Just Labradors banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,573 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...

Thousands of television viewers in North Texas could lose access to Dallas Cowboys games, American Idol and Family Guy by New Year's Day if two media giants don't resolve a fee fight.

The nation's second-largest cable provider, Time Warner Cable, is wrestling over contracts to air programs owned by Fox parent News Corp. that expire at midnight Thursday. They're expected to negotiate through the wee hours of the holiday.

Time Warner Cable said its North Texas customers could lose local Fox stations and national network broadcasts. Nine channels could be affected: KDFW (Channel 4), FX, Fox Atlantic, Fox Reality, Fox Soccer, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports en Español, Fuel and Speed.

Fox News, Fox Business and Fox Movies are safe.

Sports programming is most immediately in peril for Time Warner Cable customers. In addition to missing the Cowboys' regular season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, their ability to watch the Cotton Bowl played at Cowboys Stadium and the Fiesta Bowl match-up between TCU and Boise State would be jeopardized the first week after the contract expires.

TV network and cable operators often fight over so-called retransmission deals, but cash fees to air broadcast TV arose as an issue this year.

Cable companies say higher renewal fees lead to increased consumer rates. TV networks – all of the top networks in addition to Fox – say they want to be compensated fairly for their programming, which is more expensive to create.

A lot of money is at stake. Cable TV is a $60 billion industry.

The battle to win public opinion is heating up. Monday's edition of The Dallas Morning News featured full-page ads from both Time Warner Cable and Fox, with each urging consumers to support their side. The companies also have warring Web sites – www.rolloverorgettough .com and keepfoxon.com – where consumers can read about the issue and vote for what they think should be done.

"Where we stand now on what we're willing to pay and what they're asking for are very different," said Gary Underwood, a spokesman for Time Warner Cable North Texas. "What they're asking for is unreasonable and excessive."

Negotiations are ongoing, and Underwood thinks there's plenty of time to reach an agreement by the deadline.

"We're confident that it won't come down to them [Fox] pulling programming away from our customers," he said.

It's widely believed that Fox would charge cable operators $1 per month per subscriber. Teri Everett, a spokeswoman for News Corp. in New York, declined to confirm that figure.

"For months, Fox has been negotiating in good faith with Time Warner Cable," Everett said. "Our position in these negotiations is entirely reasonable – we are simply asking for fair compensation for the impressive value our Fox programming offers. We will continue to actively negotiate with Time Warner Cable in hopes of reaching a fair agreement."

Time Warner Cable has said Fox's new fees could result in higher monthly rates for consumers. Its North Texas cable customers, on average, pay from $17.99 to about $99 a month, depending on the number of channels they receive.

Time Warner Cable's Underwood said it's not fair for cable operators to pay for network TV shows when they're free on Web sites such as Hulu.com, which hosts 1,700 TV hits such as 30 Rock and Lost .

James C. Goss, a media analyst for Barrington Research, said changes in fees are inevitable – it's just a question of when and how much.

"There is some realistic possibility [that Fox channels will be cut], but I would be surprised if it's long-lasting," he said. "This is a very important issue. Everybody is watching this with great interest."

Research firm SNL Kagan expects broadcast stations to reap $424 million in retransmission fees from cable operators in 2019, up from an estimated $315 million in 2009.

Broadcasters are adjusting to a world where they're no longer linked to a cable operator, such as CBS' split from Viacom, and consumers are watching TV in new ways. Networks such as Fox don't want to lose access to a major market like Dallas, Goss said.

On the other hand, cable companies don't want to lose top-rated programming. This year, Fox carried the nation's top two regularly scheduled TV programs (American Idol on two different nights) and three (all football games) of the top 10 one-time programs, according to the Nielsen Co.

Time Warner Cable had a dispute last year with Viacom, owner of MTV and Nickelodeon, that ended with a settlement that kept the networks on the air.

Neither Fox nor Time Warner Cable would reveal the size of its North Texas audience, but Nielsen ranks the area as the nation's fifth-largest TV market, with 2.5 million viewers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
I think this must be a standard way of them doing cable business. Time Warner did this big hoopla thing too last year with a couple of channels including Noggin (now renamed Nick Jr), which is like crack for toddlers. I was all up in arms because that is my sanity with the twins.

They settled on something and we didn't have an interruption in service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,664 Posts
This seems to be the M.O for the cable providers lately. We are seeing ads by TWC about renewal rates and how us lowly subscribers should band together and petition for lower renewal rates that TWC has to pay.

Excuse me? Is this the same TWC that petitions the Public Service Commission to jack our subcriber rates every 6 months. Is this the same cable company who has higer rates for internet access where there is no DSL competion? Is this the same cable company that promises to have a tech at your house between 8am and 5 pm and the tech never shows? Is this the same cable company who won't let their customers ala carte the services they want but instead bundle high price packages which forces the customer to spend more on packages they don't need?

I have TWC because my wife likes high speed internet and TV. Personally I can live without both. I'm not a big web surfer and could get by on my aircard and free WiFi spots. Television programming doesn't do anything for me I have a library just down the street and I'd rather read.

Any way I've watched our cable/int. bills go from ~$30.00 to $147.00 in 10 years. I have the TWC bill at $116.00 right now which is robbery for internet and 230 useless channels
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,573 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Excuse me? Is this the same TWC that petitions the Public Service Commission to jack our subcriber rates every 6 months. Is this the same cable company who has higer rates for internet access where there is no DSL competion? Is this the same cable company that promises to have a tech at your house between 8am and 5 pm and the tech never shows? Is this the same cable company who won't let their customers ala carte the services they want but instead bundle high price packages which forces the customer to spend more on packages they don't need?
I agree.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top