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.