Over the past few years, the amount of time I’ve had to plop in front of the TV and channel-surf has decreased (there is a LOT of online video to watch, y’all). Even with my TiVo at the ready, I still only watch about two or […]

Over the past few years, the amount of time I’ve had to plop in front of the TV and channel-surf has decreased (there is a LOT of online video to watch, y’all). Even with my TiVo at the ready, I still only watch about two or three hours of cable programming a week. Still, when TVWeek’s Daisy Whitney went cable-free and chronicled the experiment for her column, I admired the results but shrugged off the idea of canceling my own service as absurd. A former latchkey kid who could literally watch TV from the moment I got home until the moment my parents sent me to bed, having access to cable television has always been an important creature comfort to me. It is my solace when I am sick, my reward for hard work. It has been my friend for a long time. I never thought I’d have a reason to send it away.


<em>Viacom is running ads in today's newspapers featuring a crying Dora the Explorer, who does not want to leave Time Warner Cable</em>.

Until, of course, yesterday. As one of the 13 million Time Warner subscribers who will be affected by Viacom pulling its channels from the provider, I’m steamed. So much so that I’m reevaluating my cable subscription — even despite having recently gotten a reduced monthly rate to go along with an upgrade to HDTV. Because while there are online alternatives for most of the programming I do watch, the fact is that more than half my reason for continuing the service will be going away tomorrow morning. After all, what is MSNBC without a Jon Stewart chaser?

And I’m not the only one who feels this way — according to Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily, Time Warner call centers have been flooded with complaints. I’ll be rising up with my 13 million brothers and sisters today when I call Time Warner to bitch, moan, and ask whether or not they will be providing discounted rates to make up for this outage. I don’t care which one of these media conglomerates is right. I want justice.

So Time Warner: You have a week. If this isn’t resolved by Jan. 7 I’ll be cutting the cord, too. After all, I have online options for the bulk of my favorite shows (thank you, Hulu), regular broadcast TV for major events like the Olympics, friends with satellite dishes for when Entourage comes back, and an XBox 360/Netflix hookup for when I just need to sit on the couch and watch bad movies. So I’ll probably watch the exact same amount of TV as I did before — just without paying so much for the privilege.

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  1. Sigh…this just warms the cockles of my heart…Rise up Liz and join my cable-free army! You won’t regret it! In fact, I’ll be your sponsor and guide you into the happy new wilderness of an unplugged life. I couldn’t be happier…

  2. Liz Shannon Miller Wednesday, December 31, 2008

    Thanks, Daisy! Does this mean I can call you at 3 AM when I’m jonesing for late-night VH1?

  3. I looked it up and VH1.com has a lot of online video if you need a fix (though it may not be of the late night variety). Among other things, VH1.com has full episodes of a number of their shows, It has compilations of Top 100 videos for 2008, 100 greatest rock videos, 10 greatest Pop, Hip Hop, Rock, etc. of 2008. You can also make your own video playlist mix and set it up to continuous play. Hmm… They should add a random play option.

    Anyway, there are options. ;)

  4. I wrote this to Viacom suggest you do something similar: You misrepresented yourself. I will now go to any and all blogs I can to tell the true story. I called and wrote Time Warner Cable to demand the return of shows I watch all the time. The truth is you are making great money from the cable companies, while they lose money and your trying to gouge additional money out of them. Well, I guess I can lose my shows at YOUR foolishness. Like my grandmother would have said, “Shame on you!”

    • Any important social/political issue that effects America:


    • some people won’t be able to watch some tv channels because 2 corporate giants are having a greed fight:

    “OMFG! RIOT IN THE STREETS!!!!!!!11!!!

    Enjoy your Idiocracy America. You’ve earned it.

  5. Liz Shannon Miller Wednesday, December 31, 2008

    @Tim — thanks! Though I don’t know if it’ll be the same… :)

  6. Won’t someone think of the Tivos?

  7. Maybe people won’t go back to the station once it does come back. Many people will change their cable plans, perhaps permanently.

    I try to watch TV with some discretion and have grown to become attached to the Colbert Report and the Daily show,

    Why are these ginormous corporations cutting of their own noses to spite their faces???? Because they are stupid and greedy… oh, and evil.

  8. Happy News TV Fans: You Can Resume Watching Viacom TV on Time Warner Cable! « NewTeeVee Thursday, January 1, 2009

    [...] customers quickly shared their displeasure on the web and [...]

  9. Liz -

    Email me and I’ll send your a free cable. Then you can watch all your web favorites on your HDTV. PCTVCables.com

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