TOW 15: Guest Blogger- James Kicklighter

Today, I am featuring James Kicklighter as my guest blogger.

Jame’s blog PR Connection: ABC and Cablevision and the Oscars caught my attention, because as you know from my past blogs, I love when people relate PR to things going on in the world.

Thanks James for being my guest blogger today!

“Just after the stroke of midnight Sunday, 3 million Cablevision viewers in the New York area lost their ABC channel because of an impasse by the cable operator and broadcaster to resolve a feud over transmission fees.

And unless an agreement is reached during the day between Cablevision and Walt Disney, the parent company of ABC, viewers won’t see George Clooney or Sandra Bullock stroll the red carpet at The Oscars. And subscribers will miss out on some of television’s most popular shows such as Lost and Good Morning America.”

from The Washington Post

In the modern era, when 58.6% of television watchers are cable subscribers, broadcast networks are now participants in the cable arena — even if you can get their channels for free over the airwaves.

For most cases, this might not present a problem. But tonight, ABC will air the annual Oscar telecast, the most prestigious film award and one of the more popular telecasts of the year.

The situation between ABC and Cablevision presents a problem for the 3 million Cablevision subscribers in New York City; the station is the largest ABC affiliate in the country.

Suppose for a moment that you’re a movie buff, or even someone that works in the film industry — highly likely living in NYC. Suddenly, you’re going to have to find an antenna if you want to watch the awards ceremony.

For the interim, Disney CEO Bob Iger demands that Cablevision pay $40 million to ABC in subscription fees that are owed. While the companies battle it out, however, they have 3 million consumers who are left out of the conversation.

The “he said” vs. “she said” mentality rules the conversation while programming isn’t avaliable.

I would hate to be the public relations practitioner in this situation, because no matter who I’m representing, it all comes back to the sniping back and forth. There isn’t a dialogue taking place between companies for consumers.

While I can understand both sides of the argument, the conversation they should be having might consider their customers. As they are dealing internally, their external images are being damaged for consumers.


April 18, 2010. PRCA 3030, Topic of the Week.


  1. rcandle2 replied:

    That would SUCK to live in New York and lose those shows! I would hate to miss that awards show, too. It’s sad that these people have to have such an impact on regular society just because they are having a personal fued. It just doesn’t seem fair. And their images are definitely being tarnished.

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