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View Full Version : Time Warner customers: ready to lose TV Land, Spike & Comedy Central?


Thomas Veil
Dec 31, 2008, 02:02 PM
Not to mention Nick, MTV, VH1 and more?

'Colbert,' 'SpongeBob' may go dark on Time Warner (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gmeKcfi6sWhsSN9SOcnD9eR3hjsAD95DP7SO0)
By RYAN NAKASHIMA 4 hours ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) "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 for 13 million subscribers at 12:01 a.m. Thursday if a new carriage fee deal with Time Warner Cable is not agreed upon by then.

The impasse would mean "SpongeBob" and other popular shows like Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" and Stephen Colbert's "The Colbert Report" will be cut off, said spokesman Alex Dudley, a vice president at Time Warner Cable. The nation's second-largest cable operator primarily serves customers in New York state, the Carolinas, Ohio, Southern California and Texas.

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," Dudley 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.I don't myself like Time Warner, but in this case I have to side with them. Enough of rate increases, whether they're "carriage" charges or cable bills or whatever.

I don't even buy the "undervalued" argument. The sports channels are over-valued, which is why there's the disparity. They cost a lot for cable companies to carry.

Sorry, Viacom, I can't cry any crocodile tears for you. And quit urging me to call my cable operator. :mad:

Sun Baked
Dec 31, 2008, 02:07 PM
Disney will be next on block due to their yearly revenue increase by raising cable rates.

This is the cause of basic cable going up every year.

Be nice to see cable companies dumping some of these companies off basic cable and lowering rates. Doubt we'd get the benefit of the less expensive plans though.

Put these companies into their own pay package and see how much people really want them -- doubt they'd be making as much in their own Viacom channel package.

Hmmm ... $19.95 basic cable without the expensive channels with the channels that want the widest audience or $49.95 for premium basic cable -- tough choice.

Tilpots
Dec 31, 2008, 03:05 PM
The content providers need to force the a la carte pricing scheme. Let the customer set the value, not the middle man. I'm a TWC subscriber and I hope more networks jump ship. It'll just entice me more to ditch cable once and for all. Now I need Apple to make me some decent media center hardware...:eek:

CorvusCamenarum
Dec 31, 2008, 03:22 PM
Disney will be next on block due to their yearly revenue increase by raising cable rates.

This is the cause of basic cable going up every year.

Be nice to see cable companies dumping some of these companies off basic cable and lowering rates. Doubt we'd get the benefit of the less expensive plans though.

Put these companies into their own pay package and see how much people really want them -- doubt they'd be making as much in their own Viacom channel package.

Hmmm ... $19.95 basic cable without the expensive channels with the channels that want the widest audience or $49.95 for premium basic cable -- tough choice.

I'd probably go for the a la carte model too if it were offered. Doing a quick rundown of my lineup (Comcast), I'd say I (semi-)regularly watch maybe 1/3 of what they offer. They can gladly block my access to HGTV and Lifetime and crap like that in exchange for $10 back on my bill.

jaw04005
Dec 31, 2008, 03:38 PM
I wish the FCC would require cable companies to offer "lifeline" cable. All I really want is my locals, and OTA does not pick up well in my new home. I would need two separate antennas pointing in different directions. :(

FX120
Dec 31, 2008, 04:13 PM
I wish the FCC would require cable companies to offer "lifeline" cable. All I really want is my locals, and OTA does not pick up well in my new home. I would need two separate antennas pointing in different directions. :(

Comcast does, for $13 a month you get the most basic package of just your locals + cable access, and in my area Discovery and WGN.

Of course I don't know if this will last after they discontinue their analog side of their service, and cut all cable access networks off the lower channels and bump them up into the 900 series.

yg17
Dec 31, 2008, 05:13 PM
U-verse FTW!

petermcphee
Dec 31, 2008, 05:21 PM
Man, I hope they get this worked out. Stoppages like that do no one any good in the long term. Just ask Major League Baseball.;)

SactoGuy18
Dec 31, 2008, 08:27 PM
Disney will be next on block due to their yearly revenue increase by raising cable rates.


Disney--EXTREMELY unlikely. The reason is simple: the Disney-owned channels are among the most desirable for cable customers, especially this monster called ESPN. And most importantly, Disney does not have potential conflicts of interest by ownership in any cable systems.

GSMiller
Dec 31, 2008, 10:17 PM
I wish the FCC would require cable companies to offer "lifeline" cable. All I really want is my locals, and OTA does not pick up well in my new home. I would need two separate antennas pointing in different directions. :(

I wish you could customize your subscriptions and get only the channels you want.

Sun Baked
Dec 31, 2008, 10:52 PM
Disney--EXTREMELY unlikely. The reason is simple: the Disney-owned channels are among the most desirable for cable customers, especially this monster called ESPN. And most importantly, Disney does not have potential conflicts of interest by ownership in any cable systems.

No but the Disney-Time Warner spat does threaten to darken their channels all the time.

What is odd is the spat is really digging in their heels with a group of channels which have a license fee 65% lower than Disney, TNT, etc. so the next round with Disney could get very ugly again -- aka, no ABC during sweeps again.

Les Kern
Jan 1, 2009, 09:23 AM
It's over, they came to terms.
DAMMIT, More Zach and Cody mindless drivel. I have to talk to my daughter.

Thomas Veil
Jan 1, 2009, 10:01 AM
Yeah, I saw this morning that they were still there.

Wonder what the terms were...and what this is going to mean to my cable bill.

Rodimus Prime
Jan 1, 2009, 09:45 PM
U-verse FTW!

problem with this is if Vicom wins you will see everyone else have to eat the increase as well.

Uverse if you have not noticed has removed some of there best features for free as well.

Most notibly no more 3 TV boxes with out having to pay any extra. Now it is $7 per box after the first one which sucks.

