Israeli cable television provider HOT is refusing to renew its licensing contract with CNN as previous rates, and may end up dropping the international news network as a result of deadlocked negotiations.
HOT CEO David Kamenitz has been implementing an aggressive cost-cutting policy, reported The Jerusalem Post, and doesn't see the logic in paying CNN what he sees as exorbitant licensing fees when it is no longer the top rated 24-hour news network. A HOT official pointed out that Fox News long ago surpassed CNN as the dominant news network in the US, and a similar trend has taken hold in Israel as well.
CNN spokeswoman Hagit Mendes responded by calling the HOT licensing offer "insulting," and insisted that the cable provider risked "depriving half the Israeli population of one of the most important channels in the world."
Some one million Israelis are HOT subscribers, while more than 500,000 others are customers of rival satellite television provider Yes.