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Old 01-01-2010, 01:49 PM   #1
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default Food Network off air in NY, NJ, and CT

Effective January 1, 2010, Cablevision has dropped Food Network and Home & Garden Network in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

I discovered this at lunchtime — I went looking for something to watch besides football, basketball, or hockey, and was shocked by a notice from Cablevision management saying that it could not come to terms with Scripps (owner of the two channels) and so would no longer present their programming. Evidently Scripps is asking for higher fees.

Whatever the story, this should cause some excitement.

Cablevision is a monopoly in much of the tri-state area, and Food Network a very popular show. (It may be available on a satellite channel in many parts of the market.) It appears that the cable company pulled the plug, not Scripps.

In a post on the Connecticut Post blog, writer Tom Baden suggests this is a warning shot directed at Fox, which is in a similar negotiation with Time-Warner cable over House, The Simpsons, and other popular programming: “Presumably, Cablevision was giving Fox a little taste of what a cut-off might look like … .”

Most Cablevision customers I know complain about frequent, unexplained price increases so the cable company is unlikely to get much sympathy in this dispute. And viewers love their Food Network, no matter how mediocre it may be.

Should be fun.

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