Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) today announced that it has begun to notify customers of threats by ABC Disney to pull WABC (Channel 7) off Cablevision at midnight on Saturday, March 6. Charles Schueler, Cablevision’s executive vice president of communications, issued the following statement on ABC Disney:
“We pay more than $200 million a year to ABC Disney for their programming and now they say they will pull the plug unless Cablevision pays $40 million more in new fees for the exact same channels. It is not fair to force Cablevision customers to pay a new TV tax for programming ABC Disney gives away free, both over-the-air and on the Internet. In tough economic times, it is shameful that ABC Disney would hold viewers hostage by threatening to pull the plug, and we urge them to work with us to reach a fair agreement.”
Cablevision is employing a variety of direct-to-consumer tactics to alert customers to ABC Disney’s threats to pull WABC off its system, including outgoing phone messages on its customer service lines, on-air guide channel banners and television messages. Cablevision customers should urge ABC Disney not to pull their programming by calling 1-877-NO-TV-TAX, visiting http://www.cablevision.com/abc or joining its Facebook group “Cablevision Viewers Say: No New Fees, ABC!”.
Cablevision Systems Corporation is one of the nation’s leading telecommunications, media and entertainment companies. In addition to its Optimum-branded cable, Internet, and voice offerings, the company owns and operates News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity and Newsday Media Group. Cablevision’s assets also include Rainbow Media Holdings LLC and its programming and entertainment businesses, AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC Entertainment, as well as Clearview Cinemas. Additional information about Cablevision is available on the Web at www.cablevision.com.