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CBS Fight 'Definitely' Hurt Time Warner Subscriber Count
by Karl Bode 08:56AM Tuesday Sep 17 2013
New Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus won't get into specifics, but he did state that the company's recent feud and blackout with CBS "definitely" impacted Time Warner Cable's subscriber count. Insiders had previously stated that Verizon FiOS TV in particular saw a 5 to 15% uptick in new customers in blackout markets. Aereo was another big winner given even Time Warner Cable directed users their direction during the feud.

So was losing those customers worth it? According to Marcus, the answer is yes:
quote:
The blackout "definitely had a subscriber impact," Marcus said...(Marcus also stated) the dispute also increased TWC's marketing costs. But he said the company expects that the contract it signed with CBS -- which TWC had said was initially demanding up to a 600 percent increase in retrans fees -- will benefit the MSO in the long run. "We ended in a much better place than where we started," he added.
It would be nice to see specific numbers on what kind of impact repeated retrans feuds have had, given Time Warner Cable has found themselves at the heart of quite a few of them. There's likely more coming too; NBC executives last week proclaimed they liked seeing the money CBS received and will soon seek similar deals.

Meanwhile, at the same conference, CBS CEO Les Moonvees stated there "was no harm done financially to CBS Corporation" by the blackout.

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88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

1 recommendation

Why should TV providers fight content owners anymore?

Customer say they want their TV providers to make a stand and when they do they than them by leaving. If I owned a pay TV service I say fuck it and not even bother to fight. Why? What is the benefit?
jc100

join:2002-04-10

Re: Why should TV providers fight content owners anymore?

Customers might as well just go to netflix or hulu. Truly, the only stranglehold that cable has is Sports.

Networks are getting greedy, cable companies rightfully don't want to raise rates, and the customer gets screwed in the end.

OTA / Hulu / Netflix / Aero

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Why should TV providers fight content owners anymore?

said by jc100:

Customers might as well just go to netflix or hulu. Truly, the only stranglehold that cable has is Sports.

Networks are getting greedy, cable companies rightfully don't want to raise rates, and the customer gets screwed in the end.

OTA / Hulu / Netflix / Aero

The customers can blame THESELVES. Dish Network tried to fight the good fight with AMC last year. After 4 months that had to relent because of the large lost of customers. Then people complain when their TV providers give in to the content companies. Everyone wants everything but no one wants to sacrifice to get it. This is why cord cutting is still really low. People talk about it, but in the end chicken out because they can't do without their precious reality TV crap. If people actually sacrificed in 6 months you'd see HUGE changes and these changes could have happens YEARS ago but nope no one wants to earn anything.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: Why should TV providers fight content owners anymore?

This is due to the simple fact that most customers dont understand what carriage fees are. They believe the MSO is simply dropping the channel.
devolved

join:2012-07-11
Rapid City, SD

Re: Why should TV providers fight content owners anymore?

Then when the channel suddenly reappears, they wonder why their bill went up.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

1 recommendation

It's only a matter of time before copyright holders slam Hulu and Netflix hard with higher licensing fees. They are both getting off paying a tiny fraction of what cable companies do and Netflix doesn't provide any advertising revenue either. That is not sustainable for networks should a massive influx of cord cutting happen.
tanzam75

join:2012-07-19

Re: Why should TV providers fight content owners anymore?

They're already slamming Netflix hard enough that it barely eked out a 3% net profit last quarter. And that's actually up from 0.3% in the previous quarter.

When subscriber growth gets ahead of the licensing fees, Netflix can make a profit for a short period of time. However, this doesn't last, because Netflix has to pay a higher fee at the next license renewal negotiation.

It's the same treadmill -- just starting out from a lower number. Eventually the number will go up.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

Re: Why should TV providers fight content owners anymore?

This is why Netflix is producing more of their own programming.
Rakeesh

join:2011-10-30
Mesa, AZ
For everything else, there's transmission/sickbeard/couchpotato.
rebus9

join:2002-03-26
Tampa Bay
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Bright House
said by jc100:

Customers might as well just go to netflix or hulu. Truly, the only stranglehold that cable has is Sports.

Networks are getting greedy, cable companies rightfully don't want to raise rates, and the customer gets screwed in the end.

OTA / Hulu / Netflix / Aero

My household: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crackle, and OTA. Proud to be completely cable-free.

Netflix: $7.99 /month
Prime: Free (*)
Crackle: Free
OTA: Free. 30+ channels, most in HD.

OTA means we never have to suffer the re-trans fee disputes cable customers get swept into. And the price of OTA never goes up. I almost feel sorry for CATV subscribers. We have more programming available than we can possibly consume... all for less than $8 per month.

