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Time Warner Recommends Internet For Some Shows 379

Posted by timothy
from the how-to-keep-hulu-in-page-views dept.
EdIII writes "The dispute between Time Warner and Viacom over fees seems to be without any resolution this year. Time Warner faces the possibility of being without content for almost 20 channels. Alexander Dudley, a spokesperson for Time Warner, is fighting back: 'We will be telling our customers exactly where they can go to see these programs online,' Mr. Dudley said. 'We'll also be telling them how they can hook up their PCs to a television set.' Why pay for digital cable when many content providers are now providing it on demand via the Internet? Not to mention the widespread availability of TV shows in both standard and high definition on public and private torrent tracker sites. It is entirely possible to watch television with no commercials or advertising with only an Internet connection. So getting your content via the Internet is not exactly free, but it certainly isn't contributing to Time Warner or any other cable providers' revenue stream. The real question is why Time Warner would fight back by so clearly showing how increasingly obsolete they are becoming and that cable providers are losing their monopolistic grip on media delivery." If no agreement is reached, those channels are supposed to be dropped just after midnight tonight.
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Time Warner Recommends Internet For Some Shows

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  • FiOS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by oahazmatt (868057) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:11PM (#26283409) Journal
    I just warned Bright House (essentially Time Warner, both affected by this) that if they actually subtract stations from me they had best be prepared to adjust my bill accordingly or I would switch to FiOS, which just made itself available in our area. I already got a canned response telling me to use websites. I might switch anyway.
    • Re:FiOS (Score:5, Informative)

      by jeffTWC (1442315) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:27PM (#26283643)
      Hi -- I'm the director of digital communications at Time Warner Cable. And we actually will be refunding our customers for the lost channels while we wait for Viacom to come to an agreement. The amount is being worked out now, but it will automatically be credited to your bill.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by No2Gates (239823)

        And that would be roughly $.50, correct? Damn, can't decide where to spend that big check.

      • Re:FiOS (Score:4, Interesting)

        by BitZtream (692029) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:51PM (#26284019)

        I suggest you consider the amount carefully. You already force us to take channels we don't want just so we can get the few we do want. Now you're going to drop a bunch of channels and the result will be we see practically no billing difference this month, and if it continues you'll just come up with an excuse to raise rates to compensate for the lost next month.

        I have no problem with dropping the channels, with the exception of a couple of the nick channels they all otherwise suck, and since I don't have kids at this point, I can deal without the Nick channels. Perhaps you should use that additional bandwidth you'll have around to provide the those of us who you rip off for data services with what you actually claim to sell us rather than saturated upstreams.

        And please, don't tell me about how thats not true, I know far too many TWC employees that work in your data centers to buy that bullshit. I know your profit margins are so ridiculous that it would make Cheney feel bad about it.

        As I said, consider the amount carefully, as I suspect you'll have lawsuits that follow shortly after the service interruption. We've paid our bill, you don't give us the option to not pay for the channels we don't want, likewise, you don't have the option of not giving us channels you promised to give us.

        I also wish you great luck in your digital phone efforts, I pray you get big enough that you actually have to provide a proper SLA to your customers like real phone companies do. Its nice getting to take the money without having to follow the rules isn't it?

        • Re:FiOS (Score:5, Informative)

          by Kt.foss.zealot (1442361) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @04:15PM (#26284313)

          You already force us to take channels we don't want just so we can get the few we do want.

          Actually in many cases it's part of the agreement between the content provider and the cable company, the content provider is effectively the one "forcing" you to take channels you don't want.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by SydShamino (547793)

          As I said, consider the amount carefully, as I suspect you'll have lawsuits that follow shortly after the service interruption.

          As a customer of Dish Network who lived through the same thing with Viacom a few years ago, I have to say that I consider this very unlikely. They, too, provided a temporary credit for the channels lost. They, too, make me take a lot of channels I don't like for the few I do.

          You already force us to take channels we don't want just so we can get the few we do want.

