CBS Says Time Warner's Offer Is Just Empty PR

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sykozis

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Maybe CBS should come up with a new distribution model of their own.... Or maybe, just maybe, the cable companies and content providers should remove their heads from their anal cavities and learn to negotiate like real men and not children....
 

eklipz330

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just like radio, vhs, and newspapers, cable (and phone) IS the next thing to go! with google upping the ante on internet speeds as well as multiple companies offering cheaper distribution methods of sitcoms and shows, there is less and less reason to actually have cable! hell, just get a google phone and receive calls online!

Not only that but cable company prices have been going up, and quality and customer service has plummeted. time warner is finding new ways to nickel and dime their customers (paying for wi-fi, really you assfaces?), i think TWC will be the next AOL.
 

Marcus52

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I remember back when Time magazine published an article showing different evolutionary stages of man, and decided to put them in out of order because the height progression looked more pleasing to the eye (and doing nothing in the article to indicate what they did). They certainly weren't the first or last "news" source to bend the truth (actually we call that "lying" where I come from), but that article has stuck with me all these years, and my opinion of Time-Warner is pretty much the same as what it was after I learned the truth about it. Maybe that's unfair in light of the wide-spread dishonestly in reporting that has been with us for literally hundreds of years, and maybe it has nothing to do with the Time-Warner today, but I can't help but believe Moonve has it right and Time-Warner is being disingenuous here.
 

Mathos

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Actually neither of them really have it right. These major networks constantly upping the price for distribution of their content, is the reason cable companies keeping upping rates. There comes a point where the average customer finally says enough, and cuts the TV service off, and only sticks to their broadband connection.

This is why people started streaming the content they wanted off the internet. Which is why cable companies and other broadband providers, started limiting monthly caps, due to streaming pulling customers away from broadcast content. Now, these major companies like CBS, ABC, NBS, etc. Won't allow cable companies to offer their content, unless they offer all their channels in a single package. This is the major obstacle blocking a la carte' services. Which is what most customers would really prefer.
 

sykozis

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The cable companies aren't honest in their pricing model. They set unreasonable "rental" prices for modems and cable boxes. In some cases, you're forced to "rent" the modem from the cable company (such is the case with Verizon FiOS service) if you want the internet service. Unless you want to pay an extra subscription fee to TiVo or use an HTPC, you're forced to "rent" a cable box from the cable company. These aren't optional devices if you want the service, yet they charge extra as if that were the case.

The prices for service have more to do with desired profit margins and market share than they do operational expenses. Take my FiOS service for example. I get Cable, Internet and Phone for $109.99/month. If I drop the phone, my bill goes UP to $139.99/month. Where exactly is the honesty there? Whether or not I have the phone service doesn't effect how much it actually costs them to offer the cable and internet service. It actually doesn't impact the cost to provide the service at all since it's a VoIP type phone service that operates in the same manor as "Vonage" (only the hardware is installed in a box outside the house). BUT, to get the additional market share they increase the price if I opt out of the phone service.

Both the cable companies and the content providers are out to make a profit. That is their sole purpose for existing. Neither cares what customers want as long as the customers are paying for the service. The only time either cares, is when customers stop paying....and until enough customers stop paying, they'll both push for prices that ensure their desired profit margin/market share.
 

Capm

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You don't realize how much all this stuff really costs. Cable companies ARE in business to make a profit, if they weren't, there would be no point to offering service of any kind - but they get nickle-and-dimed before you ever do. Everything costs money. You have to pay for each channel per sub, per month, to receive it, you get told how you can bundle it into your lineup, and you get forced to carry channels nobody wants. Then you have to pay transport fees every month on every box you put out. You have to pay for the guide software for every box that goes out, every month. You have to pay a fee to a provisioning vender for every account, every month, so that you can control your boxes. Then the boxes themselves cost a small fortune. Most Dual or Quad tuner DVRs are 400-500 dollars each, secondary boxes can be up to 200 dollars each. You can't just give them away, you have to offset that cost somehow.

