In the Dark

ABC Goes Black on Cablevision

You might want to rethink your Oscar party plans. Just after midnight in the middle of a repeat episode of Lost, ABC went dark for Cablevision customers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut after the Walt Disney Company and cable provider failed to reach a deal over a new contract. A white screen appeared with the message, “Cablevision has betrayed you again. First HGTV and Food Network, now you lost ABC-7. Enough is enough! Go to saveABC7.com to switch your service now.” ABC-7 and Cablevision have been in negotiations for two years to no avail. Cablevision says Disney wants to raise its retransmission fees by an additional $40 million a year above the $200 million a year, while Disney says Cablevision charges $18 per month for its basic package but doesn’t share any of its profits with the program provider. ABC-7 currently remains black, leaving film fans scrambling to find a place to watch tonight’s awards show.