Shame on you, Disney

Today's customer service commentary comes to you courtesy of Disney, owners of the ABC television network. Disney and Cablevision (metropolitan New York cable TV provider) have been unable to come to an agreement over Cablevision's retransmission of WABC programming. At midnight this morning, Disney pulled the plug, leaving 3 million households without one of the country's major TV networks. The timing was clearly intended to tick people off, as it took place the day of the Academy Awards. This is Mickey Mouse politics at its best, figuratively and literally.

Disney, SHAME ON YOU. Capitalism is one thing, but outright, bald greed is ugly and unbecoming. You have cut off your nose to spite your face. You are jeopardizing ad revenue because advertisers are no longer reaching a large segment of one of your largest markets. You have decided to charge for something that you're giving away for free on the broadcast airwaves, and you have the gall to demand this money from Cablevision for extending the reach of your signals and bringing you viewers that had been happy before today. You have calculated the timing of your decision to deprive your viewers of a much-enjoyed and highly rated event, and in so doing you are using your viewers as pawns. You have so lost touch with the world that you fail to recognize that, without your viewers, your precious broadcasts mean nothing.

Now, I'm not a Cablevision subscriber, and I don't even live in the market that's suffering from this decision. If I'm writing about this, what are the people most affected by this greed thinking? For my part, I'd like to see the FCC step in and end this nonsense, as would at least one of New York's congresspeople. And down the road, maybe I'll make a conscious decision to avoid Disney's entertainment: there's plenty else going on in the world.