Depending on your personal calendar, the removal of WABC-7's signal from Cablevision in New York is potentially tragic for different reasons but all in all it's a very familiar scene. Fresh off its standoff with Scripps over Food Network and HGTV, Cablevision is rumbling with Disney over the same issue that nearly caused Time Warner customers to miss Fox-broadcasted bowl games around New Years Day (and yes, Senator John Kerry is involved, again) -- will the cable company pay to carry what's available free OTA? With both sides firmly dug in slinging accusations back and forth via screen crawls and press releases (propaganda from both sides embedded after the break) the most interesting wrinkle is Cablevision's suggestion that users just go online and check out primetime programming via ABC.com or Hulu (or grab an antenna for some digital TV love, whatever works.) These things can turn at a moments notice so we'll wait see if the fighting is resolved in time for an afternoon NBA Finals flashback as the Lakers take on the Magic, or for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards at 8:30 p.m. No matter what happens, if things aren't back to normal by Tuesday we'd evacuate the city, a Lostie without their fix is a dangerous thing.
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