NC MacGuy
Jan 1, 2009, 10:21 PM
I soooo hate TW tv. This among other things got me looking at Direct TV.

bruinsrme
Jan 1, 2009, 10:27 PM
i beleive you guys will be loosing some of the music channels like VH1 classrock.

those are some great channels.

I cant remember what charter is dumping but I am so ready for directv.
Nw if I could only convince my sweetie.

yg17
Jan 1, 2009, 10:35 PM
Uverse if you have not noticed has removed some of there best features for free as well.

Most notibly no more 3 TV boxes with out having to pay any extra. Now it is $7 per box after the first one which sucks.

Nope, I haven't noticed. I don't pay a dime for extra U-verse boxes ;) AT&T employee discount FTW! :D

benflick
Jan 2, 2009, 01:05 PM
This is ridiculus, good thing I have Directv. Time Warner's rates have continuously gone up. Bastards.

synth3tik
Jan 2, 2009, 01:13 PM
Personally this really is part of the reason why I don't have cable or even watch TV really. If media giants like Viacom want to raise these fees, then why the hell do they keep on turning out garbage?

I always felt rather offended seeing commercials on cable. I thought part of the thing was that you paid partially for fewer commercials. It's just like getting commercials at the beginning of movies.

I can't say that I would side with Time Warner on it either. If you have a contract with them I would like to see them cancel accounts without charging, even though it would have been their responsibility to do so.

Unspeaked
Jan 2, 2009, 06:16 PM
PI always felt rather offended seeing commercials on cable. I thought part of the thing was that you paid partially for fewer commercials. It's just like getting commercials at the beginning of movies.

Imagine how much a cable bill would be without commercials. Thousands of dollars, at this rate...


I can't say that I would side with Time Warner on it either. If you have a contract with them I would like to see them cancel accounts without charging, even though it would have been their responsibility to do so.

Yeah, this is truly a case where it's hard to root for either side.

IJ Reilly
Jan 2, 2009, 06:43 PM
Last I checked, our Time Warner Cable was still showing Comedy Channel, et. al., which suggests that this is a bluff. But you have to love Viacom's approach -- telling people to beg Time Warner to raise their monthly charges. Brilliant. They should all go to hell as soon as possible.

NC MacGuy
Jan 2, 2009, 07:06 PM
Last I checked, our Time Warner Cable was still showing Comedy Channel, et. al., which suggests that this is a bluff. But you have to love Viacom's approach -- telling people to beg Time Warner to raise their monthly charges. Brilliant. They should all go to hell as soon as possible.

They came to a last minute agreement but have you looked at your new monthly rates starting January 1 insert w. your new bill?

uiop.
Jan 3, 2009, 10:49 AM
They came to a last minute agreement but have you looked at your new monthly rates starting January 1 insert w. your new bill?

Oh geez...I can't even imagine. :eek:

XnavxeMiyyep
Jan 3, 2009, 11:29 AM
I wish you could customize your subscriptions and get only the channels you want.

That'd be great, but of course they won't do that. There would be too many people who would only get one or two channels. For instance, the only channel anyone ever watches at my place is Comedy Central, so that'd be the only one we have.

MacNut
Jan 3, 2009, 12:29 PM
Imagine how much a cable bill would be without commercials. Thousands of dollars, at this rate...How much does HBO charge a month? They seem to be doing alright.

yg17
Jan 3, 2009, 12:37 PM
That'd be great, but of course they won't do that. There would be too many people who would only get one or two channels. For instance, the only channel anyone ever watches at my place is Comedy Central, so that'd be the only one we have.


I wouldn't mind a la carte in groups of 5 or 10, or maybe a set minimum and everything after that, you can choose.

Tilpots
Jan 3, 2009, 05:43 PM
How much does HBO charge a month? They seem to be doing alright.

Yep, HBO, Showtime and all the pay channels are doing just fine WITHOUT having to air commercials. A la carte works just fine for them.

I wouldn't mind a la carte in groups of 5 or 10, or maybe a set minimum and everything after that, you can choose.

As long as the cable company doesn't bundle those 5-10 channels for you. They'd end up giving you such mismatched choices (like ESPN and Lifetime bundled together instead of ESPN and ESPN2), by the time you got the 6 networks you actually wanted, you'd be paying for 60 channels.:rolleyes:

If you meant you must buy at least 5 to 10 individual channels of your own choice, then yeah, I think that's fair enough.

yg17
Jan 3, 2009, 06:05 PM
If you meant you must buy at least 5 to 10 individual channels of your own choice, then yeah, I think that's fair enough.

Yep, that's what I meant. Channels of your choosing.

Tilpots
Jan 3, 2009, 06:16 PM
Yep, that's what I meant. Channels of your choosing.

LOL, I wouldn't put anything past those cable companies.:D They try to nickel and dime you to death! Thanks for clarifying.:)

MacNut
Jan 3, 2009, 06:26 PM
The argument I heard from the cable company is that nobody would buy the smaller unknown channels and they would not survive.

Tilpots
Jan 3, 2009, 07:18 PM
The argument I heard from the cable company is that nobody would buy the smaller unknown channels and they would not survive.

That's about right. Don't necessarily see the problem with this, though. Cable companies could offer the small channels free for a limited time if they want to build an audience.

Ultimately, competition amongst content providers can only be good for the viewers. A start-up would have to really hit the ground running.

iJohnHenry
Jan 3, 2009, 08:35 PM
Al-la-carte is the way of the future.

Unfortunately, up here in The Great White North, the government does not believe in the concept of User Pays. They would prefer to "mould" your viewing habits, by decree.

The dross is supported, regardless, and the consumer has little to say about it.

'Twas ever thus, when someone else decides what's best for you.