Then, you get these broadcasters, that are now charging YOU By Proxy, for something they offer freely over the air. Because no cable company can absorb the cost for what they want paid every month, without passing the cost on to you. So don't blame the cable company for rate increases, blame the programmers and broadcasters, who have all the cable co's by the nutsack, thanks to Congress's Telecom act of 1996.

TWC isn't just thumbing its nose at CBS in this matter, its risking significant fines from the FCC for shutting off what is likely a "must carry" meaning they don't have a choice but to carry the CBS affiliate. They also cannot refuse to pay CBS either, no matter what they charge. Thats the crux of the problem here, and why this is really a big deal.


 

the_brute

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has toms even said why time warner pulled the plug or is this about why time warner is so bad. The package from cbs has been getting anywhere from 10-15% more expensive EVERY year for the last 6 years. many different tv providers have been looking to make a stand, but time warner is the first mega one to do it. my current one had us blacked out with CBS and FOX for almost a month until both companies decided NOT to raise the prices almost 18% (this happened in fall 2011.

Meanwhile BOTH companies CBS and TWC showed very (un)healthy PROFIT again this quarter. while charging more and more for their linups.
 

jknouse

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Oh Leslie Moonvees...you so funny...

The same guy who let Howard Stern go to satellite and subsequently lost most CBS Radio's network of stations because of it...is talking about someone else?

Hey...Les...Howard is making SiriusXM over $1B a year in subscription revenues for SiriusXM now...so, I don't know how the hell you kept your job, because you obviously don't have the business savvy like someone like Mel Karmazin to run a broadcast empire.

You and your fake teeth should be unemployed...and keeping your comments about others at bay until you know what the hell you're doing.
 

kittle

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"He goes on to call Time Warner's "a la carte" option an empty gesture, as the cable company industry really isn't set up for that kind of subscription-based access."

hrm, if they arent setup for this, maybe the companies should ... um ... CHANGE? I would be all for a subscription based a la carte option right away, if i could have and pay for ONLY the channels I want to watch. After 15 years of no TV set in my home, i might just come back.
 

Capm

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There were technical hurdles regarding ala cart previously, on analog cable systems. But these days, with many cable systems either Digital or heading that way, those hurdles are gone. The problem with ala cart now is not the Cable companies (who would love to do alacart), it is the Programmers who will not allow it, because they'd lose their ass.
 

rosen380

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I'm confused on the 'a-la-carte' thing... isn't TWC already set-up for that? I can choose to add HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, sports packages, Howard Stern, Playboy, etc if I want -- aren't those 'add-ons' a-la-carte?

 

jknouse

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@rosen380

Several years ago, the United States Congress pursued forcing non-broadcast, multi-carrier television service providers (i.e.- cable and satellite services) to provide "a la carte" programming services. That is, you would be able to choose each and every channel that you got on your cable or satellite service.

However, the "industry" got that shelved due to them saying it was "impossible with the current technology" and was "cost prohibitive". Plus, I'm sure there was some backroom deals made in the process to get it shelved.

You do have "a la carte" things now, such as InDemand and OnDemand and Pay-Per-View. But, the original intent for cable/satellite was to give the consumer absolute choice of what channels they did or did not pay for.

As it stands now, groups such as CBS Television, NBC Universal Television, et. al., own so many networks and syndicated programming that they can go to cable/satellite providers and say give them "package deals" that essentially pays for lackluster programming that otherwise (if Congress had followed through on the original a la carte system) would have died an early death because of lack of viewership.
 

rosen380

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Yes, yes... I understand that. I am commenting on this passage from the article:

"He goes on to call Time Warner's 'a la carte' option an empty gesture, as the cable company industry really isn't set up for that kind of subscription-based access."

Whether it is cost-effective or not to add a bunch of a la carte stuff to the line-up, it seems that the cable company is already setup for that otherwise I wouldn't be able to choose to have HBO or not have it; I wouldn't be able to choose to add the sports tier or decline it.
 

Capm

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You have to remember that, when they were looking at alacart back then, it just wasn't possible to do that with an analog cable system, beyond 4 or 5 channels (premiums) because the cost and form of traps made it prohibitive to do so. The switchover to digital over the last decade or so has changed that, but now the programmers have their claws in so deep, it'll take another act of Congress to fix it.
 
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