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Cablevision Blacks Out WPIX

Fee dispute leads to a blackout of the Tribune-owned station.

A dispute over retransmission fees has pushed WPIX-TV off Cablevision.

The Tribune-owned station was dropped from the area cable provider's channel lineup over what Cablevision called "anti-consumer demands" by the WPIX parent.

But WPIX said it had hoped to keep the station on air while negotiations continued.

In a statement, Tribune wrote that "without warning, Cablevision unilaterally removed four Tribune stations in four markets from its cable systems. Cablevison took this action despite our offer of an unconditional extension of the current carriage agreement with no change in terms while negotiations continued."

Cablevision, meanwhile, fired back, arguing that Tribune was trying to solve its financial problems "on the backs of Cablevision customers."

Other Tribune-owned stations also went dark in south New Jersey and in Connecticut.

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.

Richard Dean August 22, 2012 at 12:23 PM
We only have television with Cablevision, the basic package that gets us over 100 channels for $87 a month which includes the fee for 3 converter boxes required when they began scrambling the signal a channel or two at a time. The big lie that it was digitalization was proven false when over the air channels that were then being broadcast in digital came through without the boxes. For phone service we maintained Verizon wired until a year ago. After seeing the little clock radio size box called wireless home phone connect at the Verizon Wireless kiosk in BJ's, we bought one for $29 and had them switch the home phone to wireless which gives us unlimited nationwide calling, voice mail and caller id for only $27 monthly including taxes. The device has a battery giving back up for many hours which I have tested to at least 40 hours. Our portable wireless home phone base plugs into this box and we also have a $10 wired phone plugged in also. For internet we use Verizon too both wired and wireless.
Mikey August 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Tribune is owned by a hedge fund, so you know that they have their customer's needs at heart [queue maniacal laughing]. The only thing good on WPIX is the yule log, so I can do without it. The big question is will Cablevision drop their rates to us now that they have the PIX monkey off their backs? [more laughing]
Morgan1 August 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I heard Parsippany was too cheap to pay Verizon a fair price to install the lines so they pulled out.
Liz Kril August 22, 2012 at 10:03 PM
The battery I need is not available anymore.
Liz Kril August 22, 2012 at 10:05 PM
They just changed it. You need a box with a card. The card is then registered with Cable provider.
Zoo Keeper August 22, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Verizon FIOS will NOT be coming to this area anytime soon! In Butler, the Cablevision franchise will be up for renewal by the end of the year, and it's a ten year contract. This should be open up to other cable providers, currently I see this as a monopoly if you want cable and not dish. GREED again !!!
Tryclyde August 22, 2012 at 11:17 PM
The whole Burnham Park area of Morristown/Morris Township can get FIOS. I wonder what's taking so long with the rest of the area.
Richard Dean August 22, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Liz, I believe that you can buy a UPS battery back up for the phone. This would be the same type for your computer. And if just used for the phone should last quite awhile not just 30 minutes like it is for a computer.
Richard Dean August 22, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Zoo Keeper, FIOS won't be coming to many places because of not enough customers subscribing to the service despite those who have it saying it is far superior. However, since Verizon already has lines in place and on average owns half of the poles with the Borough of Butler owning the rest of the poles, they can operate cable tv service. Something else to think about, I believe the FCC gave approval to public power utilities (owned by government entitires or membership co-operatives) to provide both internet and cable tv service through the electirc lines but NJ law would have to be changed for that to happen here.
Tryclyde August 23, 2012 at 12:25 AM
So Richard, if FIOS is already established in my area can they conceivably pull out in the future without enough subscribers? That would suck.
susan August 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM
and Cablevision always say hd is free when its not cause u hv to get their box ASSHOLES
Zoo Keeper August 23, 2012 at 12:05 PM
You forgot the GREEDY before ASSHOLES !!!
Cablaaah August 23, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Where I live, you can't get satellite (too many trees), FIOS has no lines (and I don't see any in the foreseeable future), so we're stuck with Cablevision Optimum for all 3 services; tv, phone, internet. Even if we try to work it out to the least expensive, the package is still the "most economical" or drops channels that we want. Cablevision is sucking us dry up here! Half of the channels I don't give a crap-like the Spanish channel! And, my internet goes out on a daily basis. They should let US choose which channels we want and pay a la carte! I can't wait to move out of this arnpit of NJ!
Brad August 23, 2012 at 01:16 PM
They are the greediest company in the world, their arrogance is only matched by the Port Authority. They have a monopoly and dont care about their customers. In this recession most companies are giving more and charging less to keep customers happy. Cablevision is charging more and getting greedier. They are forcing everyone to get boxes, they say it is FCC, fine who cares who it is... The most important issue there is that I pay a monthly fee for a service. It is ILLEGAL to then charge me for a box to get the service that I already pay for. There is a class action lawsuit against cablevision for many millions of dollars that is sitting in the judges hands now. We need to allow comcast to be able to compete or we need someone to regulate these predtory businesses like cablevison. Charging over $150 a month for just a basic cable, telephone ( Which NO ONE uses ever) and internet is a crime and James Dolan should be in jail.
Brad August 23, 2012 at 01:25 PM
