Data from SNL Kagen shows that ESPN is by for the most expensive channel for cable providers to broadcast.

ESPN Accounts For More Than $6 Of Your Cable Bill; Could Soon Top $8

In recent years, cable companies and broadcasters have squared off in nasty, public spats that sometimes result in blackouts for millions of viewers. The broadcasters say they aren’t being paid properly and the cable companies claim they’re on our side, trying to keep costs down (though we always end up paying more). These battles will likely only get worse, with analysts predicting that the cost of content will continue to increase. [More]

Student: Corinthian Colleges’ Demise Is Like “Watching A House Fall On A Witch”

TomQ

The downfall of Corinthian Colleges — the operator of Everest University, WyoTech, and Heald College — has put for-profit education chains in the spotlight, with people focusing on allegations of bogus job-placement statistics, grade manipulation, questionable marketing practices, and speculation regarding what will happen to $1.4 billion in federal student aid. But what about the actual students who have been watching this collapse from the inside? What about their stories? [More]

The 30-day trial invite that some Amazon users are receiving.

Amazon Using 30-Day Try-Before-You-Buy Offers To Attract Fire TV Customers

While the idea of free trial periods for streaming video subscription services like Amazon Prime is nothing new, the online retailer is now applying that same try-before-you-buy concept to streaming hardware. [More]

Save Santa: Buy This Hallmark Ornament

Save Santa: Buy This Hallmark Ornament

When we received an e-mail from reader Ryan entitled, “The most brilliantly evil Christmas commercial ever made,” well, our interest was piqued. Surely that bar is very high. There have been some great (terrible) moments in holiday commercial history. [More]

Psychologist Deems Dad Unfit Parent For Not Feeding McDonald’s To 5-Yr-Old

Psychologist Deems Dad Unfit Parent For Not Feeding McDonald’s To 5-Yr-Old

You’d think that most parents would be applauded for not giving in to their kids’ demands for fast food, but a court-appointed psychologist in New York City (New York City?!?) has reportedly decided that one father is an unfit parent because he failed to feed his 5-year-old son’s craving for McDonald’s. [More]

This sweater is burning up the Internet.

Internet Displeased With Hallmark For Switching Carol’s Lyrics From “Gay” To “Fun” On Ornament

In 1794, when “Deck the Halls” was written, if someone said they were having a “gay” time, it meant one thing: Happy. But just because the meaning of that word has changed in the intervening years, many Hallmark customers are not at all pleased that the greeting card company dropped the original “don we now our gay apparel” lyric in favor of “fun” for a new ugly holiday sweater Christmas ornament. [More]

Oh, For Gobble’s Sake, Thanksgiving Decorations Are Out Already

Oh, For Gobble’s Sake, Thanksgiving Decorations Are Out Already

If you’re the kind of person who likes to start getting their Thanksgiving table ready several months in advance, you’re in luck. Just stop by reader Shaun’s local Stop and Shop grocery store and you can start sticking ceramic turkeys anywhere in your house that you please. [More]

July 29, 2013

Halloween Started Creeping Up On Us In July

“Halloween Creep,” observes reader Jay. “It almost sounds like a dance some ghouls might do after the Monster Mash.” That’s not what the Halloween Creep is, though. It would be so much better if it were. Instead, it’s what happens when Consumerist readers are out enjoying their summer and stop in their tracks when they see Halloween merch out on store shelves. [More]

Comcast Now Testing Prepaid Cable Service, But With No Sports Channels Or HD

Comcast Now Testing Prepaid Cable Service, But With No Sports Channels Or HD

Earlier this year, Comcast started testing prepaid Internet service for consumers in the Philadelphia area. Now the nation’s cable provider is trying out a prepaid (non-HD) TV service that offers a few dozen channels (but no ESPNs, Nickelodeon, or MTV) and costs anywhere from $15/week to $45/month. [More]

Mother’s Day Cards For Dads: A Sweet Gesture Or Holiday Double-Dipping?

