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Thread: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

  1. #1
    So Long Uncle Joe BoydsOfSummer's Avatar
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    Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    Just had a scroll go across the bottom of my screen saying TW was dropping 18 channels including Comedy Channel, TV Land, Nickelodeon, Spike and several more. It gave a number to call to stop it from happening. Anyone know anything more about this? Comedy and TV Land are a couple of my faves and that would suck.

    Wow, I didn't know the MLB Network was gonna blow everything else up!
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    So Long Uncle Joe BoydsOfSummer's Avatar
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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    Found this on their site.http://www.timewarnercable.com/cinci..._notices2.html



    Time Warner Cable’s agreements with programmers and broadcasters to carry their services and stations routinely expire from time to time. We are usually able to obtain renewals or extensions of such agreements, but in order to comply with applicable regulations, we must inform you when an agreement is about to expire. The following agreements are due to expire soon, and we may be required to cease carriage of one or more of these services/stations in the near future.

    Inspirational Life, WKOI, Election '08 on Demand; CMT, Comedy Central, Comedy Central On Demand, DIY On Demand, E!, Fine Living On Demand, Food Network on Demand, HGTV On Demand, Logo, MTV, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV2, Nick Toons, Nickelodeon, Nick Too, Noggin, Palladia, Spike TV, Style, The N, TV Land, VH-1, VH-1 Classic, E!, Shop NBC, Weather Channel, WKOI, WCMH, WKRC, CW, Weather Plus, Interactive Customer Care Channel 1501


    In addition, from time to time we make certain changes in the services that we offer in order to better serve our customers. The following changes are planned:

    On December 11, C-Span 2 move to digital access, CNN Headline move to basic, HSN remains on basic, moves to channel 9 (Cincinnati only), Shop NBC remains on basic, moves to channel 22 (Oxford only); Oxygen remains on standard, moves to channel 71 (WPAFB only). Add My Life on Demand. In Dayton, the following duplicated free on demand channels will be dropped from the following channel numbers: 174, 179, 181, 187 and 194.


    The new services listed below cannot be accessed on CableCARD-equipped Unidirectional Digital Cable Products purchased at retail without additional, two-way capable equipment:

    Adds on Dec 30: Science Channel HD, Animal Planet HD, ESPN News HD, Golf Channel HD, Sprout, MLB Network.


    Finally, we are currently involved in discussions regarding the services and/or stations listed below. While we cannot guarantee that we will reach agreement with the relevant programmers and/or broadcasters, we are listing these services/stations here in the event that we are able to start carrying them in the future:

    USA HD, Sci-Fi HD, Science Channel HD, Animal Planet HD, ESPN News HD, Golf Channel HD, Sprout, MLB Network. My Life on Demand.
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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    Here's the AP Story from Yahoo:

    Viacom vs. Timewarner

    'Colbert,' 'SpongeBob' may go dark on Time Warner


    LOS ANGELES "SpongeBob SquarePants" may be getting squeezed off of Time Warner Cable.

    Media giant Viacom Inc. said its Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and 16 other channels will go dark on Time Warner Cable Inc. at 12:01 a.m. Thursday if a new carriage fee deal is not agreed upon by then.

    The impasse over carriage fee hikes would mean "SpongeBob" and other shows like "The Daily Show" will be cut off to 13 million subscribers, said spokesman Alex Dudley, a vice president at Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable operator.

    Viacom has asked for fee increases of between 22 percent and 36 percent per channel, an amount that could increase customers' cable bills, Dudley said. Viacom spokeswoman Kelly McAndrew said the requested increase was in the very low double-digit percentage range.

    "The issue is that they have asked for an exorbitant increase in their carriage fees and their network ratings are sagging," he said. "Basically we're trying to hold the line for our customer."

    Viacom said the increases would cost an extra 23 cents a month per subscriber which works out to $35.9 million more in total. It said that Americans spend a fifth of their TV time watching Viacom shows but its fees make up less than 2.5 percent of the Time Warner cable bill.

    "We make this request because Time Warner Cable has so greatly undervalued our channels for so long," it said.

