Jewish World Review Feb. 10, 2003 / 8 Adar I, 5763

Evan Weiner

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Hold the pols responsible for rate hikes!


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | At the age of 75, Charles Dolan is still setting trends in an industry he helped developed, cable TV.

For those who don't know, Dolan is a cable TV pioneer. He was one of the nation's first cable TV operators and founded Home Box Office (HBO).

Cablevision, the company Dolan started in 1973, won't add George Steinbrenner's Yes network to its basic service because Yes is too expensive for Dolan and Dolan feels subscribers should have a choice in whether or not they want yes. And that decision has emboldened Time Warner to drop the Fox owned Sunshine network from its systems in Florida and drop the Fox Sports network from its Minnesota systems. The reason? Cost.

Very few people quit Dolan's Cablevision and cable operators have noticed. Meanwhile, politicians in New Jersey are trying to get Dolan to put the Yes network on Cablevision's basic channel.

Sports may be an attention grabber, but its not an audience getter and if New Jersey lawmakers force Yes onto Cablevision systems, those politicians should be held accountable for rate hike that will follow.

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JWR contributor Evan Weiner is a radio commentator on "The Business of Sports" for Westwood One's Metro Networks. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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© 2003, Evan Weiner