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October 22, 2014

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Oscars Held Hostage in Another Cablevision Dispute

by Gary Susman, posted Mar 2nd 2010 12:00PM
Some three million cable subscribers in three states may miss Sunday's Oscar telecast on ABC, thanks to a subscriber-fee dispute between New York's WABC-TV (and its parent company, Disney) and Cablevision over fees the broadcast station wants to collect from the cable service provider.

On Monday, New York City's WABC began telling Cablevision customers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that it would pull its signal after midnight Sunday morning if a deal isn't reached by then. Cablevision, in return, issued a statement warning customers that ABC now wants to charge for what it used to give away for free, and that Cablevision customers might have to cough up an extra $40 million a year if ABC gets its way.

The threatened blackout follows two similar episodes earlier this year, including one involving Cablevision, but it probably won't be the last, as broadcast networks and basic cable channels are demanding a bigger share of cable subscription fees.

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