N.J. state senator: Cablevision should reimburse viewers

New Jersey state senator Tom Goodwin, a Republican, provided a new tack on the Cablevision-Fox standoff on Wednesday, calling on Cablevision to reimburse viewers who have been unable to watch Fox Network channels as the two companies negotiate programming fees.

Most of the input from public figures has called for a speedy resolution, for the sides to accept mediation, or for changes to rules related to programming negotiations, so Goodwin appears to have found an original angle. Around 3 million Cablevision subscribers in the New York area have lost access to Fox channels as the company negotiates fees with Fox.

In a letter to James Dolan, the Cablevision chief executive, Goodwin noted the stakes.

"These negotiations have already led to a blackout of three National League baseball playoff games, Sunday’s New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles games, and numerous other popular programs," he said. "As a Cablevision customer and a lifelong Phillies fan, I am outraged over the pace of these negotiations and the unjust punishment that your customers continue to endure."

Viewers are being "held hostage" by the ongoing dispute, he said.

"I ask that you reimburse Cablevision customers for each day that they are denied these channels," he said.