Food Network president on failed Cablevision negotiations: 'We're trying to correct a historic mistake'

Food Network President Brooke Johnson told reporters today that it was New York-area cable operator Cablevision’s “hard-line” stance that forced her cable channel and sister network HGTV to go black in 3 million homes. “All of our other operators recognized the huge upsurge in popularity we’ve experienced,” she said in a conference call. “We’re trying to correct a historic mistake and be compensated for the value we think we bring to Cablevision’s customers.” Viewership has increased 41 percent in prime time over the last two seasons alone, she said, and the license agreement between parent company Scripps Networks and Cablevision hasn’t been renegotiated for five years.

Cablevision said in a statement that “Cablevision offered Scripps the ability to continue delivering HGTV and Food Network to our customers while we negotiated a new agreement. This is common practice in the cable industry, and such an extension occurred in the recent dispute between Time Warner Cable and the Fox Network, and in Scripps’ own negotiations with Time Warner Cable. But instead, with virtually no warning, Scripps took the extraordinary step of flipping a switch and removing its channels from Cablevision — effectively holding their own viewers hostage in order to pursue a more than 200 percent fee increase from Cablevision and our customers.” Johnson said it was “in their self-interest” to suggest the networks stay on the air: “They would be happy if we didn’t have a contract for the next five years, because then they would be paying the same rate we have today.” She wouldn’t specify the increase in license fees the network was seeking, but characterized it as “pennies on top of pennies,” adding, “It’s our position that cable bills shouldn’t go up” as a result of Scripps’ demands.

Talk about Food Network-HGTV-Cablevision dispute on PopWatch:
Food Network: I want it back!

Comments (62 total) Add your comment
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  • carole

    Dear Food Network President – with the crap that your network has decided to develop over the last couple of years [Chefs vs city, various challenges, the next iron chef, mission impossibleand ham on street to name a few] and taking some really interesting and educational programs off the air – how to boil water, the secret life of (and not with that bloated arrogant host – Jim is way better – why would any cable carrier want to carry your sorry station. Sincerely , pissed off foodie

    • Chris

      I think pissed off foodie is somewhat correct, but as a whole, Food Networks’ shows are very good and I am PISSED that I cannot watch them. The problem with this “supposed negotiation” between the two companies is that they want their bigger share of the pie and it will wind up costing the customers like me. Cablevision is notorious for taking hardline stances in these types of things so we shouldn’t expect any resolution to this problem anytime soon. Cablevision still believes it is the GOD of Cable TV dating back to the 1980’s so they think their $h!+ doesn’t stink and if you look at what they’ve done in their other business holdings like the NY Rangers and NY Knicks, you can tell they have no clue to what the real world of today is all about….but as long as we are filling the Dolan’s pockets with money it will never change.

      • JOE

        24 UPSET WITH US

    • Kevin

      Gotta go with Foodie on this one. The quality of the shows has been sliding steadily over roughly the last four years. As for HGTV… that’s one of the WORST channels in history. An amazing logjam of crappy TV.

    • Caroline Locke

      Have been teaching myself to cook over the past few years, thank you Food Network. Missed seeing Michele
      Obama this weekend on Iron Chef. My
      son and I missed Diners, D’s & D’s
      last night. Miss Alton every night!
      Am considering changing to FIOS, do
      they carry Food Network?,
      Suffering on Long Island

    • MMG

      I think I should pay my Cablevision bill by about $10 short this month – because they are not providing me with all the channels they promised me when I signed up for their service.

      • Shari

        I agree…let’s all deduct $10 or even $5 from out cable bill this month…they are not providing the channels they promised! Let’s see how fast they negotiate with Scripps then?

    • paul

      Dear Mr. Dolan and the Cablvision Staff:

      I’m appalled that Food and the other Scripps Networks are not on the system.

      I’m paying for service that is not being delivered. Their networks are one of my many reasons for using cablevision.

