I can’t help thinking that this battle between Cablevision and Scripps smacks of something other than pure dollars and cents.
As I think about the several millions of people that are being deprived of the Food Network and HGTV, I’m also thinking, “Who are these people?” While I’m only going by intuition here, I think it’s fair to assume that the majority of FN and HGTV watchers are female.
I just can’t get away from the conclusion that THAT very fact is making Cablevision less willing to negotiate. (And, yes, there are plenty of men who watch food and home programming, but I have to believe that women outnumber them.)
Am I really oversimplifying the situation by imagining the powers that be at Cablevision saying to themselves, “Oh, who cares, it’s mostly women who watch those networks. Whether we carry them or not is not a big deal. Soon enough, Scripps will grow tired of this fight and give us what we want“? Reportedly, what Scripps wants to is to increase its cut of the action by mere pennies.
What makes me even surer that garden variety misogyny is, at least, a PART of the problem is the alacrity with which Time Warner resolved its own dispute with Fox.
Of course, Fox has millions more viewers, but who are those viewers and what are they passionate about? MEN and SPORTS. Can you imagine their outrage if the Sugar Bowl hadn’t been broadcast on Fox on New Year’s Day?
THAT outrage is taken much more seriously than women’s displeasure at being separated from their little cooking or home decorating shows.
Naturally, there are many factors at play, but undervaluing women’s wants and needs is not unusual by any means. Women are still paid less than men, even though colleges and universities are now tipping the scale at female majorities. A woman can be a viable presidential candidate...finally, but she’s still subjected to more slings and arrows than a man is - all the time having to have the perfect hair, makeup and wardrobe that is so completely outside the purview of a man’s candidacy. (Do I STILL sound bitter? Sorry about that.)
Why are we (as women) often made to feel that our wishes, our aspirations, our ambitions are worth just a little less than a man’s? And that includes our cable networks. I’m just saying if the Food Network were the Football Network, maybe Cablevision would have been more likely to stay at the bargaining table.