February 16, 2014
Re "A media behemoth," Feb. 14 The proposed merger of Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable is unthinkable. For federal regulators, it should be dead on arrival. It is an example of media consolidation at its worst. The beneficiaries would be Comcast and Time Warner Cable, period. Consumers would be the big losers. To mitigate any negative effects on the public, Congress should pass legislation that mandates a la carte pricing for cable programming, allowing consumers to pay for only the channels they want.
February 14, 2014 |
If you believe that the problem with cable companies is that they're just not big enough, today is a really good day. Comcast's proposed $45.2-billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable will create a behemoth with about 30 million customers and dominance in 19 of the nation's 20 largest pay-TV markets. Comcast's chief executive, Brian Roberts, said Thursday that the merger would be "pro-consumer," "pro-competitive" and "in the public's interest. " It's not yet clear what he means by any of that, since there would be less competition in the cable industry and more market power in a single company's hands, a combination that history has shown tends to result in higher prices and lousier service.
February 14, 2014 |
The proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the country's two largest cable TV operators, generated a predictable wave of outrage from opponents of corporate consolidation. With about 30% of all pay-TV customers served by its wires, the combined company would have extraordinary leverage when negotiating with television networks over the fees for their programming. It also would be the gatekeeper to a third of all U.S. homes with broadband. Those are scary scenarios for consumers and content companies.
February 12, 2014 |
ESPN bills itself as the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Based on that, women's basketball is bigger worldwide than the Winter Olympics. Nothing against the Connecticut Huskies, but do they really warrant more airtime than Bode Miller, the U.S. women's hockey team, 3,000 Olympians from 88 countries and Bob Costas' valiant battle with pinkeye? If a Martian just landed anywhere in America that has cable, it would sure think so. Then it would fly to Sochi to have dinner with Jeremy Schaap, who must be feeling pretty lonely.
February 2, 2014 |
Time Warner Cable subscribers in Los Angeles watching the Super Bowl in standard definition lost a big chunk of the game and halftime show due to technical issues. The analog signal of Fox's KTTV-TV Channel 11 Los Angeles went dark toward the end of the second quarter and was not repaired until about midway through the third quarter. However, the feed of Time Warner Cable's high-definition channel carrying Fox's coverage of the game was not interrupted. The majority of the region's subscribers have digital boxes and thus were not affected by the blackout.
January 30, 2014 |
Time Warner Cable is planning major upgrades to its Los Angeles and New York operations. The cable giant, which is resisting a takeover attempt by Charter Communications, said Thursday it will be substantially boosting Internet speeds and its video-on-demand platforms. The improvements in Time Warner Cable's two biggest markets are part of an overall three-year plan to upgrade its systems across the nation. “We'll triple Internet speeds for customers with our most popular tiers of service, add more community Wi - Fi , dramatically improve the TV product and, perhaps most importantly, we'll set a high bar in our industry for differentiated, exceptional customer service," promised Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Rob Marcus.