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ABC Pulls Channels From Cablevision

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the mickey-mouse-is-playing-hardball dept.

Television 217

wkurzius writes "Cablevision and ABC have failed to come to an agreement after two years of negotiations, and as a result ABC has pulled all their channels from the Cablevision lineup. The dispute is over $40 million in new retransmission fees that Cablevision says they won't give to ABC. On the other side, Cablevision has been accused of not being fair to their customers despite pocketing $8 billion last year. 'The companies immediately published press releases Sunday morning, blaming each other for failing to reach a deal. Cablevision subscribers on Twitter expressed their frustration, saying they shouldn't be deprived of ABC shows, including the Oscars on Sunday, because of a multi-million-dollar deal gone awry. Competitors such as Verizon Communications took advantage of the dispute. The company launched television, newspaper, and online ads offering Cablevision customers speedy installs to subscribe to its FiOS television service along with $75 gift cards, highlighting a fierce war for subscribers in the valuable New York market.'"

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217 comments

wow.. i dont believe it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31391914)

People actually watch the oscars?
Who wants to watch an entire industry of false people pat themselves on the back for
another record breaking year of unoriginality, mediocrity and bullshittery?

Re:wow.. i dont believe it (4, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392234)

now now...

I hate the rich as much as you do...

but bullshittery is fun.

I enjoy film. I enjoy film making... but I do agree it is a silly event, and ABC and Cablevision are just two rich whining babies fighting over an amount of money neither of us will ever see in our life time.

To think how many people they could help in this economy... all of the out of work people, with health insurance bills...

Instead two media giants will duke it out over nothing that really matters to real people.

Keep your ABC channels... and Fuck Cablevision. People are out of work... The oscars doesnt mean dick anyone. Its an advertisement for the best films to buy... thats all it is... But I do enjoy film so... But lets call it what it is... Its a FUCKING INFOMERCIAL.

FIOS rules ;)

Re:wow.. i dont believe it (2, Interesting)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392564)

What does the Oscars have to do with Cinema and film?

It is a boys club, crappy movies often beat better movies. It's as bad as the Grammys....

Re:wow.. i dont believe it (3, Insightful)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31393248)

I dunno...it always sounds like there are two groups

One is like you, saying that the crappy big commercialized movies beat the really good films.

The other camp says "nobody even saw any of these movies" when they see the list of nominations.

At some level, these arguments are opposing each other--if all the nominations are going to the smaller, more serious films that were not big blockbusters, then you can't have the equivalent of the grammys where every song that is even close to getting nominated is some trashy top 40 piece. I think this years decision to have 10 best picture nominees is actually an attempt to get it out of the "nobody has seen any of this" camp and into having some more "popular" movies show up (I also think this was the idea behind pushing for an animated feature category).

My view is that the last couple of years have generated a bunch of best picture nominations that got more public interest *after* their nomination than they had had at release--of course you may still not agree with the film that wins...but if this was like the grammys, the winners would be Mall Cop and Night at the Museum

Re:wow.. i dont believe it (3, Insightful)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392718)

Verizon is Different from ABC and Cablevision how?

Re:wow.. i dont believe it (5, Funny)

DanZ23 (901353) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392966)

Well for starters Verizon will have the Oscars tonight

Re:wow.. i dont believe it (0, Offtopic)

PK Tech Guy (1310715) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392370)

People actually post Anonymous Coward?
Who wants to read another post from a 14 year-old
venting his misanthropy in a shoddy, grammatically challenged diatribe?

Re:wow.. i dont believe it (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392520)

You obviously read it.

Poor ABC (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31391962)

The same thing happened here in the UK with Sky & Virgin.
That was right before a big sports event or something too.
Virgin started their own channel after much complaining.
All Sky1 shows usually was re-re-re-runs of Stargate anyway.

Life goes on and they all throw out more reality tv.

Re:Poor ABC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31391998)

I don't know which of the two I feel worse for. I'm sure it'll weigh heavily on me when I go watch Hulu and Youtube.

Re:Poor ABC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392008)

ABC only has to answer to their advertisers. And I assume they must be very pleased with this move.

Re:Poor ABC (1)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392018)

The same thing happened here in the UK with Sky & Virgin. That was right before a big sports event or something too. Virgin started their own channel after much complaining. All Sky1 shows usually was re-re-re-runs of Stargate anyway.

Life goes on and they all throw out more reality tv.

I don't personally watch much of ABC, but ABC is a BIG station in the US... as in one of the original Big 3 [wikipedia.org] . Cablevision definitely doesn't have the resources to make their own version of ABC.

Re:Poor ABC (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392570)

You say that, and yet Comcast (a different cable service provider) made an offer to buy the entirety of Disney a few years ago, including ESPN and ABC.

Don't always assume that just because a company is old it is always bigger than newer competitors - or customers.

Re:Poor ABC (3, Informative)

Manip (656104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392138)

If you're going to tell the story at least get it right.
Virgin was about to launch competing channels to Sky One-Three and Sky didn't like that too much and tried to up the cost and Virgin didn't back down and just pushed forward their launch. As a result all of the "free" Sky channels got pulled (Sky One-Three, Sky News, et al).

Sky Sports and Sky Movies never got pulled from Virgin's services since they ran on entirely different agreements (plus Sky and Virgin make far too much on those premium channels).

There was no "big sports event" since no sports channel got pulled. I think this was just before a 24 season start however.

