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NFL Network Asks Cablevision for Arbitration on Carriage Deal

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- The National Football League asked Cablevision Systems Corp. to enter binding arbitration to get the league’s television channel to the cable company’s 3 million subscribers.

Steve Bornstein, the NFL Network’s chief executive, said Cablevision supports binding arbitration to end a dispute with News Corp.’s Fox that has kept that channel off the cable system for about two weeks. James Dolan, Bethpage, New York-based Cablevision’s chief executive, should agree to use the same process with the NFL, Bornstein wrote in a letter to Dolan.

“I’m encouraged to hear that Cablevision supports binding arbitration and would recommend that approach in our own discussions with you for carriage of NFL Network,” Bornstein wrote in the letter, which was distributed by the league.

Bornstein said he’ll call Dolan this week, and he hopes the two companies can resolve the dispute before the NFL Network airs the first of eight live games beginning on Nov. 11.

The NFL Network, which appears in about 60 million homes on 300 cable and satellite systems, is carried by distributors including Comcast Corp., DirecTV, Dish Network Corp. and Cox Communications Inc., the NFL said.

The New York Post reported the story today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Kuriloff in New York at akuriloff@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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