New Year's Eve is here and tomorrow a new years starts. But for customers of Time Warner Cable, tomorrow may mean no Fox broadcast or its sister cable channels like FX and others. That is because their carriage agreement expires today and has yet to be renewed. And so customers of Time Warner Cable have a few choices: 1. Wait and eventually they will settle, but till then miss Fox programming, most likely this weekend's fare of Bowl and NFL Games. 2. Switch providers to Telco or Dish, still unlikely to get switched by tomorrow so still out of luck short term. 3. Buy a digital antennae and at least get access to Fox Broadcast. 4. Go to a friend's house or local bar with a different provider to at least watch the games. 5. Complain to the FCC and your Senators and Representatives.
Who is right in this squabble between two mega companies? Neither. Both live in a world with obscene profits and ultimately the customer is in the middle. Could Time Warner swallow the extra buck to carry Fox? Of course. Does Fox need the whole dollar as an increase; probably not. Is there a middle ground; yes, the question in this and every negotiation is who blinks first. And because neither side especially likes the other, that negative relationship plays an unfortunate part too.
And so it will play out all day and night, taking people away from their families and friends most likely till 12:01 AM. Happy New Year!