$75 gift card to switch to Verizon FIOS? (4, Insightful)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31391968)

Sure I'll take that deal - WHEN YOU MAKE FIOS AVAILABLE IN MY @%&#! NEIGHBORHOOD!!!

Re:$75 gift card to switch to Verizon FIOS? (5, Interesting)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392016)

Sure I'll take that deal - WHEN YOU MAKE FIOS AVAILABLE IN MY @%&#! NEIGHBORHOOD!!!

Ditto. I actually receive promotional snail mail the tout the wonder of FIOS, but they do not offer it in my area. They actually mail advertisements to addresses they know they do not support.

Actually it's a good sign (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392288)

They normally start advertising by mail and TV in an area that they are getting ready to deploy FIOS to. Odds are good that if you're getting snail spam about it that they are building out the requisite network in your area.

Re:$75 gift card to switch to Verizon FIOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31393118)

They DO supply it in your area .. its just that they put out the word that you shouldnt get it. what with those Porn DL's

Disney comedians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31391976)

It's pretty funny listening to a company that makes the dough that Disney does complain about how much Cablevision takes down. Likewise moaning about what people get on a basic cable plan - I guess they figure the transmission infrastructure is free? This doesn't let Cablevision and their ilk off the hook for crap service and the general raping of customers (Verizon, Dish, DTV too).

bundle fees have to end (5, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392000)

Al la carte, please.

You want to know why your cable bill is so high? This is why. Cable stations (and now network stations) charge cable companies to carry their channels. So they get paid whether you watch their content or not!

It is these deals that keep things like Hulu from happening because why would a cable station offer their program for only advertising revenue online when they can get fixed monthly revenue plus advertising over cable/satellite.

And this is why your cable bill is so high. You are paying for channels whether you watch them or not. And due to big bundles, you're paying for a lot of them.

Meanwhile, the cable (and satellite) companies make these big bundles so they can hide the cost of carrying these channels by making you think you're paying for breadth of content. Mostly, you're actually paying most of it for 5 ESPN channels! And that's great if you want to pay that much for ESPN. But the rest of us need more choice.

Each channel should be individually tallied so you know how much you're paying for each channel. If you feel the channel is worth the price, you pay for it. If you feel it isn't worth it, you can not pay for it. And if enough channels don't get picked up by people, they will realize they can't just get free money, they have to provide content people want to watch, and once they do that, they won't care if they get their viewers from cable companies or Hulu.

This would be preferable to seeing larger and larger bundles pushed on us.

Re:bundle fees have to end (4, Interesting)

TClevenger (252206) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392102)

Exactly. And why the fuck am I watched 19 minutes of commercials an hour when my cable company is already paying you $40 million?

Re:bundle fees have to end (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392110)

I pay for the lowest basic analog cable. I watch at most 3 channels, perhaps 5 hours a week. But id rather not go to a pay per view, or id not watch anything :)

Re:bundle fees have to end (3, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392222)

I think GP was referring to "pick channels individually" rather than "pay per time watched on a given channel".

Pay per time watched (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392408)

That would be the logical conclusion to the path he suggested. 100% pay per view.

yes, either pay or ad-supported (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392548)

100%.

If you only like one show, you watch only that show, it'd be interesting if you only had to pay for that show. As to the ads, they take care of themselves, you only see the ads from that one show.

I would love to see the channel system gone, where you just watch what you want. Like Hulu does. And if this bundling system where you pay just to have a channel as an option goes away, maybe we'll see it happen.

Re:bundle fees have to end (4, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392208)

Your cable bill is so high because consumers continue to allow cable companies to charge what they do. I dropped "cable" TV (I had DirecTV for a couple of years too) in 2008 and I have been much better off for it. We read more, we listen to more music, and we don't spend hours in front of the TV. I find it to be a win but I understand that entirely too many people do love their TV. Thankfully there are options:

1. OTA

This is what we have now. We watch some shows there and the quality is fine, when it works, and when the dog isn't walking in front of the antenna (I still don't understand how digital TV "upgrade" was a good compromise--at least when the signal didn't come in for the old way you could still see something or at least hear something).

2. Hulu/other streaming availability by network

We watch the majority of what we want to watch via Hulu. Yeah, I realize it's not the greatest option and not every show is on there but to be completely honest, you shouldn't be watching as much TV as you are anyway. Go outside or something ;)

3. Movies/Internet

We used to spend $60 a month on TV. Now we have upgraded cable Internet (I run a website out of my home and needed business class anyway) and we use the Internet a lot more (my masters program is all online) and we spend about $3 a month on Redbox. $57 extra dollars is worth it people.

---

As for the bitching about not being able to catch the Oscars... Go to a friend's house, go to a bar, get an antenna, or just wait till the next day. Believe me, you're probably not missing much.

Cable Internet without cable TV? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392778)

I dropped "cable" TV [...] we have upgraded cable Internet

I seem to remember that a lot of cable companies won't let customers get cable Internet unless they have at least "limited basic" TV through the cable company. Otherwise, they charge a "line fee" in the same amount as the monthly price for "limited basic" TV.

Re:Cable Internet without cable TV? (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392922)

I can confirm that is the case for comcast, in my area. Well, they charge a $15 fee for not having tv, or an 18.95 fee for limited basic. So, we're paying a fifteen dollar illegal-bundling-because-of-local-monopoly fee, and $3.95 extra for the privilege of having a few channels when we watch tv.

Re:Cable Internet without cable TV? (2, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31393014)

I have business class. There are no such restrictions.

