It looks like Cablevision
video customers are going to have a find a different way to watch the Oscars
WABC-TV, which on
March 1 threatened to pull its signal from Cablevision in a
retransmission-consent dispute, sent the station to black at 12:01 a.m. on
March 7, as the parties could not come to terms.
In addition to the 82nd
annual Academy Awards telecast that is scheduled for March 7 on ABC at 8:30
p.m., Cablevision subscribers will miss the alphabet network's afternoon
coverage of the Los Angeles Lakers-Orlando Magic, in a rematch of last year's
National Basketball Association final.
Ironically, WABC-TV was airing
an episode of Lost, entitled
"Three Minutes," when the station went dark for Cablevision
Cablevision, the predominant
cable operator in metro New York with some 3.1 million video subscribers,
claims that WABC-TV has been seeking $40 million annually for its signal,
amounting to a monthly license fee of about $1 per subscriber. The cable
operator said it already pays WABC-TV parent The Walt Disney Co. $200 million
annually for carriage of such cable networks as ESPN and Disney Channel, and that
forking over fees for the over-the-air station would constitute a TV tax.
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