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Time Warner Cable CEO Might Offer Aereo-Like Service
Pretends to Be Concerned About Your Wallet
by Karl Bode 02:33PM Friday May 03 2013
The Washington Post this week offered up a conversation with Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, who most of you will recall tried to shove metered broadband down customer throats. In the interview Britt offers up some admiration for what Aereo is trying to do, insisting that his company might consider offering something similar should Aereo be victorious in their battle against broadcasters. Specifically, he says they could "conceivably use similar technology," which isn't exactly a plan.

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Britt places all of the blame for soaring TV rates on the backs of the broadcast industry, insisting he'd be more than interested in a little more flexibility with programming bundles. Britt doesn't have much of a history of doing anything whatsoever to help this, but his tongue is at least looser after Time Warner Cable was spun off from Time Warner. Britt again expresses some concern for the plebeian wallet:
quote:
"The structure needs more flexibility," Britt said. A customer should not be required to pay for less popular channels such as VH1 Honors to get Nick Jr. and MTV. "There are fellow citizens who are struggling financially and can’t afford large programming packages. We want the ability to offer those customers smaller, more affordable packages."
While the broadcasters (particularly ESPN) do deserve a majority share of the blame for high TV prices (right after consumers willing to pay $150 a month for dreck), broadcasters quickly fired back at Britt for the pretense that he isn't part of the problem:
quote:
"Forgive me Glenn Britt’s hypocrisy over rising cable rates. Time Warner Cable owns regional sports channels that charge viewers as much as $5 per subscriber per month,” said Dennis Wharton, an executive vice president at the National Association of Broadcasters. "The notion that Time Warner Cable has suddenly become ‘pro-consumer’ is laughable."
And while NAB all-too-smugly dismisses their own role in soaring TV rates, they're not exactly wrong. Britt, and his modest $17.4 million in annual compensation, has always paid lip service to trying to lower cable and broadband prices, yet takes every opportunity to raise rates on TV and broadband services alike, be it a DVR rental hike, new modem rental fee or attempting to charge $5 per gigabyte. All of that said, Britt's "maybe" on offering an Aereo service is exactly the kind of shift broadcasters are nervous about, and that's a good thing.

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JMHO42

@verizon.net

I don't get it.

(And I mean that both literally and figuratively.) These providers offer this product which is little more than a delivery system for commercials which they intersperse with some content of questionable value as "entertainment", and there are people who are more than happy to complain about the cost as they throw more and more money down the sinkhole that is their cable bill. Why? ...just to have something to talk about in forums and at the water cooler in an attempt to prove just empty their lives aren't? (Well, that's a big FAIL.)

fatpipe

join:2011-10-02
Austin, TX

Meh!

Google Fiber can't get to me fast enough!

I'm not naive enough to think Google's TV lineup won't be limited, but I'm 99.999% sure I will finally be able to cut TWC's parasitic cord from my wallet!

Take that Glenn Britt!

FLATLINE

join:2007-02-27
Buffalo, NY

Re: Meh!

You seriously can't cut the cord otherwise?
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath

Re: Meh!

and the thinks he'll have the service. Google Fiber in Austin isn't going to come very fast, if at ever. They have have been "approved" but that's about it. It is still YEARS down the road. Hell they don't even have half of KC KS/MO done yet, or close.

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

Time Warner Cable's Roku Channel

Time Warner Cable's Roku Channel could be step 1 to replicate (and improve upon) Aereo's setup. Right now, they're streaming live TV over the Internet provided you have a Time Warner Cable account. This is mainly useful to replace set top boxes with inexpensive Roku boxes.

However, suppose that you didn't need a TWC physical cable account. Suppose you could just sign up online, pay a reduced rate (since they don't need to support a physical connection), and get a selection of channels streamed to your Roku box. Perhaps they could merge this with the idea of a cloud-based DVR as well. You DVR the shows you want and they appear in your "DVR Channel" within their TWC Roku channel.

Suddenly, Time Warner Cable's reach would extend across the country. They could steal customers from Comcast, FIOS, and every other cable operator in all 50 states. Their revenues (and stock price) would soar without much in the way of infrastructure improvements.

Of course, I'm not holding my breath that they'll do this. Cable companies still seem to regard Internet Video as the enemy. Besides, they know that, should they let this genie out of the bottle, Comcast and the rest will quickly follow up with their own IP Cable offerings. Suddenly, their previously sacred, Time Warner Cable Only markets would have (*gasp*) competition. (The horrors!)

So I expect TWC to make baby steps towards this (just in case a competitor releases a IP Cable service) while not making any real progress.
--
-Jason Levine
travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

Re: Time Warner Cable's Roku Channel

said by Jason Levine:

Suppose you could just sign up online, pay a reduced rate (since they don't need to support a physical connection), and get a selection of channels streamed to your Roku box.

Not going to happen. TW doesn't own the content they provide to subscribes, they license the rights to it and those rights are limited to the areas that TW serves with cable.

If the content owners allowed TW to stream their content without restriction, they'd suddenly lose all that lovely license revenue from the other cable companies who'd drop those channels in a heartbeat.

