Thursday, November 6, 2008

You Decide. Time-Warner or NFL. Who's Right?


OK. We've been here before. Time Warner Cable asked us to believe that LIN TV, owners of KXAN TV, KXAM TV, and KNVA TV were the bad guys. They wanted to be compensated for the use of their free signal. Somehow, that issue was solved just in time for the sweeps.

Now, we are asked by Time Warner Cable to believe that the National Football League are the bad guys. I still think that TWC is wrong. Actually, they are both wrong.

Eight NFL games that used to be on free TV are no longer available, including the game tonight, Thursday, November 6, 2008, because the NFL has forgotten its fans. These greedy owners created a "network" of their own. They are so full of themselves that they think that the fans and TWC will do anything to see them play their silly games.

Make no mistake. I am a sports fan. I would watch the game tonight, if it were available. These owners and their minions are nuts for creating this so-called network. I hope they lose millions! Meantime, Time Warner wants to put the games in a higher tier where they can charge more for it. I hope they lose millions.

Yes, I guess I qualify as "old" at 61 years old. I can remember when the only NFL games were where the cameras were--The East Coast and neighboring areas. One of the coolest games I remember was one that I watch alone as a kid. The TV was black and white. It was the Chicago Bears Vs. the Detroit Lions. They played in the snow. You couldn't see the sidelines or end zone. On a disputed touchdown call, fans came out of the stands and players went into the stands fighting. It was horrible. It was great. It was free.

Now, we have owners in suits that cost more than my truck posturing with players with rings that cost more than my house, saying we can't watch their games unless we pay. Last year, outraged, I watched the Dallas Cowboys (I grew up in Dallas.) against Green Bay online. It was jerky, pixelized and ugly, but it was free. This time, Time-Warner said, no. We won't make a deal. From the TWC site:

"The NFL is waging a campaign to try mandate Time Warner Cable to carry the
NFL Network and force our customers to pay for expensive sports programming that they may not want.
Time Warner Cable’s position: We have offered to carry the NFL Network on a Sports Tier. Customers choosing to subscribe to the Sports Tier would have access to this programming at their choice. Customers choosing not to subscribe to the Sports Tier would not have to pay for this expensive programming.

"The NFL’s response: The NFL, however, is still insisting that the
network be placed on a broad-based tier, which would result higher costs for
customers who are not interested in NFLN. By refusing our offer, the NFL is
denying the public access to games that were once available on broadcast or
other more widely distributed networks.

"Time Warner’s last proposal: To put the interests of fans first, Time
Warner Cable submitted a new proposal to carry the NFL Network on a Sports Tier
or premium basis. This time, we proposed to make the NFLN games available to our
customers on a per-game basis, at a retail price set by the NFL, with 100% of
the revenue collected for this programming going to the NFL. While offering this
with no mark-up is far from ideal from our point of view, we are willing to take
this step to make sure no interested customer was unable to watch these games.
The NFL has rejected this offer too.

"NFLN appeals to only a small segment of our customers and it is highly
priced. We continue to believe that the most appropriate place for NFLN is on a
Sports Tier. When the NFL is willing to compromise, we will resume

Whatever ...

Who's right? Who's wrong? I don't know. It's all about money. That's why both sides have lawyers.

Who's screwed? You know that answer.

Jim McNabb
(C) 2008

No comments: