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The Fox vs. Time Warner Spat Takes a Turn for the Insane

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We’re not just counting down to the ball dropping tonight, but also Fox channels disappearing off some Time Warner Cable users’ TVs, if the two companies can’t agree on fees for broadcast channels appearing on cable.

So it’s come to this: Time Warner has posted a 3-minute web video explaining how to connect your PC to your TV so you can watch Internet video on sites like Hulu and Fancast. Yes, you heard that right, a CABLE COMPANY is giving step-by-step directions to show users how they can make it irrelevant. Of course, it’s all in the name of blasting Fox for giving away content online for free while expecting TWC to pay for it. But meanwhile, TWC is showing users the very cables with which they can cut the cord.

Thanks very much to Peter Kafka at MediaMemo for screengrabbing the video and putting it up in an embeddable format:

12 Responses to “The Fox vs. Time Warner Spat Takes a Turn for the Insane”

  1. penguin

    @ d’oh

    just to quickly say that while News Corp does own BSkyB in the UK, it is my understanding that the particular set up of News Corp and its media and print outlets in the UK would not be legal in the US.

    Hopefully it won’t be legal here much longer as News Corp/Murdoch regularly abuse the constraints on public broadcasters by using press outlets to attack the BBC (and sometimes Channel 4). As it is not common knowledge that one company owns both outlets, the public is unaware that these “news” stories are in fact designed to turn viewers against the public broadcasting system and hence to BSkyB which is also the only widely available private broadcaster (having unsuccessfully tried to drag Virgin’s cable service, the fact that cable itself is not widely available in the UK ensures that BSkyB does not lose its advantage).

    Its like people watching Fox News talking about how evil and greedy NBC, ABC and CBS are without knowing that Fox News is in fact owned by FOX.

  2. This could be the turning point where viewers accelerate the switch to larger and larger PC monitors en masse, to view TV, free of fees and loaded with more and more advertising.

    Who knows? This my be be worth the initial loss if any.

    • Almost all big screen TVs are PC monitors already; no need to get a new one.

      This spat is likely to drive people to over-the-air broadcasts and Internet content sites, but it is also likely to speed up the move to a la carte pricing for cable service.

      Alfred Poor
      HDTV Almanac

    • Indypendent1

      who needs Time warner??? no one that wants reliability, good service, quality equipment and program choice- One the other hand, every football fan- that’s who needs Fox.

      • What’s insane is the blatant monopoly TW has built over the years. This isn’t just losing a channel on TW. This is a remarkable battle of two big monopolies in Global Media game going head-to-head.

        I think Murdoch is challenging TW’s corporate assets & business structure, and asking them to pay for Fox (which has the highest news ratings). Fox removing it’s channel from the TW line-up is a very smart move. And the FCC intervention makes this interesting. It speaks volumes once you look at TW’s portfolio.

        TW not only operates its cable outlet, the company also owns many of the channels fed through that cable. *Channels & Media outlets owned by TW are; New Line Cinema, Time Inc., HBO, Turner Broadcasting System, The CW Television Network,, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Kids’ WB, The CW4Kids, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Hanna-Barbera, Ruby-Spears Productions, Adult Swim, CNN, DC Comics, and Warner Bros. Games…

        So why is the FCC involved and what gives them any right to “urge”? This is a private issue, and it’s not adversely affecting people’s daily lives.

        Maybe Murdoch knows this and Obama too well. Maybe Murdoch knows the FCC can’t really do anything here without bringing into question TW’s antitrust issues. In Chess, this move is called “Check”.

        Just a thought…

      • The post below about the “TW monopoly” is outdated.

        TW spun off its (coaxial) cable TV service providing company in mid 2009 as Time Warner Cable. They might get a sweetheart deal on Time Warner’s properties, but TWC does not own them.

        Fox isn’t pushing for high dollars for Fox News Channel or Fox TV network (tackle football, American Idol, etc. is controlled on a local level via affiliates except where News Corp owns the affiliate.) They want more money per user for crap few people watch, like Fuel, Fox Soccer Channel (football in most of the rest of the world), Fox Reality (which is different than Fox “News”) etc.

        I’m sure it is ok for a service provider to own the neworks when it is News Corp owning Sky TV in England and/or NBC/Comcast in the US, right?

        In life, your post is known as “fail”.

  3. Meanwhile, I imagine that the math on this is that Time Warner is willing to bet that most people will still want to watch most of their programs as they usually do, and not go through the hassle in the video very often. The alternative is for Time Warner to let its customers think the only option is to switch to satellite or phone based television. It’s a calculated risk to show their customers how they can stay with Time Warner instead of jumping ship.