Here we go again, this time WABC-DT threatens to pull signal:http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf...ll_signal.html
WABC threatens to pull signal over Cablevision dispute, blocking the Oscars in parts of N.J.
By Venuri Siriwardane/The Star-Ledger
March 01, 2010, 9:33PM
WABC-TV could soon go dark for Cablevision customers in New Jersey.
The member of Disney-ABC Television Group — Channel 7 in New York — said it may pull its programming over an impasse in retransmission fee negotiations with Cablevision Systems.
ABC7 currently offers its programming for free. It said it will give the Bethpage, N.Y. cable operator until March 7 — the same day as its Academy Awards telecast — to start paying for its signal.
If Cablevision fails to meet the deadline, subscribers “may no longer have access to the station,” the network affiliate said in a news release.
ABC said it will begin running on-air messages to alert the 3 million Cablevision customers in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
“Cablevision’s position is that ABC7 is worth little to nothing to its business and its proposed offers have been consistently unreasonable and unrealistic,” Rebecca Campbell, president and general manager of WABC-TV, said in an open letter.
Cablevision countered by saying ABC's demands would amount to $40 million in new fees that would be passed on to subscribers. It urged the network “not to pull the plug” and to work toward a fair agreement.
“It is not fair for ABC-Disney to hold Cablevision customers hostage by forcing them to pay what amounts to a new TV tax,” Charles Schueler, an executive vice president, said in an e-mailed statement.
The dispute follows a recent battle between Cablevision and Scripps Networks Interactive over fees for Food Network and HGTV.
Popular ABC programming includes Lost, Oprah, Grey’s Anatomy, Dancing With the Stars and Good Morning America.
The network affiliate encouraged Cablevision customers to visit saveABC7.com or to call (877) 990-ABC7 for more information.