          They force us to do so, however, only because they are themselves forced to do so by the content providers. If Time Warner tried to provide you with just Comedy Central and Nickelodeon from Viacom at the basic tier, with all the othe

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        So that's what UID numbers are up to as of today...
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Hi, I'm a subscriber. I can tell you what the refund will be in my case already. It will be $80 a month in my case, and I'll start getting it as soon as I hand in my cable box on Friday and tell you I'm getting DirectTV.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Careful though... Time Warner's agreement with Viacom just happens to be expiring right now so make no mistake about it that Viacom will come to Direct TV with the exact same inflated demands which they are now asking of TWC when that contract expires as well.

          So anyone who's solution is to go with FIOS or Direct TV just be forewarned that Viacom will be at those doors rattling their chains before too long. Plus, chances are that with their TWC revenue gone (which Viacom is already adding into their 2009 pro

          • by elrous0 (869638) *
            TWC has a long history [wikipedia.org] of these annoying standoffs (this is hardly the first time they've been to the brink, and I'm sick of it). DirectTV, by contrast, seems to get along with the cable channel providers pretty well (and carry a lot more HD channels to boot).
      • Re:FiOS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @05:40PM (#26285305) Homepage

        So if Viacom got $2.25 per subscriber for these channels in 2008, and is asking $2.50 in 2009, how much are you going to refund to users? If it's more than $2.50, you're better off paying Viacom, if it's less, people will laugh at you ("take away the best 10% of my channels and knock 2% off my bill?")

    • Re:FiOS (Score:5, Funny)

      by speroni (1258316) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:42PM (#26283891) Homepage

      I got FiOS. I downloaded the season finale of Heroes in 10 minutes flat.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      I bet DirecTV still has these channels. And I'll sure as hell be finding out if Time-Warner tries to pull them from my cable lineup.
    • I have FiOS, it rocks. There is no reason not to switch.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by d3ac0n (715594)

        This is pissing me off TO NO END.

        1) I have not one, but TWO small children (6 and 8 respectively) with mild-moderate Autism spectrum disorder that are OBSESSED with Noggin. My 6 year old son in particular has a hard time going through the day without watching his favorite shows. Did I mention they have Autism Spectrum Disorder? You DO NOT KNOW what a tantrum is until you have dealt with an Autism tantrum. So my New Years Day is going to be a NIGHTMARE. The only reason I have Digital Cable is so I can

    • FiOS won't save you (Score:3, Interesting)

      by borcharc (56372) *

      If TWC's claim that MTV, etc are trying to take them for 3x the carriage fee they previously paid and they win this game of chicken this sets a very concerning stage for an even more runaway cable bill regardless of the provider. The big evil cable co's are in a better position to negotiate then the upstarts, even the likes of Verizon, if they loose, we all loose.

      I am glad they are taking a stand, my cable bill has gone up enough in the last few years all I need is every cable network demanding 3x the fees

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lbmouse (473316) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:12PM (#26283421) Homepage

    "The real question is why Time Warner would fight back by so clearly showing how increasingly obsolete they are becoming and that cable providers are losing their monopolistic grip on media delivery."

    Because they are also TWC via Road Runner.

  • by Scott Lockwood (218839) * on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:13PM (#26283429) Homepage Journal

    . So getting your content via the Internet is not exactly free, but it certainly isn't contributing to Time Warner or any other cable providers' revenue stream.

    It doesn't? They don't pay Time Warner for access to the internet, their own subscribers? In fact, this provides a way for them to cut costs - they're already paying for the bandwidth, and some people are going to download the shows anyway. Win / win from their standpoint.

  • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:15PM (#26283465)

    It's out there, it's possible to do. Why should I get cable when I can steal programs instead? For that matter, why don't I just steal cable?

    I wish I had known about the value proposition of stealing a month ago, I would have saved a lot on my Xmas shopping.

    • by ccguy (1116865) *

      Why should I get cable when I can steal programs instead?

      What a dilemma :-)

      • Why should I have to do either?

        This whole article is about the cable company not airing the channels anymore because they don't want to pay what Warner asks.

