The fee battle which cost Cablevision subscribers in New York City, Long Island and the Tri-State Region access to Food Network and HGTV has come to an end. The two basic cable channels are owned and operated by Scripps Networks.
The two sides have buried the hatchet, and that’s not all – they’ve also buried the terms of the agreement.
However, Scripps seemed pleased with the deal. “This is great news for all those television viewers in the New York Tri-State region who enjoy Food Network and HGTV,” said Scripps’ John Lansing. “This is the resolution everyone wanted. 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.”
And for that matter, so did Cablevision. “We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we worked with Scripps to reach an agreement that is fair,” said John Bickham of Cablevision. “Food Network and HGTV have strong and loyal followings and we are pleased that both channels are back where they belong on Cablevision and available to our customers in both standard-definition and free HD.”
RBR-TVBR observation: The regulatory interest in a battle such as this is muted, since unlike local broadcast TV, the Food Network isn’t going to put an appetizer recipe on hold to let you know that a tornado is bearing down on your community. But it does show that the difficulty in negotiating with cable operators is by no means limited to members of the broadcast community.