Paul Allen’s Charter might not be Paul Allen’s after all

March 20, 2009

Paul Allen, the billionaire who made his money as co-founder of Microsoft, might no longer be the largest individual owner of cable company Charter Communications after it emerges from bankruptcy by April 1.

Pay TV: Shelter from the storm?

February 3, 2009

Safe haven. Two magical — and mysterious — words. Cable and satellite companies didn’t fit the safe haven bill in 2008, but 2009 just may be there year.

Write this down: News Corp

February 2, 2009

News Corp is many things to many people. Its latest incarnation? Pinata.

Everyone is taking a whack at Rupert Murdoch’s international media empire these days as its stock languishes and it gets ready to report second-quarter financial results on Thursday. Newspaper advertising revenue is falling, the movie season hasn’t looked so hot so far, MySpace is unlikely to friend Facebook, the euro and the pound are hurting European operations, DVDs are dying and cable networks revenue doesn’t look like it will be able to compensate.

Obama greenlights analog TV for another season

January 9, 2009

After all the excitement, endless public service announcement ads and electronics retailers salivating over anticipated high-definition TV sales, it turns out that the United States might not be switching to digital television just yet.

Viacom, Time Warner Cable help get people out of the house

December 31, 2008

Viacom and Time Warner Cable are doing their best to make sure that television addicts around the country get a chance to go outside and stretch their legs come New Year’s Day. Of course, the reason they’re doing their part for physical fitness has little to do with ensuring the health of their viewers.******As Reuters reports, Viacom — the company run by financially challenged media mogul Sumner Redstone — provides programming to cable networks like Time Warner Cable for a fee. Now we’re at a time when Viacom and Time Warner Cable are renegotiating the fee, a regular occurrence. Equally regular are the disputes that arise as the negotiators try to determine what a fair price is.******The ultimate loser turns out to be you, the faithful TV watcher, because the last resort of companies like Viacom is to pull their programs off the air. The idea is that sends watchers into paroxysms of rage, usually directed at the cable company that they give all their money to every month. Eventually, the idea goes, the cable company cries Uncle! and agrees to pay more money to bring you the programming. Yes, your bill goes up too, as it always does.******Here’s a sample of what will stop being broadcast on Jan. 1: Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Hills.******And here’s a sample of the pre-packaged righteous indignation that you hear at times like this from the companies:***

Viacom: Time Warner Cable has dismissed our efforts at a fair compromise… As a result, we are sorry to say that for Time Warner Cable customers our networks will go dark as of 12:01 on January 1st.

from Summit Notebook:

Time Warner Cable and the Audacity of Hope

December 1, 2008

It's not every day that you have a top executive in big business talk about how nice it will be to see the back of the Bush administration. Republican presidencies typically tout their adherence to free markets, unbridled capitalism and, most importantly, a smaller pile of what corporations often consider burdensome regulations. That isn't what they usually expect from Democratic administrations, even ones led by Barack Obama.

Ditch cable, save for a flat-screen TV?

November 25, 2008

Everyone wants to save money in these troubled economic times. For those of you craving a flat-panel TV, Bernstein Research suggests you might be able to afford a “nice” LCD model if you cancel your cable bill and utilize free Web video sites like Hulu.com for a year.

Take cover: Forecast darkens for cable spending

August 13, 2008

storm-clouds.jpgAnybody out there in TV land riding an Olympic buzz (NBC’s ratings have been scorching) will be brought back down to earth by these numbers from SNL Kagan.

Cable TV ads didn’t crater in Q2 – Pali

August 8, 2008

It looks like cable networks advertising held up quite well, despite investors fears, says Pali Research’s Richard Greenfield.

Comcast FCC decision: the reactions

August 1, 2008

kevinmartinfcc.jpgThe U.S. Federal Communications Commission today ordered the largest U.S. cable TV operator Comcast Corp to change how it manages its broadband network. The regulator concluded that some of Comcast’s tactics unreasonably restrict Internet users who share movies and other material.