3080 Centreville Road
Herndon, VA 20171
Anthony Barrett __
County Administrator, Spotsylvania Cou ty2-. "
P.O. Box 99
Spotsylvania, VA 22553
Dear Mr. Barrett: COMMUNICATIONS
As one of our community partners, I want to make you aware of an issue you may hear
about between Cox and ESPN. As you may know, Cox pays the owners of cable
networks for rights to deliver channels on Cox Cable. We work hard to minimize the
impact of these cost increases on our customers. Last year, our programming costs grew
by an average of 12%, while we did not raise our prices at all. In fact, Cox has not raised
basic rates since 2000 and Expanded Basic rates since 2001.
This year, ESPN is demanding an average 20% rate hike from Cox in 2004. ESPN has
raised prices more than 20% a year over the past five years. ESPN is already Cox's most
expensive standard cable channel and costs more than the seven top-rated networks
combined. We recognize that sports networks are valuable to some of our customers, but
we simply cannot agree to these astronomical price increases because it is unfair to all
Cox customers, who ultimately end up paying the price.
We think the solution is simple: ESPN must moderate its price increases. If ESPN
refuses, Cox wants the ability to place the network on an optional tier - but only as a last
resort if they won't act responsibly in their pricing. Currently, they dictate that their
channel is distributed to all standard-cable customers. That becomes a problem when one
channel raises their price so alarmingly and out-of-line with other channels. We don't
think it will be necessary to charge for this network as part of a separate tier - if ESPN
can agree to moderate their price increases.
We are actively negotiating new multi-year contracts with ESPN, with a singular goal in
mind: protecting Cox customers and the great value of cable TV - for sports fans and
non-sports fans alike. It is unfortunate that during these negotiations ESPN has chosen to
run a misleading advertisement in today's Fairfax Weekly section of the Washington
Post. I am enclosing a copy of the advertisement for you. So, while we have every
intention to continue offering both networks on standard-cable, that will require
cooperation from ESPN, and their pledge to help us protect the value of cable TV for
We value your opinion and our relationship. I wanted you to know where Cox stands on
the issue. If you have any questions, I hope you will contact me directly at 703-480-5248.
I will keep you posted on our progress.
Vice President Government Affairs
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ents Pay nothmg for produce and such
ishable~ yogurt, bread and rmlk. .qm,
merything else is 14cents a pound
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crates scattered thmughout the war
Food.Bank house-and the turkeys. It was a shc
we$ He had to move them
G a a couple of those." he suggested
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FOOD BANK h m Pwe 3 a bag to her p&.
Martha Faconer, director of operations.
Credit Union NEWHope Housmg. which nurs homeles
Already out on the food ban& shelves sheltm and transitionalhousing for the fo~
last week were giant jars, of ialapeiio pep merly homeless. browsed through the prr
pen, boxes of corn muffin mix,cereal, soup. ducc
M e r s , herbal tea, bags of Gbirardelli 'We have some hukeys, 14 cents
chomlates. Scope mouthwash and a dozen pound," Carroll told her.
boxes of Claim1Ruby M g h t hair dye. Faconer looked interested. Y u do?" Sbt
But for the D.C.-based Capital Area Food picked some up. Only $2 each.
Bank, even the hair dye is a blessine. The 23- At this time of the y a , Carroll works 1E
year-old organiption. which has-its 'main hours a day, six days a week.He gets m at E
warehouse in Northeast Washington. col- a.m
lects and dishiutes about 20 million At night, he usually picks up donatedfooo
p o d of donated food a year to 750 chan- that his delivery new3 can't get t d w g
the day. The night before. he had hem out
Much of that comes from area grmery edlectlau of donated food by the Bay Scoutsadd to the plen(r at the fwd bank3 Ilwahousc. getting the tarkeys kom the Burke karate
stores. food manufacturers and the U.S. De- studio.
partment of Agriculture. Most of the dona- Charities, churches, nonpmfits and 0th- en come in ands6op for themsehreJ. He never rejecta contributions.
tiom f o the public come during Novem-
rm en can pick up food at the Lorton ware At a r g l r supermarkef .yuu p . ..
eua If you turn down food then donations
ber and December, said Monica Testa, a house betwetn 9 am.aud noon wery MOP with $50 or $100, and you get a little bit," wiUslowup becausepeople win think you're
apakeswoman for the Capital Area F w d day through Saturday. al
P l s Church child-case provider Esperanza picky," he a d . ae
we t k wewhing. We
Bank. The food bank counts on those dona- Large groups order kom a faxed menu Zamon said last w & adding grapes, ba-
just sort through t i I is not something we
tions to get itthrough lean times the next -and send a truck to pick up the items. Small- nanas, cold cuts and crackers to-her cart as can use. we just get rid of it. But we do not
, er groups and subsidizect-childsare pmvid- she wheeled around t e food ban!& %ore"
h turn down any donations."
DON'T LET COX TAKE AWAY
YOUR SPORTSCENTER. L
Cox Cable wants to rip ESPN from your
basic cable lineup and make you pay more
No more Sportscenter.
N o more NBA on ESPN.
No more Sunday Night Football.
For more information, log onto our website,
keepespn.com. and find out whars at stake
for sports fans.