    "Ultimately, however, if Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and the rest of our programming is discontinued over less than a penny per day we believe viewers will see this behavior by their cable company as outrageous," it said.

    Tense negotiations are continuing at the highest level, Dudley said.

    Viacom accused Time Warner Cable of not negotiating.

    "It is our sincere hope that they will come to the table and negotiate a deal," said McAndrew. The network operator also intends to tell viewers about the dispute in TV ads in 11 major markets.

    Part of the disagreement is that most of the popular shows are rerun on Web sites where Viacom collects advertising revenue that it does not share with Time Warner, Dudley said.

    "We don't think that's fair," he said. "They're trying to have their cake and eat it too online, where anybody can get it for free."

    Viacom has staked much of its revenue-growth prospects on its ability to extract higher carriage rates out of its cable and satellite affiliates despite an ad slowdown and weak ratings.

    In the third quarter, media network revenue, which accounts for about two-thirds of the total, grew 6 percent to $2.1 billion, despite global ad revenue falling 2 percent, largely because of double-digit percentage growth in affiliate fees and the success of its "Rock Band" video game.

    Viacom shares rose 69 cents, or 3.7 percent, to close at $19.26 on Tuesday, while Time Warner Cable shares added $1.56, or 7.7 percent, to $21.76.

    The channels that would be affected are: Comedy Central, CMT: Pure Country, Logo, Palladia, MTV, MTV 2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV Tr3s, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Nick 2, Nicktoons, Spike, The N, TV Land, VH1, VH1 Classic, and VH1 Soul.
    Honestly, as much as I might dislike Time Warner, I'm on their side this time. i know this happened a few years back with the Dish Network people. Viacom was strong arming them into higher fees for their programming and Dish Network balked. I think at the time, they wanted to raise their rates a whopping 40%.

    All the MTV and VH1 channels have become a breeding ground for terrible programming. Regurgitated content on every channel. Rock of Love 6, I Love New York 12, Real World vs. Road Rules: Space Station, etc. Let them go.

    Even Comedy Central has started to get lax on the good programming.

    Maybe all this hubbub will convince Fuse that music videos are still the way to stay viable.
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    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    I would think that one of the last things a company would want to do when the economy is struggling is to threaten a hike price - especially when all they offer is an entertainment-based good. Swift move Viacom.

    In the end, I am sure it will work out - might be a black out, might even last for a few weeks. But, they always seem to come to agreements. Even if not - as much as I love The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, I can do without them (or even catch up with episodes online).

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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    The channels that would be affected are: Comedy Central, CMT: Pure Country, Logo, Palladia, MTV, MTV 2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV Tr3s, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Nick 2, Nicktoons, Spike, The N, TV Land, VH1, VH1 Classic, and VH1 Soul.
    I probably watch only Spike, TV Land and VH1 Classic out of that lineup - so I really won't be affected much.

    Even if not - as much as I love The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, I can do without them (or even catch up with episodes online).
    Yep, I was thinking about that too...
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    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    Cable TV to me is dead unless it's sports, HGTV, DIY, History or Disney.

    Someone's gonna get smart on this one day and a-la carte pricing will show up.
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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    The reason why we probably won't see ala carte cable any time soon isn't because we (the people) don't want it... it's because the content providers wouldn't let it happen in anything resembling a sensible and affordable fashion, thus ensuring that even the loudest whiners among the customer base are "satisfied" with the status quo.

    To wit: for whatever mind-bending reason, cable networks would rather be "available" in as many homes as possible, rather than focus on the portion of their subscriber base who are legitimate potential viewers. It doesn't matter to "fetish" networks like Lifetime if half the TV viewing audience is male, and half of what remains is too intelligent to watch their tripe, they can claim total penetration/availability in 80 milliion homes (or something like that), even if 75% of those are "dead" to them at all times. Don't ask me why this metric matters to them, but it does.

