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Cablevision viewers may miss Oscars

After two years without a deal, ABC is threatening to yank its Oscars telecast on the nation’s most-watched TV station if a cable provider doesn’t pay up.

ABC’s New York affiliate, WABC-TV is in a dispute with Cablevision over retransmission fees. The cable operator and network have been without a deal for two years. ABC has been granting the network extensions on a month-by-month basis since that time.

“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,” said Rebecca S. Campbell, president of  WABC. “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.”

ABC is going to be proactive and run on-air messages and advertisements  alerting local Cablevision subscribers in Long Island, Westchester, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and selected suburbs of Connecticut and New Jersey that they may no longer have access to the station beginning March 7 which is the same date as ABC’s Academy Awards telecast.

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