The show will go on.
It came down to the wire, but Disney/ABC has restored service of its New York flagship, WABC, to Cablevision customers in New York — 13 minutes after the Oscars began, at 8:43 p.m. — right at the end of the opening monologue.
“We’ve made significant progress, and have reached an agreement in principle that recognizes the fair value of ABC7, with deal points that we expect to finalize with Cablevision,” said WABC prexy/GM Rebecca Campbell. “Given this movement, we’re pleased to announce that ABC7 will return to Cablevision households while we work to complete our negotiations.”
That means the affected 3 million subscribers will now be able to watch the Academy Awards live along with the rest of the country.
“We are happy to report that WABC Channel 7 has returned to Cablevision’s 3 million New York area homes,” said Cablevision communications exec VP Charles Schueler. “We are very grateful to our customers for their support and pleased to welcome ABC back.”
Cablevision and Disney/ABC were mum on deal terms. It’s believed that ABC was asking for around $1 a subscriber, while Cablevision was willing to give only a fraction of that. Splitting the difference, Disney and Cablevision likely agreed to around 65 cents a sub. (That’s close to what the L.A. Times is hearing.)
“It is a deal that is fair to our customers and in line with our other programming agreements,” Schueler said.