Time Warner and Viacom are behaving badly:
Viacom Inc. (VIA) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) appear unlikely to reach an agreement on carriage fees before the New Year, according to a source familiar with the talks, meaning popular networks Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon may be pulled from the cable company’s system, which include large parts of New York City and Los Angeles.
And now the Insight Bowl is on the lame-ass NFL channel, which gives customers a handful of crappy NFL games (and now a bowl game!) for an extra $380 or something.
As it is, Beck plans to watch the game from his home with family members. For other KU fans and alumni eager to watch their college football team trounce (they hope) Minnesota, they’ll have to settle for watching it at a subscribing friend or family member’s home, at a sports bar that carries the network, or they can just pony up and purchase the Cox sports tier before the game begins.
And of course there is Comcast and the Portland Trailblazers. This is from Dec. 11 but I saw a whiny Comcast ad the other day, so I suppose they are still being wieners about their own lame-ass sports channel.
Since there was quite a bit of talk in the Blazers Forum the other day about Comcast Sports Net and the satellite companies striking a deal, I fired off an email to CSN to find out whether or not this was true. Tim Fitzpatrick of CSN says that while there is nothing new to report, negotiations continue.
We used to have a concept in this country called “anti-trust laws.” Guess not so much any more. Why cable companies should be allowed to use their market position to threaten each other while punishing consumers is beyond me. Right now all the Viacom channels are running crawls about the dire threat posed by Time Warner, as if it’s some kind of 9-11 of the airwaves. It’s absurd.
I never have understood why there is an artificial distinction made between over the air broadcasters, who are considered to be using the public airwaves, versus satellite and cable providers, who are also granted the use of public resources in the form of other radio frequencies and rights of way.
The cable tee-vee industry far too often winds up resembling those old photos of New York City when a hundred phone companies all tried to string their own lines. It’s a basic regulatory function of government to bring and maintain order in markets where monopolies and oligopolies tend to exist.