Friday, July 23, 2010

Is ABC Time Warner Cable Fight Turning Nasty

Another broadcast contract expiring, another round of ads reminding viewers that they have choices. So goes the fight between ABC/Disney and Time Warner Cable. ABC has adds reminding viewers that while they negotiate their renewal, the contract expires September 2, and viewers may lose their signal. But there are other choices including Direct TV, Verizon FIOS, and of course over the air. If not already, Time Warner Cable will have their own ads reminding us that they want to control their costs so that the consumer doesn't see higher prices. How magnanimous. If it feels like deja vu all over again, it is because we have seen this tactic before.

Will viewers switch their cable provider in advance of what is often reconciliation at the 11th (or 13th hour). Or as I suspect, viewers will do nothing and simply get angry when, or if, their signals are temporarily dropped. In either case, this won't be the first time, or the last, that this scenario gets played out.

And just for thought. If Comcast and NBC merge, will Comcast have this same fight internally, including the potential of dropped signals and ads offering viewers the option to switch providers? And is that a good thing? Just wondering.

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