Aug. 16, 2013, 1:22 PM
- Progress toward a resolution in the fight between CBS (CBS -0.3%) and Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.2%) appears to be slow with neither side nor regulators delivering the leverage to get a deal worked out.
- So far, the pain on both sides has been limited. CBS won last week's ratings war even without TWC subscribers in New York and L.A. contributing, while Time Warner Cable reports it hasn't seen significant defections.
- Industry analysts think the beginning of NFL football will see the U.S. Congress intervene in the affair to write new legislation that could potentially alter the landscape of the industry.
Aug. 16, 2013, 3:26 AM
- Fox's (FOXA) national sports channel is due to launch tomorrow morning "with every major distributor on board," including DirecTV (DTV), Dish Network (DISH) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), as well as Comcast (CMCSA) and AT&T (T).
- Fox reportedly persuaded the TV companies to sign up after agreeing not to raise the price of $0.23 per subscriber they were paying for Speed, the auto-racing network that Fox Sports 1 is replacing. Fox had initially asked for $0.80.
- The new channel will reach 90M households and its line-up will include college football and Major League Baseball.
- However, Fox Sports 1 faces major competition from Disney's (DIS) money making machine, ESPN, which, as Fox Sports executive Randy Freer admits, "has a 30-year head start and an astronomical revenue stream."
Aug. 15, 2013, 10:10 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA -1.8%) and Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.2%) form a joint venture to develop software for next-generation set-top boxes.
- The entity will be called RDK Management and will continue licensing a RDK software bundle created by Comcast in an effort to form a common protocol for future video services.
Aug. 14, 2013, 8:51 AM
- Only three days before Fox Sports 1 is set to debut, Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) still doesn't have carriage deals with DirecTV (DTV), Dish Network (DISH), and Time Warner Cable (TWC).
- Part of the issue is that the new sports network doesn't quite have the leverage that CBS does with NFL football in its squabble with TWC, as it claims Speed programming and a Regis Philbin talk show as two of its centerpieces.
- Eventually, the company hopes to push some of the sports programming from broadcast network Fox to Fox Sports 1.
Aug. 12, 2013, 2:58 PM
- The implications of the Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.7%) and CBS (CBS +0.2%) fight over retransmission fees will be significant for the entire industry, particularly if Congress rewrites legislation covering the topic.
- Though a band-aid fix could happen at any time, BTIG Research thinks regulators and legislators will lean toward the position of the cable/satellite industry to determine that current laws weren't intended to fund NFL rights acquisitions and primetime network programming, but to ensure the flow of news and information over the airwaves.
- The back-to-the-basics position, if it comes off, could benefit Dish Network (DISH), DirecTV (DTV), Cox Communications, Charter Communications (CHTR), and Cablevision (CVC) in future negoiations - while cutting into the potential for broadcasters (DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, AMCX, VIAB, DISCA, SNI).
Aug. 12, 2013, 7:56 AM
- The FCC has entered the dispute between Time Warner Cable (TWC) and CBS (CBS) with a none-too-subtle threat.
- The interim chairman of the agency warns the two companies they need to settle the matter or she will take "appropriate action."
- Over the weekend, TWC customers in several cities missed pre-season NFL games for their local teams. Though the average fan won't become too agitated over missing the pre-season action, if the blackout extends into the regular season games in September the outcry could be deafening.
- BTIG thinks CBS will be under pressure to cut a deal before the season rather than risk losing the opportunity to promote its fall lineup in major cities during highly-watched games.
Aug. 8, 2013, 2:09 PM
- Execs with CBS (CBS +1%) report talks between the company and Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.3%) have shot "badly off course" as the blackout for TWC subscribers of CBS programming heads into its 7th day.
- The conclusion of golf's PGA Championship this weekend will be the highest-profile event blacked out to date if the impasse continues until then.
- Related: Aero says it will expand to Dallas, one of the cities affected by the cable fight.
Aug. 7, 2013, 9:27 AM
- BTIG Research thinks Time Warner Cable (TWC) rivals should show solidarity by making it less appealing to switch away from TWC as the company does much of the heavy lifting in the fight against escalating carriage fee costs via its squabble with CBS (CBS). Pulling away sweet promotions from former TWC subscribers is one option floated.
- Analyst Rich Greenfield suggests the round of "tacit cooperation" (not collusion) from major players would benefit the cable/satellite industry in the long run and potentially consumers.
- Will Verizon (VZ), Cablevision (CVC), Charter Communications (CHTR), DirecTV (DTV), and Dish Network (DISH) play that game?
