Tennis Channel Buys Anti-Cablevision Ads In N.Y.

August 18, 2009

By John Ourand, Staff Writer

Frustrated by Cablevision’s insistence that it be placed on a sports tier, Tennis Channel has bought between $500,000-$1M worth of ads in the N.Y. media touting DirecTV, Verizon and Dish Network as providers that carry the network. The print ad, which ran in today’s N.Y. Times and Westchester Journal News newspapers, reads, “Thanks for nothing Cablevision,” with an image of a tennis racket smashing a cable set-top box. Tennis Channel’s aggressive campaign comes just two weeks before the start of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. The network has exclusive rights to several matches during the two-week tournament this year, which is held in Cablevision’s N.Y. territory. Negotiations between the two sides have reached an impasse. Sources say Tennis Channel has offered to have Cablevision carry the channel for about $0.15 per subscriber per month — as long as it is not placed on the cable operator’s sports tier. For its part, Cablevision is not budging from its demand that Tennis Channel be on a sports tier. Tennis Channel attempted to buy an ad in the Cablevision-owned newspaper Newsday, but said it was rejected for what the paper termed “creative content.” Cablevision did not respond by presstime. Tennis Channel also bought ads in other newspapers (including the N.Y. Daily News, N.Y. Post, Wall Street Journal, and the Bergen Record) and on N.Y. radio stations WFAN-AM and WINS-AM. The channel purchased mobile billboards and door hangers that will be placed on the door knobs of homes in Cablevision’s area.