Fox Threatens Legal Action Against Cablevision; Ivi TV Takes Off

By Erin Harrison October 26, 2010

In the midst of a dispute with a major metro-New York cable TV provider, Fox is threatening legal action following its cut off of 3 million subscribers from Fox programming.

The Associated Press reported that the News Corp.-owned network says customer service reps at Cablevision Systems Corp are making false claims about Fox as they try to persuade subscribers not to jump to competing TV services. Fox has been flatlined for Cablevision subscribers since Oct. 16. The companies continue to dispute how much Cablevision should have to pay to carry Fox on its lineup.

According to the AP, Fox also claims that Cablevision has been directing its customers to websites that carry Fox shows in violation of copyright laws. In turn, Cablevision is accusing Fox of trying to distract from the blackout, which may now cut into the World Series games.

In a twist of irony, a little known TV provider – ivi TV – may stand to benefit from the cable standoff. The Daily Finance reported that with the World Series set to air tomorrow on Fox’s stations, Cablevision subscribers are “stampeding” to ivi’s service, which streams live feeds of New York’s major television stations, including Fox’s WNYW-TV.

According to the Daily Finance, since the blackout, ivi TV’s subscribers from the New York area have jumped by 320 percent, with 300 percent of those coming from homes with Cablevision connections, says ivi Chief Executive Todd Weaver. According to ivi officials, ivi, Inc. is not affiliated with or sponsored by any of the networks or other originators of television content listed in the ivi TV channel guides or otherwise mentioned anywhere by ivi TV.

TechZone360 also reported that there will likely be fewer free TV shows on the Web after broadcasters blocked access to their programming this month to enforce demands that they get paid.

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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