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The CBS-Time Warner Dispute

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times, talks about the standoff between CBS and Time Warner, and why disagreements between cable companies and broadcasters are increasingly more common.

Guests:

Joe Flint

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Comments [5]

Bob from Park Ridge NJ write:

| 1) Over-the-air channels are licensed by the federal
| government to "serve in the public interest." Whether they do
| or do not is another question, but they should NOT be
| withdrawn due to a business dispute. I have always felt that
| the fact that the cable companies place them in their cable
| box line-up is a convenience for the viewer. No carriage fees | should be charged for over-the-air stations that are otherwise | offered to the public for free.

The broadcast stations charge cable companies for the right to carry their signals (they're called "retransmission consent fees"). A substantial part of your cable bill covers these fees. This results in the anomalous situation in which cable subscribers are forced to subsidize over-the-air viewers.

Keep that in mind next time you pay your cable bill: you're subsidizing OTA viewers. And you're subsidizing Aereo.

| 3) On cable fees in general, I would like to see cable
| stations offered a'la carte. I have no interest in most of the
| channels provided. I watch a lot of news and movies but not
| sports. And I find many stations either offensive or
| worthless. (Remember when A&E really was Arts & Entertainment
| and not "Dawg, the Bounty Hunter"?) I would really like to pay
| only for what I consider the wheat and not be forced to pay
| for the chaff.

Unfortunately, that wouldn't reduce your cable bill. See:
http://theoldcatvequipmentmuseum.org/320/321/index.html#alacarte

Aug. 09 2013 10:20 AM

Diction was sloppy here, and I spent quite a time on the net searching for "aerial" or whatever it was they were saying; of course, many wrong results.

Finally I found it, and for those interested in local broadcast stations over the internet: they were talking about "AEREO."

(Ch. 7 has been a huge problem for us with OTA out of the city; this may finally let us cut the cable.)

Aug. 09 2013 02:01 AM
John A

See the BL show on teens are too busy to drive a car. Cable, Facebook, YouTube, Xbox, play-Apps, Tumblr, Hulu. Too much recreation competion in capitalism in this era.

Aug. 08 2013 02:00 PM
John A

Shows a migration away from the broadcast model where ads alone paid for the content.
-
Does this mean that the CBS ads on cable are less than broadcast?
-
Why don't large companies just drop on air broadcast altogether?

Aug. 08 2013 01:51 PM
Bob from Park Ridge NJ

While many things get cheaper over the years (for example, the first HDTV I purchased in 2007 cost $1900 but would now sell for about $500) cable fees have gotten ridiculously higher. Escalating carriage fees have contributed to this. These annoying station blackouts are happening with increasing frequency and usually wind up with higher subscription fees for us consumers. A few quick points on this:

1) Over-the-air channels are licensed by the federal government to "serve in the public interest." Whether they do or do not is another question, but they should NOT be withdrawn due to a business dispute. I have always felt that the fact that the cable companies place them in their cable box line-up is a convenience for the viewer. No carriage fees should be charged for over-the-air stations that are otherwise offered to the public for free.

2) However, if CBS and other content providers want to fight with cable companies over fees for basic and premium cable channels โ€” Showtime, HBO, Comedy Central, CNN, ESPN, etc. โ€” they should have at it.

3) On cable fees in general, I would like to see cable stations offered a'la carte. I have no interest in most of the channels provided. I watch a lot of news and movies but not sports. And I find many stations either offensive or worthless. (Remember when A&E really was Arts & Entertainment and not "Dawg, the Bounty Hunter"?) I would really like to pay only for what I consider the wheat and not be forced to pay for the chaff.

And...

4) Thank God for public radio!

Aug. 08 2013 01:44 PM

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