Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Won't Get Fooled Again

The Continuing Saga of Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable is at it again. As usual, it is someone else’s fault, not theirs. If TWC can’t make a deal with media giant Viacom by midnight tonight, Viacom may pull its programming from the Time Warner, the nation’s second-largest cable provider. Is it right to call them a “provider” when they don’t or won’t “provide”?

Haven’t we heard this somewhere before? It seems like the third verse starting with LIN TV stations (KXAN and KNVA locally), continuing with the NFL network (Oh, there is a bowl game on NFL Network tonight which is unavailable to Time Warner subscribers.) Now, it is Viacom.

Negotiations are stalled. New Years Day, viewers looking for Nickelodeon, MTV, VH-1, Comedy Central, Spike, TV Land and BET will be out of luck, like those who would watch tonight’s bowl game. TWC wants it their way or no way. And, what do they want? More money, of course.

Again, who loses? The viewers/users/consumers of TWC. Unfortunately, there are few, if any viable alternatives for those of us who subscribe. Many of the subscribers, this writer included, opted for the “bundle” getting TV, Internet, and telephone service at a set-in-stone rate for two years. It is difficult to pull the plug when the wires are tangled. So, we accept the fact that we being screwed.

The viewers/users/consumers of TWC cable are getting less and less of what they paid for. When we signed up, we assumed (please see the earlier post on “Never Assume”) that we would get what we saw on their web site. I should have known better. When our two-year bundling contract concludes, I only hope that there are other good options like Grande or AT&T U-verse (despite its bad press). What is that old song by The Who? “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

Oh yeah. Unless something happens in the negotiations, unless public opinion or something sways all of these greedy guys, Viacom included, the plug may be pulled at midnight tonight. Happy New Year!

© Jim McNabb

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