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Yet Another Round of Carriage Disputes
As Cablevision, FiOS TV Subs Lose Tennis Channel
by Karl Bode 11:38AM Tuesday Sep 06 2011
The start of September seems to have brought with it another round of carriage pricing disputes, with consumers -- already paying sky-high prices for cable TV -- again stuck in the middle. Just as the U.S. Open takes off subscribers to both Cablevision and FiOS TV find they've suddenly lost the Tennis Channel, as the channel demanded higher carriage rates from both Cablevision and Verizon. Meanwhile, a carriage dispute between Mediacom and LIN Media broke down last week, resulting in blackouts of LIN-owned stations throughout the South and Midwest for Mediacom customers. Mediacom Chairman Rocco Commisso went so far as to blast the FCC for inaction on this issue, the agency so far preferring to let companies settle their disputes:
quote:
To that end, Commisso said he believes that consumers should be offered an a la carte service that allows them to select what channels they would like to subscribe to instead of being forced to buy set packages. "I am deeply disappointed with the Commission's lack of interest in keeping multichannel television service affordable," Commisso wrote. "Twice in the past five years, I have tried to stand up for consumers by resisting exorbitant demands for retransmission consent fees. And twice the Commission put the interests of broadcasters ahead of those of the viewing public."
Consumers are the only ones really hurt by these disputes, and in most cases face bi-annual rate hikes regardless of who "wins" these disagreements.

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pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

1 recommendation

Keep Digging!

We've reached the point at which subscription-based TV service costs so much that many people are just saying F-it and dropping it. I am sure these prearranged "disputes" contribute to it.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

BK3

join:2001-04-10
Geneva, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Yahoo

1 recommendation

Re: Keep Digging!

said by pnh102:

We've reached the point at which subscription-based TV service costs so much that many people are just saying F-it and dropping it. I am sure these prearranged "disputes" contribute to it.

Just another reason why I "cut the cord" 9 months ago.
--
Learn from the past and look to the future.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Keep Digging!

said by BK3:

Just another reason why I "cut the cord" 9 months ago.

I'd say I did the same thing, expect that Comcast (shockingly) agreed to my demands to lower my monthly bill.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

1 recommendation

Tennis Channel really?

can't really blame the carriers this time. The tennis channel should be lucky it's gets carried AT ALL. They have hte nerve to ask for ANY money.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis Channel really?

said by 88615298:

can't really blame the carriers this time. The tennis channel should be lucky it's gets carried AT ALL. They have hte nerve to ask for ANY money.

I agree. Watched it once or twice and was bored to tears. the Tennis Channel should have to PAY to be carried. Either that or it should be an ala carte channel that only interested parties subscribe too.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis Channel really?

In my opinion all of them should be ala carte. In fact, they should be "on demand" ala carte. Why pay for a whole month of any channel if once a month there happens to be something of interest?

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis Channel really?

said by rradina:

In my opinion all of them should be ala carte. In fact, they should be "on demand" ala carte. Why pay for a whole month of any channel if once a month there happens to be something of interest?

I am all for ala carte. There are perhaps 15 channels total I would subscribe to, excluding broadcast basic.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

1 recommendation

said by 88615298:

can't really blame the carriers this time. The tennis channel should be lucky it's gets carried AT ALL. They have hte nerve to ask for ANY money.

Obviously they must have some content that people want to watch otherwise there would be no contact dispute.
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis Channel really?

said by fifty nine:

said by 88615298:

can't really blame the carriers this time. The tennis channel should be lucky it's gets carried AT ALL. They have hte nerve to ask for ANY money.

Obviously they must have some content that people want to watch otherwise there would be no contact dispute.

And this brings in the discussion about ala carte channels. If the people of Tennis Channel think they have a product, they can make it a pay by the month channel like HBO, Showtime, etc. My guess is that they simply want more money and know that not many people want to watch it to make it profitable unless they are part of the "expanded basic" service.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis Channel really?

said by moonpuppy:

And this brings in the discussion about ala carte channels. If the people of Tennis Channel think they have a product, they can make it a pay by the month channel like HBO, Showtime, etc. My guess is that they simply want more money and know that not many people want to watch it to make it profitable unless they are part of the "expanded basic" service.

