As cable packages have ballooned in both volume and price over the years, a growing segment of consumers has demanded options for unbundled, choose-your-own-channels cable. So far, those cries have gone largely unheard, except for a few streaming, internet-based options. However, it seems the à la carte option has a growing fan base clamoring to be heard: small cable companies themselves. [More]
There’s a contract dispute afoot in the Nutmeg State. Cable company Optimum has been unable to reach a retransmission agreement with the Hartford CBS affiliate, and as a result, thousands of Connecticut residents are left without access to the news and shows they’re paying for but can’t watch. It’s an irritatingly common story, but this time there’s a wrinkle: The cable company is still directing its customers to watch the network… they just want subscribers to do it online, instead. [More]
Two of the entities America most loves to hate — Comcast and the New York Yankees — are now duking it out in the Big Apple, as a cable contract carriage fee dispute results in yet another channel blackout.
Dish’s latest contract fight with the networks it airs has wrapped up much more quickly than usual: less than a day after nearly 130 Sinclair channels went dark on the satellite provider, the local channels are back on in 5 million subscribers’ homes. At least, for now.
Dish Network subscribers may have a hard time getting their local news and weather today along with some of their favorite network programming. A contract dispute between the satellite TV company and one of the biggest network owners in the country has resulted in one of the biggest TV blackouts to date, with 5 million viewers losing access to nearly 130 channels.
In a nice change for consumers, a content company and a distribution company managed to save everyone the rigamarole of a blackout and a finger-pointing yell-a-thon when they instead settled their differences and negotiated a new contract hours after the old one expired.
Bad storms are once again brewing for The Weather Channel. The latest in a maelstrom of recent carriage contract disputes has seen the cable standby booted off of Verizon FiOS systems… and there doesn’t appear to be a quick resolution out on the horizon.
After six months of losing subscribers, DirecTV bounced back in the last quarter, adding a net 149,000 customers for its satellite TV service. Why the sudden change in fortunes? It has a little something to do with Dish Network’s very public carriage disputes in recent months. [More]
There’s another TV contract dispute a-brewing. This one isn’t between a powerhouse cable network and their carrier, though. This time, it’s a fight between a small, Spanish-language broadcast network and everyone’s favorite cable company, Comcast. And while on the one hand the dispute looks to be a completely bog-standard fight about money, it’s also a key example of an often-overlooked aspect of Comcast’s growth and dominance.
Consumers don’t usually see all the ins-and-outs of TV negotiations, except when a contract expires and a channel wants more money than a provider is willing to pay. When the fight gets bad enough, the parties go nuclear and a channel gets blacked out. Fox News viewers who subscribe to Dish have seen — or rather, not seen — that blackout up close and personal for the last three weeks, but the feud between the two is now over.
It’s a rough year to be a Dish subscriber: networks just keep falling out of the lineup as the satellite TV company ends up in contract disputes with channel after channel. The latest argument has Fox News and Fox Business blacked out on Dish, and the fight looks like it’s just getting started.
It’s been a heck of a week for anyone who’s been waiting for all their TV to go online. HBO, CBS, and Univision have all announced online streaming subscription packages this week, which is big news for consumers. But the future, while different, may not be rosy. You can’t watch streaming video without internet access, after all. So what happens to your show when your TV network and your ISP get mad at each other?
UPDATE: Shortly after midnight ET on Tuesday, DirecTV customers no longer had access to The Weather Channel. [More]
AT&T U-Verse Subscribers Get Their AMC Back; Dish Customers Get Movies They’ve Seen A Million Times Already
The deadline AMC Networks — the people behind quality programs like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and the first couple episodes of The Killing, and also a handful of channels no one watches — faced two contract deadlines this weekend; one with Dish Network and the other with AT&T U-verse. In the former standoff, the satellite provider stood firm in its decision to axe AMC; while in the latter, some sort of vague agreement has been reached.
Miami Dolphins fans are used to their team missing the playoffs, but they’re usually still allowed to watch other teams play out the postseason on DirecTV. That wasn’t the case this weekend, though, because a carriage dispute between the satellite provider and the owner of Miami’s Fox affiliate caused the channel to black out throughout the weekend. Two NFL playoff games were the highest-profile casualties of the tiff.