Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Me want Jon Stewart!

I don't have Time-Warner Cable, but for those of you who do, prepare to go Stewart-less, and MTV-less, and entirely Viacom-less tonight at midnight if Time-Warner and Viacom can't reach an agreement on a new deal. My daughter and I were watching "Backyardigans" this morning and had to suffer through an extended crawl warning parents (and, in my daughter's case, precocious early readers) that they were about to lose Dora, Diego and all their other Nickelodeon friends because the people at Time-Warner were being stupid-heads. (Or words to that effect.) Given the number of different constituencies served by the Viacom channels, and the number of major markets served by Time-Warner (including Stewart's home turf in NYC), this could get ugly.

21 comments:

Chris Littmann said...

Just read this on AP. I've got TW here in Charlotte. When I move to a new place in September, I think DirecTV is in my future.

Pamela Jaye said...

We had this problem in Boston, but it was over chanel 5, which was (calculating) the ABC affil (my brain never could retain the 199 affil swap, but channel 5 was not part of that one - just the 1972 one), so, it being one of the big three, we kind of felt both sides were just posturing (i doubt I've ever used that word in my life). in your case maybe it really will get ugly.

in our case, Time Warner caved, i think (then got taken over by two different (or possible the same with different names) oter cable "providers" in as many years. I lost track of who we had (in Salem, cause it varied from town to town up there) when i left. i got here and it was time warner again, and then changed to bright house.

and that tiny beep is my cell phone. never can identify all my beeps....

Jackie said...

This will be the second time during the TV season this has happened to me; it happened at the beginning of the season when I lost the NBC affiliate where I live near Dayton, OH when TW was in a similar pissing contest with the corporate owners of a bunch of network affiliates. That took over a month to get resolved. Grr.

Anonymous said...

I have TW and about the only thing on these networks that I'll actually miss will be The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, but they're on break right now. How long before they come back with new episodes? If it's resolved between now and then, I probably won't notice. Financially, who has a bigger stake in this? If you have TW, you'll just change to a different channel but this must cut a ton of ad revenue for Viacom right?...I feel bad for anyone with kids though. No childrens' programming spells trouble.

David said...

The only channel I'll miss is Comedy Central, and most of their stuff is online anyway. I am almost certain I am going to go down to either just networks or completely cable-less after Battlestar Galactica airs its finale because the quality of the picture isn't good and the service is not any better. That or get a dish. Most shows are online or soon on DVD, so I just don't see the point in paying so much for so little.

Pamela Jaye said...

The only channel I'll miss is Comedy Central, and most of their stuff is online anyway.

and therein lies the... i don't know whose side wins that one - let's see. the viacom (is that who it was?) fans just watch online, the cable compaany drops the channels due to lack of protest... well Viacom (was that who it was?) doesn't win, but yor cable company gets to sell you less for the same amount.

sorry about Dayton though, that does sound ugly.

I remember before 1995 Scifi or Family channel was actually flying plane ads ovr Salem asking us to "ask your cable company for" - we asked, they ignored. different situatios

Nicole said...

I feel your pain. Not that the CW is that spectacular, but that network is not available on regular cable and I am forced to rely on whatever Citytv, Global or CTV decide to pick up.

Luckily, CTV airs the Daily Show and Colbert Report in addition to Comedy Network, although we are barred here in Canada from the excellent Comedy Central website with the archived TDS and CR shows.
I don't mind the online thing, as long as it doesn't block those out of the US. I still don't get the hulu block, because NBC is available in Canada both on cable (with simulcast for certain programs) and over the airwaves... why can't they negotiate North American rights? Telecommunications is a federal matter, so it's not like it would require a contract for every province? Lawyers please look into this...


I think that networks and cable companies worldwide need to rethink their paradigm, because consumers will want more choice in what they can watch, and have options, albeit not necessarily legal, to do that. I think the change to digital will accelerate this.

tracey said...

Didn't they pull this crap last year? Media giants are playing chicken with each other, except that the customers are the primary victims.

Anonymous said...

I will miss Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert but the lack of MTV in my home will make it a push.

I agree that this probably won't last long enough to become an issue in my house. My kids have enough DVDs, Wii games, and (heaven forbid) books to keep them occupied without Spongebob for awhile.

drake lelane said...

There appears to be a rash of contract disputes across the industry, both big and small. Fisher Communications and Dish Network have been battling for nearly two weeks now, cutting off several affiliates (affecting ABC, CBS and NBC) across the country.

