Time Warner reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher subscription fees for channels under its Turner Broadcasting and HBO units.
It’s the latest head-butting over carriage terms in the pay-TV biz, as programmers continue to seek regular fee increases for their networks.
“When you start having a lot of your product being available [through] a lot of different sources, customers don’t want to pay for it twice,” Ergen said. “Sometimes they’re willing to watch it the next day or the next week in a more convenient structure,
Dish said the companies had reached an agreement on rates and all other terms for the carriage of the Sinclair local stations, but that Sinclair demanded the satcaster pull its signals anyway. Dish alleged Sinclair forced the blackout because it wants to gain leverage in carriage negotiations for a cable channel that Sinclair is aiming to buy.
Comcast contends Fox, which owns 80% of YES (the Bombers own the other 20%), wants an unreasonable increase, which could be as high as 33%. It also says YES’ product isn’t all that compelling. “....Well over 90% of our 900,000 plus customers who receive YES Network didn’t watch the equivalent of even one quarter of those (130) games during the season...”
Cablevision is alleging that Viacom was "illegally forcing Cablevision to carry and pay for 14 lesser-watched ancillary networks its customers do not want, such as Palladia, MTV Hits and VH1 Classic, in order to carry must-have networks such as Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central."
“The Wall Street Journal report(ed) that the US top 40 most widely distributed cable channels in 2010 – USA and AMC included – have lost an average of 3.2 million subscribers, or more than 3% of their distribution, during the last four years…”
The fight is really a simple one, but the stakes are high. Just follow the money. Broadcasters get billions from pay TV distributors to distribute their signals. It’s a growing pot of revenue that is growing at a healthy clip, expected to hit $10.3 billion by 2021, up from $6.3 billion this year.
Network affiliates, which currently charge pay-TV operators a typical fee of around $1 per subscriber to carry their signal, could soon spike their bounties to as much as $6 per subscriber . . . it's a lot of coin, especially when you consider they paid nothing for broadcast signals as recently as five years ago.
NBCUniversal has threatened to block out its broadcast network and 10 cable channels on Cable One if a renewal deal isn't in place by New Year's Day. Cable One responded with a statement, "… Despite the fact that NBC Universal is currently demanding a rate increase that is more than double our previous contract, we are continuing to negotiate in good faith and are optimistic that we will come to an agreement."
The American Cable Association has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission on behalf of both small and large operators to allow unbundling. Under current law, television programmers or media corporations can force cable or satellite operators to purchase several channels in order to carry a single popular channel, such as ESPN.
Comcast's NBCUniversal division is looking to squeeze significant increases in fees for both its cable networks and NBC owned-and-operated stations, CEO Steve Burke said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media Communications and Entertainment Conference Wednesday.Read More
"The reality is that this content is such an important part of daily life that people will give up food and a roof over their head before they give up television." says Chase Carey, President of 21st Century Fox.Read More