Mother’s Day Cards For Dads: A Sweet Gesture Or Holiday Double-Dipping?


“Leave it to Hallmark to double-dip on holidays,” reader Mark noted when he snapped a picture of this card using our Tipster App. “Father’s Day is next month, people.” Well, yes, but there are also legitimate reasons why someone would buy a card like this. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Rallies Supporting Saturday Mail Delivery Held Nationwide, But Are They Pointless?

Last week, Congress passed a budget bill that keeps the federal government going until the end of the federal budget year on September 30, and averts the scary and inconvenient consequences of a government shutdown. That’s good. There’s an interesting provision, though: like past budget bills, it specifically says that the U.S. Postal service can’t cut back on mail delivery, which it had planned to do in August. Oops. But while groups of letter carriers and supporters held rallies nationwide yesterday, has the crisis been averted? Yes. No. We’re not really sure. [More]

(Twitter)

Hallmark UK: Sorry About That Card For 13-Year-Olds Equating Cleavage To Better Gifts

In the current social media environment, all it takes is one Twitter user tweeting one simple pic and a firestorm of controversy can be ignited. Such was the case when one Twitter user snapped a picture of a Hallmark UK greeting card telling 13-year-old girls they’ll get better presents when they get “bigger boobies,” and it got picked up by another Twitter user with a whole lot of followers. And cue media storm. [More]

Christmas Creep In July Emerges At Warehouse Clubs

Christmas Creep In July Emerges At Warehouse Clubs

Sure, it’s not glittery Christmas trees or holly-laden wreaths, but two readers shopping in warehouse clubs were still surprised to see the earliest signs of Christmas creep. At Sam’s Club and a Costco in greater Washington, D.C., the festive holiday ribbons have started to appear. [More]

Scammers Using Real Vacation Rental Info To Trick Victims Out Of Thousands

As people have gotten wiser to the obvious hallmarks of online scams, the scammers have had to step up their game in order to keep making a dishonest buck. And now that people begin thinking about their upcoming summer vacation rentals, these scammers are prepared with the latest in darned-close-to-realistic-but-still-fake realty listings. [More]

FiOS Bringing 26 Channels Of Live TV To Xbox 360

FiOS Bringing 26 Channels Of Live TV To Xbox 360

As we wrote early last month, the folks at Microsoft had signed some sort of then-nebulous deal with Verizon FiOS to bring more live TV options to Xbox 360 users. Now, as the twosome prepares to roll out its offerings, details of the deal have finally been released. [More]

Hallmark Sells Cards That Express Sympathy For Layoff Victims

Hallmark Sells Cards That Express Sympathy For Layoff Victims

Oblivious to the possibility that the last thing people who lost their jobs need are cardboard reminders of their misfortune, Hallmark has launched a line of greeting cards geared to the downsized. Among the witticisms you can sign beneath and hand over solemnly: “Don’t think of it as losing your job. Think of it as a time out between stupid bosses.” [More]

Budweiser Slaps A Bow Tie On The Can And Hopes You'll Buy More

Budweiser Slaps A Bow Tie On The Can And Hopes You'll Buy More

As Budweiser, the self-dubbed King of Beers, feels competitors chomping away at its spot in suds sales ranks, it has tried a number of things — like giving away 500,000 freebies — to remind people it is a product available for purchase. Today, the folks at Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V. RFD PDQ WTF announced their master stroke that will surely work wonders: A new can. [More]

These Piggy Banks Are Really Excited To Accept Your Change

These Piggy Banks Are Really Excited To Accept Your Change

Back when we were kids, piggy banks were demure, rather stoic beasts, who humbly accepted our change through the traditional slot in the back. But times, they are a-changin’. Lady Gaga rules the airwaves, Britney Spears has kids and these little piggies, submitted by a reader, are a new breed of bank. [More]