ABC, Cablevision Reach Agreement; Oscars Air in NY

The two feuding companies came to an agreement shortly after the Oscars began

Last Updated: March 8, 2010 @ 9:10 AM

Here’s the latest in the escalating feud between ABC and Cablevision over retransmission fees.

>> UPDATE 8:47PM ET: The Oscars are back on Cablevision.

Here’s the from WABC: "ABC7 and Cablevision have made significant progress and have reached an agreement in principle that recognizes the fair value of ABC7, with deal points that we expect to finalize with Cablevision. Given this movement, we’re pleased to announce that ABC7 will return to Cablevision households while we work to complete our negotiations."

And one from Charles Schueler, Cablevision’s EVP of communications:

“We are happy to report that WABC Channel 7 has returned to Cablevision’s 3 million New York area homes. We are very grateful to our customers for their support and pleased to welcome ABC back.”

>> UPDATE 10:19 PM ET: Senator John Kerry, who had been pressuring both sides to come to an agreement:

“I’m pleased to see that common sense has been restored in these negotiations and that Disney and Cablevision have agreed not to make consumers the victims. Moving forward, however, we must assess the roots of these broadcast disputes and ensure that the rules of the road promote resolution rather than public conflict that strips consumers of the services the rely on. I will continue to fight to ensure the interests of consumers trump narrow interests.”

Previous updates:

>> Disney pulled ABC in New York early Sunday, affecting about 3.1 million Cablevision subscribers.

>> WABC president and general manager Rebecca Campbell issued this statement on Sunday afternoon: "We have sent Cablevision a new proposal, and are awaiting their response.  If Cablevision is serious about doing right by their customers and returning ABC7 and its programming to them, then they need to act now.  The ball is in their court."

>> Cablevision countered, asking ABC to agree to binding arbitration; an ABC told Brian Stelter it is unlikely to do so, noting that Fox did not agree to arbitration in its dispute with Time Warner Cable, yet the sides were able to resolve the dispute.

>> The FCC says it is talking with both sides: “The FCC is in contact with representatives of both companies and is monitoring the situation closely. Consumers should not suffer due to the inability of these two companies to successfully negotiate a deal.  We urge both parties to quickly reach a resolution for the benefit of viewers."

>>
 Senator John Kerry is urging both sides to agree to arbitration.

>> Via Roger Ebert, here are 10 ways to watch the Oscars online for free.

>> Meanwhile, via Mediaite, Cablevision is offering subscribers on-demand movies at no charge, including best picture nominees "The Hurt Locker" and "District 9."

>> Both WABC and Cablevision have set up dedicated Twitter feeds (@SaveABC7 and @No_ABC_Tax) to update viewers about the feud. And, of course, to disseminate opponent-bashing propaganda.

>> Paula Froelich, former deputy editor of the New York Post’s Page Six, is live-tweeting the Oscars for Cablevision.

>>
 Note to Oscars viewers in New York: If they don’t settle this by 7:00 p.m., here are some alternative offline places to watch the Academy Awards.

Refresh this page for updates throughout the day.