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No FOX 5

For the third time in about a year, Cablevision is in a dispute with a content provider that prevents us from watching channels that we like. First, it was HGTV and The Food Channel (no big problem for me, much bigger problem for Natasha) – “blackout” lasted for about a month and was eventually lifted. Then, ABC (I rarely watch it, but Becky happens to like Wheel of Fortune) – the channel was off for only a couple of days, and came back on just as the first Oscar was awarded.

Now, it’s FOX. I can probably survive without NFL broadcasts (after all, NY Jets are mostly on CBS, and the games are spread across several channels), but the World Series, starting in a week, are exclusively on FOX. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I expect the dispute to be resolved just in time for the first pitch, but if the Yankees make it and the blackout is still on, I need to get me an air antenna.

More annoyingly, most of our current TV show favorites – House, Bones, Lie to Me, etc, – are FOX 5 shows. Our current schedule does not allow us watch them when they are first broadcast. We record them to DVR and watch them when time permits. I no longer own a VCR to record TV from an antenna.

In fact, all of the FOX shows are available online for free a week after they first air. So, in truth, we can figure out a way to stay current on our favorite series. (Whether we will without the aid of the DVR “recorded list” is another question.)

And this is what bugs me. At the heart of the dispute, apparently, are News Corp’s demands for increase in fees Cablevision would pay for the privilege of carrying the channel. Why are there fees to start with? The content is freely available over air and then online. Why are cable companies – and their customers, who obviously are being passed the cost onto, – required to pay separate fees for the content of a broadcast company?

Kinda makes me appreciate the TV license concept. Main broadcast channels cannot be off air…


  1. WendyB_09

    Just about the time I thought I might get the latest Dish deal, I heard about the Fox mess. So, not yet. May still look at the local cable deal.

    I haven’t had cable in years, have a relatively new digital TV that allows me to pick up the local broadcast channels here in Atlanta with just the regular broadcast antenna I was using before the digital switch. Which is 14 or 15 channels.

    Just remember when you go antenna hunting, if your tv is already digital, you just need an antenna. If your tv is analog and you were counting on cable to be your converter, you will need a digital converter box AND an antenna.

  2. Kisintin

    All of the shows on the local channels are available on Hulu the next day. OK maybe not all of them but 95%. This is how I catch up to stuff I can’t watch on the TeeVee. Hook up you laptop to TV, or like me Wii. I think Wii can stream Hulu now.

  3. Ilya

    Kostyan, the problem with Hulu – or, for that matter, – is that I have to remember to go and watch a missed episode there, which is far off my standard M.O. of checking the DVR queue to see what is waiting there for me. I don’t know if I can manage that extra effort…

    Thanks for the advice, Wendy.

  4. VZSocial

    It’s true, old-school rabbit ears and web viewing can help keep you up on shows…but if you you want more out of your cable company, Verizon would love to help you.

    We’ve got the games and shows people are missing, and we have some great deals on our FiOS.

    Let us know if we can help, or if you have questions.
    I’m on Twitter as @VZSocial



  5. neurondoc

    I haven’t watched TV in weeks. We have cable simply because my husband and kid watch TV, but if I lived alone, I wouldn’t have it. I watched House during its first season but it started to annoy me with the unreality of the doctors’ professional behavior. Though I’ve fantasized about saying such nasty things to patients many a time. I grew up with the actress who plays Lisa Cuddy on that show and can’t suspend disbelief enough to think of her as a doctor. 🙂

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