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Volume 21 No. 31
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Cablevision says ‘no’ to YES Network’s bid to resolve N.Y. standoff

Cablevision Systems Corp. rejected a revised proposal from the YES Network two weeks ago without making a counteroffer, said a source from the YES camp.

The communication was through an intermediary close to both YES chief executive Leo Hindery Jr. and Cablevision Chairman Charles Dolan. The sides haven't spoken directly since August.

In December, the intermediary reached out to Hindery and said Cablevision might be willing to talk. YES responded by sending a detailed proposal that included the lowest-priced offer to date, what one YES official described as a "huge" price cut on the network's original asking price of about $1.85 per subscriber per month.

Had Cablevision accepted the offer, YES would have been contractually obligated to make the same offer to Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

Instead, YES was informed that Cablevision had rejected the offer and would have no response.

The YES source would not go into details about the new offer. Previously, YES has made offers to Cablevision that included an initial price cut, but rates equal to the previous asking price during later years of the contract.

Cablevision wouldn't comment.

FOX PAYING TO PROMO NASCAR: Fox will spend $2 million in off-channel advertising behind NASCAR and the Daytona 500, while also running a full slate of promos on its own air and affiliated cable networks.

The campaign includes print, radio and cable television in selected markets.

Promos, developed in-house, feature a slew of drivers including Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmy Johnson and Ryan Newman.

They were scheduled to begin airing on Fox during the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, and then on Fox Sports Net and Speed Channel until Daytona on Feb. 16.

During "Speed Week" leading up to the race, the spots will run on Fox during prime time and on the local cable systems. A print ad will appear in USA Today.

Fox has been promoting its NASCAR coverage since October, when it launched an ad campaign even though NBC was still covering its half of the Winston Cup season. The ads, from Fox agency Cliff Freeman & Partners, humorously tracked the family lineage of some of the young drivers, linking their zest for speed to their upbringings.

One thing Fox won't be doing is any watch-and-win sweepstakes or joint promotions with advertisers aimed at driving viewers to the broadcasts.

Neal Tiles, Fox Sports' executive vice president of marketing and promotion, said it doesn't make sense for Fox to trade on-air inventory for off-air promotion, because the most effective way for the network to market itself is by using its own airtime.

ABC PUTTING LOTS OF CAMERAS IN ACTION: The Sky Cam will make its Super Bowl debut Sunday on ABC. Nearly 20 years old but now enjoying renewed popularity, the robotic camera suspended on four cables has been featured in many ABC Sports and ESPN telecasts this year.

The Sky Cam will be one of 47 cameras used during the Super Bowl telecast. They include three unmanned fixed cameras, a boom camera, seven high-definition cameras, the "Ump Cam" used throughout the season on "Monday Night Football," two remote pan-and-tilt cameras on the goalposts, five robotic cameras and 27 manned cameras.

Last year, cost-cutting Fox used 22 manned cameras, along with 18 replay machines. ABC will use 28 replay machines.

Contact Andy Bernstein at abernstein@sportsbusinessjournal.com.