    And this also results in other people helping to offset the costs of the channels you DO watch, by paying for channels they don't care about (the door swings both ways, is what I'm saying; it's not just you subsidizing other people). ESPN is the leading gouger in the industry, but imagine what they'd have to charge the WILLING subscriber base if upwards of half the people out there opted out? Because it wouldn't matter ot them that their actual ratings would remain roughly the same (since people who watch ESPN would, likely, pay for it as long as it was priced even remotely reasonably), it woud just matter that they hold the bottom line on revenue streams. Which currently include a lot of people who never watch ESPN paying for it.

    I'm not explaining it super-clearly, but the fact is that the content providers won't just "give back" existing revenues, no matter how logical or sensible a new business model (like ala carte cable, where everybody can focus more directly on INTERESTED VIEWERS) might be. Also, if they DID switch over to ala carte, it'd become so cost prohibitive that no consumers would actually go through with it. Say you currently get 112 channels for $60 a month. But the way content providers would price things, you might have to pay that same price just to get the 20 channels you want. And say you're an even PICKIER viewer than that, and only want maybe 8 channels? All I can do is assure you that the fewer networks you are helping to "subsidize," the higher your per-channel fee would escalate. You'd never get what you think is a "fair" (8/112 = 7% as much service, but your monthly bill would still be more along the lines of 75% of your old one) because of how the backstage machinations would work.

    Also: at least Viacom isn't lying about how their network carriage fees are severely "undervalued" versus the current industry norms. Of their networks, only Nickelodeon is currently charging a fee that seems roughly commensurate with other top cable netwoirks. And some of the networks (especially Comedy Central and VH-1) are priced about the same as the afforementioned "fetish" networks like Food Network and Weather Channel, despite being of substantially higher general interest. You can question Viacom's timing, given the current state of the economy, but I guess you gotta grant that they're within their rights to price themselves similarly to other providers.

    I got the pricing information, if you care, at a website called www.HowCableShouldBe.com, which has also has other info and advocates (perhaps not entirely in a well-informed fashion, but with their hearts in the right places) for ala carte cable service.


    Rick

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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    I dropped Time Warner five years ago for DirecTV and haven't looked back...from customer service to programming selection, TWC is terrible.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    I also switched to DirecTV and haven't looked back. The NFL Network, alone, made the change worth it.

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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    Only reason I have stuck with Cable is the internet.
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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    That's very well put Rick. I don't see how people can advocate a la carte pricing unless they know the price. Simply put, there's no way the cable companies are going to go through the trouble, with the obvious technology upgrades, to offer a la carte pricing so that the end result is lower cable bills for everyone. That ain't happenin'.

  13. #12
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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    That's very well put Rick. I don't see how people can advocate a la carte pricing unless they know the price. Simply put, there's no way the cable companies are going to go through the trouble, with the obvious technology upgrades, to offer a la carte pricing so that the end result is lower cable bills for everyone. That ain't happenin'.
    And really, the business model ends up being the same:

    The cable company will charge you through the nose for the "big" channels: ESPN(s), USA, FX, TBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, etc. and then there will be a whole slew of those "who? what?" channels that will price themselves as "free" just to be included and be able to charge advertising rates commensurate with high-household penetration.

    So, in the end, you'll end up with the same structure: paying for channels you do want and getting a bunch of crap you don't want as well.
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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    I better not lose Nickelodeon/Comedy Central or I am going to be very upset over a quarter hike in price.

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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I better not lose Nickelodeon/Comedy Central or I am going to be very upset over a quarter hike in price.
    Well I guess they worked out a deal because we still have the channel and its passed 12:01 am!!
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    Re: Time Warner Cutting Channels?

    Those of you with Time Warner don't have to worry about losing the channels they have reached a deal.

    LOS ANGELES - Time Warner Cable Inc. said it has reached a deal with Viacom Inc. on carriage fees, avoiding a blackout of 19 cable channels including MTV and Comedy Central.

    The two sides, citing disagreement over fee hikes, had threatened a damaging blackout at midnight that would have cut off shows such as "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "The Colbert Report" to about 15.7 million subscribers.

    Shortly after agreeing to extend a midnight deadline by an hour, Time Warner Cable spokesman Alex Dudley said the sides agreed on a new contract.


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