        By the same lesson we learned on here, they should just continue to air the channels and not pay. Paying is clearly optional.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyYar (622222)

      Stealing? Who's talking about stealing?

      Viacom puts [nickjr.com] many [thedailyshow.com] of [southparkstudios.com] their [mtv.com] shows [tvland.com] online.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by MBGMorden (803437)

        Can we get link-speak added to that Lake Superior State University list of things that must die? The links you assigned to all the words there had no special meaning to any particular word. Particularly with Slashdot's little citing engine throwing block quotes behind every one, it just makes it terribly annoying to read. Why not keep things legible and list links in an orderly fashion:

        Nickalodeon [nickjr.com]
        The Daily Show [thedailyshow.com]
        South Park [southparkstudios.com]
        MTV [mtv.com]
        TV Land [tvland.com]

        See, it's not hard.

  • by Vandil X (636030) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:21PM (#26283549)
    If Time Warner instructs people to watch the TV content over the Internet, and if that activity makes them go over their unpublicized bandwidth caps, aren't they just directing customers from one problem to another?
    • This is something I suspected all along that TWC knows they are losing their hold on the cable subscribers to streamed/downloaded shows. This is why they will most likely offer such a low bandwidth cap (40GB per month $54.99-ish) for the current pricing plan. They know how soon going over the limit would start to make their overage fees.

      Comcast has it right for offering a 250GB cap. Very realistic and for the customer.
      • by RobBebop (947356)

        If internet delivery of content is really an issue because of low bandwidth limits, then shouldn't I be able to get TV signals for dirt cheap? One service *must* have lower margins than the other and based on economics, I'd suspect it would be in the cable industries best interest to lower cable and to the point where they barely have any margin so they can retain customers who might become interested in internet delivery otherwise.

        Oh course, Showtime and HBO can still be big for the cable companies beca

      • by kimvette (919543)

        Comcast has it right for offering a 250GB cap. Very realistic and for the customer.

        I'll correct your typo:

        Comcast is scummy for publishing their previously-undisclosed bandwidth caps, when all the while they were advertising unlimited internet. However, given that, 250GB is less unreasonable than a 40GB cap. The fact that they have a cap at all is idiotic, when they could instead implement a monitoring/adjustment algorithm which changes QoS for heavy users until they let up, that way the heavy network users

        • No typo, just perspective...

          I agree with this:

          The fact that they have a cap at all is idiotic, when they could instead implement a monitoring/adjustment algorithm which changes QoS for heavy users until they let up, that way the heavy network users don't negatively impact other users, but at the same time everyone is happy because they are getting the service they paid for, with zero downtime.

          However, since they most likely will be using bandwidth caps, Comcast is better for it for offering a more realistic cap.

    • by Aranykai (1053846) <slgonserNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:40PM (#26283857)

      Just how many shows are these people actually watching? An hour slot usually encodes to less than 700MB. At 250GB per month, assuming half of that was TV, they have:

      250GB x 1024 = 256000MB
      256000 / 700 = 365.7 Hours

      That would be over 13 hours of TV a day, every day for a month. Right...

      • That would be over 13 hours of TV a day, every day for a month. Right...

        For a single user? It's a lot. For a family of 4 or 5?

        I'll put it gently, since I don't know when my wife will do her annual "I wonder what hubby's writing on slashdot" foray... some people have the TV on damn near 'round the clock.

        Morning newsertainment -- 3-4 hours. Afternoon soaps -- 2+ hours. Evening news -- 1 hr. Evening crap shows -- 3 hours. Night news -- 1 hr. Late-night shows -- 2 hrs.

        That alone is 12 hours. For one

        • by edmicman (830206)
          Not to mention that 250GB/month is the limit for ALL activity, not just downloading 700mb/hour TV shows. It doesn't all have to be television downloads or streams. Add in music downloads, netflix downloads, [legal] software downloads (iso anyone?), patches, updates, xbox live, wiiware, whathaveyou ad infinitum....having any sort of bandwidth cap that cuts you off is completely idiotic in this day and age. Sigh....
        • by spazdor (902907)

          Maybe you should cut back a little.

