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Comments on news posted 2013-06-12 14:16:47: Speaking at the cable industry's NCTA trade show this week, Time Warner Cable admitted that the company pays certain broadcasters to keep their content off of the Internet, thereby securing traditional cable power over the TV industry. ..

ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 recommendation

Seems a little shady

I'm certainly not a lawyer, but having a bunch of companies all getting program producers to sign agreements banning them from making their content available to a potential competitor seems legally shady to me. It isn't as if they're saying that this content is exclusive to their cable company; they're letting other cable companies have it but specifically barring Internet distribution.

Any lawyers willing to offer an opinion here?
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

2 recommendations

Re: Seems a little shady

It is morally shady that is for sure.

Legally shady? likely not due to the golden rule, The one with the gold makes the rules.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

GlennAllen
Sunny with highs in the 80s
Premium
join:2002-11-17
Richmond, VA

1 recommendation

Re: Seems a little shady

This: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antitrust
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Seems a little shady

unfortunately that seems to be a forgotten concept in our government if you know who to lobby to as a company.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA

At least...

Comcast does not have to do that for shows on NBC since they own them. But yet another reason content distributors should never be content owners.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: At least...

people said that when the merger was first suggested, DOJ and the FTC ignored the people. But not surprised the government is once again allowing complete vertical integration, They only listen to the money.

The funny thing is the government regulators attacked this over 30 years ago in a different industry when they barred movie studios from owning the movie theaters. Many many theaters in the country used to be studio owned, It was the peak of the studio system.(as far as I know that is why some theaters are called for example the Paramount, They were once owned by Paramount Pictures.). And yet we have come full circle except now its the theaters buying the studios.(Cable being the theater now.)
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
said by ropeguru:

Comcast does not have to do that for shows on NBC since they own them. But yet another reason content distributors should never be content owners.

its nbc. no biggie. SNF is the only thing i watch on nbc
--
Despises any post with strings.
travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

And in other news...

the sky is blue, water is wet and fire will burn you. Sherwood Schwartz discovered that licensing Gilligan's Island to TBS (with it's national footprint) killed his ability to license it to the hundreds of local stations looking for after school programming. So the idea of exclusive licensing with restricted distribution that benefits content providers and stations/channels has been around for decades.

The part that is arguable is whether it benefits the viewer. Clearly the stations/channel will pay more for exclusive content. Does that result in better/more programming for the viewer?
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 recommendation

Re: And in other news...

The difference is that TBS wasn't really a dominant player, so Schwartz really didn't face any huge penalty if he had decided not to license to them. He could have continued cutting deals with local TV stations.

However, if a company like TW tells a programmer that, in order for TW to carry their shows, they must agree not to get into Internet distribution is a huge deal since, if the programmers are turned away by cable, they'll starve. Essentially, the same thing was happening with satellite distribution in the 1980s. Cable didn't want programmers to sell to satellite dish owners, and it took Congress passing a law to put a stop to that. Granted, it wasn't enough to save the BUD industry, but you can bet that, had such a law not been passed, the cable companies would have frozen DirecTV and Dish out of the market.
travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

Re: And in other news...

Good point.

seamore
Premium
join:2009-11-02

HA!

Newsgroups
Torrents
filehosts
etc.

thanks!
bn1221

join:2009-04-29
Cortland, NY
Reviews:
·TowerStream

This is why TW is so expensive

68 bucks for "basic cable TV" They are busy blaming the content providers - who are paid by TWC to not put content on the web. How about they stop paying for that, lower the cable bill and let the content providers make money putting shows on the web....

Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24

Re: This is why TW is so expensive

I remember being able to get Adelphia ANALOG cable for $15/m no more than 14 years ago. Surely the networks haven't gotten more expensive to maintain and deliver, especially in a digital world, right?
InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5

1 recommendation

said by bn1221:

How about they stop paying for that, lower the cable bill and let the content providers make money putting shows on the web....

The problem with that is that content providers are likely paid more by networks and operators wanting exclusive licenses across their footprint than content creators are likely to get from web licenses or distributing themselves.

So most studios sell exclusive rights to the highest bidders for guaranteed revenue instead of taking a bigger chance on lower-margin higher-support-cost sales. Selling to other networks/operators/distributors instead of end-users also spares them the trouble and expense of setting up a payment system and managing individual subscribers/clients.

It is easy to protest against exclusivity deals but there is no guarantee that preventing them would improve things in any way. It could very well cause studios to quit investing in higher-production-cost series (more difficult to find enough buyers willing to pay enough) and settle for more talk/unreality shows that have much lower production costs while generating just as much if not more revenue than more polished, higher-budget SciFi/fantasy/etc. shows.

It may sound nice at first but may have multiple perverse and unintended consequences.
OwlSaver
OwlSaver
Premium
join:2005-01-30
Berwyn, PA

This will change...

As soon as content providers can moake more money online than TWC can pay, they will change. New content providers will start up as Internet only and not be beholden to TWC.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

seems reasonable

If as a retail business owner you can pay the makers of the most desirable widgets to let you be the exclusive OK widget outlet because it earn YOU more than it costs you, you would do it.

If as the owner of OK widgets Inc. someone pays you for exclusive rights and that results in greater profit then putting them in every store you can find, you would do it.

I'm not sure why anyone believes they have the RIGHT to buy any content/product/object the owner chooses not to sell you.