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

Re: Time Warner Cable's Roku Channel

Apart from sports, do they license content by geographical area or just subscriber numbers? If Time Warner Cable were to physically expand into a new area, would they need to get new content contracts for that area or would they just need to pay more for the additional subscribers? For non-sports content, I was under the impression that it was the latter.
--
-Jason Levine
travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

Re: Time Warner Cable's Roku Channel

Not being privy to the actual contract, I couldn't say for sure. I suspect the answer is both. That is, TW has the exclusive right to a certain geographical area (served/unserved) and they pay per subscriber.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath

Re: Time Warner Cable's Roku Channel

I wouldn't say only to a geographical area. If so how do you think companies like RCN, and WOW are expanding, and yes WOW is expanding in some areas. They have a huge contract, yes, and its pay per customer, but in the end, they could expand outside of their coverage area. This is something DISH is working on with RoKU as a MVNO, which has been posted on here before about Karl, hell Dish now offers their International channels over Roku just fine. If this was about certain areas, Dish would be screwed with that.

NocNoc

@sbcglobal.net

How many times do I have to warn you?

Fox, Barry Diller (Aereo Found and Former Fox CEO), CBS and several cable companies are working in collusion to destroy Over The Air (Free TV).

They want you plugged in and paying. Since the roll out of Digital OTA more people have been pulling the plug which has been abysmal for the cable cartels.

They're all waiting for a higher court decision to rule in Aereo's favor then they will throw a phony fit and move all of their "premium" content over to cable/sat/paytv and of course Aereo/Fox will offer their own mobile "on the go" pay tv service then fill the OTA airwaves with infomercials and syndicated shows.

Eventually OTA viewership will sink like a rock which will force layoffs of people who maintain transmitter sites furthermore OTA affiliate owners will be forced out of business.

Once the local affiliates go then the local news will soon follow but don't worry, you can get all of your news from CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Imagine a 15 min segment of cable news dedicated to "your town" ...geez.

This is collusion plain and simple.
travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

Re: How many times do I have to warn you?

said by NocNoc :

Eventually OTA viewership will sink like a rock which will force layoffs of people who maintain transmitter sites furthermore OTA affiliate owners will be forced out of business.

Some estimates put OTA viewership at 10% right now, so you have to ask yourself why OTA still exists. Those transmitters aren't cheap to operate or maintain.

The answer is political power. Not everyone has access to cable or broadband sufficient to watch realtime video. As long as those stations broadcast an OTA signal, Washington DC will listen to the NAB. Pull the plug and they lose access to Washington.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

Re: How many times do I have to warn you?

said by travelguy:

Some estimates put OTA viewership at 10% right now, so you have to ask yourself why OTA still exists. Those transmitters aren't cheap to operate or maintain.

Fiber links also aren't cheap. Now that digital OTA provides high quality signals many cable systems and both DirecTV and Dish get at least some of the channels they retransmit from those OTA transmitters.

NocNoc

@sbcglobal.net
said by travelguy:

said by NocNoc :

Eventually OTA viewership will sink like a rock which will force layoffs of people who maintain transmitter sites furthermore OTA affiliate owners will be forced out of business.

Some estimates put OTA viewership at 10% right now,

Post your source.
travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

Re: How many times do I have to warn you?

said by NocNoc :

Post your source.

Only if you say "please"....

»www.dtvusaforum.com/content/108-···ear.html

And Nielsen is a reliable source.

anon_anon

@comcastbusiness.net
Forget the conspiracy theories. The networks aren't afraid of cord cutters. The largest demographic of no cable, no satellite, TV subscribers are the elderly and the dirt poor. Neither of which are desirable demographics for advertisers. As broke and nearly dead people don't buy many things. What they do care about is sat/cable retransmission fees. Should Aereo be ruled legal, that revenue stream will be endangered and the only way to close that loophole would be to shut down OTA.
zod5000

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

Of course like they like Aero

It brings cable back to its infancy.

Cable is now a convulted mess of both the provider and the content owners being greedy.

Cable started out as a way to rebroadcast free signals. Over the years the owners of the channels have started charging for the rebroadcast of their signals. Between cable's need to raise prices and the content owners need to charge more for their channels, the price of cable has skyrocketed.

Could you imagine how much Cableco's could save if they could rebroadcast for free? It'd be like setting cable back 40 years.. lol.

cognizantt

join:2009-06-13
Montreal, QC

hdmi cable.

all you need is an hdmi cable from your cpu to your tv and you can get rid of cable.

then start downloading what you watch.
brad152

join:2006-07-27
Phoenix, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Just cut cable and go satellite

I dumped Cox since standard cable and awful DVR was 93/mo

The six channels i watch are included in Dish Network's $39/mo tier, so with DVR and HD, im paying $59 a month for a year then i'll drop the package to the one i really wanted and still pay less than $60.

It really was not about cost, just simply cable company greed. I already use CenturyLink for internet, so what is the point of me keeping them for anything really. There's no need for me to waste $100/mo for something i'll watch maybe 2x a week and get for 1/2 the price somewhere else.
Jeremy1976

join:2012-01-15
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..

iTV

Ok why doesn't someone invent internet tv like apple. Set it up sort of like iTunes and let the customer choose the channels they want and pay for. Id ditch directv in a second if I could save some money by using my internet to watch tv. It would have to be real time tv just like cable/directv. I would be happy to pay for 10-15 channels i actually watch. Ok ive put the idea out there if I was tech savy enough to do it I would but im not. If you make billions off this idea don't be afraid to track me down and throw me a measley million id appreciate it, thanks
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: iTV

because you still have to work with the content owners.

Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2

Yes he is

he is Concerned About Your Wallet because he wants to take as much money as he can from you