News Corp blocks Hulu access for Cablevision subscribers [update]

News Corp and Cablevision have had a bit of a disagreement over fees recently, due to this disagreement around 3 million Cablevision subscribers have had News Corp channels, such as Fox, blacked out on their TV. Today, News Corp has taken things one step further and blocked users on Cablevision from accessing content available on Hulu that is owned by News Corp.

According to MediaMemo, when Cablevision subscribers tried access content Fox.com or Fox content on Hulu they got the error message:

We notice that you are attempting to access Fox content on Hulu. Unfortunately this content is currently unavailable to Cablevision customers. We look forward to bringing Fox content to Cablevision customers again soon.

When reached for a comment Hulu Public Relations representative Elisa Schreiber said:

Unfortunately, we were put in a position of needing to block Fox content on Hulu in order to remain neutral during contract negotiations between Fox and Cablevision. This only includes Fox content. All other Hulu content is accessible to Cablevision internet subscribers. We regret the impact on Cablevision customers and look forward to returning Fox content to those users as soon as possible.

News Corp has set a new precedent in fee disputes between cable companies and content providers. Until now, fee disputes effected viewing the content on the TV and that was the end of it, this is the first time the disputed has moved to content on the web.

This makes one wonder why users that only use Cablevision for internet access should be blocked from access to the content that all other users have access to, even users that have DSL through an ISP that offers nothing more than an internet connection and pays no money to content providers like News Corp. Could this move lead to content providers fighting ISPs for a piece of our internet subscription fee?

Update: News Corp has decided to turn Fox.com and Fox content on Hulu back on for Cablevision subscribers.

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45 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

What I don't get with this dispute is that Dish network keeps saying FOX is asking for 50% increase in fees which is outragious. Yet when FOX is asked about this 50% increase...FOX says it's not true...but won't reveal the number they are asking for? FOX keeps saying they are offering a fair and reasonable increase of fees from Dish's "Massive profits".

If FOX keeps touting they are the innocent ones in this fight...why not give the percentage they are asking for instead of just saying it's a lie they are asking for 50%? Cause even if the truth is they are asking for 45%...that's still outragious.

This is going to far and should not go uncheck both by the law and by the people. Blocking Internet access based on your ISP when Cable channel content negotiations have nothing to do with accessing the Internet. I small a New Act or at least a local government legislation stoping such activity from the likes of News Corp and anyone else that tries to strong arm negotiations on a totally unrealted front. What?! do they thing Cablevision customers are going to yell at Cablevision to resolve the issue? Customers will get hurt either way. Cable access is already very expensive. Paying more for Fox 5 (in NYC) is rediculous since it is still broadcast.

I HOPE, customers pick the proper target, which in this case is clearly News Corp!

In a world without net neutrality?:

We notice that you are attempting to access Hulu content through Time Warner Cable. Unfortunately this content is currently unavailable to Roadrunner customers. We look forward to bringing full Hulu content to Roadrunner customers again soon.

Guess I'll be watching the Giants game (Fox) at a sports bar. Fox should be ashamed of themselves for trying to pinch $150 million in fees/year from the Cablevision subscribers for something that is free over the air! And they have the nerve to show commercials lobbying their side of the situation as the good side. Cablevision is not great, but they are not the bad guys here - it's just News Corp!

If News Corp didn't try to give so much money to the Republican party in the US they wouldn't need to raise their fees so much...

This is why we need neutrality on the intenet, this whole using it as a tatic against concent distributers is ridicilous...... just because you are fighitng with a Cable company dont take it out on the ISP end

Its really stupid because FOX is broadcast over the air unencrypted for antenna users, so what does blocking the ISP access do?

neufuse said,
This is why we need neutrality on the intenet, this whole using it as a tatic against concent distributers is ridicilous...... just because you are fighitng with a Cable company dont take it out on the ISP end

Its really stupid because FOX is broadcast over the air unencrypted for antenna users, so what does blocking the ISP access do?


Do you know what you're talking about?!?!
Net Neutrality (bad idea btw) places restrictions on the owners of the pipes. So in this instance if Cablevision were to block News Corp then you might have a point. However it is the otherway around NewsCorp is blocking Cablevision. Net Neutrality would have no effect.

I think news corp reenabled hulu for us because they realised by doing that they could get themselves in a ton of trouble and get the government against them.

