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Cablevision Reprograms Boxes To Include Anti-ABC Channel 13

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-market-mud-slinging dept.
jantman writes "In the ongoing battle between Cablevision and ABC in the New York area, Cablevision has added a channel 1999 to display a looped anti-ABC ad. But, to take it a step further, Cablevision reprogrammed the cable boxes of all subscribers in the affected area to tune to this channel on power up."

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Cablevision Reprograms Boxes To Include Anti-ABC Channel

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  • Seems Reasonable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MoriarGryphon (599643) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:27PM (#31360632)

    Seems like a bit passive-aggressive, but somewhat reasonable action on their part.

    If I was a customer, I'd be angry that my box wasn't on the channel I left it.

    • by natehoy (1608657)

      If Disney/ABC pulls the signal, replace it with a simple message

      "ABC gives away this programming for free over the air, but wants to charge us to pass it along to you. Call ABC now at 1-800-whatever and tell them you can't see their ads right now."

      Heck, if the pat-ourselves-on-the-back-this-month awards are that big a deal, I'd pull ABC now, to give them time to back down.

      The broadcasters make their money on ads. I pay $11 a month to my cable company to get broadcast TV only, but that is basically for wir

      • ABC gives away this programming for free over the air, but wants to charge us to pass it along to you.

        Not exactly accurate. Cable co's. pay for most Disney channels, except ABC. Cablevision already charges customers for ABC, but Disney doesn't get any of that. They want a piece. From TFA:

        Cablevision (CVC, Fortune 500) currently pays Disney more than $200 million a year to carry its cable networks, which include ESPN, the Disney Channel and ABC Family.

        A Disney spokesman notes that Cablevision charges

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by natehoy (1608657)

          I read the article, but I have a very different take on what's going on.

          I do not pay Comcast a penny that I expect to be sent along to Disney for ABC, or anyone else for NBC, CBS, FOX, WB, or any of the "broadcast" media. I am not, in fact, paying them for content. The content is freely available to my rooftop antenna should I choose to get it that way.

          I am paying them for taking a clear signal from ABC, CBS, NBC, et al and interpreting it into an analog signal that is then sent over miles of expensive co

          • I am paying them for taking a clear signal from ABC, CBS, NBC, et al and interpreting it into an analog signal that is then sent over miles of expensive coaxial cable and fed into my house.

            Sorry, I was unclear or incomplete. I agree with you, but was just stating *their* argument. In addition, I don't think Disney as asking Comcast to charge customers more for re-broadcasting ABC, just that they want a piece of what's being charged (Disney is EVIL). Of course, Comcast would be stupid not to pass along

            • by tomhudson (43916)
              Or you can just get the digital signal directly over the air - that's what I do with an old pair of pre-digital rabbit-ears, and it works fine. HDVT@1920x1080. Screw the cable companies.
        • The pay for ABC, otherwise it wouldn't have gone dark. I've heard fees as high as $1 per channel. In fact cable in general is now subsidizing OTA(Over the Air) broadcasts. If everyone switched most local stations would go broke(Some already have). The problem with most content, is there is a complex set of interdependent revenue structures and removing one can break the whole system. Just think if everyone used Hulu instead of cable? There would be a lot less cables channel and a lot less new con
      • The best idea for a cable company to resolve this problem is to.... Start an ABC/Disney tier. Make basic cable 50 cents cheaper and charge $3-$5 for a Disney/ABC tier. If people complain then just blame it on a greedy Disney company demanding more more for their content.
        • by natehoy (1608657)

          That's best, but not practical. Basic cable exists today as a simple on/off analog signal that is sent over the cable to all customers. "Extended basic analog" is sent the same way, except they put a filter on customers who don't pay for it. It's only when you get into the "premium" or digital channels that it becomes worth the money to put in a specialized tuner.

          That's why true "a la carte" programming is so impractical. They are just pumping a consistent signal over all the wires in the network.

          I supp

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BlackHwk98 (468920)

      I work for one of the cable companies(I shall remain nameless in that regard). The amount of customers that fly off the handle when there's a box update and the box reboots to channel 1, when they have set to previous channel, is amazing.

      • by bughunter (10093)

        These are probably the same ones who are recording from the cable box output and thus depending the box to stay on the channel that carries the programming they want to record.

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