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Posts Tagged ‘Time Warner Cable’

Comcast Says Stations in TWC Markets Will ‘Have Greater Protections’

comcast time warnerWith Comcast preparing to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion, the company has released several documents related to the merger. In one memo, called “Day One Undertakings,” Comcast EVP David Cohen details the effects for local stations in Time Warner markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Cleveland:

Broadcast stations in the acquired markets will have greater protections in their retransmission consent negotiations with the acquired systems. Among other things,  NBC affiliate market integrity in these markets would be protected, and Comcast’s negotiations with broadcast stations would be without influence by NBCUniversal’s retransmission consent or affiliate negotiations.

TVNewser has the full memo.

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Time Warner Reverses Course, Keeps NECN

necn logoTime Warner Cable subscribers in Maine, parts of New Hampshire and the Berkshires can continue to watch New England Cable News after the cable company changed plans to drop the regional cable channel.

According to NECN, viewers, along with several politicians including Massachusetts Senators Ed Markey (D) and Elizabeth Warren (D) along with Maine Senators Susan Collins (R) and Angus King (I) protested the move.

“We appreciate that the residents of Maine and New England view NECN as a critical service,” Mike St. Peter, NECN senior vice president and general manager said in a statement. “We are thrilled Time Warner heard their customers’ voices and will continue to carry NECN.”

Time Warner said in a statement, “NECN has now agreed to work with our leadership at Time Warner Cable News to improve the quality of their local programming for our customers.” Read more

TWC and American Cable Association Ask FCC to Stop Mission’s Binghamton Station Buy

FCC_304Time Warner Cable and the American Cable Association are asking the FCC to deny Mission Broadcasting’s purchase of two Stainless Broadcasting stations in the Binghamton, NY, market.

In the petition, the two point out the deal, through sharing agreements with Mission, would essentially give Nexstar Broadcasting control of three of the four stations affiliated with major networks in that market.

As in similar petitions, the ACA is primarily looking to prevent station groups from gaining leverage when it comes to renegotiating retransmission deals and points a finger directly at Nexstar CEO Perry Sook for saying so, “Indeed, Nexstar’s CEO has acknowledged that a central rationale for the Mission-Stainless transaction is to use the leverage afforded by the combination of top-ranked stations in Binghamton to garner increased retransmission consent fees.” Read more

Time Warner Exec Says CBS Wants to Control Your TV, Take Your DVR

After CBS signed its deal with Verizon last week, Time Warner Cable executive vice president and chief video and content officer Melinda Witmer fired back in a YouTube video produced by the cable company with allegations that CBS is the bad guy in the ongoing battle between the two media companies.

“CBS announced today that they signed a deal with Verizon, and has suggested that they’ve offered us the same deal that Verizon just signed,” said Witmer in the video posted to Time Warner Cable’s website and its YouTube channel. “And all I can say is, our condolences to Verizon if they signed the deal CBS put in front of us.

At the 5:00 mark in the above video, Witmer says that as part of the deal offered to TWC, CBS stipulated consumers would have to register their TV sets, presumably with CBS, before they can turn them on. Witmer also says the deal involved viewers, “giving up your DVR capability in the future.” Read more

FCC Stepping In to Resolve Time Warner/CBS Dispute

Bloomberg is reporting the Federal Communications Commission has stepped in to resolve the long running dispute between Time Warner Cable and CBS.

“The commission is engaged at the highest levels with the respective parties and working to bring the impasse to an end,” agency spokesman, Justin Cole said. “We urge all parties to resolve this matter as quickly as possible so consumers can access the programming they rely on and are paying for.”

According to AdWeek, the dispute has left more than 3 million cable subscribers without CBS shows. The dispute over retransmission fees has stretched into its 26th day and includes major markets such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Though it remains to be seen just what the FCC is doing to end the impasse, the news of its involvement comes after the commission’s acting Chair Mignon Clyburn said she was “really distressed” over the dispute.

