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Cablevision vs. News Corp: Battle Heats Up Ahead of the Deadline

With just eight hours before Cablevision and Fox's contract expires, Cablevision made a dramatic push to keep Fox's channels on the air.

Cablevision announced that 27 "leading elected officials have joined a growing bipartisan chorus calling upon News Corp.. and Cablevision to submit to binding arbitration to resolve their current contract dispute fairly, and to prevent News Corp. from pulling the plug on Fox 5 and My9 at midnight tonight."

Cablevision is bringing their list of congressmen and senators into the conversation because yesterday News Corp rejected Cablevision's request for binding arbitration, saying it would "reward Cablevision for refusing to negotiate fairly." (Read my blog on the back and forth here)

Now we're down to the wire, and Cablevision's three million subscribers in the New York tri-state area could lose NFL and Major League Baseball games this weekend.

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Both sides have demonstrated that they're willing to stand by their word, even if consumers are the collateral damage. In fact Fox has pulled 19 regional sports channels from Dish Network off the air as part of a contract negotiation with the satellite TV operator. If Fox is willing to take a stand with the NBA and NHL on Dish, it seems it would be willing to take a stand with the NFL and MLB on Cablevision.

And Cablevision has demonstrated its commitment — early this year subscribers were without the Food Network and HGTV for weeks when Cablevision negotiated with Scripps demonstrated that it's willing to keep subscribers from their sports

Who will blink first? The clock is ticking.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com
  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.