As of midday Saturday there was no word of a retransmission consent settlement. So, WABC-TV New York was counting down the minutes on its saveABC7.com website to being pulled off Cablevision’s systems at midnight.
The latest statement from Cablevision tried to put the blame for the impasse on the CEO of WABC’s parent company, Disney.
“There is one man who is going to decide whether New York gets to see the Oscars, and that’s Disney President and CEO Bob Iger. Cablevision already pays Disney more than $200 million a year and now they are demanding $40 million more. We call on Bob Iger to stop holding his own viewers hostage, end his threats to pull the plug on ABC at midnight and instead work with us to reach a fair agreement. The switch is in Bob Iger’s hands,” said the statement from Charles Schueler, Cablevision’s Executive Vice President of Communications.
“It’s an insult to Cablevision customers that, with literally hours to go before losing access to ABC7, Cablevision is personally attacking Disney executives. Does Cablevision have such little regard for its subscribers’ intelligence to think that they don’t know a negotiation takes two parties? The inconvenient truth is that ABC7 has been prepared to reach a fair agreement for two years and Cablevision has refused to do its part. If Cablevision CEO James Dolan and the Dolan Family Dynasty have any regard at all for the millions of customers who pay hard earned dollars for their service, they will order their troops to stop slinging mud and start cutting a deal,” fired back WABC President and General Manager Rebecca Campbell.
See the previous stories on RBR-TVBR.