Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Fox/Time Warner New Year



If You Can

As the clock ticked past midnight, Fox network continued on Time Warner cable into 2010. Whoopee!!! Happy New Year!!! Whatever …

Folks, it shouldn’t be this way. If there were real competition among programming providers, there shouldn’t be drama.

For me, there was no drama. I watched as midnight, January 1, 2010 came and went. I was ready to switch to digital TV IF I wanted to watch something on Fox. I should note that I have contacted Fox in New York City several times and the designated representative has not called me back regarding the status of the Fox owned and operated station in Austin, KTBC TV although they promised. Further if they were to issue some sort of a news release, they promised that I would be included. There may not have been a news release. The clock just ticked.

So, since the FCC said it would be a bad thing to pull the plug over the holiday weekend, I guess Fox caved……………for now. It’s only “for now”, however. Please plow back to my earlier posts about the impending end of free TV and networks taking their programming to cable.

It’s going to happen.

Yes, there may be a continuing news presence on local stations, but programming may be migrating to the evil cable sooner than you think.

So, with which devil do you do business? Do you do business with the devil you know, Time Warner, the “provider” that is continually at war with networks for retransmission payments? Or, do you decide to try something new? Consumer Reports recently ranked AT&T’s U-verse high nationally while local customers have misgivings. It all depends on how close you are to their originating point. The farther the signal must travel on these copper lines, the less quality or even connectivity you may have from U-verse. Ask a lot of questions.

Quite honestly, satellite—any satellite—is probably the best alternative right now, given the fact that Grande is nowhere close to being a player in Austin. For a “bundle” (Several services such as TV, Internet, and telephone), AT&T could be a good, economical choice if it’s available.

Time Warner (I’m a customer) is good as a telephone and excellent as an Internet provider. They started out as a TV cable company. They suck as a TV cable company. I’m not saying that Fox is right in this squabble. I’m not taking sides. I’m commenting on TW’s diminishing history of delivering affordable television programming to Central Texas residents.

Time Warner wants you to think that they are the “good guys”. There are no good guys in this business.

© Jim McNabb, 2010


Anonymous said...

Mr. Editor

The alternatives to Time Warner are not that good.

I asked AT&T whether it could install its television service at my home. A company customer service representative said I was in the U-Verse area, but said the company could not be certain I could receive U-verse unless they sent someone out to attempt installation, which could take 7-8 hours to complete.

Satellite provides excellent service except when it rains. And when there are other service problems, finding help is not easy.

Time Warner charges too much for its service, but the company guarantee installation. Time Warner's signal is not subject to interference during a heavy thunderstorm, and I've found them responsive to service issues.

What we need another option for TV service.

Why don't you start a cable company, Jim? (failed attempt at humor)

Anonymous said...

Forget the "is" in the second to last sentence in my comment.

Anonymous said...


The fight is over!

Time Warner Cable and Fox executives struck a deal over retransmission-consent on Friday evening.

The Web site had a message Friday evening announcing that Fox stations would remain on Time Warner Cable.

"We're pleased that, after months of negotiations, we were able to reach a fair agreement with Time Warner Cable — one that recognizes the value of our programming," News Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said.