And just like that, Cablevision and Scripps - owner of the Food Network and HGTV - have made up. The networks were added back to the cable system's lineup yesterday afternoon, ending a bitter three-week standoff that played out on TV screens and in trade ads as both sides accused the other of bad faith and a cavalier approach to fans or customers.
Terms of the new deal were not disclosed. Cablevision said the channels were pulled by their parent on Jan. 1 after an impasse in negotiations on a so-called subscriber affiliate fee - what Cablevision pays to Scripps for each subscriber. In a statement at the time, Cablevision, owner of Newsday, said Scripps was demanding a "200 percent fee increase" while Scripps insisted its demands were reasonable and that it was
seeking parity with other top-ranked networks.
According to Charlottesville, Va.-based SNL Kagan, which follows the cable industry, the Food Network charged an estimated eight cents on average for each cable subscriber in
the U.S. able to see the channel - or 99.7 million homes (figures were not available for Cablevision.) That figure is projected to rise to ten cents this year. The median average
per sub for HGTV is 13 cents, projected to rise to 14 cents. SNL says the industry average is 26 cents - boosted by the huge sub fees operators pay to ESPN ($4.10 per sub.)
Cablevision declined comment on terms of the new deal. “We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we worked with Scripps to reach an agreement that is fair,” said John Bickham, Cablevision’s President of Cable & Communications, in a statement. John Lansing, president of Scripps Scripps Networks operating division, said in a statement, “This is the resolution everyone wanted.
Cablevision has been a valued distribution partner and we’re gratified that together we were able to reach a successful conclusion that will benefit their customers and viewers of our networks."