August 22, 2013 |
A lot of people are sick of the money-grubbing spat between Time Warner Cable and CBS, which has resulted in CBS, Showtime and other channels being unavailable to the cable company's subscribers since Aug. 2. For Alan Ehrlich, this was the last straw. He decided to cut the cable cord. More and more people are doing the same. The U.S. pay-TV industry lost about 316,000 subscribers in the 12-month period that ended June 30, according to Moffett Research. "Cord cutting used to be an urban myth," said analyst Craig Moffett.
August 21, 2013 |
With the U.S. Open tennis tournament set to begin next week, some ardent tennis fans who subscribe to Time Warner Cable are getting a little twitchy. The reason: The nearly three-week blackout of local CBS stations on Time Warner Cable systems in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas could keep tennis fans in those markets from watching CBS coverage of key weekend action from the nation's biggest tennis tournament. On Wednesday, Time Warner Cable tried to mollify tennis fans. The cable provider said that it would make the independent Tennis Channel free to its digital subscribers in CBS blackout markets who might be miffed that they could miss CBS' coverage of the U.S. Open.
August 20, 2013 |
As the dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable drags on, frustrated viewers are pushing for more extreme responses by government. Last week, three of Time Warner's customers in Southern California sued the company, arguing that it had committed fraud by not reducing its rates during the blackout. This week, L. Gordon Crovitz , a prominent columnist at (and former publisher of) the Wall Street Journal, essentially called on Congress to let cable operators carry the broadcast networks for free, contending that government regulation was responsible for such blackouts.
August 19, 2013 |
Verizon FiOS is throwing a bone to CBS employees who can no longer watch the network in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas because of the broadcaster's fight with Time Warner Cable. In a memo to staffers, CBS said Verizon FiOS is offering employees "exclusive discounts and special promotions. " Verizon is even going to send sales teams to CBS offices in those cities this week to sign up new customers. Verizon's push to poach CBS staffers comes as the CBS-Time Warner Cable blackout enters its third week.
August 14, 2013 |
Fox Sports 1 has struck agreements with three major distributors that will ensure that the new cable network will be available in the majority of pay-TV homes when the network launches this Saturday, people familiar with the matter said. The three carriers -- satellite broadcasters DirecTV and Dish and cable operator Time Warner Cable -- all have agreed to carry Fox Sports 1 when it launches. Those three distributors combined reach over 40 million homes. A Time Warner Cable spokeswoman said it would have the channel on its systems when it launches.
August 13, 2013 |
Carriage dispute? What carriage dispute? Time Warner Cable subscribers in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas may be steamed that CBS-owned stations have been blocked for more than a week, causing them to miss episodes of "Under the Dome" as well as some preseason NFL games and the PGA championship. But CBS seems to be doing just fine in ratings. CBS was the highest rated and most watched network for the first full week of blackouts, according to Nielsen. For the week that ended Aug. 11, the network brought in an average of 5.51 million viewers and generated a rating of 1.2 in the coveted adults 18-49 demographic. PHOTOS: Cable versus broadcast ratings NBC, the runner up for the week, got an average of 4.18 million viewers.
August 12, 2013 |
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Monday sent a letter to CBS Corp. Chief Executive Les Moonves and Time Warner Cable chief Glenn Britt, urging them to end the dispute that has resulted in CBS-owned channels being blacked out in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas for a second week. “Millions of customers in the Los Angeles area and throughout the country have subscribed to receive the programming CBS networks...
August 12, 2013 |
Yes, you read that right. Time Warner Cable's planned refund to Los Angeles customers for the first eight days of its blackout of CBS, Showtime and other affiliated channels will be four dollars and change. How do I know this? I was told so by a Time Warner billing representative over the weekend. She didn't give up the information willingly, but only after I applied techniques I learned from a dentist's handbook, specifically the chapter on pulling teeth. Before I persuaded her to make the calculation, she fed me the standard Time Warner line: because no one knows how long the blackout will last, the cable company doesn't want to give subscribers an estimate of their rebate.
August 9, 2013 |
This post has been corrected, as noted below. Precious close to 100% of the columns written about the dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable have declared both sides to be villainous, anti-consumer and (gasp!) profit-obsessed. Which raises the obvious question, which one do you sue? In Milwaukee, where Time Warner has been embroiled in a lengthy contract dispute with the owner of the local NBC affiliate, three Milwaukee residents suggest that the answer is the cable operator.
August 9, 2013 |
David Letterman picked a good time to go on a vacation. Since Time Warner Cable stopped carrying CBS-owned TV stations in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas a week ago, all three outlets have experienced rating declines for both national programming and local news. "The Late Show with David Letterman" has been in reruns this week, so the lower numbers for his show aren't alarming. But many of the local newscasts in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas have bled viewers, as Time Warner Cable is a a major pay-TV distributor in those markets.