The owner also gets to choose package size and flavors offered. very desirable products earn higher prices, last month's chopped liver, not so much.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 recommendation

Re: seems reasonable

But that isn't exactly what they're doing. They aren't asking for exclusive distribution rights or even exclusive distribution rights within a geographic region; what they're asking for is that a specific class of competitor be denied distribution rights. If TW is OK with a programmer selling to U-Verse or FiOS systems that compete with them, but they demand agreements banning Internet distribution, then it looks less like they want exclusive rights and more like they're trying to strangle a competitor.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit

Re: seems reasonable

But it also could be seen as protecting their exclusivity rights as internet area restrictions rarely work well, obviously wireline systems like U-verse or FiOS serve specific locations. not sure how much TW overlaps with those 2, but I could see restriction on them as well.
Exclusive distribution has been around longer than video entertainment, film, recording and theater companies have always had preferred/exclusive outlets. non-exclusive distribution only came about when cheap reproducible media allowed mass marketing of reproductions.
Broadcast and syndication rights have always been separate and distinct from physical copy sales. ie owning a physical copy does not permit broadcast of public display.

Again, the owner could sell the right to NEVER release a given title, and probably would if the guaranteed return was higher than the likely public return AND the rights the hold permit that

You might see it as a Disney film/show but when you see the credits "a type W production in association with" and so on , is about the complex set of arrangements as to who owns what rights in return for }{ distribution , reproduction, marketing etc. and how much they each get.
Basically so complex they formed the xxIA's to keep track for them, managing disputes and violations.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

While I'm typically against piracy

anyone that pirates content from these companies that do these deals I officially don't give a shit anymore.
Expand your moderator at work
rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA

lol whats new

directs sunday ticket. Olympics with nbc. Is this anything really new
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Yet another wrinkle

There's another wrinkle to all this. Don't forget that some cable companies have come out with apps that let subs stream content to mobile devices. And TW even has a Roku channel that streams a sub's channel lineup to a Roku. And I'm sure that this content is touching the Internet at some point along the way from the cable companies' distribution sites to the sub's device.

So what this means is that cable is OK with Internet distribution but not _independent_ Internet distribution. It sure makes this arrangement look even more like an effort to strangle a competitor before it can get off the ground.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

stupid is as stupid does

millions of bittorrent'ers fart in their general direction

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWBUl7oT9sA

seant169

join:2003-07-21
Forney, TX

Nasty Cable Operators

hey cable operators !! why dont you just hand us a box of condoms without lube and tell us to bend over.!!

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Be easy to fix

Just pass a law granting blanket immunity for consumers to find such content at their own discretion since it's being deliberately withheld from availability.

That means you could download and upload it completely legally.

These contracts would change so fast it would make your head spin.

Of course there's zero chance such a law would ever appear, too.

So once again, Piracy is the only realistic option the market allows to many people.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: Be easy to fix

said by KrK:

So once again, Piracy is the only realistic option the market allows to many people.

There's another valid option, one that carries with it zero risk of being sued for copyright violations: Don't watch these shows!

We're not talking about food here, we're talking about TV. It is possible to live without it.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
said by KrK:

Just pass a law granting blanket immunity for consumers to find such content at their own discretion since it's being deliberately withheld from availability.

Just pass a law? Yeah who will be voting for this law? Do you know how laws are even passed in this country?
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Love Free Market

Every business loves the free market (i.e. no regulations) when the context benefits them. Otherwise they do everything in their power to stonewall competitive efforts and welcome regulation that does the same.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Internet pricing

If it wasn't for their TV cash cow, we'd be paying three times as much for Internet. That is why they discount the Internet when you have TV.

Broadband is expensive because of infrastructure. Then there is not just the infrastructure itself but regulatory compliance, securing right of way clearance, and other costs are the reasons our broadband is expensive. And their pay TV offerings offset those costs.

Somebody has to pay for construction and maintenance of those lines.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.
lancguy

join:2012-03-25
Lancaster, PA

Let me get this straight

Viacom, Disney, Sinclair, etc can demand an MSO to carry all stations that they offer at a particular distribution level, but the MSO can't demand those producers limit their availability? And we are ok with this on both sides?

So Disney says you have to carry ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 ABC Family, and god knows what else. ABC has to be carried on basic which all subscribers have. ESPN must be carried on Expanded, which is not as many as Basic but still more then a digital tier. ESPN2 must be carried on a digital Tier, ESPNU can be carried on a sports tier. Disney doesn't care where you place ABC Family, but you got to take it anyway. Disney will give you ABC, ABC Family relatively cheaply, but you are going to pay out the wazoo for ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU for every subscriber on that tier regardless if they actually watch that channel or not.

Why can't an MSO say ok, if I got to carry all these stations on a tier and pay you for those customers regardless if they actually watch those channels, you can not offer those channels online?

I really don't see a problem here. Disney makes far more from the MSO's then they'd make from offering these channels online ala carte.

fatpipe

join:2011-10-02
Austin, TX

Lord Britt, can I please watch some TV?

This is why Lord Britt and his cohorts are lobbying desperately to apply draconian control methods to the Internet.

The Internet has become the last true bastion of free data across planet Earth.

We must storm Lord Britt's castle and raze it to the ground!

Next!

Probitas

@teksavvy.com

MS redux?

Isn't this the sort of business practice that got MS into so much trouble?