Cablevision has pulled WPIX 11, along with three other stations owned by the Tribune Company, over a dispute about getting a new carriage agreement.
"Tribune and their hedge fund owners are demanding tens of millions in new fees for WPIX and other stations they own," Cablevision said in a statement, which was published by The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press and other media outlets. That statement, according to various published reports, added that Tribune is "trying to solve Tribune's financial problems on the backs of Cablevision customers."
Tribune counters that Cablevision unfairly pulled the channel.
“Tonight, while in the middle of negotiations with Tribune and without warning, Cablevision unilaterally removed four Tribune stations in four markets from its cable systems," according to a statment posted on the company's website. "Cablevison took this action despite our offer of an unconditional extension of the current carriage agreement with no change in terms while negotiations continued. To be clear, Tribune was willing to provide Cablevision subscribers access to the valuable programming on these stations while working toward a new agreement. Tribune never made any threat to withdraw these stations or any demand that Cablevision remove them."
Tribune also added, in its online statement, that Cablevision is not paying its fair share.
“Tribune makes a substantial annual investment in local news, live sports and high-quality entertainment programming. Cablevision has never compensated Tribune for the retransmission of its local stations, which are among the most highly watched channels on Cablevision’s line-ups. What we have proposed amounts to less than a penny a day per subscriber, well below what Cablevision pays to providers of less well-watched channels."
Some have felt that losing PIX is unfair given that customers pay to see it for their cable service.
Nicole Saracino, a Mount Kisco resident, was among them, feeling that it's a shame customers are not getting the service that they paid.
"They fight like this all the time," said Scott Meyer, a Hartsdale resident. He felt that both sides were being greedy.
Editor's Note: Patch has a partnership with PIX 11, called "Patch on PIX," where the station features major stories from Patch sites in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. This story has also been updated to reflect person-on-the-street reactions.
What do you think? Is Cablevision right to drop WPIX, or is it being unreasonable? Vote in our poll and sound off in our comments section.