Cablevision wants FCC Chairman in Fox talks


Cablevision CEO James Dolan says he will be in FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s office in Washington on Wednesday (10/27) and wants Genachowski to mediate the dispute between Cablevision and Fox Networks.

There was no immediate word on whether News Corporation COO Chase Carey has any plans to be in DC on Wednesday. That’s who Dolan thinks should be representing Fox Networks if the FCC Chairman tries to broker a settlement.

“In the interest of ending the impasse with News Corp. and ensuring that our customers are not deprived of the World Series, I am writing to reconfirm our commitment to a mediation process and to let you know that I will be in your office tomorrow, Wednesday, October 27, to meet with News Corp’s Chase Carey should you call a meeting,” Dolan said in his letter. Game One of the 2010 World Series begins at 7:30 pm ET on the Fox Network. The network’s New York O&O, WNYW-TV, has not been carried on Cablevision since the previous retransmission consent agreement expired October 16th.

“Based on the negotiations to date, I can assure you that only with your assistance in bringing the parties together in your office will productive, good faith talks occur. And I will commit to you that I will come ready with new, constructive offers, prepared to reach agreement tomorrow,” the Cablevision CEO wrote.

“Earlier this month, your agency offered mediation to help work through the dispute. I respectfully urge you to bring the parties together in the FCC offices tomorrow to work to resolve this matter and bring the World Series to over three million New York, New Jersey and Connecticut homes,” Dolan said in his letter to Genachowski.

Meanwhile, both Cablevision and Fox Networks have filed responses to each other’s Monday letters to the FCC on the status of the negotiations. Each says the other was lying, although they don’t actually use such blunt language.

Click here to read the latest from Fox (8-page pdf).

Click here to read the latest from Cablevision (2-page pdf).

RBR-TVBR observation: If Genachowski and Carey think this would help, fine, but if Dolan has “new, constructive offers” why does he need the FCC in the middle of his business negotiations? Neither the Yankees nor the Mets are in the World Series this year, so it hardly seems that the absence of WNYW on Cablevision for Wednesday evening is truly a crisis.