Negotiators said they were far apart Saturday after more than 3 million Cablevision subscribers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania lost Fox channels when the cable operator and News Corp. failed to reach a new contract over fees, The Associated Press reports.

The blackout threatens the broadcast of Sunday football games and the baseball playoffs for Cablevision customers, some of whom are in Philadelphia. Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, featuring the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants, takes place Saturday. Subscribers lost Fox 5 and My9 in New York, Fox29 in Philadelphia and such cable channels as Fox Business Network, NatGeo Wild and Fox Deportes.

Fox, Time Warner cable reach new deal

The channels went dark just after midnight Friday as the companies remained embroiled in a financial dispute over programming. Cablevision says it is paying more than $70 million annually for Fox programming, and says Fox wants to increase it to $150 million. Fox would not confirm or deny the financial details."We remain far apart and Cablevision has made it clear that they do not share our view regarding the value of Fox's networks," Mike Hopkins, president, Fox Networks affiliate sales and marketing, said in a statement. "After days of posturing and the appearance of negotiating, they formally stopped even the pretense of negotiating at 8 p.m. — declaring an 'impasse' — and made no further efforts toward reaching a new agreement before the expiration."Cablevision's Charles Schueler responded: "We demand that News Corp. put the viewers ahead of its own greed and immediately restore these channels to our customers and agree to binding arbitration to reach a fair agreement. What is News Corp. afraid of?"

ABC goes dark for Cablevision customers in New York

Cablevision said Thursday that it is willing to submit to binding arbitration to settle the dispute, but Fox rejected the idea, saying arbitration would "reward Cablevision for refusing to negotiate fairly."This is the third time this year Cablevision has found itself entangled in a dispute over programming fees. In January, Cablevision customers lost Food Network and HGTV for three weeks over a similar contract dispute with Scripps Network Interactive. Two months later, Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network pulled the plug on Cablevision customers, causing subscribers to miss the first 15 minutes of the 82nd Academy Awards telecast before a deal was made.