New Jack City: Free TV Is Costing You

First HEARST CORPORATION plays hardball with TIME WARNER CABLE over cable fees in 11 markets…

In Kansas City the cord was cut last with KMBC-TV, KCWE-TV and ME-TV.

Next Viacom shut out DIRECT TV customers for channels that include Comedy Central, MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, The Daily Show and Dora The Explorer.

Even DISH NETWORK got into the fray when AMC‘S popular Breaking Bad among other shows became no-shows.

Here’s my take on the standoff.

I don’t have a problem with cable networks taking hard stands over fees they charge to cable or dish systems if those networks only outlets are pay providers.

Let’s face it, programming for those networks probably doesn’t come cheap.

However when it comes to the re-transmission of FREE commercial TV, I believe it to be an entirely different story.

Take Channel 9.

It’s an over-the-air station that provides programming free of charge to viewers. Its income depends primarily on the sale of local, regional and national advertising and the rates charged for those commercials are based on the size of the audience delivered by KMBC.

The station may also be compensated to a lesser extent by the ABC network.

So by carrying KMBC-TV, doesn’t Time Warner help Channel 9 deliver as large an audience as possible?

And if nothing else, provide perhaps a better picture than its over the air signal may provide depending on where it’s being received.

So why then is Channel 9 charging the cable system?

Shouldn’t the cable operator be charging the station? After all Time Warner is prohibited from selling its own commercials within the KMBC re-transmission.

Obviously that’s never going to happen.

But the practice of commercial TV stations charging cable and/or satellite systems is relatively new. Re-transmission was originally provided free—until broadcasters got greedy.

It’s high time for the FCC to step in here in a major way and put an end to these standoffs that eventually end up in your and my pockets. 

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5 Responses to New Jack City: Free TV Is Costing You

  1. Rainbow Man says:

    This is wrong. Like a strike…. the customers pay short term… the providers pay long term.

  2. mike says:

    channel 9 is making a mistake
    They are probably going to lose more money on advertising than what they would have gained by increasing their fees. They are also getting people to watch the other stations which could lose them ratings even after they reach a settlement.

  3. the dude says:

    It all sounds farkin’
    silly to me but what do I know, I pay through the nose for Uverse because the Missus wants it but I am happy with just the HD antenna I have mounted in the attic that gets all the locals crystal clear. The HD switch was not all bad.

  4. Jim Beam says:

    Re-Transmission Agreements
    Time Warner actually has an FCC obligation to carry any local over the air (OTA) broadcast signal. This does not mean HD 1’s and 2’s. This applies to the main broadcast signal.

    But there is nowhere in the FCC scribbling that says Time Warner must pay for it. I’m with TWC on this one. If they have an obligation to carry the channel but the media company is demanding payment, I’d drop them, too!

    Time Warner is doing ABC a favor. I’d say F— KMBC and hold out as long as possible. Consumers don’t want to pay for something that’s free anyway.


  5. jack p. says:

    Hey Jim Bean…..
    …I’ll drink to that!

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