THIS is a perfect example of why the FCC or Congress needs to get off of their asses and pass strict net neutrality laws. This is exactly the kind of thing that those laws are supposed to prevent.

roadwarrior said,
THIS is a perfect example of why the FCC or Congress needs to get off of their asses and pass strict net neutrality laws. This is exactly the kind of thing that those laws are supposed to prevent.

I don't think net neutrality will ever trump intellectual property rights, otherwise the US would no longer be the bastion of innovation that it still is (no financial incentive if you can't OWN your idea). Net neutrality has a place where ISPs should not be able to prioritize bandwidth for particular services (like Hulu bandwidth being provided greater available bandwidth over P2P bandwidth, as an example).

DClark said,

I don't think net neutrality will ever trump intellectual property rights

This has little to nothing to do with IP rights. This has to do with one company blocking users from a specific ISP from accessing their content, even though users of any other ISP are free to access that content. That falls directly in the realm of net neutrality.

roadwarrior said,
THIS is a perfect example of why the FCC or Congress needs to get off of their asses and pass strict net neutrality laws. This is exactly the kind of thing that those laws are supposed to prevent.

Do you know what you're talking about?!?!
Net Neutrality (bad idea btw) places restrictions on the owners of the pipes. So in this instance if Cablevision were to block News Corp then you might have a point. However it is the otherway around NewsCorp is blocking Cablevision. Net Neutrality would have no effect.

I have no access to Fox News and it doesn't bother me in the least. However when they start messing around with web content then I get ****ed. The web needs to remain open and neutral.

Faulty Scarab said,
I find it amusing how cablevision is complaining of tough economic times. Why don't they pass a discount on to us LOL

They did, did your rates go up after the Food Network mess or the ABC mess? No your rates stayed the same because Cablevision stood up to them, just like this time.

Now stop calling Tech Support to complain about it, we have real problems to fix, call Customer Services

If Dish goes ahead and cuts the local Fox affiliate I won't be able to work around it because I can't get that channel via antenna. I'll have to get a minimal cable subscription to recover the missing programming. And pay for both cable and dish till my contract with dish is over, at which point the dish will go to the dumpster.

Zetaprime said,
If Dish goes ahead and cuts the local Fox affiliate I won't be able to work around it because I can't get that channel via antenna. I'll have to get a minimal cable subscription to recover the missing programming. And pay for both cable and dish till my contract with dish is over, at which point the dish will go to the dumpster.

Until your cable company does the same thing and you go back to Dish or DirecTV?

Never ending cycle...

This kinda stuff does not give me hope for the future of online streaming. Fighting over money and copyrights is probably just going to get worse.

They better change their minds on this. Cause as a Cablevision customer, and if this dispute lasts a while, unable to watch House and Fringe on tv will make me watch it on Hulu, and well if I can't, guess I'll just have to get it the illegal way.

News Corp. are being greedy lil b@st@rds, They're also fighting with Dish Network as well as Cablevision, News Corp has set a new low, one can only hope all the raitings for their shows drops drastically also.

xpablo said,
News Corp. are being greedy lil b@st@rds, They're also fighting with Dish Network as well as Cablevision, News Corp has set a new low, one can only hope all the raitings for their shows drops drastically also.
It's not the ratings they need to worry about, it's the ad revenue as well that go with the ratings. That's the one that hurts, a lot. If Dish goes dark as well, they can lose 12-15 (maybe even more?) million viewers prospective viewers VERY quickly. And when you dealing with markets as big as NYC, Philly, LA and the rest of the top 20 stations nationwide, that will HURT both on the national networks and the local networks. Ad revenue means a TON to all stations, that's what keeps the station and staff paid for. How can an advertiser pay for ads when there's a big chunk of the nation not able to see their ads. They will either demand a lower fee or not advertise at all. Something to think about. By the way, I am a professional broadcaster that works for a nationwide major network. Just putting my 2 cents out there from my perspective.

Pixil Eyes said,
What I don't get is .... we pay for cable/sat and then they still put commercials in. How does that add up?

You are paying for the service of having a link to all of those television networks, so there is money to manage cables lines, workers, etc. The networks need to make their own money through ads and the like, AFAIK.

Pixil Eyes said,
What I don't get is .... we pay for cable/sat and then they still put commercials in. How does that add up?

The commercials pay for the shows. The cable fee pays for the network itself.

