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With Time Warner and Fox settled, new cable TV clash is Cablevision and Food Network

Time Warner Cable and Fox have bridged their channel differences to the delight of “American Idol” fans, but a separate dispute is keeping “Iron Chef America ” and other popular shows from Cablevision subscribers in the Bronx and much of Brooklyn.

Those viewers awoke New Year’s Day to find customer alerts where the Food Network and HGTV, Scripps Networks channels, once ran. This fight over carriage fees, however, may end bitterly.

“We believe it was irresponsible for Scripps to take the channels off, and it is irresponsible for them not to put the channels back on,” Cablevision, which owns amNewYork, said in a statement.

"Cablevision offered Scripps the ability to continue delivering HGTV and Food Network to our customers while we negotiated a new agreement," the statement said. Cablevision said Scripps is demanding a 200 percent hike in their fees.

Scripps on Sunday said it has been trying to negotiate with Cablevision for more than six months, “but to no avail.” Scripps has argued that the increase it seeks is “reasonable.”
"Cablevision simply is not telling the truth," the company stated.

Scripps has been using two Web sites and a hotline to encourage fans of “Ace of Cakes” and other shows to reach it out to Cablevision reverse its decision. Supporters so far have sent 80,000 e-cards on behalf of Scripps. “We have tried and are continuing to do everything we can to engage Cablevision in meaningful discussions so that we can right this situation,” said Brooke Johnson, president of the Food Network.

Cablevision was reportedly paying 25 cents each month per subscriber for both channels, though Scripps said a study showed viewers thought the Food Network is worth $1.03 and HGTV worth 73 cents.

“Iron Chef America” star Bobby Flay expressed his disappointment on Twitter on Sunday, writing “This Cablevision thing is trippin’ people out.”

In the separate clash, Fox reportedly had asked for $1 for every subscriber while Time Warner was willing to pay only 50 cents for each of its 60 million customers. The media companies Sunday would not disclose the terms of the agreement or comment on whether customers will have to pay more.

emily.ngo@am-ny.com

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