Three million Cablevision customers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut could soon be without ABC's Channel 7, thanks to a messy financial dispute between Cablevision and the Disney-ABC Television Group over retransmission fees. Currently, ABC7 is reportedly offered for free, however the affiliate has asked Cablevision to start paying for their signal, a request which Cablevision has reportedly balked at. ABC has given Cablevision until March 7 to reach a deal, or it is set to pull its signal on March 8.
"Year after year, ABC7 is the most watched station in New York—and the country. Unfortunately, as of March 7, ABC7 may no longer be carried on Cablevision systems in Long Island, Westchester, Brooklyn, the Bronx and selected suburbs of Connecticut and New Jersey," said Rebecca Campbell, president and general manager of ABC7 in a press release. "For the past two years ABC7 has tried, without success, to reach an agreement with Cablevision to carry ABC7. Why? Because Cablevision’s position is that ABC7 is worth little to nothing to its business and its proposed offers have been consistently unreasonable and unrealistic. And that’s a shame. "
What's at stake is Cablevision viewers' ability to watch such popular series as Desperate Housewives, Dancing With The Stars, Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, and of course, the ABC Daytime lineup.
"ABC7 delivers some of the most popular programming carried on Cablevision today, shows like General Hospital, All My Children, One Life to Live, The View, Regis and Kelly, Oprah, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Dancing with the Stars, and so much more. We think these shows are valuable, and Cablevision’s bills show that they agree, since their customers already pay for ABC7 as part of the Broadcast Basic Tier, a service for which customers pay as much as $18 each month. What the bill doesn’t who is how much Cablevision pays ABC7 for these programs—nothing! That’s right, they charge customers for ABC7 then keep all the money," said Campbell.
Campbell went on to state ABC7 will keep trying to reach a deal with Cablevision prior to the deadline.
"ABC7 will continue to work with Cablevision to reach a fair agreement, but regardless of the outcome, ABC7 is available to those areas in New York through a variety of other providers as well as free, over the air."
For those Daytime Confidential.com readers in the New York area who want to let their opinions on the matter be heard, Campbell encourages you to visit www.saveABC7.com.