Cablevision Vs. Abc Who Won?
Neither side is providing details of the deal over retransmission-consent rights that put Disney/ABC-owned WABC-TV back on the New York area Cablevision system Sunday night shortly after the Oscar telecast began, but Moody's Investors Service said Monday that Cablevision was the likely victor. Disney and ABC "presumably ceded more ground than it would have liked," Moody's said in its report. "If not, Cablevision's track record suggests that a blackout of the ABC TV station programing would have almost certainly ensued." Indeed, the station had been blacked out on Cablevision for more than 20 hours as the two sides played a determined game of chicken. According to Daily Variety , which cited unnamed insiders, the deal calls for WABC-TV to receive 35-40 cents per subscriber each month, rising to 60-65 cents by the end of the three- to four-year deal. Disney had reportedly been demanding $1.00 per subscriber. But although Cablevision won in the short run, Moody's forecast that the stand-off was likely to cost the cable company subscribers in the long run as they grow tired of blackouts and switch to satellite and phone companies. In the end, the ratings service concluded, the network stations are likely to prevail "mainly because they have some of the most popular programing content that the cable and other pay TV companies need in order to keep subscribers and stay competitive." In an interview with the Associated Press, Robin Flynn, an analyst at SNL Kagan, said, "There's a lot of money at stake. ... There are a lot more fights coming up."