said by Simba7:
Ha.. and what the content companies are doing is called "extortion"
You're absolutely correct!
There are a few simple things I believe they should put into a law/regulation and call it a day.
1) Those customers who have subscribed prior to the retrans deal should remain able to view the network so long as they signed a contract at the current rate until the time their commitment is lost. The providers are benefit to the very contract the carrier gets because the customer is in a contract. New customers should not receive the programming AND if the negotiations have not been resolved, the carrier should discontinue access as their initial contracts expire.
2) (and this is my BIGGEST peeve) The networks should be FORBIDDEN from running scrolls on their tv feeds during a contract negotiation, PERIOD! They should NOT be allowed to involve the consumer by means of motivation to bail on (say) Dish for DirecTV or Cable. This is leverage that should NOT be on the table. It's pure extortion and is meant to damage the carrier in the process of negotiation. Furthermore, as a cable subscriber WHY do *I* need to know about a dispute between a network and a carrier I don't subscribe?
3) If a subscriber is to lose a channel, the carrier MUST reduce the cable bill of all subscribers affected by the actual retail value which would be determined by a magistrate.
4) In case of a dispute, both parties should have to justify their rates to a court or magistrate. Hollywood has FAR too long had the ability to arbitrarily set their rates. There have been many times in history where the carriers have had to justify rate increases based on costs. Hollywood has a VERY broad spreadsheet and, in my opinion, raises rates just because.
For many years, people have turned their sights to carriers for unjust rate increases.. they've been blamed for simply being greedy on TV increases when their rates are largely affected by retrans agreements. Because of the abuse, providers have been regulated in the past. Perhaps it's time to regulate Hollywood on video services for the very thing carriers have been accused of.
I think the consumer is getting tired of getting caught up in these petty arguments. They need to do this outside of the public arena - it's a dishonest tactic.