An ongoing dispute between Fox and Cablevision has heated up following allegations that Cablevision has been promoting illegal online viewing of copyrighted Fox television broadcasts to its subscribers.
New York-area Cablevision customers have been without Fox stations, including coverage of the ongoing World Series, for more than a week now, as the two companies fail to agree on a payment structure for broadcast rights.
As the days go by, some 3.5 million New York Cablevision subscribers are growing more and more impatient with the stalemate, prompting several politicians to call for federal intervention to resolve the dispute.
However, the feud turned nastier this week as a report surfaced that Cablevision service representatives have been providing customers with web links to pirated broadcasts of Fox-copyrighted programming. The television giant even taped a conversation between a Cablevision representative and a Fox employee posing as a customer to prove the allegations.
"We've been alerted by Cablevision customers that Cablevision is directing their subscribers to illegal sites to view Fox shows, as well as our coverage of NFL games, and Major League Baseball's playoffs - all copyrighted content. We find this absolutely appalling," Fox officials said.
Cablevision has not yet responded to the accusation, but the service provider did criticize Fox's parent company for the delayed negotiations, arguing, "News Corp. should immediately restore Fox programming to Cablevision customers and accept binding arbitration to reach a fair agreement."