Food Network and Cablevision – You Deserve Answers

January 5, 2010 at 9:36am

Thanks to all our fans for your continued support! A lot of you have been asking about the status of negotiations. You understand the value of Food Network programming and we want to get you access to your favorite shows as soon as possible. Below are answers to some of the FAQ Facebook Fans have posted.

Dominique Poli, Christine Kralis Dziubla and others feel that two big businesses are putting fans in the middle and want to know why Food Network couldn’t stay on the air during the discussions.

We hate that you are caught in the middle. If Cablevision had been at all willing to engage in productive discussion with us this may not have happened and you’d still be watching Food Network. In fact, many months ago -as far back as last spring - we asked Cablevision to start a conversation by presenting them with an overview of Food Network. They refused. Unfortunately, that has been Cablevision’s approach ever since that time.

Cablevision has given us a take-it-or-leave-it, deeply discounted rate that doesn’t reflect the value of Food Network and they aren’t open to our requests for a productive conversation. Other cable, satellite and telecom providers have agreed to a fair market rate for Food Network, so everywhere else in the country their customers continue to see Food Network. Unfortunately it would be unfair to all of them for Cablevision to continue showing Food Network without even talking to us. If Cablevision had demonstrated any interest in finding a middle ground, we may have been able to keep Food Network on for you to enjoy while we worked out the details.

Fans including Anastassia Batsoula and Edward Rosenthal miss Food Network on Cablevision and want to know what the deal is.
We hear you! It is frustrating not to be able to see your favorite shows as well as new premieres and events like last Sunday night’s Iron Chef Super Chef Battle. It is frustrating for us not to be able to share them with you! Here’s what it all boils down to: Cablevision is trying to characterize our requested rate increases for Food Network and HGTV as exorbitant and they are not. Cablevision currently pays about 25 cents per subscriber for the combination of HGTV and Food Network – a combined rate that is substantially lower than they pay other individual top 10 cable networks and less than they pay themselves for some of the networks Cablevision owns. An independent study showed that we are asking for far less than viewers said they are willing to pay to see Food Network and HGTV programming.

Thanks to all of you who agree that Food Network is worth fair market value. 2009 was the best year ever for Food Network with record ratings and hit shows - 44 million of you total watched per month in primetime. In fact 32 million watched The Next Food Network Star making it the highest-rated series in Food Network history. You can learn even more at http://www.ilovefoodnetwork.com.

Joi Jackson Perle, Lucille Tozzo Nolan and others ask for the status of the negotiations today.
Food Network has been and remains willing to negotiate with Cablevision. We continue to express that willingness to Cablevision on a regular basis. Cablevision’s current “take-it-or-leave it” offer would make Food Network among the lowest paid channels on its lineup. It would be unfair to our other distribution partners who pay a fair market value to bring Food Network to their customers.

You can help us out. Let Cablevision know how much Food Network means to you! Visit http://www.ilovefoodnetwork.com and send an ecard today or call 866-695-2378.

Many fans, including Maria Alves-Schemetow, Lisa Hedrick Plants and Connie Piroso-Narvesen, are asking if Scripps Networks (Food Network’s parent company) is just being greedy.
Over the last several years Scripps and Food Network have invested heavily in developing the new shows and talented chefs you love. The success of this investment is reflected in the record ratings achieved in 2009 – Food Network’s highest ever. The rates Food Network receives from Cablevision and other cable and satellite operators pay for this investment and are reflected in what you watch on air. Some of you may ask, “What about advertising?” Ad revenue helps Food Network keep the lights on, pay employees and covers other operating costs. In the first three months of 2010 alone, Food Network will be bringing viewers 150 hours of new shows and specials.

Felicia Naso Hand and others want to know who all is not getting their Food Network.
Cablevision subscribers aren’t getting Food Network. Cablevision has about 3 million subscribers, most of them in areas surrounding New York City/tri-state area. In Food Network’s 16-year history, we have never gone off the air due to an impasse like this. Conversely, as many of you have noted, Cablevision has a long and well-known history of battles with networks and a lack of concern for how it impacts you the Cablevision customers.

Outraged fans like Dana Nemeth and Rose Marie Madison Berry miss Food Network and want to know how to get their favorite channel back.
Send an ecard to Cablevision to help bring Food Network back or call Cablevision at 866-695-2378. More than 100,000 ecards have already been sent, add yours today!