Posted by: distributorcap | December 18, 2009

I Cannot Believe I Am Rooting for the Cable Co!

I never thought I would say this but I am on the side of Time Warner! (Time Warner is the monopoly that controls cable television in Manhattan)

Local Time Warner Cable subscribers may lose “American Idol” and the NFL if Fox and Time Warner Cable can’t come to terms on new contract before the end of the year.

The two media behemoths have gone public with their battle over programming costs, which, could result in some Fox programming – including WNYW/Ch. 5, FX, Fuel, and the Speed Channel – being yanked from Time Warner Cable systems around the country.

There is nothing worse than a arrogant cable company making you pay a ridiculous amount of money (don’t even ask what I pay) for poor service and channels you never watch or never would watch. Fox is hitting back at Time Warner (considering I never watch anything on Fox 5 in New York, I have missed these ads).

The battle took a new turn Friday when Fox launched a series of on-air promos and a Web site in an effort to get viewers on its side. The spots are on a heavy rotation on WNYW/Ch. 5

“Time Warner is isn’t playing fair and you could lose Fox because of it,” a voiceover says in a series of ads launched this week. “Time Warner Cable is using programming costs as an excuse to raise your bill while continuing to rake in billions in profits.”

The spots say Time Warner may be responsible for viewers losing the NFL, “American Idol” and other popular shows.

Oh my, the thought of losing American Idol, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and the bimbettes at Fox Business Channel is making me lose sleep. And even though I don’t watch much football – there is plenty if you do like the sport on CBS, NBC, ESPN and the NFL Network.

Locally, it would also mean the loss of “The Wendy Williams Show” and anchors such as Ernie Anastos and Dari Alexander.

Ernie Anastos has been on every channel in the New York market – well almost every. I think a test pattern in the Channel 5 slot would be a lot more entertaining than anything Fox.

The Fox spots follow on the heels of a cryptic campaign launched by Time Warner Cable in November that asked viewers to visit the Web site and vote on whether the company should give into price increases from program suppliers.

Channel 5 shouldn’t cost Time Warner anything under must-carry. But Speed, Fox News, Fox Business, f/x all charge the cable companies a hefty price for the privilege of watching the vomit pour from the mouth of Bill O’Reilly.

“Negotiations are ongoing, but Fox’s current demands are unreasonable and excessive especially in this economic climate,” said Time Warner Cable spokeswoman Maureen Huff.

Maureen, listen up – this is New York. Other than the Giants (who will likely not make the playoffs) on Fox, I would bet the phone calls to Time Warner would be minimal (until Idol starts). Besides if people want to watch Channel 5, they can take a TV set and use a digital antenna, point it towards the Empire State Building, and pick up the NFL and other Fox crap from the free over the air signal. My set in the bedroom is not hooked to cable and I get a perfectly clear picture of Fox channels 5.1 and 5.2. Why do I need to pay? (If it wasn’t for Food and few other cable channels, I could go totally over the air).

As for Time Warner’s campaign, more than 400,000 people have responded to the Web site, with 95% of them voting for the company to get tough with the increases.

Because like health care, we know Time Warner will just pass the increases along to consumers.

In May of 2000, the Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner reached a stalemate in negotiations and WABC/Ch. 7 was temporarily pulled from the lineup. Viewers woke up that morning to a blue-screen that read: “Disney has taken ABC away from you.”

Yep, and we survived.

from the Daily News




  1. I'd be happy to pay a bit more if they actually removed Fox News from my cable package.I don't even like to see it accidentally.

  2. Kind of makes you want to pull the plug on the whole thing.I hear Murdock wants to pull Fox noise from Google. I say bring it on. Most of the commenters to the Google blog want it gone as well. Hope he does the same thing for the TV channel as well.

  3. I am with Karen, that is an attractive option to have!

  4. Karen: When I quit cable (Time Warner, in fact) I told them that I objected to paying even one penny to Fox. They said "you can block it." I answered, "but they still get my money, right?" No response. Got rid of cable, got rid of tv. Damn glad I did. That said, I hope BBC America starts up with live streaming on the net. That I would pay for.

  5. There's a similar situation brewing here in Iowa between the cable company, Mediacom, and Sinclair Broadcasting. Sinclair owns the CBS and Fox local affiliates. Now, how did one company end up with ownership of 2 different channels in the same market? Hmmmm

  6. If I didn't dig football so much, I could probably get by without the cable. I blame dcap and all his sports posts.Though I would miss The Crazy, Tearful Antics of America's Foremost Performance Artist.

  7. Recently, we downgraded our Time Warner service from the premium tier to the basic tier in order to save money.We were paying a lot of money for what amounted to a bunch of crap. I mean, CNN on three different channels? CNN is bad enough on one channel and we never watch it to start with. We had HBO in order to watch the splendid True Blood, but the series is on hiatus and won't return until June 2010, so why pay to have it now?As for Fox Entertainment, we absolutely love Fringe. It's one of the best new programs on TV and if it goes away, we will miss it. Fringe is a perfect followup to The X-Files. But as I understand it, the current contract dispute will take away the broadcast programs and still leave the perfectly ridiculous Fox News.With a long and expensive move back to California in the early spring, saving money anywhere we can is meaningful to Jim and me. The basic cable tier is half as expensive and we still get 70 or 78 channels, so it is well worth it.

  8. Murdoch wants to charge everybody and everything for using News Corporation content, his empire is so big and advertising revenue is so spread out over all media outlets, I'm beginning to smell a little panic.

  9. I'm just waiting for Murdoch to disappear while sailing on the Chesapeake.That will take care of one problem.Then we can organize to re-regulate this public channel empire and wire our entire country for free reception.Like other civilized countries do.I don't believe that Fox would survive in a truly free access climate.So many better choices would be available.S

  10. I'm so glad I got rid of my cable. I hate giving a dime to Rupert Murdoch's evil media empire.

  11. //(If it wasn't for Food and few other cable channels, I could go totally over the air).//Amen to that. If Fox didn't carry NFL I wouldn't watch them at all.of course, I am ripping off my cable… so I have no real complaints

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