[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Re: AT&T Broadband makes NESN basic

<<On Sat, 26 May 2001 19:40:58 -0400, "Chris Beckwith" <beckwith@ime.net> said:

> 4.  Channels like ESPN which are able to raise per-subscriber fees
> with impunity since they have a broadcast network with must-carry
> rights that they can threaten cable operators with and thus drive up
> sports rights fees.

Networks don't have must-carry; stations do, and in any case the issue
here is not must-carry but retransmission consent (the opposite of
must-carry).  In order for Disney to pull this sort of trick, they
need the cooperation of ABC affiliates (and Hearst-Argyle in
particular, being the largest such group).

Sometimes stations do this in reverse.  There was a time (I think that
retrans agreement expired some years ago) when WBZ-TV demanded and got
a dollar a month for every cable subscriber who could get CNBC,
presumably on the grounds that CNBC was taking away viewership from
their NBC network programming.  (Of course, this agreement remained in
force even after channel 4 became a CBS affiliate.)

(On my ex-Cablevision AT&T system in Framingham, CNBC and MSNBC are
scrambled; FNC is not.  The practical upshot of this is that I don't
watch any of them.  I hope AT&T will rationalize the lineup on the
ex-Cablevision systems soon.)