Then in that case the problem is self correcting. If many people don't watch, they can simply tell them to go away and they will either agree to a smaller rate increase or none at all, or simply be dropped.

Or, it could very well be that there are significant numbers of people watching the channel and the cable company will have to come to an agreement with the channel that may include a significant rate increase.

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis Channel really?

The problem is that the Tennis Channel is demanding to be placed on a basic subscription tier. This leaves no room for the TV provider to recover the increased cost through more expensive tiers or even a sports package. The only way to get more money is to charge everyone higher rates, and not just those 6-10% of their customer base that actually wants this channel.

They really need to restructure and package channel types within more distinct genres. Cartoons and children's programming should be on a separate tier. Sports belongs on another. Science and nature stuff can go into their own group. This would still allow for smaller, niche channels to survive, but it could keep the cost reasonable and allow customers to have a bit of control in the market, other than the all or nothing use it or lose it "choice" that is currently forced upon us.

The current business model is not going to last at the rate it is going. Something better be done soon.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis Channel really?

They can demand all the want. If there isn't significant viewership they don't have the upper hand and the cableco can tell them to pound sand.

Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-01
IA
kudos:2

Re: Tennis Channel really?

said by fifty nine:

They can demand all the want. If there isn't significant viewership they don't have the upper hand and the cableco can tell them to pound sand.

And that's what Mediacom did. This channel disappeared on Sep 3. Permanently. As in 'we won't carry it anymore' and not 'we are trying to work out some things'

Every person so far reacted like this

'Huh? There was a tennis channel?'

I hope golf channels are next.
--
I speak for myself, not my employer.

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

They can demand all the want. If there isn't significant viewership they don't have the upper hand and the cableco can tell them to pound sand.

this channel would just die out if we had true ala carte.
--
Oh YES! let me drop everything i'm doing regardless of who it affects to deal with your petty little problem!
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

1 recommendation

Yeah but if lumped into a sports package, how many football fans watch tennis? I know that we all pay for ESPN and there's quite a cross section of folks that don't care much for ANY sports programming and this probably doesn't seem fair to those folks and they would support having a "sports free" package.

I don't have anything in particular against tennis. There are courts in my subdivision and for pure recreation I play every now and then with my kids. However, I don't follow it and lumping it in with a sports channel package seems unfair.

I might buy a sports package for basketball, football, baseball and hockey but IMO, tennis is fringe. I suppose it depends on how much the Tennis Channel wants per month, per subscriber. My guess is that's part of the problem. It could be significant unless it's lumped into the millions of basic service subscribers.

djrobx
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Valencia, CA
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Re: Tennis Channel really?

We need the gubbermint to step in and prohibit content providers from bundling channels. ESPN gets ransom deals because its parent (ABC) can threaten to pull the main network feed if demands aren't met.

Until that happens there is no chance for us to have ala carte or tiers that make rational sense.

jmn1207
Premium
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Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis Channel really?

said by djrobx:

We need the gubbermint to step in and prohibit content providers from bundling channels. ESPN gets ransom deals because its parent (ABC) can threaten to pull the main network feed if demands aren't met.

Until that happens there is no chance for us to have ala carte or tiers that make rational sense.

The saddest part of this whole mess is that the prices will continue to soar year after year as the greedy parties keep making ludicrous demands. Eventually, the customer base will dwindle as we simply can't afford it anymore, and our corrupt government will most likely use my tax money to pay for a bailout that only adds fuel to the fire, as this money will surely go to the elite top as an award, while the working stiffs will take the brunt of the punishment in layoffs and reduced benefits.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis Channel really?

Don't put it past the government to let them fail and then pump more money into PBS. All part of their plan to create state-run media and control information.

OK -- I know that sounds like a 9/11 conspiracy theorist but I think we need to get rid of PBS and not ever rescue failed businesses. There's a reason species survive on this planet. Billions of predecessor species died. Interfering with this natural selection process is dangerous...

I also think we need to reinstate the regulation that stops content creators from being owned or owning content delivery. It troubles me that Comcast bought NBC/Universal and the "gubbermint" rubber stamped it.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
canada is like that.
Madtown
Premium
join:2008-04-26
Madera, CA

1 recommendation

Who cares, I don't watch tennis anyways, and no one I know watch tennis anyways, so it not anyone in the world cares anyways.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Tennis Channel really?

