In the movie Network, Peter Finch shouted the famous line to the world, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Well, that’s the way I’m feeling about the current Cablevision and ABC brouhaha. Seems ABC wants Cablevision (of which I’m a customer) to pony up millions more for the right to have the network on its cable lineup. Each side is engaged in a war of words that’s being battled through the media, online and via lots of advertising. Both ABC and Cablevision are trying to win the hearts and minds of us customers, but there’s one problem: this thing is getting old—we just got back the Food Channel and HGTV after a similar dust-up (the thought of losing Diners, Drive-ins and Dives forever DID weigh heavily on my mind). My question is, why spend so much on PR and advertising trying to reach an audience that is most likely sick and tired of hearing about it? It makes both parties look bad. ABC: I haven’t watched a show on your network since Thirtysomething. Cablevision: Many people pay over $150 per month for your services. Whatever happens with ABC, the rates will go up regardless—so stop playing the victim. There, I feel better.
—Scott Van Camp