AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is an article I picked up from Bloomberg today at work. I'm not sure of the ultimate source, but it is very enlightening. Things b/w TWC and Disney appear to be getting WORSE, not better. On the bright side, the article says a FoxSports HD channel should be on TWC this year and says TWC is currently in talks with HDNet! That would be awesome!




Highly Defined Fightin': Time Warner Cable Blasts ESPN Net

2003-09-26 17:33 (New York)


Time Warner Cable's negotiations to carry ESPN HD have hit an

impasse over several issues, including the all-sports net's demand to

charge 80 cents/sub for a service that TWC argues is basically a

multicast of the analog service, which costs more than $2/sub.

"There's no new content," programming chief Fred Dressler contends.

"They're the same games, just re-broadcast. Our subscribers won't miss

any games if we don't take their HD net." ESPN defends its stance,

pointing to consumer surveys that consistently show sports as the topic

with the highest HD interest. A potential solution could come from

packaging ESPN HD with In Demand's HD nets, something Dressler said he

wants ("at a minimum") and something ESPN says it allows. But another

front has opened. Dressler complains ESPN no longer is allowing TW

Cable to pay for ESPN HD, opting instead for renegotiating its entire

relationship with the MSO. ESPN rankled TWC execs when it offered to

renegotiate long-term agreements the 2 signed in '99-the same deals TWC

signed after a bitter retrans battle with ESPN parent Disney [DIS]. "We

have long-term agreements that they forced us into, and now they want

to re-open them all," Dressler said. Once TW Cable rejected ESPN's

original offer for ESPN HD, the new net became "part of a broader

negotiation," ESPN's Sean Bratches says. The dispute centers around a

fundamental difference between how the 2 sides think HD services should

be rolled out. ESPN thinks operators should not give away high-quality

content that consumers would buy. TW Cable believes HD services-

particularly ones that don't offer new content-should be added-value to

existing digital subs. "Nobody charged customers anything extra to move

from black-and-white to color," Dressler said. "We'd charge customers

for a new product. Not for a simulcast product." TW Cable offers the

broadcast nets, Discovery, HBO and Showtime in HD for free, not even

billing subs for the extra equipment. It plans to roll out a Fox Sports

HD channel this fall, and is talking with HD Net. - In the 6 months

since its launch, ESPN HD has cut deals with Comcast [CMCSA], Cox

[COX], Insight [ICCI], NCTC, RCN [RCNC], plus the DBS operators

EchoStar [DISH] and DirecTV. Interestingly, it hasn't signed with

Cablevision [CVC], which also offers HD channels free to digital subs.


FOR MORE INFORMATION on this or any other story from CableFAX,

September 26, 2003, please call PBI Media, LLC's Client Service

Department at 800/777-5006. [Copyright 2003 PBI Media, LLC. All rights

reserved.]
 

·
Registered
LG 55" C9 OLED, Yamaha RX-A660, Monoprice 5.1.2 Speakers, WMC HTPC, TiVo Bolt, X1
Joined
·
45,646 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by powers2020
On the bright side, the article says a FoxSports HD channel should be on TWC this year and says TWC is currently in talks with HDNet!
The info about Fox Sports in HD on select TWC systems is old news; see the HDTV Programming Synopsis for details.


As for TWC & HDNet, I would say HDNet is in negotiations with just about every cableco you can think of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Just keep in mind that the Fox Sport programming is more like several games, which will be carried as "special events", rather than another channel. There just isn't enough true HD programming to call it a channel...(hmmm...kind of like ESPN right now).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,505 Posts
Couple of issues

1. HDNet in discussions - well we have heard that for months about ESPN-HD so nothing new there

2. They need to make up their mind about INHD - I think that the reason they don't is because they want to close with ESPN first so they can decide to charge 5.95 / 9.95 depending - much better to give it away for free with the information that this is a short time offer they are doing to be nice...

3. FSN is going to be out of four regions - there will be quite a bit of HD if they all produce games so this can be real huge real quick - the fact that they are based out of different areas and not one main office is great for us

4. I agree on TW's stance and have said it before - I want ESPN-HD, but respect that they are fighting for us. They could just sign up pay the money and charge us twice as much and most people would pay - long term I am sure that it is a business decision, but their reasoning is very sound
 

·
AVS Forum Special Member
Joined
·
11,139 Posts
Think TWC and Disney/ESPN need an arbitrator--something like a national labor/management battle. I recall the nasty dispute mentioned above several years back when TWC, here at least, dropped Disney's ABC from its lineup. Both ran full-page newspaper ads against each other. (Happened to be subscribing to both TWC and RCN cable at the time, so only had to throw a switch for ABC.) Reads like a runaway OJ-trial dispute without even a PC judge available. Thanks for the informative post. -- John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,220 Posts
Maybe TWC will negiotate away the ESPN stretch. ESPN has been a huge dissapointement to me as their stretch of SD material has made the channel unwatchable without checking a HD programming guide.


Rick R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Like mhdiab, I support TWC's position. So glad that obnoxious Disney finally found its match at the negotiation table. I am all for a separate ESPN tier (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNHD, ESPN Classic, ESPN you-name-it) for, say, $9.95 / month. They should sink or swim at the strength of their fan base. As a matter of policy, Disney likes to live off the entire subscriber base as opposed to earning their living on an "a la carte" basis. If I am not mistaken, it was the main reason for their dispute back in 1999-2000 time frame (Disney being offered as a pay channel vs. part of the basic package, then somehow ABC carriage rights got thrown in by Disney as leverage.)


