Free Press Blasts Fox for Blocking Online Content in Cablevision Dispute

Contact Info: 

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

WASHINGTON – Reports indicate that Fox Broadcasting Company, a subsidiary of News Corporation, is blocking Cablevision high-speed Internet customers from accessing Fox.com and Hulu content. Fox's actions raise important questions about the future of the online video market and the public interest obligations of broadcasters.

Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner issued the following statement:

"This is a very disturbing, anti-consumer move by Fox. Consumers should have the right to watch online content, and this access should not be tied to a dispute over cable television carriage arrangements. This discrimination against Cablevision high-speed Internet customers is particularly egregious because all other online viewers who do not purchase any cable television service currently have unfettered access to Hulu and Fox.com content.

"This move is also an example of a major user of public spectrum abusing the public interest. Fox's willingness to harm Internet users as a side effect of their dispute with Cablevision over broadcasting content is a disturbing escalation of the retransmission battles, one where consumers are caught in the middle.

"This highlights the rocky future ahead for so-called "cord-cutters" who use online video services as a way to break free from the expensive and restrictive cable distribution model. We call on policymakers to dig deep into this anti-consumer tying of content and act to ensure the online video market is not destroyed in its infancy."

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good