Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest Ring In New Year’s Eve Ratings For ABC

Nielsen overnights for Thursday show "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" on ABC averaged an 8.7 household rating/21 share from 11:30 p.m. to 1:15 a.m., up 2% from last year's 8.5/20. The Alphabet's extravaganza, again co-hosted by Clark and Ryan Seacrest, featured musical guests including Jennifer Lopez and Daughtry.....At NBC, "New Year's Eve With Carson Daly" averaged a 5.2/12 in overnight households -- also up slightly vs. last year (5.0/11) and better than the show's five prior annual telecasts.


History Channel Eyes Updated Look

History channel President Nancy Dubuc knows what she's up against running a cable television network devoted to events from long ago in an age of real-time tweets and quirky videos that go viral instantaneously. History, people automatically say, is black and white and fuddy-duddy," she said matter-of-factly. But not according to Dubuc. Since taking over History three years ago, the young executive has sought to recast the network in Technicolor. To do so, she's undertaken a provocative strategy: severing the cable channel's tether to the past.


Fox & Time Warner Cable Make Up While Scripps & Cablevision Face Off

Cable customers in Denver and Los Angeles didn’t have to miss last weekend’s Sugar Bowl after all: Time Warner Cable  and News Corp. announced a deal on Friday that allows the cable company to continue to carry the Fox network’s TV channels, after Fox had threatened to cut off Time Warner as part of a transmission fee standoff. The details of the deal were not announced, but  Staci Kramer over at paidContent calls it “unlikely” that Fox got anything close to the $1 per cable subscriber it had demanded.

All of that is of little consolation for Iron Chef fans in New York and New Jersey. Customers of Cablevision didn’t get to watch yesterday’s highly publicized special White House edition of the show because HGTV and Food Network owner Scripps Networks cut off access to the networks on January 1st after Cablevision failed to agree to higher retransmission fees.

The spat between Scripps and Cablevision bears some resemblance to the Fox vs. Time Warner Cable drama. Scripps wants more money for its networks, but Cablevision isn’t willing to pay. Scripps is trying to get the public involved, and both are leaking details about the dispute to the press. Scripps has said that Cablevision previously paid around $0.25 per subscriber, and Cablevision has lamented  that Scripps’ demands would result in “a more than 200 percent fee increase.” Scripps calls this a fair market rate, Cablevision is complaining that  media company is “holding (its) own viewers hostage” by cutting off access to its programing.

However, there’s also two important differences: Food Network and HGTV may have some pretty good ratings for being cable networks, but people still care much more about their football game than about Ace of Cakes. In other words: Expect Cablevision to wait this one out until Scripps comes back with another offer.

Which brings us to the other difference. HGTV and Food Network are not on Hulu. Both networks only make limited content available on their web sites, and since both are cable networks, busting out your rabbit ear antenna won’t help you either. In other words: Cablevision customers that like to watch HGTV really don’t have any alternative – except, of course, for all those home design and make-over shows on other networks. Something tells me the folks at TLC busted out an extra bottle of champagne a their New Year’s Eve party.

News-stock surge: Boom or dead-cat bounce?

First of two parts. The second part is here. Although last year was the worst in the history of the newspaper industry, stock prices on average doubled for the publicly traded publishing companies fortunate enough to avoid bankruptcy. The boom could be interpreted as a vote of confidence from Wall Street in the battered industry. Or, it could be a dead-cat bounce, an

Cablevision Battle: Food Network, HGTV Missing In Scripps Fee Dispute

NEW YORK — The spat over a fee increase between Cablevision Systems Corp. and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. heated up Sunday with cable TV viewers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut still caught in the crossfire.

About 3.1 million subscribers lost access to HGTV and the Food Network on Friday after Scripps pulled its programming while negotiating a new contract with the cable provider.

In a statement Sunday, Cablevision said Scripps is demanding a 200 percent fee increase, which would drive up customer rates if accepted. For 2010, the average rate increase for subscribers is 3.7 percent, Cablevision spokesman Jim Maiella said.

The company maintains that the HGTV and Food Network channels remain available to Cablevision subscribers if Scripps chooses to turn the programming back on while a contract is worked out.

In a separate statement late Sunday, Scripps said more than six months of negotiations haven't been able to produce an agreement, and its recent requests for sit-down discussions have been rejected. Scripps said Cablevision currently pays about 25 cents per subscriber for the combined networks, and described the fee increase it's asking for as "fair market rate" for popular networks.

"We regret deeply the interruption of service for Cablevision customers who rely on us for quality programming," the company said.

Scripps said earlier Sunday that it has received an "outpouring" of viewer support, citing 80,000 e-cards from its ilovefoodnetwork.com and ilovehgtv.com Web sites. Cablevision's Maiella called the customer outrage "modest" and mostly manufactured by Scripps.

A more amicable ending was reached Friday in a similar dispute between Fox and Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable provider. Fox had threatened to force Time Warner Cable and Bright House to drop its signal from 14 of its TV stations and a half-dozen of its cable channels if Time Warner didn't increase payments to Fox in a contract that took effect Friday. The companies have not said how their New Year's Day agreement will affect customers' bills.