A deal has been reached, and ABC is back on in New York City for Cablevision subscribers. As a result, New Yorkers only missed the first 13 minutes of the Oscars (I can inform them they didn’t miss much). Earlier on Sunday, ABC pulled its New York affiliate, WABC-TV from Cablevision in a fight over retransmission fees. Cablevision had been refusing to pay ABC for carriage, saying it was already paying ABC parent company $200 million for other Disney channels, such as ESPN. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. But differing accounts have Cablevision paying anywhere from 27 to 65 cents per customer per month. (Disney had asked for $1.) Writes today’s LA Times:
“Rebecca Campbell, general manager of Disney’s WABC-TV in New York, said in a statement that the agreement “recognizes the fair value” for carriage of the station on Cablevision’s systems, although “deal points” had yet to be finalized.
“Cablevision executive Charles Schueler said the deal was “fair to our customers” and “in line with our other programming agreements.”
So who’s the winner? You’d have to give this one to Disney, whose gambit left viewers in the cold but earned the company some big added revenue.