According to Rebecca Campbell GM and president of W ABC7 ,
“We’ve made significant progress, and have reached an agreement in principle that recognizes the fair value of ABC7, with deal points that we expect to finalize with Cablevision. Given this movement, we’re pleased to announce that ABC7 will return to Cablevision households while we work to complete our negotiations.”
Now you can watch your Oscars in peace! I still want to know the retransmission price. Please Rebecca, do tell!
Alert! ABC7 is now back on the air.
For now it appears viewers are siding with Cablevision. I think ABC kind of shot themselves in the foot when they released a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. In this letter it answers the question if other “cable” providers pay for the rights to broadcast ABC on their service.
I can definitely see a change ABC’s attitude. It’s tilting more towards the “we demand to be payed” rather than it’s Cablevision’s fault.
However Cablevision is pretty aggressive with their attacks against ABC, and their bold claims may hurt them in the end.
Do TV Providers charge to view local channels?
After some research involving the FCC broadcast rules and the letter recently released to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, it appears other “cable” companies such as Comcast, Verizon Fios, do in fact pay some portion for ABC.
The charges each companies pay are kept private. However this fee is automatically included in the standard TV service. Remember the exact amount is unclear, unless otherwise stated by a news source or the companies themselves.
Taken from the FCC’s website:
In general, a cable television operator has the right to select the channels and services that are available on its cable system. With the exception of certain channels like local broadcast television channels which are required to be carried by federal law…
Cable companies generally are required to offer a basic service tier. The company generally requires all subscribers to purchase this tier before purchasing additional video programming. The basic service tier is required to include, at a minimum, the local broadcast television stations and the public, educational, and governmental (PEG) access channels that the operator may be required to offer pursuant to an agreement with the local government.
Being a part of any cable network including FIOS, you are required to pay for the basic service tier which includes ABC7 and other local channels. When ABC says you have been paying to access ABC7, they are indeed correct. The exact amount you pay for ABC is not shown. However, you can see their proposed amount at the bottom of this post. As for the claim if Cablevision has been pocketing the money, I have no clue. There isn’t any way for me to see what’s actually done with the money.
Does ABC charge TV Providers?
This question was asked by one of my commenters and I wanted to know as well. For the most part, using over the air “rabbit ears” antannea, you are not charged to view ABC in standard and high definition. ABC broadcasts this signal for free. However, it appears, according to the letter, they do in fact negotiate how much each television provider is required to pay to access their local channels.
As the deadline approaches for the retransmission consent negotiations over carriage of ABC signals with Cablevision’s New York service area… Retransmission consent negotiations are private discussions between broadcasters and cable or satellite operators for access of programming on one side, and access to pay-tv distribution on the other…
Services providers and programmers are closest to their viewers and in a better position than the government to weigh the costs and benefits of carriage deals…
Basically the letter is pretty much saying, get your government hands off my healthcare! Oops I meant to say, ABC doesn’t want any governmental influence over their private negotiations with Cablevision. So yes, ABC wants to negotiate a deal with Cablevision demanding a certain price to access their channels.
This “retransmission consent” results into whats known as a retransmission fee. Every broadcast network including ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS can negotiate a certain rate at which a cable company should pay to access their channels.
(Read more about Retransmission Consent)
Unfortunately if both parties can not agree upon a retransmission fee negotiation, the broadcast network can indeed pull the plug. Even Verizon FIOS has to submit to these retransmission fees as seen in this article with Univision networks.
Yet the letter also shows that their channel’s programming can be viewed in different forms of media, especially over the air and the internet for free. They also mention how you can watch their shows on a “phone company” TV. Hmm I wonder who that could be.
What would be considered as a fair deal?
To take this into perspective lets look at Time Warner Cable vs FOX. From the dispute resolutions it appears FOX wanted around $1 per cable customer to carry their networks. According to NY Times, although the source wanted to claim anonymity, Time Warner Cable thought 30 cents per cable customer was a reasonable amount. You can apply the same principle to ABC and Cablevision. Someone wants a raise, but who’s going to pay?
Again, according to NY Times, ABC wants around $1 per cable customer per month and Cablevision believes 25 cents per cable customer was a reasonable amount.
ABC believes Cablevision should cough up the dough anyway since, “if you were one of the largest cable providers in the tri-state area, and you made $7.7 billion dollars in 2009 (an increase of $542 million from the year before) why would you refuse to pay ABC7 for their content?”
How Much Is Each Network?
The latest SaveABC7 campaign shows a Cablevision bill charging $16.72 for Basic Cable. We won’t really know how much each local channel demands. Although, you can assign a basic dollar and cents amount to each local broadcasting channel, then total that amount.
Local Channels broadcasting in my area:
- One CBS + HD Channel
- Two NBC + HD Channels
- Three FOX + HD Channels (including MyNetwork TV)
- Two ABC + HD Channels (Asking for 1$ per cable customer)
- One CW + HD Channels
- Two PBS Channels
This basic tier also includes channels such as ION Television, several ABC owned cable channels, and several FOX owned cable channels. Just by assigning a price to each individual “must have” broadcast channel, you can see how this basic cable bill really adds up.
I don’t really want to take any sides. I just feel as if both companies aren’t telling the whole story and it leaves people in the dark as to what’s really going on.
