On September 2, Disney's contract with Time Warner expires, meaning several channels would likely no longer be carried through the cable company if no agreement is settled upon. What the hell do I care about Disney being removed from Time Warner, some of you might ask? Unfortunately, that's not the issue. The issue: fees. Many of you I'm sure know, Disney's arm stretches far and wide. Aside from ABC, the most notable channels that Disney owns are the ESPN family of networks, such as ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN on ABC, ESPN News, Classic, ESPN U, etc.. Some of you history buffs will be bummed too, with awesome channels like the History Channel, The Military History channel also being affected.
Time Warner has rolled out a media campaign called Roll Over Or Get Tough, which hopes to resist increasing rates to help keep your cable bill down.
Nearly $.40 of every dollar you pay Time Warner Cable for your video service is paid to the networks that produce and deliver your programming. And nearly all the money that’s left over, along with the money we bring in from our other offerings, is used to operate our business and to make sure we can keep bringing you more great products and services.
According to the Los Angeles Times, ESPN alone gets upwards to $4 per subscriber.
Disney rolled out their own campaign, basically advising you to go with another cable/satellite provider.
However, according to Bloomberg, the hold up isn't so much regarding a channel, as it is a website.
Disney is seeking a fee of about 10 cents a month per Web customer for ESPN3.com, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the talks haven’t concluded. Time Warner Cable is resisting the fee, both people said.
If Time Warner's get tough campaign sounds familiar, it should. The NFL Network still remains absent on Time Warner, due to their "get tough" attitude. The NFL Network wanted .70 cents a month -- which is extraordinary high for a niche channel -- and placement on basic packages. Cable companies prefer the NFL Network as a premium service, so people that want the channel, can pay for it whereas those that have basic cable and don't want the NFL Network, wouldn't have to. In all honesty, it's hard not to side with Time Warner in the NFL Network dispute, even coming from an unhealthy football obsessed fan.
And in all honesty, I don't mind the get touch campaign, if the net result is the prevention of rising costs for the consumer. Especially in this economy. But to be honest, the only real reason I have cable is for sports. And if ESPN and Time Warner are going to battle fees about a website, then maybe it's time to call a satellite provider and just be finished with it.