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(HAMILTON TWP.) — As today’s deadline to resolve a dispute between Cablevision and News Corporation quickly approaches, Assembly members Linda R. Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) and Wayne P. DeAngelo (D-Hamilton) today called on News Corp. to enter into arbitration negotiations with the cable provider. If News Corp. does not agree to arbitration, thousands of New Jersey’s cable customers will lose access to WNYW (NY channel 5), WWOR (NY channel 9) and WTXF (Philadelphia channel 29) after midnight tonight.

Cablevision has stated its willingness to enter into binding arbitration with a third-party negotiator and the broadcasting company in an effort to keep these stations on air while retransmission negotiations continue.

“Cablevision is seeking to move past this stand-off that has cable customers caught in the middle of this dispute while News Corporation seems to be refusing to meet at an appropriate arbitration table. Cable customers want to watch the Phillies, the Giants and their other favorite sports team battle it out in the big games this week — not two companies locked in of a price dispute that could take away their cable program,” said DeAngelo, who serves as the vice-chairman of the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.

“Binding arbitration would allow both companies to work out their concerns in a timely manner without jeopardizing our cable consumers’ access to channels that they watch quite often,” said Greenstein. “It is imperative that News Corp. meet Cablevision at the table by entering into binding arbitration in order to ensure that families will continue to be able to have full access to programming beyond midnight tonight.”

The largest town in Greenstein and DeAngelo’s 14th Legislative District — Hamilton Township — is largely serviced by Cablevision. The assembly members said they are willing to serve as intermediaries if necessary to end this dispute in hopes of preserving cable television consumers’ access to broadcast television.