        • <joke>You need to teach your wife about this new-fangled thing called "radio".</joke>

          My wife also grew up in a household where the TV was turned on by the first person to get up in the morning and turned off by the last person to go to bed at night. Her entire family treats noise from the TV as though it were natural background noise, ignoring it and talking over it when it suits them. I suspect your wife is doing the same - leaving the TV on in order to have something other than silence in th

      • by kimvette (919543)

        An hour slot compresses to 700MB using which codec, and at what bitrate and what resolution? You won't get 1080i or even 720p into 700MB unless you're cutting the framerate or compressing into into a smeared, splotchy mess.

        I use my DVR a lot. I keep it on 24/7. I record a LOT of shows, so both tuners are drawing 720p broadcasts from comcast a good amount of the time (I end up deleting a lot of stuff without even watching it but that's neither here nor there), and sometimes while stuff is recording I'll even

        • by Big Boss (7354)

          +1

          Note that an hour @720p is about 2GB with h264. Assuming a decent bitrate (about 3.5Mbps). Of course, once you cut out the ~15min of commercials, you get about 1.2GB.

          I've found that gets me quite good quality HDTV playback from transcoded recordings.

          MPEG2 ATSC is about 8GB/hr, depending on the station. Nobody would transmit that over the net though. Not when h264 works so well at significantly lower bitrates.

    • I have a AT&T DSL connection for my internet and Time-Warner for my cable. And if Time-Warner cuts my Comedy Central, I'm not only going to use my DSL connection for my Comedy Central shows, I'm going to use it for ALL my shows. It'll even have the benefit of saving me that $80 a month I give to Time-Warner. So thanks for the advice, Time-Warner! See you Friday!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:23PM (#26283585)

    If you go to www.mtv.com or www.comedycentral.com (or any other Viacom property) and you're coming from a Time Warner-served IP, you'll get a nice pop up message that indicates your channels will be dropped on your (assumed) cable service.

    It is also my understanding that after new years, should there be no deal, that Viacom will be pulling video access for a variety of their sites, if you're coming from the aforementioned ISP. Obviously its not that hard to do, if they already have that pop up working. I assume that this will not affect videos on hulu.

    What's interesting here is that nobody is noticing that there is a disconnect between cable and ISP service. While the vast majority of people will have combined TV + ISP service through one provider, there obviously are some people getting caught in the crossfire.

    Furthermore, if the video blocking does take place, this becomes some sort of inverse network neutrality. Instead of the carrier being the jerk that slows/eliminates the ability to reach a content provider, the content provider is using your carrier as a reason to not serve you.

    • Instead of the carrier being the jerk that slows/eliminates the ability to reach a content provider, the content provider is using your carrier as a reason to not serve you.

      The Walt Disney Company has been doing this for years on ESPN360 [wikipedia.org].

    • by Faylone (880739) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:53PM (#26284049)
      Wait, so the ONLY way I could access the shows would be...through piracy?
    • by BitZtream (692029)

      That would be kind of stupid for them to do, as they will then promptly loose the advertising revenue generated from those Time Warner users visiting their websites.

      You can be sure that nice fat banner ad at the top of the page is worth a fortune to them. So they can show it to you one more time before you realize their website is now worthless? I don't think so, that would be truely retarded.

      Shit, you're right, I can totally see them doing it now that I think about the other stupid crap network execs do

  • by LordKaT (619540) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:26PM (#26283629) Homepage Journal

    Lose 20 channels, tell people who bitch to use torrents, impose strict bandwidth caps, then charge out the ass for going over the limit.

    It's a perfect circle.

  • by volxdragon (1297215) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:28PM (#26283671)

    I forsee a DDoS attack on Viacom servers by the masses of users redirected there by Time Warner. Funny actually, because it will drive up Viacom's costs if they have to bring additional servers or bandwidth on-line to handle the load (unless they do something draconian like block all Time Warner address blocks :)).

  • Why pay? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Because you're sick of buffering everything for 20 minutes before watching and not having an easy way to discover new content that is outside the topic ranges of things you have been watching.

