December 31, 2012

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Retransmission Consent All Over Again – Happy New Year

It’s New Year’s Eve in the TV business, and with each New Year’s Eve comes a series of unfortunate negotiations related to retransmission consent disagreements. It’s like global warming: something we all wish would go away, but probably isn’t going to without a major overhaul of the current system.

I’ve been through pretty much every iteration and incarnation of these things over the past few years, and it’s getting to the point where this is both unpleasant and boring. Like the kind of checkup where you’re probably fine, but the doctor definitely puts on a rubber glove to make sure.

In this case, we’re in negotiations with Media General regarding a 200% increase in the fees that we pay to carry the same signals that are available for free over the air. A great deal of the programming that draws Media General viewers is available for free online, too. In addition to nearly all of the network primetime programming available online for free, TWC digital customers will have access to NBC Primetime On Demand programming. Furthermore, the NFL Wildcard playoff games and the Super Bowl will be available for free online.

This argument cuts deep, down to the nature of publishing and TV online: you can’t charge more for something with one hand while giving it away with the other. The TV business is in an awkward transition state, and we’re figuring out the future of television one deal at a time.

We’re working hard to negotiate a new agreement that allows for reasonable rate increases without any blackout. This is good for business and it’s good for our customers, too.

To follow this issue more closely and get more up-to-the-minute updates, visit our site at TWCConversations.com.

+- 9 Comments

  1. Edward's reply

    The same as it ever was. I can’t believe people are surprised when these negotiations come around. It’s not as big a deal as some folks make it out to be. And from a customer level, the longest I was ever without a channel was maybe a week, and all the content was available either on demand or online. I didn’t miss anything.

  2. Bridget Martin's reply

    I’m disgusted to find that Ovation is no longer on the air and that the reason seems to be that similar programs are available elsewhere. What about the useless sports channels running the same sports on multiple channels. You don’t see them being taken off the air. I think it’s about time the suits tried to service those customers that watch arts and entertainment programming and who NEVER watch sports channels and are forced to pay for them.

  3. Andrew Hoffer's reply

    Was the fee increase to retain the Ovation channel so great that it necessitated it’s permanent removal from your lineup? The program “alternatives” you provide as your “Ovation Statement” on twcconversations.com fails to provide any details behind the decision, and altogether excludes the interests of your subscribers. It also clearly illustrates how little you appreciate Ovation’s programming. There is, in fact, no parity between your offerings and what Ovation continues to provide. Most importantly, you clearly fail to understand what your subscribers want, which should concern you in the long run. Help your customers and your relationship with them and BRING BACK OVATION! ]

  4. JW's reply

    Bring back Ovation! You’re making enough money from your customers now that TWC is charging a monthly fee for the RR modem.

  5. Kathleen Morse's reply

    Why would you be able to afford TMC’s most popular channel and cut IFC? The best movies on all of cable are shown on IFC. Loosing that and Current makes me a tad suspicious about the real deal behind all of this. Who bought “Current?”

  6. Kathleen Morse's reply

    I just found out that Time Warner said they were dropping Current because not many people watched. I’m pretty sure many of us watched Current TV and I think the fact that Al-Jazeera bought the channel might be part of it, even though TWarner offers Al-Jazeera to viewers in NYC. Why aren’t we able to get Al-Jazeera here?

  7. Shamsun Khan's reply

    I am a Time Warner customer(sahan@socal.rr.com). Unless you renew Curent TV in TWC, I will drop TWC and move to ATT.

  8. John's reply

    I for one commend TWC for dropping the little watched “current” tv. I’m sure it had more to do with ratings than with new owner, Al-Jazeera. However if Al-Jazeera is picked up in the future I will drop TWC, Internet and Phone service.

  9. John's reply

    I am a TWC customer and I will drop my cable, internet and phone if they renew Current TV. It will all even out for them and no one will care.

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