Cable company Cablevision forged a deal with New York City's ABC affiliate just in time for millions of viewers to catch the 82nd Academy Awards Sunday.
Earlier in the day, Cablevision Systems Corp. briefly dropped ABC7, filling many of the city's 3.1 million Cablevision subscribers with concern that they might miss the ceremony. They would have needed a digital tuner or an analog antenna and digital converter box to watch.
Shortly after the Oscars ceremony got under way, a scroll across the bottom of the screen announced that Cablevision would resume carrying the station while negotiations between the companies continued. The station's statement said:
"ABC7 and Cablevision have made significant progress and have reached an agreement in principle that recognizes the fair value of ABC7 ... Given this movement, we're pleased to announce that ABC7 will return to Cablevision households while we work to complete our negotiations."
The companies have been fighting over an increase in fees to carry the station. Cablevision says it already pays $200 million in fees to ABC and bristled at forking over another $40 million.