    • Because you're sick of buffering everything for 20 minutes before watching and not having an easy way to discover new content that is outside the topic ranges of things you have been watching.

      Probably depends on where you live and your ISP, but here with 6.0Mbps DSL I can happily live without cable. In fact, I've got more stuff downloaded and recorded than I actually have time to watch, between OTA, hulu, and bt. Screw the greedy cablecos, I don't need them anymore.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:29PM (#26283683)

    I dropped cable because I did the math, and for the few shows I was interested in watching it was cheaper to buy the shows on iTunes than to pay for cable.

    If you think about it any given show is only $8/month (4 episodes at $1.99 each), and generally do not last a whole year. You can have quite a few shows in the line for less than the price of a normal cable subscription.

    And of course, there are the multiple free avenues that range in legality from Hulu to torrents (someone needs to make a torrent client called Zulu to turn that into a great line).

    As another poster here noted, Time Warner would probably be fine just becoming your value-added internet service provider even if they don't add much programming on top of that.

    Now of course, none of that advice probably applies if you watch a lot of sports. In those cases, I don't know there are really good alternatives other than frequent trips to a bar...

    • by ccguy (1116865) *

      If you think about it any given show is only $8/month (4 episodes at $1.99 each),

      What do you mean only? That's the price of a movie ticket, in a theater.

      These are absurd prices. They are once again killing their golden goose by ripping people off.

      What they should do is sell episodes *worldwide* (lots of people are willing to pay a reasonable amount to watch new stuff at the same time it airs in the US), at something like $0.25 per episode, or maybe $50 for all you can get.

      • by Ironica (124657)

        His point is that, if you don't watch much TV, that's cheaper than cable. When we had just the lowest end package, our cable bill was $26/month, which costs more than four shows on iTunes. I don't know *when* was the last time I watched more than 2 shows at a time, so the cost comparison makes sense to me.

    • Now of course, none of that advice probably applies if you watch a lot of sports. In those cases, I don't know there are really good alternatives other than frequent trips to a bar...

      It's Viacom stations, so unless that sport is Jackass, TWC is probably not canceling it.

  • Due to the fact that we're not providing a whole set of channels we claimed we would, you'll be receiving a nice credit to your account.

    There should be no reason that TWC should be able to collect from their customers and then say "thanks, now go to the internet."

    It's bad enough I have to pay for stupid channels I will *NEVER* watch. I'm no longer with TWC, but was never a fan of their crappy service when I was.

  • From TFA:

    The channels that would be affected are: Comedy Central, CMT: Pure Country, Logo, Palladia, MTV, MTV 2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV Tr3s, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Nick 2, Nicktoons, Spike, The N, TV Land, VH1, VH1 Classic, and VH1 Soul.

    For a minute I was worried, but considering how often I watch any of those channels, I doubt I would notice.

    On a related note: TWCNYC has now managed to mess up an appointment yet again, making sure my on-going intermittent cable problems last into the new year.

    Thanks TWC fo

  • by Bruiser80 (1179083) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:34PM (#26283781)
    on the last page of the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinal.

    It had a picture of Dora the Explorer with a tear in her eye. The text said that Time Warner was canceling 19 channels in the Milwaukee area.

    Viacom's name was in very small text at the bottom of the page.
  • At least, it wouldn't be for someone like me.

    Either I go with Rogers for fast speeds, and get charged crazy amounts with caps, or I go Teksavvy with 5mbps at the greatest... And that's still like 30$-40$ a month (or 25$ for the lowest plan at either rogers' or teksavvy). It's not really fast enough, or has enough bandwidth (the teksavvy one might but I'd need a change of modems and lose my 15% discount), to stream shows to all my TVs.

    But then again, we're paying 60$/month for digital cable. If getting rid o

  • by Gotung (571984) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:40PM (#26283861)
    Part of the reason I switched from Time Warner to AT&T u-verse is Time Warner's constant bullshit fighting with networks (CBS, Big Ten Network). Good riddance.
  • From the article:

    'We'll also be telling them how they can hook up their PCs to a television set.'

