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  The plug was been pulled.
  Literally.
   In a move that could imperil one of the premiere "event" telecasts of the broadcast year for millions of viewers on Long Island and the Tri-state area, Disney last night yanked WABC/7 off of Cablevision.  Anyone who was watching last night at around 11:59 – a repeat of “Lost” by the way – suddenly saw a crawl on the screen.
  “Enough is enough! Cablevision has betrayed you again…”   A screen then appeared, basically repeating the same message. Then, cue to black.
    Both companies immediately issued statements at 12:03, repeating much of what they've said in recent days. Per Cablevision,
   “It is now painfully clear to millions of New York area households that Disney CEO Bob Iger will hold his own ABC viewers hostage in order to extract $40 million in new fees from Cablevision," while ABC noted that “Cablevision has once again betrayed its subscribers...This follows two years of negotiations, during which we worked diligently, up to the final moments, to reach an agreement. "
    Whether last night's dramatic blackout of the largest TV station in the country is an escalation of the brinkmanship between both companies that could be resolved by 8 p.m. tonight when the Oscars telecast begins, or is the beginning of a prolonged standoff was unclear. The closest parallel to a meltdown in retransmission negotiations between major media companies occurred at the outset of May sweeps in 2000, when Time Warner dumped WABC/7 off its systems in seven cities around the U.S., including Los Angeles and New York. Some 3.5 million homes were affected. The signal was restored 39 hours later, or just before the Federal Communications Commission was expected to rule in favor of a Disney petition to restore the signal during the most important month of the year.
  Disney and Cablevision have also been buffeted by political forces to resolve the dispute. A spokeswoman to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski acknowledged last week that he had received "many" letters from state and Senate officials, including John Kerry (D/Mass.) who had asked Genachoski to resolve the dispute. But it's unclear whether FCC jurisdiction extends to so-called retransmission disputes, while most (and there have been a handful of similarly bitter disputes around the country) are eventually resolved by the companies themselves.
  As most viewers of local TV now know, Disney claims Cablevision owes it for use of WABC/7 while Cablevision claims it pays Disney over $200 million a year for use of its various networks, from ESPN, to the ABC Family Channel, and is balking at the $40 million surcharge Disney is seeking.