So what's the battle all about?
Fox claims that Cablevision is seeking preferential treatment and refusing to honor the same terms for its content as other cable providers. Were it to offer Cablevision a lower rate, the logic goes, the company might be forced to renegotiate previous contracts with other cable companies.
“No retransmission consent negotiation is something you want to have turn ugly. We have negotiated hundreds of these agreements, most of which you have never heard of,” Fox spokesman Scott Grogin told TheWrap.
Cablevision charges that Fox is trying to hike up its annual rates by more than double, from $70 million to $150 million — a figure the network disputes.
Things have deteriorated to the point where the only thing that both sides seem to agree on at this point is that the other is negotiating in bad faith.
Further ensuring that nobody leaves the fight unscathed, both sides have been remarkably aggressive throughout the talks. Cablevision has been playing commercials on its channels slamming Fox for being solely interested in the almighty dollar. For its part, Fox made the particularly nasty move of preventing Cablevision subscribers from accessing its content online through Hulu.
It ultimately lifted its online block when Fox discovered that it was also discriminating against those Cablevision subscribers who use broadband exclusively and don't pay for the cable TV service, according to an individual with knowledge of the network’s decision.