Disney-ABC-Cablevision-New-York-Oscars2.jpgAt approximately 12:01 AM on Sunday March 7, many New York Cablevision subscribers watched as the ABC show “Lost” went dark and the screen turned “fuchsia-colored” as one viewer described on Twitter.

The Walt Disney Co. made good on their threat to pull ABC from the Cablevision system in New York affecting more than three million people.

Minutes later, Cablevision released the following statement from Executive Vice President of Communications, Charles Schueler:

“It is now painfully clear to millions of New York area households that Disney CEO Bob Iger will hold his own ABC viewers hostage in order to extract $40 million in new fees from Cablevision. We call on Bob Iger to immediately return ABC to Cablevision customers while we continue to work to reach a fair agreement.”

Rebecca Campbell, President and General Manager, at WABC-TV then released her own statement:

“It’s an insult to Cablevision customers that, with literally hours to go before losing access to ABC7, Cablevision is personally attacking Disney executives. Does Cablevision have such little regard for its subscribers’ intelligence to think that they don’t know a negotiation takes two parties? The inconvenient truth is that ABC7 has been prepared to reach a fair agreement for two years and Cablevision has refused to do its part. If Cablevision CEO James Dolan and the Dolan Family Dynasty have any regard at all for the millions of customers who pay hard earned dollars for their service, they will order their troops to stop slinging mud and start cutting a deal.”

The two companies have been waging a PR war all week as Disney’s deadline approached.

Disney suggested alternative providers to Cablevision subscribers, such as via satellite. Cablevision countered by urging its customers not to switch providers if ABC’s programming gets pulled. Instead, they suggested that subscribers watch the network’s programming online at ABC.com or Hulu.

It would seem that Cablevision might have the upper hand as the Oscar telecast approaches. The loss of so many possible New York viewers could drastically lower the award show’s ratings and thus further affect ABC’s advertising bottom line.

According to Cablevision, Disney wants an extra $40 million a year
in new fees. The cable provider claims they currently pay more than
$200 million a year to Disney.

Disney says Cablevision already
charges its subscribers $18 a month for basic broadcast signals and
they haven’t received a cut of that fee. The company has extended its agreement with Cablevision monthly for the past two years before Disney finally pulled the ABC network earlier this morning.

Who do you think will back down first: Disney or Cablevision?

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Photo credit: ABC; Cablevision

Posted by:Jethro Nededog