I have similar feelings but if they succeed in demanding to be part of the basic package, that puts more pressure on the rate everyone pays for the channels most of us do enjoy.

trparky
Apple... YUM
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kudos:2
I think all the people in this thread will agree with me in saying that there's no loss in losing this channel.

Quiglag
God is Love
Premium
join:2004-09-19
Ontario, CA

Re: Tennis Channel really?

Even as a tennis fan, I have no problem loosing the tennis channel. All of the majors are shown on basic cable channels anyways. Watching the game now on ESPN2.
--
Tool Reviews

Tennis Fan

@ed.gov
A lot of people care, including me. I am dropping FIOS and going to Directv because of this fiasco.

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis Channel really?

said by Tennis Fan :

A lot of people care, including me. I am dropping FIOS and going to Directv because of this fiasco.

Sadly, it is the Tennis Channel that is just as much to blame for this mess, if not more so than the TV provider. Unfortunately, your actions only strengthen and embolden the content provider's position. Next year it will be DirecTV in negotiations and asking you to pay an additional $5 on your bill. It will never end until somebody finally stands up to these media giants.

It is too bad that FiOS does not have enough viewers to make a significant dent in the Tennis Channel's viewer base. Comcast and DirecTV could seriously influence these constant rate increases if they stood firm and refused to play along. We will hit that point soon, as the customers that pay the TV providers are not going to be able to keep up with the rate hikes.

Tennis Fan

@ed.gov

Re: Tennis Channel really?

I don't care who is to blame. I don't like having the channel I watch the most cut off in the middle of the most important tennis tournament in North America. It has opened my eyes to what Directv is offering now, which are some good offers such as free NFL Sunday ticket also.

trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis Channel really?

Yeah... but you're doing exactly what the media giants want. More money!

We need to start putting the screws to the media giants and tell them no more rate hikes.

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Yes, the reason this happened is precisely because customers like you run to the next TV provider, or the TV provider caves during negotiations and we all see higher bills.

This scenario will play out in the near future with DirecTV. Eventually it will impact one of your favorite channels again. Maybe next time it will be a channel you don't care at all about, but DirecTV will raise your rates to keep the channel around for the vocal minority that do watch it?

The practice of having the customer switch providers to get the channels they want to see is driving the prices artificially high, and this is only a short-term solution that will eventually come crashing to a halt. It is not a sustainable business and it is destined to fail in the end.

Look around, it is already begun.

»gigaom.com/video/cord-cutters-q2-2011/

StudioTech
Off The Air

join:2001-10-10
Edison, NJ
said by Tennis Fan :

I don't care who is to blame. I don't like having the channel I watch the most cut off in the middle of the most important tennis tournament in North America. It has opened my eyes to what Directv is offering now, which are some good offers such as free NFL Sunday ticket also.

You do realize that at this point of the tournament, almost all of the matches are going to be either on ESPN2 or CBS anyway and all of the matches can we watched live on the US Open's website, right?
Kearnstd
Space Elf
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Mullica Hill, NJ
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I fail to see how picking the US Open as a time to do this adds anything to their argument when the open is carried on mass carried channels already.

Its not quite like if Fox where to be pulling the plug on Superbowl Sunday(though id imagine they would get sued by the NFL for loss of ad revenue if they did that in a carriage fight with a big CATV provider)
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

screw channels

just give us some more interactive content via widgets w/o tethering to internet media manager program!!! where the hell has this idea gone? they were supposed to introduce a new guide to metro NY.. and as of now? nothing!

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Re: screw channels

said by tmc8080:

just give us some more interactive content via widgets w/o tethering to internet media manager program!!! where the hell has this idea gone? they were supposed to introduce a new guide to metro NY.. and as of now? nothing!

Sure. Willing to pay for it?
tmc8080

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

Re: screw channels

said by fifty nine:

said by tmc8080:

just give us some more interactive content via widgets w/o tethering to internet media manager program!!! where the hell has this idea gone? they were supposed to introduce a new guide to metro NY.. and as of now? nothing!

Sure. Willing to pay for it?

