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HGTV, Food Network Returns to Cablevision

Cablevision and Scripps Networks Interactive announced today that they have reached an agreement allowing for the return of Food Network and HGTV programming to Cablevision customers in the New York Tri-State region beginning today.

Both companies noted that their primary focus throughout the process was to work as hard as possible to return Food Network and HGTV to Cablevision customers at the soonest possible date.

Terms of the agreement were not immediately disclosed.

“This is great news for all those television viewers in the New York Tri-State region who enjoy Food Network and HGTV,” said John Lansing, executive vice president of Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. and president of the company’s Scripps Networks operating division. “This is the resolution everyone wanted. Cablevision has been a valued distribution partner and we’re gratified that together we were able to reach a successful conclusion that will benefit their customers and viewers of our networks.”

“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we worked with Scripps to reach an agreement that is fair,” said John Bickham, Cablevision’s President of Cable & Communications. “Food Network and HGTV have strong and loyal followings and we are pleased that both channels are back where they belong on Cablevision and available to our customers in both standard-definition and free HD.”

Cable companies like Cablevision pay networks a fee to broadcast their content. Scripps wanted more money for HGTV and Food Network, but Cablevision said Scripps was asking too much. In 2009, Scripps received about 25 cents per Cablevision subscriber each month for both networks. During negotiations, Scripps pointed to a 2009 Beta Cable Subscriber Study, which put the value of Food Network at $1.03 per month and HGTV at 73 cents per month, though Scripps said it was not demanding that much.  The channels were scheduled to re-appear on Cablevision’s lineup Thursday afternoon.

Scripps continues to negotiate with Time Warner over similar fees, though the two companies reached an agreement to keep HGTV and Food Network on the air for Time Warner customers during discussions.  Time Warner reached a deal with Fox on New Year’s Day over licensing fees after a very public battle that saw both companies put up Web sites, air TV ads, and buy full-page advertisements to argue their cases.

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