    Does this mean that indie developers will finally have the tools to develop multiplayer video games that run on one PC [pineight.com], as opposed to a separate PC per player?

  • When I looked at my last Comcast bill, I realized I'm paying almost $100 a month! (I have basic HDTV + the shitty Motorola DVR.) For that kind of money I'm better off buying a Mac Mini or dipping my toe into Linux + MythTV!
    • by rindeee (530084)

      Mini + Netflix (nice streaming feature...works great) + Boxee + a 1TB Maxtor External drive ($114 w/free delivery from Amazon) for my own content (ripped personal DVDs, etc.). No cable service, just HSI. Don't miss it in the least and my monthly bill is $10 (Netflix) plus $29 for HSI (which I'd be paying for even if I did have cable or sat tv).

      • No cable service, just HSI. Don't miss it in the least and my monthly bill is $10 (Netflix) plus $29 for HSI

        Where do you live? In Fort Wayne, Indiana, Comcast charges twice that much for high-speed Internet without phone or television. This $59.xx per month includes a $15/mo "line fee" that Comcast waives to all its TV subscribers, making local-channels-only "lifeline" TV essentially free.

    • by Dracos (107777)

      Over the past decade or more, cable fees have increased at 6 times the rate of inflation. Clearly the cable companies are greedy.

      Perhaps TimeWarner could reduce their costs by shutting down their OnDemand shopping channels which I'm sure no one uses. This would also free up a lot of commercial time for real advertisers. Has TW said whether their rates will be lowered accordingly when these channels become unavailable?

      That said, all of Viacom's channels have no interest for me other than Comedy Central (D

  • by greg_barton (5551) <greg_barton@NOSpaM.yahoo.com> on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:48PM (#26283979) Homepage Journal

    Things are getting lean, and the wolves come out when the food runs low. You're seeing the same dynamic between AMD/Intel/NVidia right now with AMD's open sourcing of it's graphics card firmware. You force the competition to expend resources at a time that it can't afford to do so, even if it costs you more resources. The gamble is that they'll break before you do.

    They're playing chicken.

  • Well now, I'm so glad I'm shelling out big bucks for my high-def digital cable and DVR service so I can watch all these hundreds of TV stations on my nice big new HDTV...

    Oh wait, where did all my favorite channels go? Where are my kids channels going?

    Well, shit.

  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @03:52PM (#26284041) Homepage

    I recently downgraded from Comcast's Digital Premier to Limited Basic. My monthly cable bill for both TV and internet has gone from a whopping $227 to a more reasonable $60.

    I'm amazed how little I miss - most of the channels I watched before, such as the networks, I still get. And the internet and other non-TV entertainment more than makes up for the rest.

    Cable TV's pricing structure is increasingly becoming unsustainable with ever increasing carriage fees for channels that many people don't want or can live without.

    It's only a matter of time, especially as TV and internet converge, some cable companies will choose to drop carriage of many channels and instead simply redirect to the channel's internet website.

    Ron

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SuperCharlie (1068072)
      We recently moved and I had a chance to "renegotiate" all our services, TWC being one of them. I was up to ~120 a month for expanded basic and RoadRunner before the move and every way you slice it the cable TV part was costing about $70 a month which was just too much for me. After a few ping-pong are "you sure you dont want the package??" I managed to get limited basic cable and RoadRunner (7mb/~2mb) for ~65 a month. It is not something they wanted to do and they pushed hard for the "value meal".

      With W
  • In the long term, I think Time-Warner has the upper hand here. Viacom is wanting Time-Warner to pay a significant chunk of more money to carry its commercial-laden content. If Viacom is unable to fund itself through these constant deluges of crass commercials, then perhaps Viacom needs to find itself a better revenue stream. Squeezing the pipe that actually delivers the eyes that the advertisers are wanting to get in front of is not a good idea. TWC owns the pipe, Viacom simply owns the content. Which one i

  • by kimvette (919543) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @04:03PM (#26284181) Homepage Journal

    Folks, as I called it when bandwidth caps were first mentioned, they are being implemented because the cable companies are terrified of using their current monopolies on subscription digital television delivery. I don't know what Time-Warner's cap is but Comcast's is 250GB. There is NO concern of P2P users hogging bandwidth - were that the case then Comcast would simply use QoS to keep those users in check. No, not at all. It's all about content delivery.