Go TWC!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,551 Posts
ESPN is in a special position in that they are the one "must have" channel for all MSO's. As such, they are using that perceived leverage to extort higher and higher fees for their increasing bevy of channels. The cable companies are right to play hardball with them. The new HD channel is a joke with that ridiculous, unwatchable stretching unless an actually HD game/series is being telecast, and they don't seem to show any interest in listening to their viewers on this issue. They're gettin' a little "too big for their britches", as my daddy used to say....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,211 Posts
At least TWC is standing up for consumers instead of charging more for services.


I agree with Fred and think it would be interesting to see customers being able to select all their cable channels and not pay for unwanted garbage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
One can tell -- in reading the story -- that there is no love lost between TW and DIS. Let's just hope that TW and DIS eventually come to terms sometime in the near future.


Indeed, at some point these protracted discussions do impact consumers -- especially as time stretches on and on. For now, I think it's fair to say that, because there isn't exactly a ton of HD on ESPN, we can wait a little longer without being too put out.


Let's just hope that TW and DIS are able to reach some kind of agreement by spring of 2004.


I'm content to wait it out until then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,505 Posts
Quote:
Maybe TWC will negiotate away the ESPN stretch. ESPN has been a huge dissapointement to me as their stretch of SD material has made the channel unwatchable without checking a HD programming guide.
Rick, I am guessing that you have D* or something similiar. At least where I live the SD picture on ESPN is Fair/Good - no worse than any other SD channel so I don't have a problem if they stretch material or not - I will just watch the SD channel when they have SD material........no biggie and this will likely change when they get a studio next year so no problem by me.



Got to watch out for getting things a la carte - might end up paying a lot more especially since bundling gets more overall money lowering the cost for people that wants a bunch of stuff. - now I would be happy with a sports package and HD package, but so would others and maybe it starts at $20, but I am sure it would end up at $50 or something.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,304 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by powers2020
TW Cable offers the broadcast nets, Discovery, HBO and Showtime in HD for free, not even billing subs for the extra equipment.
Holy Cow, I didn't know I had DiscoveryHD in NYC! I need to go home ASAP and find it!!! [/sarcasm]
 

·
Registered
LG 55" C9 OLED, Yamaha RX-A660, Monoprice 5.1.2 Speakers, WMC HTPC, TiVo Bolt, X1
Joined
·
45,646 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by mhdiab
I agree on TW's stance and have said it before - I want ESPN-HD, but respect that they are fighting for us. They could just sign up pay the money and charge us twice as much and most people would pay - long term I am sure that it is a business decision, but their reasoning is very sound
Then how do you (and your supporters) explain Comcast carrying ESPN HD? Comcast has come right out and said they will not pay more for an HD version of an existing channel, e.g. ESPN HD, HBO, Showtime, yet there they are on Comcast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Ken
Quote:
Then how do you (and your supporters) explain Comcast carrying ESPN HD? Comcast has come right out and said they will not pay more for an HD version of an existing channel, e.g. ESPN HD, HBO, Showtime, yet there they are on Comcast.
It's late and maybe I'm missing something but what are you saying? That ESPN did not charge Comcast more for ESPN HD so TWC is lying when they say ESPN is trying to charge them more?
 

·
Registered
LG 55" C9 OLED, Yamaha RX-A660, Monoprice 5.1.2 Speakers, WMC HTPC, TiVo Bolt, X1
Joined
·
45,646 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Cruzer


It's late and maybe I'm missing something but what are you saying? That ESPN did not charge Comcast more for ESPN HD so TWC is lying when they say ESPN is trying to charge them more?
I'm saying the President of Comcast has been quoted as saying they would not pay more for a duplicated HD channel, and they carry ESPN HD. Make of that what you will.


It was widely speculated that Comcast and ESPN found another way to settle the HD carriage issue, and it involved other ESPN property commitments and / or agreements.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
Quote:
Then how do you (and your supporters) explain Comcast carrying ESPN HD? Comcast has come right out and said they will not pay more for an HD version of an existing channel, e.g. ESPN HD, HBO, Showtime, yet there they are on Comcast
Its easy Comcast is much much much larger than the other Cableco's they have a lot more sway when you talk about having over 22,000,000 subscribers.


Comcast is large enough that most programers do not want to try to get on there bad side. Look at how easy it was for Comcast to get Starz to back out of the battle over trying to keep AT&T's old commitment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
For those of you who haven't done the math, this battle is about really big bucks.


There are about 80 million households with cable or satellite TV. If Disney can get 80cents for each household per month, that is $64 million per month, or $768 million per year in additional revenues that would accrue to them.


ESPN announced the cost of providing the HD signal would be about $100million, apparently a one time cost. Immediate profit if they can get all satellite providers and cableco's to give them what they want is some $668 million per year. And this is just for doing an HD simulcast of programs they are doing anyway.


I never, ever thought I'd say it, but way to go TWC.


Regards,

Fitzie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,505 Posts
Quote:
Then how do you (and your supporters) explain Comcast carrying ESPN HD
1. Comcast is a much bigger company with much more power. Get them on board and you increase the pressure on the small guys and you can charge the small guys more - standard business practice

2. TW and Disney are direct competitiors and there is not the same incentive to make deals that benefits the other - I would say there is probably more a feeling of wanting to hurt each other.......


Did you see my link above though - looks like TW and ESPN might be hooking up and we will pay some extra....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Ken
Quote:
I'm saying the President of Comcast has been quoted as saying they would not pay more for a duplicated HD channel, and they carry ESPN HD. Make of that what you will.
What do you make of that?

Quote:
It was widely speculated that Comcast and ESPN found another way to settle the HD carriage issue, and it involved other ESPN property commitments and / or agreements.
What was the speculated deal?
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top