Fox, Cablevision Both Want You to Panic About Losing Your Sports, Bones Reruns

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Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

If you live on Long Island, you may have woken up today to a full-page ad in Newsday ranting about how News Corp. is pressuring (Newsday parent company) Cablevision to pay "over $150 million per year" for the ability to broadcast local Fox affiliates in New York and New Jersey. That is, according to the ad, up from the $70 million it already pays. If you live in New York, you may have tuned in to Good Day New York in time to catch on-air ads lambasting Cablevision for threatening to take away viewers' access to upcoming Yankees and Giants games. (A similar anti-Cablevision ad appeared in the New York Times this morning.) Of course, this isn't the first time this year that cable distributors like Cablevision and the networks have battled over fees.

The current contract between Cablevision and Fox ends on Friday. If talks aren't resolved, you could lose the National League Championship Series, starting with Saturday's Game 1 between the Phillies and the Giants. Doesn't sound so threatening now, as the Yankees-starring American League Championship Series will be safely on TBS. But if the dispute stretches on long enough, it could bite into the World Series — which is exactly what both sides are banking you'll be afraid of.

Fee Dispute Could Disrupt Fox Programming [Media Decoder/NYT]