Re:bundle fees have to end (2, Interesting)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392890)

I am about one month into having only "limited basic" (network programming, several religious channels, and whatever HD channels the local cable company forgot to block out). My wife and I had been telling ourselves we were going to rent movies using our local video store's five older movies for five days for $5 deal. But, instead, we have been playing wii fit for 45 minutes to an hour a day, each, watching an occasional show on network, and have barely missed cable.

I can't stress enough how much this has helped with my diet.

Re:bundle fees have to end (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392310)

The thing is - that's fine. But in the end the cable company probably wouldn't make enough money to have any channels except for ESPN, a few of the kids channels, and maybe a news network or two. "Bundling" is why there's an explosion of channels at all - there isn't enough interest for most channels to stand alone, but if they're bundled together the marginal viewership of all of the channels together is enough to support the bundle.

Now you might argue that that's a lousy business model, and that's fine. But you do need to realize that without bundling cable companies really have nothing to offer anymore. They used to offer a cleaner signal for broadcast channels - digital broadcasts trash that idea completely. The only thing cable companies have to offer right now on the TV front is diversity of programming - and bundling what makes diversity of programming possible. Remove that and leave the cable companies only with rebroadcasting broadcast signals and the channels that will pay for themselves with subscriptions and you would end up with a cable company that is likely only able to support ESPN, Fox News, and 900 Home Shopping Channels that the cable company can get for free for its subscriber base. You certainly aren't going to have the critical mass for a Sci-Fi channel, or a Home and Garden Channel, or a National Geographic channel, or any of the other niche channels that all have their followings but wouldn't alone have the paying subscriber base to be affordable to produce.

Re:bundle fees have to end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392710)

I think one of the other posters hit it on the head: we don't CARE about channels, we care about content. So who cares if some channels don't make it in an a la carte system? We should do away with "channels" of always on crap and move to on demand content only (over time obviously; can't happen overnight). Channels made sense back in the day when everything was "broadcast" and not two way. Now that two way is available most places, it makes a lot less sense to always be sending content on a channel that people aren't even watching. Give me a master guide of what is available and I will watch what I want only. If that means a micropayment system - fine: go develop one that works.

Bundle is MIUCH better than a la carte (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392342)

With a la carte TV , only what brings money in will get produced. Risky stuff or stuff with an audience too small to be rentable will not even get touched at all. At least with bundle you have a slight chance that the network takes a bit of risk for the off chance of a good pay. With a la carte this most probably disappear completely.

Re:bundle fees have to end (0, Troll)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392508)

If you honestly think if a la carte ever came about and the cable and media companies would not try and sell it as a better, value added, therefore more expensive, service, well then you're out of your god-damned mind John McCain.

I've said it before, just two words... last mile (5, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392536)

This whole thing is ridiculous. At face value and and in the deeper business meanings. Stupid, pure and simple stupid. It's 800lbs of stupid.

This should be avoided, and can be avoided if the last mile is not owned by the content provider. The last mile is community infrastructure that is paid for by subscribers, and should be owned by them. Yes, it seemed easier to outsource this laborious task to someone with a vested interest, but in the end it is not. All those Cablevision subscribers should be able to call customer support and have their content service provision switched while they are on the phone. They should be able to demand a la carte pricing too.

Instead we continue to allow the last mile community infrastructure to be owned and operated by those who fix the price of using the service. No, what I suggest is not the perfect answer, but it puts the ownership and decision making in the hands of the local community, not hot-headed corporate officers whose interest is bottom line dollars. When the infrastructure is owned by the community, and each 'service provider' is tied to the network, subscribers can choose who they want, not suffer until a new provider is in their neighborhood. As it is, we pay for multiple half assed last mile networks instead of paying for one damn good last mile network. We are charged stupid fees to use those half ass networks, and are at the mercy of 'service providers' marketing groups as to what bundles we have to purchase to watch the few channels we do like.

This community owned infrastructure would appear to give ABC an upper hand, but it does not. When I'm allowed to choose who I want to pay for service, and choose what channels I don't want to watch, the financing will do an amazing free market thing: kill off content that nobody wants to watch, lower the price of content that people do want to watch, and redirect monies to making content that is worth watching. ABC is going to have this coverage of the Oscars. Why do I have to pay for ABC crap content 24/7/365 to watch it? Why can't I use the pay per view options?

Television has been made an integral part of American society, and I think it's a sad reflection on that society that it is controlled by so few people, that so little choice is given to the same consumers that have to choose from 400+ options to buy a pair of running shoes. Personally, I think anti-trust laws were created with the intent of stopping this kind of thing. Screw ABC and screw Cablevision, and all their equals. Senator? Congresswoman? if you're listening, I'm holding YOU accountable.

Re:I've said it before, just two words... last mil (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392860)

ABC is going to have this coverage of the Oscars. Why do I have to pay for ABC crap content 24/7/365 to watch it?

Why do you have to pay ABC to watch the Oscars?

TV networks are becoming obsolete, just like RIAA/MPAA.

The death throes of the dinosaurs are violent and earth-shattering, for awhile, and then we move on with life, with a new business model.

Senator? Congresswoman? if you're listening, I'm holding YOU accountable.

You're "holding them accountable", they're sending the reelection campaign buckets of their customer's cash.

Re:bundle fees have to end (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392666)

So basically, Scifi, discovery, and any other expensive but not immediately profitable channels should all die?

As much as I hate paying for things I dont use, the stuff I do enjoy would never get enough funding to continue if everyone else didnt do the same thing. If everyone switched to a la carte, we'd just end up with a bunch of reality tv because nothing else can turn enough profit on so little of an investment.

