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Senator Kerry Weighs in on Cablevision vs. ABC Battle

Senator John Kerry wants all Americans to be able to watch the Oscars on Sunday night.

As Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, he just weighed in on Cablevision and WABC's negotiations that could leave 3.1 million Cablevision customers without ABC's Oscars broadcast on Sunday. In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Kerry urges Genachowski to push both parties to keep WABC on air during negotiations.

Kerry writes: "These are private negotiations, but there's a public interest at stake. Its resolution matters to the consumers who take hard earned money out of their wallets each month to pay their cable bills and shouldn't become collateral damage in wars between executives. I ask you to urge the parties to stay at the negotiating table and continue transmitting ABC programming to Cablevision consumers. I simply do not believe consumers should lose access to a signal over their cable service as long as both parties are negotiating in good faith."

Senator Kerry also weighed in during negotiations between Fox and Time Warner Cable over those retransmission fees. Kerry acknowledges that this is certainly not the last time a battle between cable programmers and operators will put consumers in the middle.

Kerry is asking for a long term solution, writing, "But this game of chicken being played again and again between cable companies and broadcasters with consumers in the crosshairs must come to an end."

We're waiting to see how Cablevision, ABC, and the FCC responds.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.