The financial standoff that had knocked the Food Network and HGTV off Cablevision systems as of New Year’s Day has been resolved. Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) and Cablevision announced late Thursday that they had finally come to terms on a new contract.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, of course. Cablevision had insisted that SNI was seeking an outrageous increase, while SNI claimed the cable MSO had been paying an under market rate for its systems in the New York Tri-State region.
As in usual, executives who had recently been bitter enemies issue statements declaring how much they liked each other and how the whole thing was about protecting the consumers.
“This is great news for all those television viewers in the New York Tri-State region who enjoy Food Network and HGTV,” said John Lansing, and Exec. VP of Scripps Networks Interactive and President of the company’s Scripps Networks operating division. “This is the resolution everyone wanted and to have achieved anything less would have been a profound disappointment. 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,” he said.
“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we worked with Scripps to reach an agreement that is fair. 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,” said John Bickham, Cablevision’s President of Cable & Communications.
RBR-TVBR observation: Cablevision offers a “Free HD” service? Wow, wish we lived in the Tri-State area so we could sign up for that. Is that just like free over-the-air broadcast TV?