Re:bundle fees have to end (5, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392756)

Here's some corrections to some factual errors/omissions. I am not even remotely speaking in an official capacity and I don't have a dog in this particular fight, but I do have more insight on the topic that the original poster.

1) Some channels cost, some are free/almost free, some pay. The problem is, you can see the total net cost used to be vaguely low/zero because it sort of balances out, kind of. But that's an unstable situation. A 10% increase on one channel, could result in a total net cost change of like 20%. So the claws really come out in the battle. In an internet era, how well do you think television shopping channels are doing? Hence some inbalance leading to chaos. Essentially pay TV is collapsing such that the only successful channels (sports and news) happen to be channels that historically were expensive.

2) Everything you see on commercial/mainstream media TV comes from about a half dozen corps. You can play games with percentage cutoffs vs number of providers, but "most TV comes from about 6 major corporations" is more or less correct. So there is no financial reason to have more or less than about a half dozen bundles. Bundle size/design is a purely marketing driven confuse-opoly situation, like the cellphone business or whatever. A bundle sends a certain bucket of cash to the Disney empire, and the cableco really doesn't care what fraction of that bucket disney earmarks for ABC vs disney channel vs whatever.

3) Its a zero sum game, to some extent. The providers already know that most subscribers only watch about 3 channels and budget their charges accordingly. On average this works pretty well, since almost everything on TV comes from only a couple multinational corps. So, you can pay the big media corps $75 for 300 channels of which you only watch 3, or you can pay $25/each to only get the three channels you watch. Either way the big media corp total revenue will be unchanged. You're better off with 297 channels available that you MIGHT watch in the future, plus people whom watch more than 3 channels would be really screwed with ala carte.

4) This ties in with #3. If a cableco caves into espn or abc, the problem is not that they've lost ONE battle with one channel. It means they've got to fight perhaps 50 smaller channels to make up the money somewhere else. Hence the claws come out. From the cableco perspective, the job isn't to win a battle with one channel, but not to start a war with numerous little channels. Worst case scenario, since some cablecos are owned partially or in part by content providers, is alliance type activity creating a TV WWI scenario where everyone sues everyone and no one wins or survives but the lawyers. Its a lot easier to fight one big channel to the death, than fifty little channels.

they have to provide content people want to watch

5) Ha Ha very funny dude. Actually, they have to sell eyeballs to advertisers. If all they had to do was provide highly desired content, we'd have about 500 channels of pr0n. But in psuedo-christian america, advertisers would get boycotted for advertising on pr0n. Hence, other than ppv, theres not much pr0n on tv. No one boycotts advertisers on violent shows, hence we're supersaturated with violent TV.

6) Some of it is a pure marketing PR stunt. As a rounded down percentage of the total country population, no one thinks of or watches ABC. But at least today, they got some PR. And theres no such thing as bad PR. Cableco costs go up because of the price of gas, insurance, etc, just like any other business, but this is a very public way of showing an attempt at limiting cost increases, even if its not the real cause of rate increases. Therefore, "Kabuki Theatre" time, and once enough PR interest is generated, we can go back to business as usual. I'd give it a couple days.

Re:bundle fees have to end (4, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392808)

Ala carte cable will probably happen - and then be changed in a twisted way never to be seen again.

The problem is that nobody (and I mean NOBODY) will pay for EWTN. The majority will not pay for BET. A few people, but not enough will pay for the Golf Channel. I don't really see people paying for the Weather Channel either.

OK, so now Jesse Jackson gets in some Congresscritter's face and demands that the discrimination against BET cease. So now there is a BET tax. The Catholic Church sends a few letters and a priest or two about EWTN being discriminated against and how this lack of diversity is affecting people. So now BET and EWTN are somehow subsidized.

How many people will actually pay for Spike when they have to make an individual choice? Better put, how many married men will be able to convince their wives that Spike (with Manswers) is a good thing to spend money on? Not enough to keep Spike on the air, that's how many.

I suspect SyFry will go the same way - some people pay, just not enough. As will be the case with about 75% of the channel lineup. It isn't that anyone will make a decision to eliminate these, just that there isn't enough people paying to make it possible to continue to operate. What made the Golf Channel possible was selling it to the cable and satellite companies, not selling it to individual subscribers.

The end result is there are maybe 20 cable channels left. Oh, 22 - I forgot BET and EWTN. At that point the whole cable TV idea is pretty pointless and developing a new channel is next to impossible - you don't sell the cable management, you have to sell individual subscribers.

I am sure I am not the only one with this vision. Just the threat of the discrimination lawsuits would be a serious obstacle. The market shrinkage is nearly provable and would easily make it next to impossible to get this done.

Re:bundle fees have to end (3, Insightful)

dirk (87083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392876)

This is a great idea if you REALLY want to devolve into total crap. Everyone (especially geeks) like to complain about all of the crap on their TV. There are too many crappy reality shows and not enough good content. If TV went al la carte, this would truly be the case. The reason most of the smaller niche channels, the ones that have the good original intelligent programming, can survive are because of bundling. It is, unfortunately, also the reason there are 7 ESPN channels and 12 religious networks, but I will put up with them to have the good content. Channels like G4, the Science channel, the National Geographic channel, the lesser music channels that still show music such as VH1 classic and Palladium, the History channel, and Ovation wouldn't be able to exist without bundling. Instead, all that would be left is lowest common denominator TV like MTV and E. We would lose probably half the channels, but int hat half would be the ones that are willing to take a chance and show interesting niche programing instead of showing reruns of American Idol and the Real World.

