Latest on WABC-Cablevision retrans dispute


About 15 hours after her station was removed from Cablevision systems, WABC-TV Vice President and General Manager Rebecca Campbell issued this statement:

“We have sent Cablevision a new proposal, and are awaiting their response. If Cablevision is serious about doing right by their customers and returning ABC7 and its programming to them, then they need to act now. The ball is in their court,” she said.

Minutes later Cablevision issued a new statement – not responding to the WABC offer, but rather calling for binding arbitration. The MSO says that was suggested Sunday by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA).

Cablevision said it would agree to binding arbitration with ABC Disney in order to immediately return the ABC Network to Cablevision customers. More than three million households have been without ABC flagship WABC-TV since midnight Saturday.

“We remain deeply disappointed that ABC Disney has put their own financial interests above their viewers and pulled the plug on ABC. Given the extraordinary public interest in this matter, Senator Kerry and other public officials have suggested that arbitration is appropriate in this highly unusual situation. Thus, Cablevision will agree to binding arbitration and calls upon Disney CEO Bob Iger to immediately return ABC to New York area viewers, and join us in binding arbitration to resolve this matter fairly. We have communicated our position to the highest levels of the FCC and urged the agency to appropriately involve itself in this process,” said Charles Schueler, Cablevision’s Executive Vice President of Communications.