Corrected, 3:50 p.m.: Apologies to Phillip Swann for mispelling his name. Also, I incorrectly said Comcast is buying CBS. Comcast is interested in NBC, as I’ve previously reported (sigh).
CATCHING UP: Time Warner Cable led a group on Tuesday asking the government to fix the rising price of TV service.
Well, sort of. The issue wasn’t about a customer’s rising bill but over “retransmission fees,” which TV channels charge to TV providers that want to retransmit the channel to customers. The TV services, of course, blame the fees for pushing up a customer’s monthly bill.
On Thursday, U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski appeared to have listened. During an Senate committee meeting, Genachowski talked about the retransmission issues and said that the ”framework that is in place … may have lost pace with changes in the marketplace,” reports the L.A. Times.
These retrans fees gets renegotiated every year or so and pretty much always go up. Here is one estimated list of how much a TV customer ends up paying for each channel.
But disputes over retrans fees have left some cable customers wondering if they’ll be staring at a blank TV screen. We here in Orange County felt this over the holidays when Fox threatened to take away channels from Time Warner customers. The fee fight was resolved with no disruption in TV service.
But last weekend, Cablevision customers on the East Coast missed the first 30 minutes of the Oscars because the cable company didn’t come to an agreement in time with Walt Disney-owned ABC. Read the rest of this entry »