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News Corp Crosses The Line In Pricing Fight With Cablevision

by Sean P. Aune | October 17, 2010October 17, 2010 8:00 am PDT

Fights between cable companies and TV networks are becoming more and more common as all the parties involved are trying to make every cent that they can.  At 12:01 AM on Saturday the 16th, Fox stations were cut off from Cablevision’s three million subscribers in the northeast part of the country.  What no one expected, however, is that News Corp., Fox’s parent company, also cut off and Fox content on Hulu.

The whole fight is over News Corp wanting more money from its cable partners.  In a not uncommon move, when the current contract expired without a resolution, said carrier had their access to the channels cut off.  What was new, and wholly unexpected, was the fact that the media company also decided to cut off all videos on and all of the Fox properties on Hulu, which it owns a portion of.

When Cablevision users arrived at Hulu, they were greeted with the following message according to MediaMemo.


By mid-afternoon on Saturday News Corp. had reversed its decision, but no reason was given, and it was said it would some time for it to roll out to all of the customers.

We’re not quite sure how News Corp thought this was a bright idea. The cable subscriptions are one thing, but the Internet is a completely different creature. This amounted to saying that you were paying a subscription fee for those services when you really aren’t unless you are a Hulu Plus subscriber. In that case, I would have been ready to beat some News Corp executives up side their heads.

While every company should get paid a fair amount for its content, holding the customers who may not even be involved hostage just seems silly and petty to me. I would love to know what changed their mind. Perhaps someone with a lick of sense told them “this is idiotic”? Just a thought.

What say you? Did News Corp go too far?

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...