I will happily keep paying for bundles to make sure there is actually something I want to watch available on my cable system.

Re:bundle fees have to end (1)

J4 (449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392900)

I'm a cablevision subscriber. Your comment exposes the irony of "on demand" programming.
If I can get a movie streamed, why not a channel?

Cablevision has entirely too much influence on downstate NY. If you ever want to see
a real turd, get a copy of Newsday, the paper they own. Utter dreck.

Re:bundle fees have to end (1)

ragethehotey (1304253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31393002)

Al la carte, please.

You want to know why your cable bill is so high? This is why. Cable stations (and now network stations) charge cable companies to carry their channels. So they get paid whether you watch their content or not!

This logic has never made any sense to me, since with an a la carte pricing model, only the bullshit that appeals to the lowest common denominator will ever be commercially viable.
Do you REALLY want nothing but "Two and a Half Men" and "CSI: Whatfuckingever" all day long?

The big question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392010)

Now how do I get NBC dropped from my cable service?

Re:The big question? (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392262)

Supposedly, Cablevision fucked up and took NBC off the air for a bit last night when they took ABC off. A few other channels were also turned off. I beleive Cablevision straightened that out though.

I wouldnt know though. Its just what i read on dslreports

We need La Carte now and right to buy the box and (0, Redundant)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392026)

We need La Carte now and right to buy the box and not re foreced to rent them $15-$20 each.

I'm willing to pay for VS just for the hockey and then drop it and I don't want to be forced buy a lot other channels to get it or be forced to pay for in the base pack for alot poor other stuff on it.

I have directv and it's better priced then comcast Chicagoland and comcast makes you get there sports pack to get speed (parts of the area) and fox moive channel hear. They also have sci-fi / Syfy in higher level then other areas as well haveing CSN+ (over flow) in a higher pack then CSN all other systems in this area have it in the same level. also CSN is alot better then VS is.

Re:We need La Carte now and right to buy the box a (1)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31393012)

You have the right to buy the box, I don't use any cable company boxes. You do have to rent cable cards though, but they're more like $1 a month than $20.

abc is not reasonable (0, Troll)

meow27 (1526173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392036)

cablevision gets its money from phone and web services too.

and if cablevision gives in, everybody else will demand a free lunch.

i dont think people care the much about losing abc.....

Re:abc is not reasonable (3, Insightful)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392320)

i dont think people care the much about losing abc.....

The millions of people who watch Lost and Grey's Anatomy would beg to differ. So would everyone who's planning to watch the Oscars tonight.

It may not be your cup of tea, but it's kind of stupid to say that people don't care about losing one of the major national broadcast networks.

OTH? (4, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392056)

I skimmed the article, and the summary seems pretty good. So, isn't ABC still broadcast over the air? I didn't see a list of the other ABC channels, but most everything focused on the main ABC one like Lost, Good Morning America, Oscars, etc.

Also, this seems to be a trend with ESPN and other companies and cable providers having standoffs. Yes, I'm one of those that got rid of cable and haven't bothered with hooking an antenna to my TV. Even with a DVR, the commercials and lack of good content just makes watching too much effort (and cost) for the reward.

Re:OTH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392252)

That's what I'm wondering about OTA. My 25 year old rabbit ears still pick up OTA in HD just fine, and I don't pay for the local package. Just get out the rabbit ears people!

TV content dissapears (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392080)

And no one even noticed.

Re:TV content dissapears (1)

onallama (515297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392642)

As the saying goes, "...and nothing of value was lost."

Can i get a discount now? (1)

ZenPirate (562047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392084)

Good. now Cablevision can discount my bill for losing ABC owner channels, and i can continue to watch ABC shows via ABC's website for free... Chances of cablevsion actually discounting said bill: none.

Re:Can i get a discount now? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392200)

Call their customer's service number and ask for one. Whining about "probably not getting one" here isn't going to get you one, now is it?

ABC? What is that? (-1, Troll)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392088)

Haven't heard of that website. My favourite is megavideo. They have Lost. Call me when ABC has such good programming, ads-free, for such a convenient cost of 0 dollars.

Re:ABC? What is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392212)

Because megavideo is ad's free as well? There's nothing wrong with ads, just when they get over-saturated.

Is the summary somewhat misleading, or TFA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392104)

Okay, the post says "Cablevision and ABC have failed to come to an agreement after two years of negotiations, and as a result ABC has pulled all their channels from the Cablevision lineup." This would suggest that subscribers are losing access not just to the broadcast ABC station, but all ABC stations including ABC Family, ESPN, and possibly the Disney-branded channels.

TFA seems to say that the dispute is over just the broadcast ABC station. They make no mention of other ABC channels that might have been pulled.

Checking other articles doesn't clear this up - they all seem to be mostly worried that Cablevision subscribers in New York won't be able to see the Oscars. (Oscar die-hard fans in New York, here's a hint - set up your rabbit ears. If your TV doesn't do digital, go buy a $20 converter box to go with it. You may be surprised at how good the broadcast content is in your area. I know I was.)

So which is it? "All" ABC channels or just the actual broadcast channel? The story of ABC and Cablevision playing chicken over a broadcast station isn't that interesting really. The story of ABC and Cablevision playing chicken with all ABC cable channels kind of is.

