The Battle of the Behemoths
It's nice to see now that I've returned that CBS and Time-Warner have worked out their hissy fit. From what little I can tell, both sides were wrong. But if I had to assign more blame it would be on the Time-Warner side. When you are basically a monopoly for an area, I think you have an obligation to provide all the over-the-air free channels. To not have on CBS or KCAL was irresponsible.
Somewhere along the line, there has to be a law written up that requires this. Maybe a set payment that isn't negotiable and can go up by the standard-of-living rate. Or...however they want to figure out how to do it. It can't be difficult. But free over-the-air broadcasting should be...free.
One thing CBS did during all this that was petulant and incredibly stupid is that they themselves blocked their own videos on their own website! There was some season premiere I was interested in watching and couldn't on my TV or video-on-demand, so I went to CBS.com. That's where they have all their "Full Episode" links. But when I went to watch it their, a CBS note popped up blocking it. I don't remember the exact words (I think I was too busy shaking my head in disbelief), but it was something like, "Because of the ongoing disagreement with Time-Warner, we are blocking access for all Time-Warner customers in protest. So, if you're a Time-Warner subscriber, let them know of your disappointment."
Well, no. I'll let YOU know. You're the one who is blocking yourself. Not only was this stupid because you're offending your own viewers -- but letting the shows run would have been a way to show Time-Warner that we don't need your TV broadcast. The only thing I can figure is that by not allowing access, CBS thought this would help put pressure on Time Warner from irate viewers. Whatever their reasoning, it was pretty stupid.
9/9/2013 12:18:29 pm
There is a law requiring cable companies to carry all regional, over the air channels. Time Warner Cable is run by incompetent asses, but CBS shoulders a large part of the blame. While the law mandates that the carriers will carry all broadcast signals without charging the customers for the channels themselves, no law prevents the stations from holding up the cable carriers for payment to let them carry the signal. This latest tantrum wasn't really about how much MTV or Showtime cost Time Warner, it was how much they were going to have to pay per subscriber for CBS. The network that broadcasts over publicly owned airways, for free, was demanding a very large increase in the per subscriber fee Time Warner pays to carry it. My experience with Time Warner was so bad, I'd consider giving up TV before going back to them; but they shouldn't have to pay anything to carry over the air channels, especially since they are required to carry them. I don't know how anybody got away with the network being blacked out on Time Warner. Either the FCC let it go since neither football or the new TV season had started or CBS turned off their signals to Time Warner and then lied about what happened,
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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