No deal was worked out by midnight on the east coast and Disney has pulled WABC-TV from Cablevision.
Here’s the latest in the war of the words from ABC (updated to include Cablevision statement below):
Statement from Rebecca Campbell, President and General Manager, WABC-TV, regarding Cablevision’s loss of ABC7:
“Cablevision has once again betrayed its subscribers by losing ABC7, the most popular station in the tri-state area. This follows two years of negotiations, during which we worked diligently, up to the final moments, to reach an agreement. Cablevision pocketed almost $8 billion last year, and now customers aren’t getting what they pay for…again. It’s time for Jim Dolan and the Dolan Family Dynasty to finally step up, be fair, and do what’s right for our viewers.”
Cablevision customers can call 1-877-990-ABC7 or visit www.saveABC7.com for information on how to switch service providers or receive ABC7’s signal free, over-the-air.
WABC-TV, Channel 7, the most watched local television station in the United States, serves more than 7.4 million television households in 29 counties covering New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. For more than 60 years, ABC7 has consistently been the leader in local news and local and national entertainment programming.
Update: Here’s the statement from Cablevision:
CABLEVISION STATEMENT ON ABC DISNEY PULLING WABC FROM CABLEVISION CUSTOMERS
Urges Disney President and CEO Bob Iger to Return ABC to Cablevision Customers and Work to Reach a Fair Agreement
BETHPAGE, NY, March 7, 2010 – Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) today issued the following statement after ABC Disney pulled WABC from Cablevision customers, calling on Disney CEO Bob Iger to return WABC immediately while the negotiations continue. Cablevision pays ABC Disney $200 million for programming, more than any other company, and ABC Disney is demanding $40 million more in new fees for the same channels.
Charles Schueler, Cablevision’s executive vice president of communications, said:
“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.”
Cablevision customers should urge ABC Disney to put the WABC programming back on Cablevision by calling 1-877-NO-TV-TAX, visiting http://www.cablevision.com/abc or joining its Facebook group “Cablevision Viewers Say: No New Fees, ABC!”
Cablevision Systems Corporation is one of the nation’s leading telecommunications, media and entertainment companies. In addition to its Optimum-branded cable, Internet, and voice offerings, the company owns and operates News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity and Newsday Media Group. Cablevision’s assets also include Rainbow Media Holdings LLC and its programming and entertainment businesses, AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC Entertainment, as well as Clearview Cinemas. Additional information about Cablevision is available on the Web at www.cablevision.com.