From the latest Programming Alerts page
, it now looks like the two channels which will be replacing HDNet and HDNet Movies will be:
Effective May 27, 2009, Smithsonian HD will be launched on the HD Tier (an HD box is required) on channel 420.
Crime & Investigation HD will be launched on the HD Tier (an HD box is required) on channel 421 on June 19, 2009 with a preview beginning May 27, 2009.
I'm still going to cancel HD Tier and Choice Tier next week as my small protest to the fact that they could not resolve their petty disputes with Mark Cuban.
Per a personal email response from Mark to another forum subscriber on the national TWC HDTV thread:
"Sad. we reduced the cost of the networks by about 75pct and they said it was still too much.
"Unfortunately we dont have the leverage that big companies have so TWC thinks they can abuse us."
TWC apparently also had no problem coercing MLB into accepting a non-free distribution arrangement, placing MLB into Variety Tier for $5/month rather than "digital basic" (for free to all subscribers).
According to the MLB announcements on their web pages, the intent was to make MLB available FOR NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to all "digital basic" subscribers. You had to at least be a "digital" subscriber to your content provider whatever service levels that required, but there would be no additional charge for the new MLB and MLBHD channels.
Of course, the cleverly constructed tier arrangement for TWC/LA has no such thing as "digital basic", so instead of just adding the MLB channel for free to every one of their optional tiers (which would define 100% of all "digital" subscirbers) they decided to add it to only one tier, Variety, which required me to pay an extra $5/month to receive MLB since I had previously NOT subscribed to that one... though I'd subscribed to several of the other optional digital tiers.
True, this was my choice, but TWC didn't have to distribute MLB in only one tier. It could have been in all tiers and then for sure it would have been "no additional charge for digital basic subscribers" as MLB had wanted. I think MLB got snowed and just ignored the issue, and we got screwed.
This latest HDNet and HDNet Movies story just makes me angrier.