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WABC Back on Cablevision as Oscars Ceremony Starts

Fifteen minutes into the Academy Award presentation, Cablevision and WABC announced that they've finally made enough progress to put the show on the air.

Cablevision customers missed out on the show's opening number and Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin's opening monologue, but somewhere right before the Best Supporting Actor award presentation the channel popped back on the air.

The station went dark at 12:01 am this morning when the two companies' contract expired.

Cablevision released this statement: "We are happy to report that WABC Channel 7 has returned to Cablevision's 3 million New York area homes. We are very grateful to our customers for their support and pleased to welcome ABC back."

Cablevision will not reveal terms of the deal other than to say that it is in line with their other programming agreements with other broadcasters, and that the deal will not result in a rate increase for their customers.

Meanwhile, WABC-TV said negotiations are progressing well.

"We've made significant progress and have reached an agreement in principle that recognizes the fair value of ABC7, with deal points that we expect to finalize with Cablevision," Rebecca Campbell, President and General Manager of WABC-TV

"Given this movement, we're pleased to announce that ABC7 will return to Cablevision households while we work to complete our negotiations."

The show is sure to draw some big numbers -- it kicked off with a flashy opening number setting up the fact that there are two hosts. The show opened up with all the nominees for best actor and best actress on the stage. The Academy is trying to go mainstream and reach out to all the folks who buy gossip magazines by putting celebs front and center.

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.