Sunday, March 07, 2010

With Apologies to Jim Donahue

Jim writes The Velvet Blog, see Recommended side bar. Jim doesn’t like Cablevision, one of the main TV providers on the East Coast.

His hated provider is in a battle this weekend with Disney, the owner of ABC, the broadcaster of the Oscars later tonight. Last I knew, Jim isn’t going to see the Oscars unless he hooks up an antenna.

But, I read something this afternoon about Cablevision and Senator Kerry wanting to arbitrate the dispute. That is stupid. Disney/ABC wants more money for what it provides to Cablevision. Cablevision doesn’t want to pay more money. Both equally reasonable or unreasonable depending on which of them you are. As a Cablevision customer, I’d root for your provider in the long run, the other side in the short run (now a couple of hours).

Arbitration? Just what is an arbitrator going to decide? There isn’t any law to be applied. One side wants to pay less, the other side wants more paid. Both perfectly acceptable outcomes.

How dare that mean Disney cut off it’s programming to the Cablevision subscribers! Were I the evil Michael Isner, I think the president of Disney, I’d do exactly the same thing at exactly the same time, when I had leverage. Were I running Cablevision, I’d be demonizing Mickey Mouse for his evil manipulation of the Oscars. Damn the little rat!

Business, pure and simple.

5 comments:

Thomas said...

Maybe people could turn off their televisions and read a book.

Wes said...

"Just business."

That line works best when delivered by Abe Vigoda to Al Pacino.

WF

Jim Donahue said...

Oh, it's a battle of companies that suck. Disney sucks, too. But, really, Cablevision is the King of Suck.

The Curmudgeon said...

Now isn't this the kind of circumstance where government regulation could be useful? Most cable providers are granted local monopolies in the areas they "serve." Once a luxury, cable TV is now so firmly established that the "TV" my son bought for me a couple of years back is just a big monitor without a TV tuner at all. It gets cable or satellite or nothing at all.

It's not like we can take our business to Acme Cable (in Chicago, the enemy is named Comcast) -- I think Comcast (which is buying NBC, you may know, which will create all sorts of problems for non-Comcast cable providers down the line) owns the cable infrastructure here... or does it? And should it? If it doesn't, why can't the local monopoly-makers allow Acme to compete? And if it does, why shouldn't the G set rates for cable companies like it does for any other utility provider... in theory, at least, this would prevent this sort of business....

This is something I wish I had the time to find out more about....

Dave said...

I have Comcast here which isn't all that bad, other than its cost, some 15-20% more than Dish and DirecTv, both of which have better interfaces, which I can't get because of trees.

I think both Cablevision and Disney have their Vigoda stand ins.