Disney-ABC-Cablevision-New-York-Oscars.jpgThe Walt Disney Company began running ads yesterday (Mon. March 1) warning New York Cablevision subscribers that their local ABC channel may go dark on Saturday right before the Oscars telecast on Sunday.

The reason? Disney wants to be paid for the airing of ABC on the Cablevision system, reports the New York Times.

According to a statement from Cablevision, Disney is asking for $40 million a year in fees to broadcast the ABC station in areas of New York affecting 3.1 million viewers.

Previously, Disney charged for stations like the Disney Channel and ESPN, but not for ABC. Cablevision and Disney have been in conflict over this for the past two years since their contract expired, extending it monthly as talks continued.

This whole situation brings back memories of the Time Warner/News Corp. conflict late last year when Fox warned Time Warner cable subscribers that FOX, FX and other News Corp.-owned stations would go dark if an agreement wasn’t reached. The two companies settled before any stations were pulled.

If Disney does pull the plug on ABC on Saturday, New York Cablevision subscribers can still get the signal via antenna and a digital converter box.

[Update 10:19 AM Cablevision has launched a site which clarifies its position in the negotiations with Disney. They also ask that subscribers call 1-877-NO-TV-TAX to urge Disney not to pull ABC while the companies are still negotiating. Areas that will definitely be affected by the negotiations are Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, and Westchester County.]

How do you feel about Disney wanting to be paid for the ABC network?

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Photo credit: ABC; Cablevision

Posted by:Jethro Nededog