership with PIX 11, called where the station features major stories from Patch sites in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.


Brian Moloney - The Freelance Retort August 18, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Cablevision customers are always the unwitting pawns in these retransmission fights and in the end the only ones to lose out by enduring constantly increasing television fees. However, free, over the air stations are wrong to suddenly ask for their piece of the pie after 30 years. That said, Cablevision is wrong to play a game of “Chicken” by pulling the stations off the air, if that is indeed what has happened. Especially if the station agreed to let Cablevision carry the station until an agreement could be reached. I hate to say it, but other than that I have to side with the cable companies here. Out of control programming costs are the reason cable TV is so outrageously priced, while internet and phone fees are reasonable, especially phone I am not without my Cablevision nit-picks, though, which I outlined, last year in a piece called. “Cablevision...Again - I Owe TV” http://freelanceretort.blogspot.com/2011/08/cablevisionagain-i-owe-tv.html
Suzze August 18, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Brian, as a self professed " BIG Cablevision promoter", can you be objective? ( I read and like your blogs.) however, these negotiations need to go on, without the customer's knowledge. One last point about the rudeness of Cablevision. I offered to pay extra, if that is what it took to get HGTV and Food Neteork back. They declined and said to me ( pre-Verizon days) " You live in Greenwich, you have no options... What, are going to go to Dish network? The attitude was " we have you over a barrel, you are at our mercy, learn to live with it." The arrogance and lack of respect catapulted me into the arms of Verizon, where I have not had one day of trouble. It was totally worth the switch and I switched everything... phone, Internet and cable to Verizon. Cablevision does not deserve a dollar from me, if they are going to gloat over the monopoly that they had at the time. I was delighted to make the switch and still I still am.
Brian Moloney - The Freelance Retort August 18, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Hi Susan. I appreciate the nice words. Glad you like the blogs. You caught me at a good time…I just paid my Cablevision bill, so yes, I do think I can be objective. Actually I think my Cablevision trilogy shows I have no love loss for some of their less than principled practices. I’m just trying to be fair in this particular situation…and I think both sides are wrong for their own specific reasons. The only losers, as always, are us, the customers who will always end up paying more in the end. Saying I was a BIG Cablevision promoter, while a bit of hyperbole on my part, referred to the fact that after I checked out the particulars about FIOS, I didn’t find it any better, especially once the introductory promotional pricing expired. They also have a lot of additional fees attached to their services, much the same as their wireless service does, of which I am a customer. So I always told friends who asked my opinion about switching, why go through all that hassle for essentially the same headaches down the road. However, based on what you’re saying, perhaps that’s changed. Kind of makes you long for the days of popping on the old RCA B&W portable and adjusting the rabbit ears to watch Bonanza.
Suzze August 18, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Brian, you are very sweet to let me vent about my terrible Cablevision experiences. I am so glad that you are not taking it personally. I rarely get angry, but the blatant lack of respect that I experienced by Cabelevision was one that I never experienced before and since. I guess that competition DOES make American businesses excel. I hope WPIX 11 returns to Cablevision subscribers soon. I will keep reading your Patch articles and your blog. Perhaps you can continue the cable saga blog with a new installment.
Brian Moloney - The Freelance Retort August 18, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Well I don’t know how sweet I am. Matter of fact, I’m not even sure if I qualify for semi-sweet. No need to explain your outrage. Cable issues are one of the great flash points of the modern age and have been known to make even the mildest among us pop a cork or two. I read somewhere, unconfirmed of course, that shortly before her death Mother Theresa was enraged over excess Pay Per View charges. Venting is good. I vent 3 days a week on my blog about some nonsense or another. I’m glad you’ve checked it out. I’m never sure who’s reading it but it makes me feel better. Keep up your commenting…good or bad. For the most part it’s the only real feedback bloggers ever get, and it’s always appreciated…good or bad.


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