If a network goes off the air and no one notices, do the shows still go on? Apparently my cable company is in a fight with the CW, and we haven’t been receiving it since August! I only noticed because <sob> I can’t record the premier of The Vampire Diaries if they don’t come to an agreement by next week!
What caused this dispute? Money, of course. Cablevision’s statement is very clear on this:
BETHPAGE, N.Y., Aug. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Cablevision Systems Corp., (NYSE: CVC) today released the following statement related to the blackout of WPIX and other Tribune Company-owned stations on Cablevision:
“The bankrupt Tribune Company and the hedge funds and banks that own it, including Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo Gordon & Co. and others are trying to solve Tribune’s financial problems on the backs of Cablevision customers. Tribune and their hedge fund owners are demanding tens of millions in new fees for WPIX and other stations they own. They should stop their anti-consumer demands and work productively to reach an agreement.”
WPIX and a number of other Tribune-owned stations carried in portions of Cablevision’s service area have been blacked out. The other stations are: WCCT (CW), carried in a small portion of Connecticut; KWGN (CW) carried in some Optimum West markets, and WPHL (MyNetwork), which had been available in a small portion of New Jersey.
Customers will be kept informed and can visit www.cablevision.com/tribune for additional information.
PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1l31k)
Here’s the thing: it’s the CW, or for those who don’t follow tiny networks, the network that came from the old WB and UPN merging. These are the networks that brought you “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Gossip Girl”, “Supernatural”, the “90210” reboot, and “Charmed”. What do all these shows have in common, besides, being generally low-budget and low rated? They’re all niche shows. They appeal to specific markets, namely teenagers and sci-fi and fantasy viewers. In the end, the people who are losing are not from Tribune or Cablevision — it’s the fans who can’t watch a show that wouldn’t have been given the time of day on another network.
What makes me really sad is that I don’t think this is going to end anytime soon. It’s been going on for five weeks, and I only knew because a coworker (and fellow fan of cheesy teenage vampire angst), was complaining to me about it. For five weeks, I had no idea that Cablevision had replaced the CW with the NFL network. I was, however, very aware of the NFL network, because last month my Facebook feed erupted with happy friends who were thrilled to discover it was being carried by our cable.
I know the CW and Cablevision aren’t alone here — AMC and Dish have been fighting for months as well. It seems like no matter your cable provider, you pick the least of all the evils, and pray they will hopefully remain friendly with your favorite network. Still, it begs the question: how many headaches until cable just isn’t worth it anymore? Our bundle with Cablevision expired, and the bill went up by $20. Is it worth paying an extra $20 when I can’t even watch one of my favorite shows? Or are we better off with a Roku, a Hulu+ subscription, and a bit of patience? Sure, we would give up some live stations, but we wouldn’t be at the mercy of dueling parties, and we wouldn’t be paying $140 a month for the privilege!
Have you found yourself frustrated with network/cable provider disputes? Are you cutting the cord over it? Let us know in the comments!