I've heard your complaint before from others, and it's on par with saying you paid for your internet, so why do websites have ads? You already know the answer to that. The answer is similar for TV.

Joshie said,

The commercials pay for the shows. The cable fee pays for the network itself.

I've heard your complaint before from others, and it's on par with saying you paid for your internet, so why do websites have ads? You already know the answer to that. The answer is similar for TV.

Not completely true. The networks do get money from the cable/sat provider which is why this article was written. I do see a need for commercials but think of it this way... networks were able to survive on commercial revenue alone back in the day before cable operators. They are now seeing revenue from cable and dish operators and are wanting higher fees paid to them but don't seem to cut commercials. Just big business and greed.

Thing is, we're going to see this with a few other networks as well with providers. Dish Network is going through the same thing, but the locals aren't gone, yet. Rumor has it that other networks will be doing this as well soon on other providers (this includes Time-Warner and DirecTV). This isn't strictly a Fox network thing. There's more coming sadly.

All I know is, this totally sucks. I am a Cablevision subscriber, and this is just ridiculous. I actually think Cablevision is in the right here, they are protecting their customers from rate increases by not allowing Newscorp to DOUBLE the fee for Fox.

If we don't get Fox back by 1pm EST tomorrow, I do know that a lot of New York Giants fans will be ****ED.

This is crappy, am not a Cablevision subscriber but this is ridiculous, this companies fox and abc broadcast over the air for free and they make their cash with commercials, if I was Cablevision I would do what satellite providers use to do in the past and just hook up rabbit ears to the boxes, this in the end just means we pay more for cable service. Fox is not commercial free like hbo or cinamax.

Cablevision is not the only company to be cut. Dish Network saw FSN, FX, National Geographic and other channels cut off because Fox wants more money for each channel

Dish will lose all Fox-owned affiliates on November 1st if no deal is reached


personally, i want every provider to get cut off from Fox. pick up the local affiliate with an antenna. FSN and Fox News can die

Seems there was an update to the original article. Either way though I'm not happy that Hulu went along with this let alone Fox even went this route in the first place.

"UPDATE: That was fast. People familiar with the situation say that News Corp. is changing tactics and will turn on access to Fox.com and Fox programming on Hulu for Cablevision's customers. This could take a “few hours” to roll out across the Cablevision footprint, I'm told."

Azies said,
What did you guys expect? This is Fox we're talking about here.
No, it is not.

News Corp. owns FOX, not the other way around.

SOOPRcow said,
I'm just gonna go with "WTF" on this one.

Yes I know. sad it's almost like we are flirting with internet censorship. Wait we are! :shakes head:

Leroy Jethro Gibbs said,
I hate the greed behind this. Die. I also strongly dislike Murdoch himself, albeit unrelated.

I agree, Murdoch is such a moron and should just go and die. I resent that some nutty old Australian can have so much influence not only in the USA but here in the UK as well.

Here in the UK he has a monopoly on Pay TV though his 38% share in BSkyB and wants to buy out the rest of it and also uses his tabloid news papers to tell the public who are like sheep who to vote for so he gets his way :-/

StevenNT said,

Here in the UK he has a monopoly on Pay TV though his 38% share in BSkyB

How does he have a monopoly?
There are plenty of competitors to Sky. Virgin and BT being the biggest.
If it's about TV channels, then ESPN competes for sport(which is bad for consumers when it comes to football), and Virgin decided to sell off it's own channels.
Also there are plenty of other newspapers in the UK who side with political parties. If we want that to change, we need to change the law.

acnpt said,

How does he have a monopoly?
There are plenty of competitors to Sky. Virgin and BT being the biggest.
If it's about TV channels, then ESPN competes for sport(which is bad for consumers when it comes to football), and Virgin decided to sell off it's own channels.
Also there are plenty of other newspapers in the UK who side with political parties. If we want that to change, we need to change the law.

That's what I'm on about, their TV content. BSkyB hold allot of clout when it comes to content like movies and sport as well as their general entertainment content. Even more so when Virgin Media sold their television business to BSkyB, personally it should gone elsewhere, maybe BBC Worldwide.

BT wanted Sky Sports on their platform and it took intervention by Ofcom to allow that to happen. So having Ofcom intervene to allow that to happen fairly is not healthy.

StevenNT said,
I agree, Murdoch is such a moron and should just go and die.

And wishing somebody dead makes you SOOOO much better than him. Idiot.