I’d like to see these negotiations made in public so the viewer himself can decide who’s right and who’s wrong.
Alert! ABC is back on the air!
Here we go again! This time ABC7 and Cablevision are at a dispute over “network fees” which may result in Cablevision customers losing ABC7 in the Tristate area. It feels like every two months, a new network wants to negotiate a deal that a Cable company disagrees with. In the end we’re placed with scary commercials, blogs, twitters, facebook groups, all taking sides over who’s right and who’s wrong.
In a nutshell: ABC is proposing new fees to cover the cost of their programming. Cablevision finds these fees excessive and doesn’t want customers to see a rate hike.
Let the smear campaign begin!
Being an observant viewer, I am instantly aware each company will place smear campaigns and tactics against the other company. It’s really interesting if you take the time to notice how each company tries their best to place viewers on their side. It leaves people like me utterly confused, and utterly devastated as you see two conflicting viewpoints and have no idea who to believe. It annoys me even further when fans start Facebook Groups and Fan pages blaming the other company for their problems. What you have to realize that this is pretty much a political fight between two candidates.
Learning from it’s past mistakes Cablevision did something interesting. When you turn on your TV provided you have a digital cable box, the TV automatically goes to Channel 1999 which brings up a message from Cablevision!
This is extremely significant because HGTV and FOODTV had the upper hand by informing viewers first. Upon news articles, blogs, twitter postings, even a SAVE FOOD Network site, all forms of media brought everyone as much as they can together against the evil Cablevision!
- ABC wants to charge excessive fees and is threatening to pull ABC7 off the air.
- ABC is demanding 40 million dollars in new fees.
- Cablevision has already been paying 200 million dollars for ABC.
- Cablevision offered numerous “fair” proposals but ABC top executives wouldn’t agree.
Cablevision throughout their various ads list several reasons as to why suddenly ABC wants an increase in fees. Their main point is how ABC “allegedly” is losing money in various markets, and they need some way to regain their losses.
- ABC advertising revenues are down.
- ABC’s theme parks are struggling.
- ABC needs to continue funding ESPN for expensive sports broadcasting rights.
And the biggest kicker, “ABC needs to keep up with their executive salaries and bonuses.” What better way to rile the audience to your side by making such a bold claim. This ad runs on in an incessant loop using a deep voice instilling fear into the audience. Cablevision proposes to be on YOUR side and will do anything to make a fair deal or so we think… In fact Cablevision is apologizing first, thus placing the blame on ABC as to why your network will go off the air.
With flashy graphics and riveting music, ABC’s ads will play the role of the innocent victim. “Cablevision wants LOST to get lost” runs the headline of their latest website. Expect even more websites to pop up on various social networking sites as the day draws near.
From my experience, viewers usually tend to side with the networks. This is only because they “can’t watch their favorite shows”, and they wouldn’t dare watch another network or quite frankly watch episodes online for free… (oops…)
- Cablevision charges broadcast fees every month to carry ABC7
- Cablevision pays nothing for ABC, instead the customer pays the bill.
- Cablevision is pocketing broadcast fee money for their own.
- Cablevision “believes” ABC7 is worth little to nothing.
- Cablevision proposed offers that were unreasonable and unrealistic.
So ABC’s biggest kicker, “Cablevision pays nothing for it” the customers pay for ABC and other a la carte channels on part of their “Basic Broadcast Tier.” So essentially this means, WE the customers are paying to see ABC7, when generally it’s available for free over the air.
ABC7 wants customers to send a letter to Cablevision and demand that if they “lose my shows, lose my business.” Already they have provided several alternative methods of watching ABC7. This includes over the air for free, Direct TV, and finally VERIZON FIOS! (Oh no they didn’t!)
ABC places the blame game on Cablevision, inferring that Cablevision would not pay a reasonable value to keep ABC on the air. ABC will propose to be on YOUR side, or so we think…
It made me think, if ABC is broadcasting for free, why would they ask TV providers to pay them money anyway. Oh well.
Customers always lose!
You know, when I watch and hear both sides of the story, I never really figure out what’s truly going on. I feel torn in half thinking;
“Hmm, I don’t want my cable bill to go up, So ABC is Greedy! They are the ones who are charging more!“
“But, Cablevision is greedy, they don’t pay anything for ABC. Why should I lose a channel I pay for!“
These two statements will be the main factor of why there will be numerous blog comments, facebook groups, twitters, everybody and their mother will take a side. “ABC IS GREEDY! NO CABLEVISION IS GREEDY!”
Even if we do lose the channel for whatever amount of days, it will still result in the same conclusion:
- Your cable bill go up anyway.
- Cablevision reaches an agreement with ABC? (Maybe)
- You will still pay the Broadcasting Fee.
- Switching to another Digital TV provider, you will still pay fees.
- ABC will still request for increase in fees every so often.
Pretty much no matter what the outcome is, we still lose. I mean think about it! When has your cable bill ever went down without taking off any services? Do you think by actually switching to another provider whether its from FIOS to CABLE or vice versa, you won’t have to pay such an incredibly large bill? Will these additional fees ever disappear from your bill including the delicious activation fee? I don’t know, maybe we should just drop TV all together and things like this will be trivial..
Anyways, it’s time for me to watch LOST on the internet for FREE! (GASP!)
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