New York State bans digital floating billboards that frequent Hudson, East rivers

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Say goodbye to those flashy floating billboards that frequent the Hudson and East rivers surrounding New York City.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law Tuesday that prohibits vessels from operating, anchoring or mooring in state waters while operating a digital billboard or billboard that uses flashing or moving lights.

The law also gives local governments the ability to decide whether or not these billboard-carrying vessels can operate within 1,500 feet from its shores.

Lawmakers said these "eyesores" belong in Times Square, not the rivers, and can potentially distract drivers, boaters, and pedestrians.

"These floating billboards are a nuisance that blight our shores and distract from the great natural beauty of our waterways," Cuomo said in a statement. "This action will help make our waters more enjoyable and safer for everyone."

Adam Shapiro, CEO of Ballyhoo Media, said he's disappointed in the governor but undeterred.

"Our legal team believes the changes to the Navigation Law does not prohibit us from operating in state waters. Instead, it has only offered more clarity on what we can and cannot display with our new platform. As such, Ballyhoo intends to continue providing an innovative platform that encourages creativity, collaboration and community" he said in a statement.

Ballyhoo Media describes itself as a "water-based multi-media company" and owns a fleet of digital advertising boats.

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