Aug. 7, 2013, 7:26 AM
- The FCC won't jump into the CBS (CBS) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) dispute, according to a Bloomberg report.
- There has been speculation from industry executives and analysts that the blackout in key U.S. markets of CBS programming could lead to regulators trying to help push the matter to a resolution.
Aug. 6, 2013, 12:29 PM
- Pay TV providers as a group reported a loss of 360K subscribers in Q2 compared to a year ago, according to Moffett Research. Though the drop isn't earth-shattering, it does show that cord-cutting isn't a myth.
- Q2 Pay-TV subscriber growth: Cable (CMCSA, TWC, CVC, CHTR) -3.1%; Satellite (DISH, DTV) +0.2%; TelCo (T, VZ) +16.4%.
Aug. 6, 2013, 10:00 AM
- CBS (CBS +0.3%) CEO Les Moonves issued a biting letter (Twitpic) to Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.5%) CEO Glenn Britt this morning to again raise the level of contentiousness between the companies over their cable carriage fee squabble.
- The blackout of CBS is now into its 4th day, with the loss of Under the Dome one of the most significant absences for TWC subscribers in NYC and L.A.
- Previous: Analysts on TWC/CBS, media men behaving badly.
Aug. 5, 2013, 2:49 PM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.2%) CEO Glenn Britt asks CBS (CBS -1.2%) head honcho Les Moonves to accept the new economics of the media landscape to strike a deal with the same terms and conditions of the old contract. As an alternative, Britt pitches CBS make its programming available a la carte to TWC subscribers.
- Moonves is also taken to task for the high-stake blocking of CBS online access for TWC subscribers by Britt, while American Cable Association CEO Matthew Polka takes the low road on the exec, calling him a "bellicose broadcast CEO with a Napoleonic complex."
- Many analysts see the dispute going on a few weeks. The take is that if a resolution was close, execs would be in the same room instead of swapping snippy press releases.
Aug. 5, 2013, 9:12 AM
- CBS (CBS) could lose $400K a day in the dispute with Time Warner Cable (TWC) which has elevated to the cable company pulling CBS programming with no carriage fee contract in place, estimates UBS.
- Pivotal Research Group thinks the defiant attitude of CBS could attract the attention of regulators as they look to keep costs for consumers under control.
- What to watch: Though DirecTV (DTV) is saying all the right things in solidarity, the tiff gives the company - along with Dish Network (DISH) a- free run at disgruntled TWC customers while it watches Time Warner Cable do much of the heavy lifting in the fight over content costs.
Aug. 5, 2013, 3:33 AM
- The CBS (CBS) blackout on Time Warner Cable (TWC) in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other areas has continued into a third day, with little sign that the companies' dispute over transmission fees is any closer to a resolution.
- The impasse meant that TWC customers in those areas missed leading shows such as "Dexter" and "Ray Donovan" last night, as well as Tiger Woods victory in golf's Bridgestone Invitational. Tonight's broadcast of the most popular program on the summer, "Under the Dome," is also likely to be blocked.
- Some analysts reckon the impasse could last up to six weeks, when the NFL season starts. Woe betide the companies if they haven't come to an agreement by then.
Aug. 4, 2013, 2:43 AM
- In a show of solidarity, DirecTV (DTV) has said it "applauds" Time Warner Cable (TWC) for dropping CBS (CBS) programming in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other markets in a dispute over fees.
- DirecTV is also "appalled" by CBS's decision to block TWC's Internet customers from downloading full episodes of shows from CBS.com in a move that affects the satellite TV company's subscribers who access the Web via TWC.
Aug. 3, 2013, 11:08 AM
- The war of words has escalated as Time Warner Cable (TWC) justifies its decision to pull CBS (CBS) from its programming after the two companies couldn't work out a deal.
- Reports indicate that CBS - which was earning between $0.75-$1.00 a month per subscriber - wants to double its carriage fees.
- CBS has been replaced in several major TWC markets by back-up programming from Starz Kids and Family.
- The ripple effect: Aereo has entered the scene with Time Warner Cable directing customers toward where to go for a free Aereo trial. Also, expect DirecTV (DTV) and Dish Network (DISH) to be busy.
- D-Day: Regular season NFL football starts September 8 for CBS.
- TWC/CBS timeline
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Time Warner Cable Inc provides video, high-speed data and voice services. The Company also offers security and home management services, networking and transport services and enterprise-class, cloud-enabled hosting, managed applications and services.
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