(*) We were Prime subscribers for the free shipping long before streaming was included, and would keep it even without the streaming benefit.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: Why should TV providers fight content owners anymore?

Lets be serious here. If youre happy with Netflix, great, but their streaming selections absolutely suck. I never knew there were so many Bmovies made until I signed up last month. I couldnt find a single thing to watch, cancelled in first month.
rebus9

join:2002-03-26
Tampa Bay
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Bright House

Re: Why should TV providers fight content owners anymore?

said by ITALIAN926:

Lets be serious here. If youre happy with Netflix, great, but their streaming selections absolutely suck. I never knew there were so many Bmovies made until I signed up last month. I couldnt find a single thing to watch, cancelled in first month.

Different tastes, different preferences. Much of the current network programming gags, bores, or offends me, so the Netflix and Prime catalogs are a good fit in my home. There is very little I'd watch on CATV.

For those who are more Old School, OTA + Netflix is a good fit.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by 88615298:

Customer say they want their TV providers to make a stand and when they do they than them by leaving. If I owned a pay TV service I say fuck it and not even bother to fight. Why? What is the benefit?

Customers are too short sighted to see how they harm themselves when they force cable companies to cave in to the networks. The sheep deserve to be shorn.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS

What stops TWC from just pulling an Aereo?

Seems like the retrains fees are so sky-high it would be worth doing something similar even if technically tricky over HFC. If Aereo continues their successful progress in court, I think that would be the direction to take.
--
Nocchi rules.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: What stops TWC from just pulling an Aereo?

I don't think there's a technical reason, aside from the fact that they'd have to run separate data streams for each antenna. The bigger hurdles are legal and economic. If they went the Aereo route, they'd have to fight the same legal battles Aereo is fighting. More than that, though, as much as the cable companies would want to ditch retrans fees, they really don't want Aereo's model to succeed. If it did, OTT video services would proliferate, which would end up making pay TV a commodity instead of something only cable can provide.
zod5000

join:2003-10-21
Victoria, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw

Re: What stops TWC from just pulling an Aereo?

Not to mention Aero only works if a channel is broadcasting OTA. We know that ratings are down across the board and TV channels are shifting revenue from Advertising to carriage fees.

If there was a big shift from cable to something like aero and the TV channels and it hurt their bottom line (ie less carriage fees) I could see them starting to pull OTA.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: What stops TWC from just pulling an Aereo?

Yep, they've already threatened to do just that. Still, even if that happened, I'm not sure what the outcome would be. Even if the networks pulled their content, most stations aren't owned by the networks, and the companies that do own them aren't going to go quietly into the night. They'll fill that programming void with something, and, although some may fill it with crap like infomercials, these stations will still want to attract viewers, so you may see either a revival of true independent stations or the emergence of new networks.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

OTA fail

The 5 to 15% number is bogus, because as you all know Q3 is when people start reconnecting their service. Verizon counts you as a new customer if you disconnect for a day. I did that to work them over on price and the next day I got all the new promos.

In any case, TWC broadcast cable is approaching $20/month in my hood, and that seems to be a little steep for 5 channels (not counting for the heaviliy subsidized buy me channels which should LOWER the coat) that are free. Unfortunately in my area (Buffalo), the local stations have turned off or reduced their OTA so that going to it would not work, so if one wants broadcast, one must find cable.

They should shut down OTA, free that spectrum for the people (not sell to carpet baggers), and allow whitespeace people to come in and provide that service, or at least get it from satellite. The digital OTA transition is a big fail if you are outside a major urban area because they mostly went to UHF and the propagation signals just aren't good enough. The initial design wes you needed to be 30feet or more up, and that is how they determine the signal power. Good luck there.

Places like NYC that have great OTA coverage Aereo is providing network DVR, but there are some multipath or blockage issues. But for mid-america, we are screwed.

It's all spinning out of control, and if you look at the major cost driver off all of this: SPORTS. Im willing to bet a full 1/3 or more of your cable bill goes to pay for some sport. Keep in mind that the broadcast guys have major sports contracts, and someone has to pay for them.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: OTA fail

Digital OTA is a big fail? Hardly. It provides a better picture and more channels using less wattage. UHF signals are definitely not the problem. UHF can be picked up with just about anything and is by far preferred by broadcasters. VHF signals have been the failure and are difficult to get without an extensive antenna setup and are very susceptible to movement. Lower VHF is complete trash for both TV and white spaces.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

And then there is Piracy

which CBS only boosted during the dispute because some idiot exec said the CBS website should also block TWC users from watching streams. but a few sites note that people took an alternate route when execs started to bicker about things and even blocked legal streaming access. Piracy was up on CBS shows in TWC regions, naturally of course they will say the people torrenting were wrong rather than that they were wrong in blocking TWC Internet IP blocks from their streaming sites.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports