NEW YORK (AP) — The contract dispute that has left 3 million Cablevision subscribers without Fox programming since the weekend may be just one move in a broader chess match between broadcast TV companies and subscription TV providers.
Industry experts say one reason Cablevision Systems Corp. is playing tough in negotiations is to draw action by federal regulators. Proposed rules backed by cable providers and some lawmakers could stop the broadcast companies from pulling their channels during negotiations over the monthly fees that providers pay broadcaster stations for the right to carry their channels.
A ban on pulling channels would deprive networks and local station owners of their most powerful bargaining chip in their push for higher rates.
Fox and Cablevision said Tuesday they had not yet reached a deal.
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