Cablevision subscribers no longer were able to see the Food Network and HGTV after midnight Friday because fee negotiations broke down between the cable company and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., which pulled its popular shows.
The channels were dropped from the lineup at Bethpage-based Cablevision Systems Corp., the largest cable TV operator in the metropolitan area, shortly after an agreement expired.
Cablevision said Scripps removed the channels "after we did not accept their demands." Cablevision did not detail those demands.
"We have appreciated our long relationship with Scripps Networks and have made a number of fair and reasonable proposals that would allow us to continue carrying Food Network and HGTV," Cablevision said in a statement. "All of our proposals have been rejected by Scripps."
Cablevision said it is "hopeful that Scripps will reconsider its decision." A Cablevision spokesman declined to comment beyond the company's statement. Newsday is owned by Cablevision.
Scripps said in a statement that it has never been off the air because of a contract dispute with a distributor, and that it will be launching a publicity campaign asking consumers to complain to Cablevision for not carrying the channels. Scripps said that Cablevision is not properly compensating it for the networks.
"The rates are some of the lowest in the industry," HGTV president Jim Samples said in a video clip. "The adjustments we're asking for are just pennies per subscriber and that should have no real effect on consumers."
Food Network and HGTV soared in popularity in 2009 among 66 basic cable channels, Nielsen reported. HGTV's average prime-time audience increased 15 percent, ranking No. 12 with 1.1 million viewers, while the Food Network's rose by 25 percent, ranking No. 20 with 800,000 viewers.
Also Friday, a separate fee dispute was settled between the Fox network and Time Warner Cable. Fox had threatened to pull the signal from 14 TV stations it owns, a move that would have affected more than 6 million customers of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, Fla., and other markets.
The dispute focused on how much the cable companies pay Fox to retransmit its stations' signals. Time Warner Cable and a smaller cable TV operator, Bright House Networks, resisted paying a new $1 monthly fee per subscriber that News Corp. demanded from both operators. With AP