ABC, Cablevision fight over new fees

MUMBAI: ABC has warned Cablevision subscribers that the network‘s signal could go off after midnight Saturday if a dispute over how much it‘s paid by the cable operator is not resolved by then.

If the fight isn‘t resolved, Cablevision‘s 3.1 million customers could miss the Academy Awards scheduled to be telecast on ABC on Sunday. The signal, however, can still be pulled from the air for free with an antenna and a new TV or digital converter box.
Walt Disney, ABC‘s parent company, is seeking an additional $40 million a year in new fees. Cablevision pays more than $200 million a year to Disney.

"It is not fair for ABC Disney to hold Cablevision customers hostage by forcing them to pay what amounts to a new TV tax," a spokesperson said. 
The dispute is akin to the standoff at the end of last year between News Corp. and Time Warner Cable over how much Fox television station signals were worth. The fight that threatened the college-football bowl season and new episodes of The Simpsons was resolved without a signal interruption.
ABC‘s previous contract with Cablevision expired more than two years ago, but the companies extended it month-by-month as talks continued.

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