We've had FOX threaten to pull off Time Warner Cable and HGTV and Food Network threaten, and then actually pull off of Cablevision before finally working out a deal.
Now a local ABC affiliate, New York's WABC-TV is threatening to pull off Cablevision in the New York Metro area effective 12AM Sunday morning. Right before the Oscars. Here's the official statement from WABC-TV GM Rebecca S. Campell:
The following statement was issued this evening by Rebecca S. Campbell, President & General Manager, WABC-TV, regarding the recently announced retransmission dispute with Cablevision:
“With the help of our viewers, we’ve built ABC7 into the most watched station in the country, and have been trying for two years to get Cablevision to acknowledge the station’s value to their business. Despite our best efforts, it has now become clear that Cablevision has no intention of coming to a fair agreement. We can no longer sit back and allow Cablevision to use our shows for free while they continue to charge their customers for them. We’ve worked too hard and invested too many millions of dollars in programming and community outreach, to be taken advantage of any longer – especially since our viewers can watch their favorite ABC7 shows free, over-the-air, or by switching to one of Cablevision’s competitors.”
Viewers can visit www.saveABC7.com, or call 877-990-ABC7, for more information.
Update: Here's Cablevision's side in the war of the words:
- ABC Disney is threatening to pull the plug on WABC unless Cablevision and its customers agree to pay millions of dollars in new fees. Cablevision has asked Disney to continue delivering WABC , but instead Disney is holding Cablevision customers hostage by threatening to pull its programming.
- Cablevision already pays Disney more than $200 million per year to carry its channels; now Disney wants a 20 percent fee increase for exactly the same programming.
- In these difficult and challenging economic times, it is not fair for ABC to force Cablevision and its customers to pay what amounts to a new TV tax, for the same programming that is available today for free over the air and on the Internet.
- It is wrong for ABC to demand $40 million in new fees to help pay the salaries and bonuses for top Disney executives.
- Cablevision has tried in good faith to reach a fair agreement with ABC Disney, including top Cablevision executives travelinig to Disney offices in California earlier this month and lengthy face-to-face meetings this week in Bethpage and New York. We have made numerous proposals, all of which have been rejected. We have asked Disney to continue to make its programming available to our customers while we continue to negotiate.