ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 119
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 8, 2010
Assemblyman UPENDRA J. CHIVUKULA
District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)
Assemblymen DeAngelo, Benson, Mainor and Prieto
Urges BPU to investigate blackout of certain cable television programming, encourage parties to come to an agreement, determine those responsible, and calculate compensation owed to subscribers.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Assembly Resolution urging the Board of Public Utilities to investigate the denial of certain programming to Cablevision’s subscribers, to request Cablevision and News Corporation to resolve their differences, to determine those responsible for the blocking of access to programming, and to calculate the compensation owed to subscribers for the loss of programming.
Whereas, New York-based News Corporation, owner of the Fox channel networks, pulled its programming from Cablevision Systems Corporation's cable television network on Saturday, October 16, 2010, over a retransmission broadcast fee payment dispute with Cablevision, thereby depriving three million Cablevision subscribers, including over 900,000 subscribers in New Jersey, of an important source of news, public affairs, business, and emergency information, as well as widely-viewed television entertainment and sporting events; and
Whereas, Recent news reports indicate that News Corporation and Cablevision remain far apart in their negotiations over the appropriate amount of the fees to be paid by Cablevision to News Corporation for retransmission of Fox programming to its subscribers, and there is no indication that the two parties will resolve their disagreement over this financial issue in the near future; and
Whereas, As a result of the ongoing dispute, most of Major League Baseball’s playoff games, the World Series which is set to begin on October 27, 2010, National Football League games, and many of television's most widely-viewed entertainment shows, have been and will be unavailable to Cablevision's subscribers who have relied in good faith on payment of their regular monthly cable subscription fees to receive these sporting and entertainment programs; and
Whereas, Cablevision subscribers, who are innocent bystanders in this battle between two media companies over the payment of these fees, have had their lives disrupted by this current blackout of cable television programming, the fifth and longest such blackout occurring in 2010, and they continue to be denied access to the Fox programming which has been paid for through the subscribers’ monthly cable subscription service and which the subscribers should rightfully be receiving; and
Whereas, It is altogether fitting and proper that this House urge the Board of Public Utilities to investigate the current blackout of cable television programming, to use its best efforts to have the respective representatives of News Corporation and Cablevision continue their negotiating sessions to resolve their differences, to determine the parties responsible for the blocking of access to Fox programming, and to calculate the amount of compensation owed to Cablevision's subscribers for the loss of this programming; now therefore,
Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Board of Public Utilities is urged to investigate the blocking of Cablevision subscribers’ access to Fox television programming, to use its best efforts to have the respective parties continue negotiating for the purpose of resolving their differences, to determine the parties responsible for the blocking of access to programming, and to calculate the amount of compensation owed to Cablevision subscribers who have been denied access to Fox programming.
2. Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the Speaker of the General Assembly and attested to by the Clerk thereof, shall be transmitted to the Board of Public Utilities.
This resolution urges the Board of Public Utilities (the "board") to investigate the ongoing blackout of Fox programming that has affected millions of Cablevision subscribers who have been denied access to most Major League Baseball playoff games, National Football League games, and numerous other very popular television shows.
The resolution also urges the board to use its best efforts to have the respective parties resolve their differences over payment of retransmission broadcast fees so that Cablevision subscribers may regain access to Fox programming.
The resolution further urges the board to determine the parties responsible for the blocking of access to Fox programming, and to calculate the amount of compensation owed to Cablevision subscribers as a result of the denial of access to Fox programming.
(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 11/14/2011)