HGTV and Food Network Back!
Agreement between Scripps and Cablevision
Hoboken411 reader Rich submitted the “good news” that the Food Network and HGTV are back on Cablevision!
“This is the resolution everyone wanted,” said John Lansing, the executive vice president of Scripps Networks Interactive. “Cablevision has been a valued distribution partner and we’re gratified that together we were able to reach a successful conclusion that will benefit their customers and viewers of our networks.”
Switch to Verizon FiOS or DirecTV if you watch…
Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. pulled its Food Network and HGTV channels off Cablevision Systems Corp. early Friday morning after the two companies were unable to reach an agreement in a year-end negotiations over carriage fees.
Read the rest after the jump!
Cablevision’s agreement to carry the Scripps channels expired at midnight Thursday, and Scripps warned subscribers Thursday that its Food Network and HGTV channels may be “dropped from your TV lineup,” as another contentious negotiation over programming fees spilled into public view.
Scripps said in a statement that Cablevision is not properly compensating it for the networks, and it’s launching a publicity campaign aimed at getting consumers to complain to Cablevision for not carrying them.
“The distribution rates Cablevision pays for Food and HGTV are among the lowest in the industry,” said Scripps Chief Executive Kenneth Lowe.
“We are sorry that Scripps’ current financial difficulties are making it impossible for them to continue our relationship on terms that are reasonable for Cablevision and our customers,” said Cablevision in a statement. “We wish Scripps well and have no expectation of carrying their programming again, given the dramatic changes in their approach to working with distributors to reach television viewers.”
Cablevision provides TV service to approximately 3.1 million people largely in the New York area.
On Scripps Web sites ilovefoodnetwork.com and ilovehgtv.com, the company has launched a publicity campaign urging subscribers to send messages to Cablevision and to call a hotline. “Tell ’em what you want, you’re the one paying the bill,” Food Network host Guy Fieri says in a video on the Food site.
The showdown comes as Scripps has been pushing to win bigger subscriber fees for its Food Network, which has seen its popularity grow in recent years. Scripps now receives an estimated average of 8 cents per household per month for Food, according to SNL Kagan.
Food, in which Tribune Co. (TRBCQ) holds a minority stake, began in the 1990s as a free network that received no cash fees. Executives have said at recent investor conferences that they are looking for rates that “better reflect” the value of the network.
Meanwhile, Scripps reached an extension with Time Warner Cable Inc. in similar negotiations that cover Food and country-music network GAC.
Time Warner Cable has recently taken a tough line on programming fees and is in its own standoff with News Corp., which has threatened to pull its Fox television stations and cable networks including FX from Time Warner Cable systems. The two sides reached a midnight extension in their talks, averting programming disruptions for the time being.
ARE YOU UPSET THE CHANNELS WERE PULLED? ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU SWITCH?