Mets fans who are also Cablevision/Optimum subscribers will be unable to watch tonight's game against the Nationals unless a carrier agreement is reached with Tribune. As of last night, Cablevision dropped PIX11 from their channel lineup, replacing it — in northern New Jersey, at least — with the Style network.
Per a Tribune press release:
On August 17th, while in the middle of negotiations with Tribune and without warning, Cablevision unilaterally removed PIX11 from its cable systems. Cablevision took this action despite our unconditional offer to extend the current retransmission agreement with no change in its terms while negotiations continued.
To be clear, Cablevision pulled PIX11 off the air in the middle of the night, without notice and while our current agreement was still in place. This means NO METS ON PIX11!
PIX11 makes a substantial annual investment in local news, live sports and high-quality entertainment programming. Cablevision has NEVER compensated us for the retransmission of our station notwithstanding the fact they have been charging their subscribers for our programming for years. PIX11 is one of the most watched channels on Cablevision’s systems yet it is not compensated at all. What PIX11 is seeking amounts to less than a penny per day per subscriber.
As you might imagine, Cablevision, who has worked through contentious carrier agreements with other networks in the past, has its own side of the story:
"The bankrupt Tribune Company and the hedge funds and banks that own it, including Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo Gordon & Co. and others are trying to solve Tribune's financial problems on the backs of Cablevision customers. Tribune and their hedge fund owners are demanding tens of millions in new fees for WPIX and other stations they own. They should stop their anti-consumer demands and work productively to reach an agreement."