Bloomberg also reports a Time Warner spokesperson told them company executives have updated the commission on the status of negotiations twice in the last seven days. They said CBS declined to comment.

CBS and Time Warner Cable Agree to Truce for NYC Debates

Time Warner Cable and CBS have suspended their prolonged dispute over retransmission fees long enough to allow WCBS, the CBS owned station in New York, to air its share of televised debates in the upcoming New York elections.

The New York City Campaign Finance Board brought the two companies together despite the ongoing battle that has left CBS owned stations on Time Warner Cable systems in the dark in markets like New York (WCBS), Los Angeles (KCBS), Dallas (KTVT) and Chicago (WBBM).

“With vacancies in all three citywide offices, this election will decide the future of the city we all share and love,” Father Joseph P. Parkes, Chairman of the New York Finance Board, said in a statement. “We are very pleased that these two institutions have chosen to look past their differences and provide all New Yorkers the best opportunity to see these important debates.” Read more

Time Warner Cable/CBS Dispute is Good for RadioShack

Advertising Age reports that RadioShack is one of the few winners in the ongoing battle between Time Warner Cable and CBS.

The blackout, which is affecting 3.2 million customers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, has created a double-digit spike in high-definition antennas in those markets at RadioShack, a spokeswoman for the electronics retailer said Monday.

RadioShack wouldn’t tell Adage just what that meant in numbers, but the jump in sales could prove troublesome for Time Warner since it shows consumers are willing to unplug from cable to watch the shows they want to watch.

Time Warner stopped broadcasting CBS owned stations in markets like Dallas, Los Angeles and New York on August 2 in a dispute over retransmission fees.

Customers Sue Time Warner Over Loss of WTMJ

Last month’s decision by Time Warner Cable to drop WTMJ has prompted three of its customers to seek a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all TWC subscribers who no longer get the Milwaukee NBC affiliate.

Steven Delonge and Paul Scoptur of Wauwatosa, WI, and Stephen Raymonds of Menominee Falls are looking for unspecified damages for breach of contract and a days credit for each customer affected for every day service was interrupted more than four hours. The plaintiffs are represented by Paul Scoptur’s law firm Aiken & Scoptur.

“My contract is with Time Warner, that’s who I pay,” Scoptur told WTMJ. “They promise to give us Channel 4 and they made the decision to remove Channel 4.”

Time Warner pulled WTMJ on July 25 over a dispute with WTMJ’s parent company Journal Broadcast Group over retransmission fees.

According to both WTMJ and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a TWC spokesperson declined to comment. You can watch WTMJ’s report on the story by clicking here.

How Long Will the Dispute Between CBS and Time Warner Cable Last?

CBS stations remain unavailable to Time Warner Cable customers in major markets, including New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston. The New York TimesBill Carter reports the two sides “may not engage in further direct confrontation for some time”:

Several media analysts suggested the standoff might be protracted, with predictions ranging from about 10 days to as long as six weeks. The later date is associated with the start of the N.F.L. season, a package of programming that everyone involved agrees cannot be denied to subscribers.

Indeed, timing seems to be the dominant factor driving the dispute. CBS has continued to insist that it would make its programs available to the cable company throughout the negotiations and that the cable company acted now to remove them from its service because Time Warner Cable would lose leverage as the football season got closer — a point the cable executives do not dispute. They acknowledge they need to push the issue now.

KEYT Wins Must-Carry Case Against Time Warner Cable

Viewers in western Ventura County, just North of Los Angeles, will now be able to see their favorite ABC shows in HD thanks to KEYT‘s owners pressing Time Warner Cable to fully honor its must-carry agreement with the station.

Time Warner had been broadcasting the Santa Barbara ABC affiliate’s HD signal to the eastern part of Ventura County which is in the stations DMA.  But according to RBR-TVR blog,

The station has a special market definition that makes certain otherwise non-market communities part of its own individual market pursuant to an FCC modification dating back to 1995 – and as such, it wants its HD signal carried on the local TWC system.

Read more

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