      Cablevision is no longer paying for the service but I am still paying you. You have not discussed lowering my bill as a result of your choice.
      I demand a refund for every day this service is not available to me.
      You should also know that once FIOS is active in my area, I will be switching.

  • Chichi

    Bring back Sara Moulton!
    Hmmm, my rant was shorter than I thought it would be.

  • Spesh

    I’m just disappointed I might not be able to see my new fav show, Chopped.

    • Janet

      I finally found someone who likes that show. I was lookng forward to this Tuesday’s new Chopped season. Not much else to watch on TV. And now that’s gone!! So disgusted with Cablevision.

  • Cablevision exists still??

    Im actually caught off guard that CableVision is still around … I feel sorry for the people who are stuck in Cablevision’s area with no other choice to pick from.

    • Shari

      If FIOS was a vaible option in my area, I would be GONE in an instant. We just this year switched all our services, TV, Phone and INternet to Optimum because the service WAS so good. Now what?

  • Lee Gaskins

    It simply comes down to greed and uncaring; which seems to be the normal of the past few generations. And who gets shafted? The little people Us!

  • Jeremy

    I am so glad we switched to DirectTV. We don’t hear about these arguements- only regional legislation that cable companies try to pass and fail to do so.

    • Kevin

      I cannot wait to dump DirectTV. The absolute worst DVR I have ever used, they tried to rape my wallet when I wanted to convert to HDTV, and worst of all, the COMPRESSION IS AWFUL! I can barely watch any B&W movie on TMC. Now, some of the compression artifacts are the broadcasters fault, but DirectTV sells you a bill of good and then locks you in. DO NOT GET DIRECTV!! Don’t even get Dish. Online TV is coming faster all the time, so just refuse anything that locks you into a 2-year contract.

  • Joan Bloetjes

    Please bring the Food Network back to cablevision.

  • Jed

    Can’t stand either network.

  • darclyte

    “forced her cable channel and sister network HGTV to go black in 3 million homes” Shouldn’t that read “go dark” as opposed to “go black?”

    • Hawk

      “go dark” or “go black”, I’ve heard engineers use both.

  • Chris

    Cablevision is a horrible company. They still don’t carry the NFL Network or BBC America, and it took them a year to add the YES Network. If a company is trying to keep prices low for their customers then why do they take channels away and raise prices?

    • dennis

      oh you are so right about cablevision..they give you something then take it away,then charge you to get it back..they are full of crap.and they are full of greed

    • duke3601

      NFL Network is under a contract with a sat company thats why it cant be offered

      • John

        No, the NFL Ticket is under contract with DirectTV, not the NFL Network. Like this situation, Cablevision just refuses to carry the channel at the going rate, so the customers are once again screwed. This latest debacle has been the final straw for me; investigating options and will be terminating cablevision very shortly.

  • Bill

    Donald Manes rest in peace.

  • susan

    Thanks Cablevision! You finally motivated me to make the switch to Fios!

    • Kevin

      Fios! YES! Just do not get DIRECTV people. I regret doing so.

  • Steamboatbill

    Cablevision, you suck, bigtime!!! Your company doesn’t care about it’s customers and we all know that this is YOUR fault, not Scripps and it’s all because of your GREED. So, stuff it Cablevision, thanks for encouraging me to switch to Direct TV! Jerks.

    • meg

      i could’t agree more. they charge us for a lot of channels we have no interest in and take away one of the quality programs we did want

  • Jet

    Yea well, we have no one but ourselves to blame I guess. TV was supposed to be free, paid for by the advertisers that pay for their commercials. Now we have the networks advertising at the bottom of prime time shows their annoying little graphics and promotions, I am bombarded with commercials even when the shows are on.If enough people just stopped paying these companies and did something else for a few weeks instead of watching tv, we would effectively put the control back into the hands of the paying customers.

  • Jet

    BTW, I will be switching as well Cablevision. Time to break out my services… interestingly enough…looks like I’ll even save some money.

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