In the Seattle market, for instance, we've been going without ABC since Pushing Daisies last episode. At least we got that before they went off the air.

Jon said...

Like Jackie, this will be the second time in 6 months Brighthouse has done something like this to us.

In Indy, it was the company that owns our CBS affiliate, which meant a number of missed Colts games for those with Brighthouse.

Unfortunately, FIOS and U-Verse are not available in my area, so I'm stuck with Brighthouse if I want extended TV, since I don't want a satellite dish.

I guess I will watch Stewart and Colbert on their websites, but I don't think I'll miss much of anything else.

dez said...

My cable co. (Charter) has been doing upgrades for the past few weeks (due to finish soon, I hope) which have been adversely affecting the output of the cable signal to my TV (that is, I get a lot of "digitized"-looking picture frames, guh). But after reading your post, I'm glad I'm getting any picture at all since I watch a lot of Nickelodeon on the weekends (what? I like Spongebob and The Fairly Oddparents).

Of course, I'm not sure what makes me feel sorrier for you: the potential loss of Stewart or the fact that you are watching "The Backyardigans" (could be worse--you could be watching "Wonder Pets," ack) :-D

Actually, it could be 10x worse: your daughter could be into BARNEY....

Andrea said...

And this is why I insist we keep DirecTV - but the husband wants to switch because of price. I find the service of DitecTV to be superior, except when it rains really hard.....

VDOVault said...

You can help us out with trying to broker a settlement between TWC and Viacom by looking into

http://www.nofactzone.net/?p=9086#comments

and

http://community.livejournal.com/whywewatchljcom/41121.html

We're not taking this lying down

For the record I have DISH TV but DB who runs the No Fact Zone is a TWC subscriber in Dallas. If DB gets cut off, Colbert Nation news online will slow down :( And whose to say some other conglomerate (like NBC-Uni) won't get pissy with a cable or satellite outlet and boom there goes my Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Burn Notice & Mad Men fixes. The madness needs to stop right here & now.

We're hoping some of you in power will help us (we had the writers backs during the WGA strike and we're using what we learned to help ourselves out this time)

Andy said...

I just read this story and I have to agree with Time Warner. I love me some Daily Show and Colbert, but Viacom is asking Time Warner to increase their rates to continue to carry their networks. The rates are ridiculously high already! If Time Warner caves on Viacom the other networks will ask for the same thing. I can still watch Daily Show and Colbert online so Viacom can stuff it.

Pamela Jaye said...

for those of you who don't like to copy and paste, let me try making those links live

http://www.nofactzone.net/?p=9086#comments

and

http://community.livejournal.com/whywewatchljcom/41121.html

(I got the Quiet Url plug-in for Firefox, so I can just run my mouse over non-links and they turn into links, but in this case, I wrote the html (which is extra fun when your equals key doesn't work. when copy and paste stops working, I'm sunk.))

Anonymous said...

This is absolute BS. In the middle of a recession to demand for money for the same crappy service is assinine

Anonymous said...

This is just another sign that both the cable companies and cable networks don't get it. The sooner that studios figure out to distribute their shows over the internet and eliminate TV networks cable TV companies, or satelite networks as the middle man, the better. Its not that I am not will to pay for the shows I want, but in 2008 I expect to only pay for the shows I want when I want. I finally pulled the plug in November on my satelite service. Now all I have is local channels, the internet, and netflix. I am going to either look into a new TIVO or PS3 that can download movies and shows through the internet, or something else, but I am never going back to either cable or satelite. Never.

LA said...

Time Warner basically has a monopoly in my area since Verizon doesn't run FiOS down here in my neighborhood. My TW cable (internet AND television) was out of service for five solid days last week. When they finally restored service to me, this was the news I was faced with. I felt my blood pressure raise about 75 points.

I telecommute and having reliable high-speed internet is mandatory. Time Warner has been a nightmare since they took over from Adelphia.

Matthew L said...

Nikki Finke is reporting that the two parties have reached an agreement, apparently within one hour of the time when the channels would be shut off. See www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com for their statement.

Pamela Jaye said...

thanks Matthew

Anonymous - thats a great idea, until your ISP (whici is probably your cable company) puts caps on your downloads.
I hear they are doing this in some areas.

Aren''t you "happy" TV is going all digital? that way, also, if they don't want you to *record* a show, they can stop you (i guess it was too hard to encrypt broadcast, analog TV)

do I sound cynical?