I sent this letter to Rupert Murdoch and James Dolan yesterday urging binding arbitration in their contract dispute. Many people look forward to watching these games on TV. I encourage you to send similar letters.
October 15, 2010
Mr. James Dolan
President and Chief Executive Officer
Cablevision Systems Corp.
1111 Stewart Avenue
Bethpage, NY 11714
Mr. Rupert Murdoch
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
1211 Avenue of Americas
New York, New York 10036
I understand that your companies are engaged in negotiations regarding the renewal of the retransmission consent agreement for WNYW (NY channel 5), WWOR (NY channel 9) and WTXF (Philadelphia channel 29), that you have yet to reach agreement, and that News Corp. may block its programming from Cablevision customers if a new contract is not finalized by October 15.
The stakes for consumers are particularly high given that WNYW will air the Major League Baseball National League Championship Series, a New York Giants football game, and then the World Series, following the October 15, 2010 expiration. While I view the exact price and terms of your contract a business matter, you owe it to your consumers not to treat them as pawns in these discussions.
As a result, if you do not agree to a new contract by October 15, I urge you to submit to binding arbitration, before a neutral arbiter, and to continue to allow yours customers to view News Corp. programming channels until that arbitration is resolved. I view that as the only neutral solution to ensure that both of your business interests are protected and that consumers do not suffer because of your failure to reach an agreement on your own.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor