It's only television. In fact, it's only advertising-based "free" over-the-air television. To be fair, though, it is television in New York City so maybe that's why it's getting more attention than if it involved KULR-8 in Billings, Mont.
Former U.S. Presidential candidate and current U.S. Sen. John Kerry waded into the Cablevision Systems-Disney/ABC retransmission fee fracas in New York City, saying that cable subscribers shouldn't lose their local ABC station, the inestimable WABC, while the two sides bicker over how much transmission is worth. The two sides are in a stare-down over about $40 million.
Kerry, who is chairman of the Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet (yes, there apparently really is such a thing) showed he's connected in more ways than politically by firing off an email letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asking him to intervene and "urge the parties to stay at the negotiating table."
For much more:
- see this BusinessWeek article
Cablevision-Disney spat threatens to shut down WABC
Cable-broadcaster fights reflect changing ecosystem
Comcast-NBC and the new era of content control
AT&T joins Cablevision programming assault