Forget Chilean miners, when it comes to the cable industry there are really only two stories right now: Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) ongoing struggle to acquire NBC Universal and Cablevision Systems' (NYSE: CVC) ongoing struggle to keep Fox Networks in line and on line, so to speak. Cablevision's plight (fight?) got support from a somewhat, albeit not totally, surprising front in a blog penned by Jeff Simmermon, Time Warner Cable's (NYSE: TWC-WI) director of digital communications on MSO's website.
Simmermon correctly pointed out that the ugly Cablevision-Fox spat--and the even uglier Fox--Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) cage match--aren't really Time Warner's concern. "We went a few rounds with Fox late last year, and Disney a little more recently (and) I'm sure we're going to have some tense and difficult negotiations with some other broadcasters before the year's over," he wrote.
In general, however, the fight should concern everyone: service providers, content providers and, most importantly, consumers because "retransmission consent problems face the whole industry." The short-term answer for subscribers might be to switch providers, but the way things work now, "but then something comes up and you're in a whole other mess."
The long term answer, he wrote, is for Congress or the FCC to "step in" and do something and, while he doesn't say so, that's apparently not something on the agenda for either of those bodies right now.
- see this blog
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