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'Millionaire' is TV pawn

A fight between two media giants has deprived millions of Americans of their favourite television show.

Since Monday morning, cable television customers have been unable to watch Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and other programmes on the Disney-owned ABC network because of a contract dispute with its corporate arch-enemy Time Warner over cable distribution systems.

"It's tough," travel agent Sandy Miereanu complained vociferously to the Los Angeles Daily News. "The consumer is being left in the lurch."

Well, not quite. ABC is a network station, and viewers always have the option of unhooking their cable service and plugging their television into an antenna. But for many Americans the very idea of working so hard seems appalling.