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More Political Pressure For Binding Arbitration To Resolve Dispute Between Cablevision and News Corp.

Earlier this week, Mediaite was the first to suggest that binding arbitration could be a solution to the brewing conflict between cable provider Cablevision and the Fox Broadcasting company, which is owned by News Corp., over renewing their contract and carriage fees. Cablevision agreed to the suggestion of binding arbitration put forth by Rep. Peter King and Steve Israel to resolve the dispute, but News Corp. did not, but perhaps that will change now that a bipartisan collection of 27 legislators have joined the call for binding arbitration.

The Cablevision’s press release:

BETHPAGE, NY, October 15, 2010 – Twenty seven leading elected officials have joined a growing bipartisan chorus calling upon News Corp. and Cablevision to submit to binding arbitration to resolve their current contract dispute fairly, and to prevent News Corp. from pulling the plug on Fox 5 and My9 at midnight tonight. Cablevision yesterday agreed to binding arbitration before a neutral third party, but News Corp. has so far refused.

Charles Schueler, Cablevision’s executive vice president of communications, issued the following statement on News Corp.:

“If we can’t reach agreement, Cablevision will accept the bipartisan calls of 27 elected officials for binding arbitration to solve this matter without any interruption in programming. We urge the leadership of News Corp. to put viewers first and join us in this fair and impartial process. Cablevision would never take these broadcast stations away from our customers, and we have urged News Corp. not to pull the plug on Fox 5 and My9.”

Cablevision and News Corp. are continuing direct negotiations today.

Elected officials urging the parties to agree to binding arbitration include:

Congressman Peter King (R-NY)

Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY)

Congressman Tim Bishop (D-NY)

Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY)

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY)

Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ)

Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ)

NY State Senator George Maziarz (R-NY)

NY State Senator Jose Peralta (D-NY)

NY State Senator Dean Skelos (R-NY)

NY State Assemblyman Karim Camara (D-NY)

NY State Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)

NY State Assemblyman Denny Farrell (D-NY)

NY State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-NY)

NY State Assemblyman Mike Spano (D-NY)

NJ State Senator Paul Sarlo (D-NJ)

NJ State Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-NJ)

NJ Speaker of the Assembly Sheila Oliver (D-NJ)

CT State Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-CT)

CT State Rep. Chris Perone (D-CT)

CT State Rep. William Tong (D-CT)

Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone (D-NY)

Rockland County Legislator Ed Day (R-NY)

NYC Councilmember Erik Martin Dilan (D-NY)

NYC Councilmember Dan Garodnick (D-NY)

Westchester County Legislator Bill Ryan (D-NY)

Harrison Town Supervisor Joan Walsh (D-NY)

While profit-making companies have the right to fight for the best deals they can get, TV viewers are unfairly caught in the middle. Binding arbitration seems to be the fairest way to make sure people don’t lose their favorite shows. Perhaps it’s finally time for the FCC to do something.

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