WABC-TV back on for Cablevision customers

NEW YORK - (AP) - WABC-TV's signal was switched back on forCablevision's 3.1 million subscribers in New York, New Jersey andConnecticut shortly after the Academy Awards telecast got under waySunday night.

Cablevision Systems Corp. spokesman Charles Schueler said a dealhad been reached in a dispute over millions of dollars in fees thathad led ABC's parent company, the Walt Disney Co., to pull itsprogramming from the cable operator's subscribers at midnightSaturday. The move imperiled viewers' access to the highly ratedOscar show broadcast.

"It is a deal that is fair to our customers and in line withour other programming agreements," Schueler said in a phoneinterview. He declined to disclose the details of the deal.

"We are very grateful to our customers for their support andpleased to welcome ABC back," he added.

The signal was switched on at 8:43 p.m. Sunday, Cablevisionsaid. The awards show began at 8:30 p.m.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger was seen in the Oscar audience,about a minute after Cablevision announced it had reached a deal toget the telecast on the air.

A spokeswoman for ABC did not immediately respond to phone ore-mail messages.

The cable operator's subscribers had been scrambling to hook upantennas or find live TV on the Internet to watch the AcademyAwards after the signal was switched off.

The companies had been bickering about how much Disney was paidby Cablevision for the right to transmit the ABC signal to cablesubscribers.

Cablevision is the parent company of News 12.

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