No!, However, when the time comes I'm willing to cut the cord for video without it! If cablevision can do video streaming apps then Verizon can get their ass in gear and evolve the cable-tv business model! 2011-2012 is late enough! Btw, you'd have to PAY ME to watch tennis.
westdc

join:2009-01-25
Amissville, VA
kudos:1

Tennis

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ-

If you like-go buy a ticket--Watch on TV -I don't need it or need to pay for it.

Even if it was free the cable company's would say "you have to pay more because we need to carry it"
Wilsdom

join:2009-08-06

1 recommendation

Re: Tennis

You have to admit that female matches are interesting for a few minutes at least...

ddg4005
Premium
join:2001-08-22
Bronx, NY

Yet Another Round of Carriage Disputes

I'm so glad I gave up television service two years ago.
--
A man must have a code -Bunk

axiomatic

join:2006-08-23
Tomball, TX

1 recommendation

Stupid business model.

I don't really care what the channel is, the way the broadcasting business model is set up is ancient and needs to change. Customers just don't need to be involved in these arguments in any capacity. These arguments between carriers need to occur long before there is ever a chance that a customer who has already paid their subscription for said channel can be made to lose it. As far as I'm concerned the individual customer should be suing whomever they get the channel from for "breach of contract" when stupidity like this occurs.

I also don't give one rat ass about the shareholders either, they come AFTER customers. (I'm a shareholder in MANY companies as well so I say this knowing it could potentially hurt my portfolio.)
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

espn is pushing Longhorn Network to a point it may be needed

espn is pushing Longhorn Network to a point it may be needed to keep to epsn.

Now I want to see dish, directv, comcast, Time Warner Cable and others to all to say no and maybe even drop ESPN for some time.
old_wiz_60

join:2005-06-03
Bedford, MA

There is a tennis channel??

Never heard of it and won't miss it, or any sports channels. I'd rather have lower prices than sports channels.

amenite
The Soylent - It's People
Premium
join:2002-11-21
Ridgewood, NJ

New home for Tennis channel?

I thought it kind of bizarre when Cablevision moved the Game Show Network into sports pak:

»[iO] GSN to sports Pak? WHY Cablevison???

If only the Game Show Network really were a network, then the Tennis channel could be bundled with it
--
Time is an abstract concept invented by carbon based life forms to monitor their constant decay.
-Thunderclese
gogreen

join:2010-09-10
Virginia Beach, VA

netTALK TV

Thats why I cant wait for netTALK TV to come!

M A R S
Premium
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Long Island
kudos:1

Tennis Channel.. LOL!

PEACE!!!
PX Eliezer7
Premium
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Hutt River
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Reviews:
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Love means nothing to the Tennis Channel

Lots of people watch football and baseball, even if they don't play it themselves.

The opposite may be true for tennis. Many people play it, but who wants to spend hours watching it, except perhaps for a couple of big tournaments each year.

Tennis Channel ?

How is that a broad enough base to be viable ?!

Seriously, if there were one channel that combined tennis, volleyball, bowling, and softball, that might be viable.

----------------------------------------------

In this dispute, the Tennis Channel will end up with "love".

anonnona

@verizon.net

cable/sat/telco should form a coalition

The cable companies, satellite companies, and telco should all form a content negotiation coalition where they all collectively negotiate with the content companies at the same time. Networks would be less demanding if they knew all the carriers would drop them simultaneously. They might even be able to force the price of ESPN down because even though the networks can use the internet as a distribution means, they would lose a lot more for several reasons:
1) The vast majority of consumers still prefer the ease of watching TV versus sitting in front of a computer screen. Also computers limit the number of simultaneous viewers. Most consumers don't know/want to connect their PCs to the TV either.
2) If the networks put their offerings online for Free, they would be canabalizing their own revenue stream. If you have to pay to access it, few subscribers would actually pay a new separate bill to have content, most would learn to live without it.
3) Advertizers would seriously cut spending on those networks no longer being carried by the subscription TV providers.
4) Bandwidth caps and slow broadband speeds would hinder the online viewing experience for many.
In the end there might be a month long blackout or so, but the content companies would come back with their tails between their legs. Of course this will never work because the cable/sat/telcos hate each other too much to try working together on this and as long as the content companies have one way or another to get to your TV set there is no need for them to be reasonable in their pricing.