It isn’t a la carte but Verizon’s proposal to tie what it pays to carry TV channels to the number of viewers who actually watch is what big media companies might consider “disruptive”, according to the Wall Street Journal. Verizon’s FiOS TV is the nation’s sixth-largest pay-TV provider and has begun negotiations with some smaller companies about basing what Verizon pays on audience size. Under the established industry model, cable and satellite operators pay a monthly per-subscriber fee to carry channels based on the number of homes the channels are available. Verizon’s chief programming negotiator Terry Denson suggests that in many cases “We are paying for a customer who never goes to the channel”.
Disney’s 4 O&O ABC stations and cable networks remained on the Time Warner Cable systems past midnight when the companies’ previous carriage agreement expired as the two sides continue to hammer out a new deal. Disney and TWC have been racing to wrap negotiations after reporting “significant progress” over the weekend. Among the issues at hand are retransmission consent fees for the 4 ABC stations sought by Disney, increases in carriage fees for the company’s cable networks ESPN, Disney Channel and ABC Family, a deal for new channel Disney Jr., which will replace SoapNet, as well as fees for Web-based ESPN3.com.
If you are an AT&T U-Verse subscriber, you may lose AMC, IFC and WE tv programming at midnight tonight. Hours before the extension between Cablevision-owned Rainbow Media and AT&T is set to expire, the two sides still appear at impasse, issuing dueling statements.
“Our executives have been at AT&T U-Verse offices for several weeks, doing everything possible to reach an agreement that will keep AMC’s Mad Men, and other programming from AMC, WE tv and IFC available to their customers,” Rainbow Media said. “We have agreements with every other television provider in the country and have never had our networks dropped in more than 25 years.”
AT&T was more specific in addressing the sticking issue, a rates hike pursued by Rainbow Media, and repeatedly stressed that Rainbow is owned by AT&T competitor Cablevision. “We are making every effort to reach a fair agreement and continue providing these channels to our customers. It’s unfortunate that Rainbow Media, owned by Cablevision, is clearly not negotiating in good faith, is trying to charge significantly more than the average of what our TV competitors pay for these channels, and is acting in a way that harms competition and limits consumer choice,” AT&T said. The company added they’ve made “numerous proposals.” “However, Cablevision’s Rainbow Media has rejected each of them, instead making unreasonable proposals that give it an unfair competitive advantage,” AT&T said.
As part of its campaign, AT&T has launched a Web site, Fighting4you, an often-employed tool by …
Multichannel News is reporting that Dish Network has dropped four HD channels from Walt Disney Co. — Disney Channel HD, Disney XD HD, ABC Family HD and ESPNews HD — with the satellite operator claiming the programmer is asking for “significant” carriage fees. ”Dish Network offers all customers ‘HD Free for Life,’ which is possible because we are committed to negotiating fair contracts that allow us to keep our prices low,” the satellite operator said in a statement. “That is why we could not agree to the significant fees requested by Disney and ESPN Networks.” Dish said it is continuing to negotiate with Disney and ESPN Networks and that it hopes “to reach a fair resolution.”
Disney responded in a statement, “Our position [is] that Dish Network is not entitled to carry ABC Family HD, Disney Channel HD, Disney XD HD and ESPNews HD without paying compensation. We hope that Dish will work with us to reach an agreement so that we can make these HD networks available to their customers.”