This past Friday, talks between television network CBS and cable provider Time Warner Cable reached its final stalemate. This led to TWC shutting off access to CBS, Showtime, and other channels to millions of subscribers in NYC, LA and Dallas, among other places.
People losing their favorite programming is the unfortunate result of a glorified pissing contest between the two media conglomerates. CBS wants TWC to pay higher fees for transmitting their television feeds. TWC doesn’t want to, claiming it’s just not fair.
Neither company is in the right, nor are either the victim. The victim is the subscriber, who will lose regardless of who “wins” this latest tug of war. If CBS wins, Time Warner Cable will be forced to pay those higher fees, and will do so by passing off the cost to subscribers. TWC could simply just stop airing CBS channels, meaning no Big Bang Theory or NCIS or Dexter, if you watch Showtime.
Both companies insist that their “beloved” customer fight the other company on their behalf. I suggest screwing both companies.
CBS’s demand for more money from the cable companies is ludicrous, since people can literally watch their channel FOR FREE with just an antenna. They don’t deserve to bilk TWC, and subsequently the subscriber, for more cash when they are actually providing a public service for the most part (otherwise, it wouldn’t be freely accessible right?)
TWC has long used these kind of channel-cutting tactics, ignoring the wants of the customer by either stopping services or raising prices to absurd levels.
Frankly, neither company deserves their subscribers’ money (I have FiOS, so this is pretty much moot for me). If I were a TWC customer, I would either switch my cable provider or cancel it altogether. Depending on your TV habits, it is totally possible to get all of the TV you need with Netflix and Hulu Plus, with either an Apple TV, Xbox, or the new Chromecast.
As for CBS, the easiest place to hit them where it hurts is their ratings. Essentially, stop watching them. There are thousands of TV shows out there, and CBS doesn’t care enough about you, why care about them? Plus, if you really like BBT, its on TBS.
With all of the different options for television viewing available with the Internet, I think its high-time media companies get squeezed the way they’ve been squeezing us for years.
They claim the power is with the consumer; it’s time to prove it.