Re:Is the summary somewhat misleading, or TFA? (2, Informative)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392356)

For what it's worth, the Wall Street Journal article [wsj.com] says "ABC television stations" and mentions that the deal between Disney and Time Warner covers the cable stations as well as the broadcast network.

That's still not a clear-cut answer, but my guess would be that they were all pulled but ABC gets the lion's share of attention because the Oscars are tonight.

Sign of what comcast / nbc will be to sat tv. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392116)

Sign of what comcast / nbc will be to sat tv.

be ready to get torrents of your shows on.

2012 games.

USA Network, Syfy, CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo and more.

Are Craptastic Networks Relevent? (2, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392152)

When the networks stop relying on all these mindless Reality Shows "staring" all these narcissistic morons, I'll give a shit. I don't have Cablevision, but if Comcast dropped ABC, I wouldn't really care.

If I was a subscriber I'd think Class action suite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392182)

I pay a separate charge for local channels so if they get pulled, I think it's time for a class
action law suite as the cable company has a responsibility with collecting fees from me.

Wow, this sucks. (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392232)

I know I'm just dreaming up science fiction here, but if only there were some way that ABC could send their signal directly through space to our TVs and bypass the cable companies completely, we could avoid this horrible situation. Maybe one day it will be possible...

Re:Wow, this sucks. (3, Informative)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392680)

We've pretty much obsoleted that model with the new digital broadcast. Now, instead of coverage areas that extend far beyond cities, the coverage pretty much ends in the suburbs.

The benefit is of course that there are no more snowy pictures - everything is either crystal clear or blank. However, as someone with a home in a rural area we went from five stations that could be picked up and a sixth that was rather iffy we now get one digital station. This is with a 10-foot mast on top of the house with a rotator. Of course a big VHF/UHF antenna is pretty much a waste anyway with the new signal frequencies.

Cable was the obvious choice and allowed moving from fringe-area DSL (384K) to cable Internet.

If you live in a city or close-in suburb OTA is still a reality, at least for now.

Not entirely true. (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31393218)

Now, instead of coverage areas that extend far beyond cities, the coverage pretty much ends in the suburbs.

My cabin is about 90 miles outside of the twin cities in a very remote area, and I can get all the networks OTA.

I also am using a 20+ year old VHF/UHF antenna on the roof, albeit a large one (maybe 15 feet tall) and it works fine. All I had to do was add an electrical power booster to it.

Cablevision subscribers: The silver spooned set (2, Insightful)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392276)

"Cablevision subscribers on Twitter expressed their frustration, saying they shouldn't be deprived of ABC shows, including the Oscars on Sunday, because of a multi-million-dollar deal gone awry."

In other news, according to a new entirely authoritative and conclusive scientific study (i.e. me), Cablevision subscribers have the most unrealistic sense of entitlement of any other pay-for-TV consumers in the entire US. They also apparently are all billionaire shareholders of Cablevision.

OTA FTW (4, Informative)

2bfree (113445) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392282)

I'm so glad I finally got rid of cable. If you leave near a major city where your local stations are located, take a look at getting an indoor HD antenna. (I'm using the Winegard SS-3000, kinda big but works great.)

To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (3, Insightful)

boguslinks (1117203) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392304)

Sirius Satellite Radio rolled out an A La Carte program in 2008 (under pressure from the government), and the number of subscribers that have chosen it is tiny.* Really really tiny. Mel Karmazin grits his teeth every time it's mentioned to him, the high cost it took to implement it and the tiny subscriber adoption.

So it appears many consumers really do like flipping through a zillion channels, for both radio and TV. I'd say it's a small Slashdot-style minority clamoring for A La Carte programming.

*I will say, Sirius does not exactly go out of its way to promote the A La Carte offering. But it does exist.

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392452)

Sirrius/Radio: $13 per month
Cable: $80+ per month

BIG difference.

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392684)

If you're paying $80 a month for basic cable alone (that's without Internet and without digital phone service), your cable company is screwing you over royally and you might want to consider a satellite dish if they have no competitor in your neighborhood.

The cost of my basic cable TV subscription is about $12/month on top of what I'd be paying anyway for broadband service. Which means ala carte pricing is unlikely to help me at all and might actually be too costly for me to bother keeping a cable TV subscription.

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31393202)

As well; each song 3+ minutes, each show 1/2, 1, 1 1/2 hour. Also, music works for backgound when doing anything else; TV not so much.

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (3, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392468)

So it appears many consumers really do like flipping through a zillion channels, for both radio and TV. I'd say it's a small Slashdot-style minority clamoring for A La Carte programming.

The push for a la carte isn't about flipping through a zillion channels. It's about price. People don't want to pay $80/mo for 1000 channels if they're only ever gonna watch 10. Sirius costs $10/mo.... to perhaps reduce that to $8/mo isn't even worth the hassle of going through and choosing all the Rock and Jazz channels and never being able to listen to Reggae if you're in a tropical mood.

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (5, Insightful)

koick (770435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392614)

Your example illustrates to me a difference between radio and TV however.
I, probably like many folks, enjoy a wide array of music: industrial, rock, jazz, talk, reggae, electronic, 80's, etc.
However, there is a much smaller array of TV show genres I enjoy: the major networks, PBS, science (like Discovery/TLC), Food, Syfy, and History. I will NEVER want to watch: online shopping, soaps, Spanish/foreign language, sports, kids (Disney, Nickelodeon), MTV, CSPAN, BET, E!, Fox News, Golf, Halmark, etc. Making me pay for these is a waste of my money.

