I was chatting with Walt earlier today and told him that a dispute between ABC and my local cable provider (Cablevison) has caused ABC to cut the feed as of midnight this morning. According to ABC it is Cablevisions fault, and (you guessed it) Cablevision, it is all ABC’s fault.
The Disney Co., which owns the ABC network, cut off service to the city’s 3.1 million Cablevision customers after the two sides failed to reach a deal.
ABC officials acted on their threat to pull the channel unless Cablevision agreed to pay a rights fee to offer the top-rated station to its subscribers.
“Cablevision has once again betrayed its subscribers by losing ABC7, the most popular station in the tri-state area,” Channel 7 president Rebecca Campbell said in a statement.
Cablevision blamed the stall in negotiations on Disney CEO Bob Iger.
What this mostly means to ABC customers, is that they won’t get to watch the Oscars tonight. Fortunately, I live in CT, and we have a local ABC Affiliate (WTNH in New Haven), and can still access the feed through them.
Needless to say, this is (obviously) a short-term fix, and, well, something is going to have to be done.
Personally, I’m a little suspect, as since ABC is still essentially a “broadcast” channel, the Federal Government has decreed that the broadcast belongs to the public and should be free, so how can ABC pull the feed. An interesting question since the FCC doesn’t control cable programming.
The $40 million that ABC is asking for from cablevision is actually rather interesting given as how its parent company (Disney), is renown for being the living embodiment of it’s tightwad character, Scrooge McDuck.