By Verne Gay
As a standoff between Fox and Cablevision continued over retransmission fees, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said Wednesday both companies should "submit to a binding arbitration" before the News Corp. subsidiary pulls WNYW/5 and WWOR/9 off of the cable system this weekend.
In a statement, King said he was "increasingly concerned that this [Oct. 15] deadline may pass without a resolution," and that sports programming would be dropped this weekend - a reference to the National League baseball championships and the Giants-Lions football game on Sunday. (The Yankees' ALCS series will air on TBS.) The dispute involves the fees that the broadcaster wants from Cablevision for it to carry both stations - so-called retransmission fees.
"[On Tuesday] I called on News Corp. and Cablevision to resolve their differences and reach a contract by Oct. 15 so that broadcast programming - particularly baseball playoffs and keyNFL football games distributed on News Corp. broadcast channels - would not be interrupted or 'pulled' from customer homes as part of a negotiating tact once that deadline is reached."
King's spokesman said in an e-mail that "the Congressman has spoken to both sides but does not want to comment beyond that at this time." Cablevision declined to comment. A Fox spokesperson also declined to comment. Cablevision owns Newsday.The statement added that the companies should "submit to a binding arbitration before a neutral third party."