There needs to be a new cable company that does it better than these old out of date greedy corporations. There should be a cable company that charges me per channel and I choose which ones they watch. This would mean no disputes because if I pay $2 per channel $1 goes to the cablecompany the other $1 goes to the broadcast company. Then I wouldnt have to pay for the stupid channels like BET or the spanish channels or Oprah. But this would make too much sense and be good for the customer, and noboday wants that. They only care about maximizing their profits so Dolan can get richer. Id love to see the Occupy movement get a hold of this criminal Dolan
Liz Kril August 24, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Thanks Richard. I have been using a UPS. Thanks again.
Dee Dee August 25, 2012 at 01:09 AM
I am annoyed. I wake up a sit-com that isn't entertaining instead of WPIX Channel 11 News. I have watched channel for years. I work hard and pay ridiculous cable cost. Everything cost. Once I come home I deserve to at the very least, to be entertained by WPIX. I do not think I am asking for to much. I am certainly giving enough. Just saying
John Flaherty August 27, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Its just WRONG how people do business or should i say GREED. On a funny note..."What... NO MORE JERRY SPRINGER OR MAURY.... I want a refund"
Josh Dubnick August 28, 2012 at 11:48 PM
What people don't seem to realize is that Cablevision is not doing this. Originally, cable companies were required to carry all broadcast signals in their service area if the broadcaster wanted to be carried and broadcasters had to make their signal available at no charge if they wanted to be carried. Due to deregulation, the FCC no longer enforces this must-carry requirement and broadcasters are allowed to "negotiate" with cable and satellite providers to charge them for the privilege of carrying their "free" signal. These charges ALWAYS get passed on to viewers. The only way to change this is to demand that Congress re-regulate both broadcast and cable TV. It's not going to happen in today's anti-government climate but that's one reason we pay so much. As for me, I haven't watched Channel 11 since Diver Dan and Winchell Mahoney time in the 60s so I couldn't care less how long it's off.
Brad August 29, 2012 at 12:15 AM
we pay so much because they have a greedy a-hole of a CEO Dolan, he should be in jail for the way he runs his business. Let comcast come in and compete and watch the prices fall and service climb.....
Zoo Keeper August 29, 2012 at 01:18 AM
AMEN
Zoo Keeper August 29, 2012 at 01:20 AM
This is a two parter. First, at issue is WPIX -TV 11 and the second is the GREED of Cablevision on their rates and service and basically, we are stuck with them due to their MONOPOLY. Towns sign 10 year francises with these GREEDY people and we all are stuck. We need compeition and no franchises.
Patrick August 31, 2012 at 05:12 AM
We lost Channel 11? What used to be WB11 and had Kids WB? Has the world gone mad? *feels a little dead on the inside*
mojopin12 September 05, 2012 at 11:49 PM
All those people who watched Maury and Jerry Springer must be really down and out. I think more people have to turn the tube off and maybe read a book. If your whole world has collapsed because one channel out of thousands has been taken away from you, then you truly need to reassess your life.
Zoo Keeper September 06, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Your missing the point. Lat time it was against Fox 5 and My9, and now Wpix 11, what will be next? Cablevision is GREEDY. Its your choice to not watch Wpix 11, you have a tv channel changer, but, theere are some fok that enjoy their programming and not only Springer. If you [paid for the channel, you should at least get it.
mojopin12 September 06, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Most do not understand that there are renters/license fees to carry and broadcast channels. When those fees go up they will be passed on to the consumer like anything else. Not to mention paying $170.00 for a service that is on 24 hours a day 7 days a week, to help babysit and raise children, fill in time that could be well spent doing more productive things, meanwhile people will blow 100.00's of dollars in one day to go to one Met game for a couple of hours.
Cal Croucher September 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM
The situation with Cablevision (and all of the other cable TV re-broadcasters) is only going to get worse with time. Long ago I could see that their greed ruling most of their business decisions and decided to cut the cord and only use them for my Internet service. I now use free VoIP for my phone and my entertainment comes from Droid TV Primetime that cost $3/month. I'm sure the cable companies will look at this trend and come up with some new way to screw us with a new "Internet only" surcharge.
JenniferB September 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM
You are probably right. I'm using more and more Apps to watch tv such as Netflix streaming and NBC, ABC etc. CW has an app so if they are not back on by the time Vampire Diaries is on ( don't judge lol), I will have to use the app with Apple TV to watch it on my actual tv.
Cal Croucher September 24, 2012 at 01:01 PM
You won't get any comments from me about you watching Vampire Diaries @JenniferB but I have to admit I prefer Android over Apple so there won't be any Apple TV in my home. Droid Tv lets me watch primetime TV anywhere, anytime without the need for 3G, 4G or WiFi streaming. It's wonderful and Apple can't do that.
Cable Sucks October 24, 2012 at 12:12 AM
I am so fed up with cablevision, if I didnt hate it so much when I was with verizon then I would consider making the switch and getting away from them. Most of my shows are on channel 11 and this is the 2nd time they blocked out a channel (last time only lasted about 2 weeks though) and it is over 2 months and enough is enough. I really wish there was a way to screw over cable since they are screwing all of us by cutting out our channel. As many times as I call and complain though, I still am spinning my wheels and getting no where, all they do is read you a script. We pay almost $200 a month and dont even get all the basic channels, why not cut out ten of the trash channels and give us this one back. Nothing like paying for Starz and HBO also and all you see are repeats. Completely annoyed at this BS!!!

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