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392926)

"It's about price. People don't want to pay $80/mo for 1000 channels if they're only ever gonna watch 10."

People assume a la carte equals low price. But if it ever happens you will pay almost the same for those 10 channels as you do for those 1000. So most people will choose the bundle...

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392482)

You have to have a radio that supports it. Only one radio supports it. This explains the low adoption rate.

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392938)

Wow really? I had no idea they had this service. You may have just made me a customer of theirs. What great advertising they have!

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (1)

daveywest (937112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392990)

Speaking as one in the industry, a la carte will never catch on unless networks are prohibited from packaging. For instance, you're local cable provider can't buy Cartoon Network without buying MTV and Comedy Central. My kids and I love Sponge Bob, but we could do without The Situation.

In the case at hand, I hope all the advertisers are knocking down the door at WABC Monday morning demanding credit for the lost audience.

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31393044)

I'd say it's a small Slashdot-style minority clamoring for A La Carte programming.

Skyvision is a well known and reputable satellite provider of ala carte channels. Their subscriber numbers are basically a rounding error compared to the big providers. As for my relationship with skyvision, and providing ala carte channels, there is a guy on the NANOG mailing list with a well known humorous quote something like "I strongly encourage my competitors to deploy this bad idea".

http://www.skyvision.com/programming/alacarte.html [skyvision.com]

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 4 years ago | (#31393190)

Skyvision is a well known and reputable satellite provider of ala carte channels. Their subscriber numbers are basically a rounding error compared to the big providers.

Yes, because their channel selection is limited and their smallest dishes are a meter across.

But Skyvision are a good counterexample to the claim that a la carte is economically impossible.

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31393092)

Gotta call BS on the A La Carte offering. They *call* it A La Carte, but its really a package where you have to pick up 100 channels. Of course you can choose which 100 channels, but you can't choose just 10 and pay for only those. The smallest package they offer is 65ish channels of music only. Also, you have to pay for at least 3 months at a time. Even finding those limited options takes a bit of looking.

Re:To the people saying A La Carte is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31393128)

Say what? I pay ~20/mo (sat service + premium online) for just one channel (XM 202/Sirius 197 The Virus). If I could just pay for that 1 channel I would but I can't.

Breach of Contract? (1, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392378)

Can't this be considered breach of contract between Cablevision and its customers? I don't know if that's the case with customers that aren't on a 2-year contract or whatever, but for those that are... they're in contract with Cablevision to be receiving ABC's channels, and Cablevision currently isn't holding up their end of the deal. Perhaps if a lawsuit comes along, it could mean the end of huge mandatory bundles so that it would be possible for cable companies to reimburse customers for specific channels...?

Let me know if I am completely wrong about this.

Re:Breach of Contract? (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392518)

Yea, you're wrong.

Every cable service agreement I've every signed (I move a lot) has had a line or two regarding how the channel lineup may change. They usually obligate themselves to send you a new list of channels whenever things change (eventually) but they are under no obligation to provide any particular channel or to keep their lineup the same over time.

They used to pull tricks like whichever "extended" basic cable channel was the most popular for half of a year would get moved to a premium channel list, but I think they got busted for that since it was a systematic trick used to get customers to initially sign up for cheaper packages but then have to upgrade to premium channels within a year. It's legal if they do it for legit reasons, so the customers can't do anything about it.

The only thing a customer might get in return is the ability to get out of an extended service agreement early, because the content provided changed. You might need a lawyer to make that work however.

nitwork TV (0, Troll)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392412)

(yes I spelled it that way on purpose) I haven't watched nitwork tv in years. 99.9 percent of the garbage on nitwork tv is a joke. So called reality shows, so called talent shows are about all you see anymore. The so called dramas & comedy shows are usually rehashed, or they spin a current news event to fit their political agenda (like the Law & Order franchise). If it wasn't for the history channel, discovery, TMC, FMC , Nick@Night, and a few other cable/sat channels, I wouldn't even bother watching tv. Nitwork executives can't figure out why their viewership is down, while networks like Nick @ Night beats them. Perhaps they should watch and see that the OLD shows are funny or have a good story, without so much political bias.

Re:nitwork TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392764)

Lol at the history channel being worthwhile. Do they show anything educational between Hitler and the aliens in Antarctica?

I've about had it with Cablevision (2, Interesting)

FShort (91112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392416)

This is the second incident in the past 4 months and I dont really give a crap whether its ABC's "fault" or not. The fact is, my service is provided through Cablevision and if they were thinking about how they service their customers, they wouldnt be pulling stations because they couldnt get a deal done. That's their problem as far as I'm concerned and just may switch to another provider because of this.

That being said, I'm not necessarily missing ABC right now (although the misses is a bit disappointed about not getting the Oscars tonight)

Seriously (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392432)

Cablevision subscribers on Twitter expressed their frustration, saying they shouldn't be deprived of ABC shows, including the Oscars on Sunday, because of a multi-million-dollar deal gone awry.

Oh my my we have become a nation of cry babies. Cable TV is a service, don't like the service cancel your subscription. Give the money to an alternative provider, you pretty much have at least a satellite provider and or FIOS / UVERSE in almost every market Cablevision serves. Quit your crying and find another carrier, spend your money on something else entirely, or shut up about it and just accept you don't get ABC anymore.

Re:Seriously (2, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392502)

And you're crying about crybabies. Was that some attempt to prove your own point?