    See, they were fine with advertising flat-fee UNLIMITED HIGH SPEED INTERNET for over a decade. However, now that the technology exists which allows content providers to deliver content directly to users via commodity entry-level PCs, suddenly there is a need for monthly bandwidth caps. Not bandwidth throttling where if you hit the limit (on the service where you agreed to unlimited internet, no less!) it's two strikes and you're out.

    I'll bet that if they do not come to agreement today, Time Warner's response will not be customer-friendly. They will either block traffic or severely throttle traffic coming from the sites where the content is being streamed. In fact I hope that this is exactly how they will respond. Why? Because then Joe Sixpack will understand how net neutrality would help them. Comcast, TW, et. al are trying to convince Joe Sixpack that net neutrality is an evil thing, but this situation would be perfect for underscoring just how evil the monopolies are.

    Want to end this fucking nonsense? Talk to your town council. Attend town meetings, and tell them you want competition. You want to pit Verizon against Quest against Comcast against Cox against Time Warner. Let everyone enter the town and COMPETE. Then, you will suddenly see bandwidth caps disappear, and actual customer service -- AND lower prices.

    • by tgd (2822)

      You know what happens when a town or state takes on a company the size of these telecom companies?

      The state loses.

      New Hampshire tried to pull crap with Verizon a couple of years ago. They told Verizon to roll out fiber to the whole state or they wouldn't approve it in any of the state. Now mind you 3/4 of New Hampshire is extremely rural and extremely poor. Ie, the highest cost areas to roll out fiber are the areas most likely to not order service with it anyway.

      What did Verizon do? It said "fuck you" in no

  • I like most of Comedy Central's original shows, but I'll lose my mind if they don't air Saving Silverman for the umpteenth time! They air that movie so much, it's like "The Beastmaster" to their TBS.

  • Doesn't Matter To Me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kid_oliva (899189)
    I hardly watch any of those channels anyways. I'll take the minute refund.
  • Comedy Central, CMT: Pure Country, Logo, Palladia, MTV, MTV 2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV Tr3s, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Nick 2, Nicktoons, Spike, The N, TV Land, VH1, VH1 Classic, and VH1 Soul.

    Except for Comedy Central (only late night) and some shows/movies at Spike nothing really to be mad about. I wish they would have taken MTV and VH1 off a long time ago, I can't see those channels making any money.

    Guess we'll be hitting The Pirate Bay soon enough for a bunch of shows.

  • by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @05:37PM (#26285267) Homepage

    So the model goes like this:

    Studio creates TV show
    Sells it to Network
    Network bundles; sells to cable provider
    Cable provider sells to consumers

    Geeze, this is more convoluted than the Music market.

    I have to think all this wrangling is for nothing. BitTorrent, AppleTV, NetFlix On Demand. They're going to crush that model.

  • by jeffTWC (1442315) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @05:38PM (#26285277)
    Take a look at the popup that's showing up on websites owned by Viacom -- any of 'em, MTV.com, VH1.com, etc. The text says, in part "Attention Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks customers, starting tonight, you will lose your favorite MTV shows on TV and online because of a dispute with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks." Here's a screen shot: http://twitpic.com/ycvx [twitpic.com] It's that phrase "and online" that's really troubling. What does Viacom mean by that? If the statement's true and not just a scare tactic, then it either means: 1) They're going to take all their video content off the Web and ruin it for everybody. 2) They're somehow going to block Time Warner Cable / Bright House/ Roadrunner subscribers only from seeing their free video content, probably by blocking a range of IP addresses. Internal conversations here at Time Warner Cable indicate that Viacom's going to do the latter: block our customers from the same full Web experience that they provide everyone else for free. What will that do for the future of online video? We're not sure, but one thing's positive: it won't be good.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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