Cablevision restored WABC to its lineup March 7, about 30 minutes
into ABC's telecast of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.
ABC used a
screen crawl to announce that ABC had reached an agreement "in
principle" with Cablevision. The agreement facilitated the restoration
of the ABC O&O WABC/Channel 7 to 3.1 million subscribers in suburban
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The screen crawl came
during Christoph Waltz's acceptance speech for supporting actor. As the
crawl appeared a second time, the camera cut away to Disney-ABC CEO Bob
In a statement, Cablevision did not say the
circumstances, only that the station was back on the system after ABC
had made a new offer Sunday.
WABC GM Rebecca Campbell said:
"We've made significant progress, and have reached an agreement in
principle that recognizes the fair value of ABC7, with deal points that
we expect to finalize with Cablevision. Given this movement, we're
pleased to announce that ABC7 will return to Cablevision households
while we work to complete our negotiations."
Cablevision's executive vice president of communications, said: "We are
happy to report that WABC Channel 7 has returned to Cablevision's 3
million New York area homes," said Charles Schueler, Cablevision EVP.
"We are very grateful to our customers for their support and pleased to
welcome ABC back."
Various legislators and the FCC had urged the
two sides to resolve the dispute and return WABC to the air in time for
the Oscars Sunday night.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who had been
the most high-profile legislators pushing the two sides for a deal, or
the FCC to intervene absent one, gave the reconciliation his blessing.
"I'm pleased to see that common sense
has been restored in these negotiations and that Disney and Cablevision
have agreed not to make consumers the victims," said Kerry in a
statement late Sunday. But he suggested a larger disconnect
"Moving forward, we must assess the
roots of these broadcast disputes and ensure that the rules of the road
promote resolution rather than public conflict that strips consumers of
the services they rely on," he said. "I will
continue to fight to ensure the interests of consumers trump narrow
With Marisa Guthrie