Of course, it all beings with Rupert Murdoch, head honcho at News Corp which owns a bunch of crap including the FOX TV networks (and, incidentally, The Wall Street Journal).
The 30-second version goes something like this: Murdoch thinks his networks' programming is so awesome that he should get an extra $1 for each of Time Warner Cable's subscribers for the privilege of carrying this supposedly awesome content. Don't pay it, and Murdoch pulls the plug on all FOX programming.
According to my inside sources, Time Warner Cable has roughly 14.5 million subscribers. So, doing some quick math, that's about $14.5 million bucks worth of blackmail. Of course TWC is balking at this. Seems taking a $14.5 million out of their $1.2 billion in income is just too much to swallow -- even though they would surly pass that ransom on as higher costs to their subscribers.
Now I don't really have any love for either company (although I do like The Wall Street Journal). The TWC cable/internet service we get at home manages to frustrate me on a weekly basis. And as for FOX, well, I consider their programming to be at least 25% responsible for our accelerated cultural decline.
So it's easy for me to say a pox on both their houses.
But it strikes that this move by FOX is a bit shortsighted. Their argument is that they have totally awesome shows and they point to ratings of American Idol and 24 as proof.
But let's face it, they would have near the ratings they have were it not for those shows being available on TWC. Yank those show from TWC and two things will happen:
- The collective IQ of TWC subscribers will begin to go up as a result of not wasting time with American Idol, Glee and Fox News Channel, and
- The ratings and accompanying ad revenue of those shows go down as a result of being in 14.5 million fewer households.
Oh well. As long as I get my college football.
tagged: media, pop culture, FOX, Time Warner Cable, American Idol, Rupert Murdoch, Glee, television