Cablevision And Tribune Allege Bad Faith Dealmaking In Carriage Dispute

The companies didn’t talk today — but Cablevision lobbed a new charge of bad-faith dealmaking at Tribune as its stations in New York, Philadelphia, Denver, and Waterbury, Conn remain dark on the Long Island-based cable operator’s systems. Cablevision says that it has agreed to Tribune’s terms to carry the Fox station in Hartford. But the broadcaster insists that a deal also include WPIX, a CW station in New York. Cablevision says that constitutes an illegal practice called “tying” and it’s “a major barrier to an agreement.” The company adds that it is “pursuing both legal and regulatory options” against Tribune’s effort to make a package deal. Tribune says there’s nothing illegal or wrong about the practice. “All of our retransmission agreements in the past with Cablevision, and the negotiations leading up to them, dating back two decades, have been for all Tribune stations in markets served by all Cablevision systems,” it says. Tribune adds that the approach “is more efficient, benefits subscribers, is completely lawful, and fully complies with the FCC’s good faith negotiation rules.” Tribune says that it agreed to let Cablevision continue to carry its channels until August 24 while they work out a new carriage deal to replace the one that expired today — but Cablevision elected to black out most of them.

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