Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Time Warner Cable vs Fox

Being a previous Time Warner employee, and now more of a consumer, I thought I would mention some of the points about this whole thing that don't get mentioned everywhere.

  • The money that Fox wants Time Warner to pay goes straight to the affiliates. Therefore, whatever price increases come from this won't support any Fox programming other than local news and such. Yet Fox will, of course, demand that Time Warner remove all Fox programming, including what you've already paid for.
  • Most customers want to be able to pay for only those channels that they watch. Time Warner is not against this idea. There are contracts, however, with both the cities they operate in and the various networks that specify that Time Warner CANNOT do that.
  • Why all the contracts, and why are only the cable companies affected? In order to build and maintain all of the infrastructure required to operate a cable company, Time Warner secures certain rights with the areas that they build in and with the networks that they will carry. Otherwise, they could end up paying millions of dollars to build a network in a city or area and then end up with no customers. Satellite, for obvious reasons, needs no area specific infrastructure. They can just broadcast their signal wherever they want.
  • Fox feels that Time Warner should be paying more than they are for the privilege of carrying their programming since Time Warner does turn a profit off of it. Also, there is probably some angst here due to Time Warner and pretty much every other carrier of television programming offering and pushing DVRs, which are really killing advertising revenues, but that's mainly speculation on my part.
  • Fox doesn't want to agree to arbitration because Time Warner Cable has a history of drawing these things out like crazy. However, since it would be the FCC arbitrating, I kind of think Fox is being a bit, I don't know, immature? The last person Time Warner Cable wants to piss off is the government.
Well, those are my thoughts on the whole thing. Take them as you will. Leave comments if you have any questions and I'll answer them as best I can.


  1. Unsurprisingly, FOX issued TWC an extension to continue airing their broadcast, while they work out their negotiations, thus showing that FOX would rather continue to broadcast with TWC at their current rates than lose nearly half of their nationwide customer base.

  2. Actually, I was kind of surprised considering good ole Rupert's tendency to pitch a fit when he doesn't get what he wants.