DirecTV Threatens to Pull ABC Family


DirecTV Inc. began placing a crawl on ABC Family Thursday alerting viewers
that the network would no longer be available if a new carriage agreement is not
reached by March 31.

DirecTV senior vice president of programming acquisitions Michael Thornton
said the network is asking for a 35 percent increase in rates for a programming
that has not improved significantly enough to justify the cost.

"We have to find ways to control our [programming] costs," he added.

In a prepared response, a Disney spokesman said it was "surprised and
disappointed" that DirecTV has chosen to "threaten" viewers with the loss of ABC
Family at this early stage of negotiations, adding that ABC Family brings value
to viewers and has grown in viewership and value.

Thornton and the Disney spokesman said talks are