(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement Friday:
“If News Corp and Cablevision fail to reach agreement in the retransmission consent negotiations for the renewal of WNYW (Channel 5), WWOR (Channel 9), and WTXF (Channel 29), millions of cable television consumers stand to lose broadcast programming on News Corp. channels after midnight – including baseball’s National League Championship Series, a New York Giants NFL game and the World Series.
“There have been an increasing number of retransmission consent disputes in recent years that threaten cable television consumers’ access to broadcast television. They should not be held hostage every time there is a retransmission consent negotiation between two media companies. These companies owe it to their customers not to treat them as pawns during these negotiations.
“Due to the lack of an agreement as the deadline approaches, I urge both News Corp and Cablevision to submit to binding arbitration before a neutral third party and continue to provide broadcast programming to their customers, who should not be caught in the middle of a contractual dispute.
“Binding arbitration would protect both parties’ positions, ensure a timely resolution, and, most importantly, protect consumers from losing access to important programming and from becoming pawns in the price battle between two companies.
“I commend Cablevision for agreeing to such a solution. I urge News Corp. to do the same and agree to binding arbitration and keep the programming on.”