A trend (1)

Kohenkatz (1166461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392442)

This is the SECOND time this year that cablevision subscribers have lost channels because Cablevision does not want to pay up. Last time, it was Home and Garden and the Food Network. Both times, Cablevision has claimed that they are doing this to put their customers first. I think they meant putting their customers first on the chopping block. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cablevision#Carriage_disputes [wikipedia.org] as well.

Re:A trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31393074)

Because content providers caught in a death-spiral couldn't possibly be squeezing harder and harder...

All 'Bout Cash (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392450)

That is what ABC stands for. Not just ABC, but all of them. All 'Bout Cash. People who think any differently or think they deserve "free" broadcast media are just fooling themselves. They have shareholders to satisfy and consumers are nothing but income sources. If any particular group of consumers aren't forking over enough money, they're gonna get cut out. Nothing personal, but they really can't possibly care less about a couple of million tv viewers using what they consider to be an under-paying cable provider.

And BTW, hooking up a crappy old antenna to the antenna plug on the back of the TV still works like a champ. Maybe you need a digital tuner if your TV doesn't have one, but the good old antenna will still pull down the basic channels for you.

I hope they reduce the rates (1)

idontusenumbers (1367883) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392458)

If customers were already paying a ABC channels, I hope Cablevision reduces the bills for all of their subscribers, otherwise it's going to be even more clear to their customers that Cablevision is screwing them over.

Good (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392466)

Maybe the days of companies deciding to jack up prices for the hell of it are over. ABC bluffed and Cablevision called them on it. Now ABC is losing revenue they would have otherwise gotten. If only more companies (especially hospitals) would simply say "No that price is unreasonable I won't pay." Prices across the board would drop.

Re:Good (1)

daveywest (937112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31393030)

ABC has already garnered additional advertising revenue by claiming the cable subscriptions as additional viewership. Long-term, this backfires on ABC as their audience in a major market drops significantly, and advertisers flock to a network that can provide a larger viewer base.

...a fierce war for subscribers... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392524)

Competition in telecommunications in the USA? Heresy!

Over-the-air is SO 20th century! So is cable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31392606)

A long time ago, broadcast stations were given government-protected chunks of bandwidth. They got monopoly over what originally belonged to everybody. The idea was they'd provide programming 'in the public interest and necessity', it would attract viewers, and they'd stay in business by selling slices of the viewers' time to advertisers.

Remember that?

Last time I looked, ABC in New York was still using public bandwidth, still making a big deal to ad agencies about how many eyeballs they delivered, and charging advertisers for access to those eyeballs.

Meanwhile, companies like Cablevision made deals with local communities. They would get the right to their wires virtually anywhere they wanted over public streets. They'd offer low-cost retransmission of out-air public channels (and free access for schools and other public services); in exchange, they could make money selling premium channels (and later, telephone and Internet access) on those wires.

The broadcasters got a little scared of the cable companies' monopolies... and the possibility of losing potential eyeballs if a cable operator blacklisted them. So they had the federal government create a category of 'must-carry'... where a free TV station could INSIST that local cable companies carry their signal. They'd get guaranteed access to viewers in their area - even ones who'd abandoned their antennas - so they could continue to offer slices to advertisers. In return they gave up any right to charge cable companies for what they were otherwise offering the public free, on government-granted public airwaves.

It all worked, for a while.

Premium channels - those that don't use local bandwidth or promise a modicum of local programming - were never part of the deal. If Disney wanted to build a partially ad-supported channel for just sports or kids, or Ted Turner wanted to run movies 24/7 without commercials but charge cable operators for access, they were free to make other arrangements. ...

Of course, that was a long time ago.

  It seems like only last year that the government spent millions of tax dollars giving consumers coupons for digital converters to protect the free-tv/public airspace arrangement... but I guess that's only the distorted memories of an old man...

All Internet All the Time (3, Informative)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392768)

I don't watch Hulu. Instead, I settled on PAYING a la carte via Netflix and iTunes. Personally, Netflix Instant-Cue is my preferred choice, but iTunes has reasonable pricing on the Daily Show and Colbert Report as a bundle and offers House, Better of Ted and a couple other shows that I can't get off of Netflix.

I refuse to watch Hulu because it is tethered to my computer, and even if I went through the effort of getting it on my TV, it's still a clunky web interface and not at all the simple TV-friendly interface I want when watching on my TV.

All in all, I pay about $100 a season, get all the shows I want and am quite happy.
This is down from about $120 a month I was forking over to Comcast.
And the joy of it all is I don't have to watch a single commercial.

Bah (1)

okmijnuhb (575581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31392884)

Just watch ABC over the air.
They have no leverage.
I am, though, annoyed by Cablevision, who have automatically turned my channel to 1999 every time I turn the box on, using it as a pulpit of forced propaganda.

Shaft the customer (1)

woboyle (1044168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31393022)

I think Cablevision is going to seriously regret this shafting of their customers. ABC is going to regret losing the advertising revenues those millions of households represent. Cablevisions viewers are not getting what they paid for and should file a class action suit against Cablevision and demand refunds as long as this situation continues. There are no "winners" here...

I never understood this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31393122)

Cable companies actually reduce the cost of transmission for a station. The cable companies shoulder the burden of supplying the signal to viewers, which is you main goal. There are some markets where 90% of the viewers do do via non-OTA methods. It costs a whole lot to maintain a tower just to reach 10% of the market. Get viewers, the ad sales follow. Convenience is the what viewers want. Most aren't gonna fiddle with rabbit ear antennas just to see one station, they want to click one button and see their reality show.

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