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Kirin 01 - portrait

I am offically pissed.

Scripps Network, who provide the Food Network and HGTV, and Cablevision, my service provider, failed to come to an agreement when their contract ran out last night.  Therefore I no longer get these two channels.
Cablevision doesn't want to pay what Scripps is asking, Scripps has refused the Cablevision Offers.
Both are saying that the other was the one who decided to pull the channels.


What would be REALLY nice would be to have a ala-carte box that would let me choose the channels I want and drop those I don't watch and pay on a per channel basis.  Let the strongest channels survive.  But of course this is way too logical, right?


Glad I did not get any TV channels then. I will just stream the shows.
Sure, if they are available.

From someone who's worked near 30 years in cable

Yep I was on duty way past midnight at Time Warner Cable NYC waiting to see if either Fox or Scripps would pull or cause us to pull the plug. Right now all channels are still on the cable while private negotiations continue but this situation may change at any time. Time Warner Cable systems nationwide have been the only carriers to take a public stand against inflated prices for retransmissiomn consent but other carriers are similarly caught in the rate dispute too. Meanwhile Dish Network again is trying to capitalize on the controversy by attempting to siphon off cable customers.

This time it's FOX and Scripps...a year from now it will be Disney ABC all over again.

The problem with a la carte channel pricing is that it overly favors larger established cable networks and unfairly penalizes newer startup or smaller niche channels from rightfully gaining an audience. Remember Food Network (originally when it was TVFN) was such a startup until it gained popularity, and that was only possible after it passed a certain number of cable households. The larger TV markets such as NYC are a plum goal for newer channels to be launched on in order to be successful. Many cable networks have failed in the past because they could not gain sufficient carriage, which in turn limited their audiences, translating into diminished ability to attract advertising dollars. Cable channels that are owned by media conglomerates have a major advantage because those conglos can use retransmission consent for their local broadcast stations as a bargaining chip to force cable systems to pick up "sister" networks..in the case of FOX it involves FX, Fox Sports, Fox Reality and others (though for some reason Fox News/Business are not involved this round). The last time the Disney ABC contract with Time Warner Cable came up, Disney was trying to leverage carriage or increased payments for ESPN, Soap, Disney Channel, Toon Disney, and Lifetime.

There are those viewers and even cable systems that want to get ride of Public Access channels. Where would shows like Rapid T. Rabbit be if it weren't for Public Access? Sure my show is on the Internet but it's relatively harder to be found by the net audience (outside of Furry) and not all computers are created equally to be able to pick up the show. Meanwhile on cable, the show is just plug n play on your ordinary TV set, and listed on the digital program guide right up there with all the other TV shows on cable. Here in New York (Manhattan anyway), some of the longest running TV shows are on Public Access, and we're literally talking decades here. Opting out from getting those channels would have killed off those shows a very long time ago.

Re: From someone who's worked near 30 years in cable

OK, I'd give the public access type channels part of the core package space and give the start-ups space as well for a year or two. The ala-carte that I am talking about would be for the "extended" channels such as Food Network, Discovery, TLC, BET, Soap, ESPN, CNN, MTV, VH1 etc. Someone into sports might not want the Food or Discovery type channels, conversely I do want those but could easily drop sports channels (other than Speed). To have to buy a $15 add-on package to get one channel that I want to watch is a rip-off. With an ala-carte box you could even set it up so that someone could subscribe to a channel for part of the year (say I was into Formula 1 and hockey, I could have Speed in the summer months, ESPN in the colder ones but not have to pay for both during the period that I would not be watching them).

I think that the most annoying thing is that Cablevision just went ahead and pulled the channels without any warning. They could have at least given viewers a choice to maybe pay a bit more to keep the channels, or at least voice an opinion. As it is, they have had to shut down their e-mail and phones as a lot of their 4.7 million customers tried to complain.

I have not yet seen the numbers to know if Scripps is being unrealistically greedy or if Cablevision is being characteristically stingy. But I do hate being held hostage because of it.
Agreed. Glad I don't watch TV and haven't for the past few years.
I have Time Warner, so for now I seem to still have my channels.