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back to article Aereo streaming TV now bargaining chip in Time Warner Cable, CBS tiff

Locked in an acrimonious retransmission-fee battle with CBS Corporation, Time Warner Cable has slipped a new arrow into its negotiation quiver, saying that if CBS blacks out its content from Time Warner's service in New York, the cable company will recommend that its subscribers sign up with the internet-streaming service Aereo …

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Bronze badge
Pirate

Yes, it is a retransmission fee avoidance tool...

Here in the USA, broadcast was broadcast and was ALWAYS FREE because it was paid for by commercials. Then all the broadcasters decided that they wanted their pound of flesh from all the cable tv providers WHO ARE REQUIRED BY LAW (In NY State anyway) to provide the "Broadcast" and "Public Interest" channels on their cable lineup. In the meantime, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) was "playing with themselves" and never quite figured out wtf they were doing in this whole debacle. Certainly, the broadcasters are double dipping since they have such great programming that it can support 30 minutes of commercials for every hour of programming and they get a pound of MY flesh from the cable operators.

So we are paying for the privilige of watching TV that USED TO BE FREE until there was cable. What a bunch of sock cucking futher muckers on both sides (dyslexia is my friend).

I think I will just spend the money I pay Time Warner to get subscriptions to several online video services and tell TWC AND CBS where to go, and what to do with themselves when they get there.

I assume you folks can figure that out!

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Go

Re: Yes, it is a retransmission fee avoidance tool...

If you live within about 100 miles of a major metro area of the US, you can just unplug from cable and go over the air with a $100-$150 antenna on your roof. If you do that, and keep high speed internet service, you'll never miss dropping the cable TV.

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Bronze badge
Pint

Re: Yes, it is a retransmission fee avoidance tool...

Life is too short to die angry; I got rd of my TV decades ago.

What cable? What TV? Who cares?

Sure, have one.

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Silver badge
Mushroom

The worst kind of cable nonsense.

This is the worst kind of cable nonsense. These are channels that are typically unusable by viewers in the broadcast area due to crap signal quality. They are the people that should be getting free access to this stuff anyways. The idea that CBS can charge anything is obscene. The idea they think they can jack up their fees 6 times in an era of increased cord cutting just boggles the mind.

This kind of double dipping with commercially supported channels is bad enough when it's something like AMC.

It's only due to a corrupt law that this is even an issue at all. Re-transmission of commercial TV should be free to cable operators in general. Re-transmission of local broadcasts should be free to everyone.

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Bronze badge

Re: The worst kind of cable nonsense.

Aereo sells in dense urban areas where your TV signals have been reflected and re-mixed dozens of times off the sides of tall buildings before flying in your condo window. They're not for suburban houses where a rooftop antenna is a trivial hookup for free TV.

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We need a change in the system.

Cable should be allowed to charge a simple low flat rate to its customers for anything offered for "free" by using the public air space. Anyone that wished to charge needs to abandon that part of the spectrum dedicated for the "public interest". Channels that wish to charge should be allowed to bill their customers directly with the cable company getting no additional compensation above a basic fee that was charged to their customers as part of the basic bundle.

Customers can opt out of any channel even if free.

If the broadcasters wish to scramble the signals, they lose the spectrum.

If they broadcast only infomercials, they lose the spectrum.

If they want to raise their rates for the other channels, let them, and let the market sort it out.

Just don't be surprised when many cable channels go out of business because most people

don't care for their products. Broadcasters may not offer channels in a way that requires you

to purchase one channel to get another.

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Anonymous Coward

As someone who lives in NYC, I find the cable TV situation frustrating. Buildings are typically only hooked up to one cable provider (it's a building / co-op or condo board issue, but one that is unlikely to change in a 1930s building). You can succumb to whichever cable provider your building has selected for you and pay their exorbitant rates for basic cable. Did you know that they charge you for a converter ($5), basic service (almost $12), standard service (no idea what this is - almost $25), digital TV - almost $6. That's just to get effectively basic cable - premium channels like Showtime and HBO are additional ($16 for HBO). And if you want a DVR to go with that - that'll be $13 thanks. Internet? $30, and either bring your own modem or pay $4 per month.

Or you can use over the air transmissions for television and figure out a DVR solution (Myth just doesn't do it for me, but I wish it did - I need something for my better-but-has-a-hatred-of-computers-half), at least we get good OTA reception with a Mohu Leaf.

Or of course, do without broadcast TV completely. Netflix on DVD is pretty good, I don't care for Netflix's streaming, or Amazon's for that matter as the content is typically quite old (mostly, not completely).

And for internet, there's DSL (why should I pay for a phone as well, just so that I can get internet?) or cable. I've looked into AT&T's wireless service, but with a 5 GB cap it isn't a realistic option - without using any streaming TV services, we average about 8 GB per month (6 GB is the least we've used in some time).

I tried the over the air solution combined with Netflix on DVD for a while as I wanted to give TWC the boot for internet as well. I couldn't make it work due to the lack of a good DVR solution (suggestions are more than welcome! Win / Lin / dedicated box, something usable by remote on the TV itself), and the limited cap on AT&T wireless internet. I aim to be a cable cutter, I just haven't been able to do it yet. But TWC - you are not my friend and you will be gone from my credit card statements.

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Silver badge

"take advantage of a perceived loophole"

Either STFU and enforce the law AS IT IS WRITTEN or get Congress to fix it!

I don't see you sneering at Microsoft, Google, et al because they "take advantage of a perceived loophole" in the tax laws.

Dickhead activist judges.

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Bronze badge

Since it's been defined as legal....

...why don't TimeWarner just stick one of these little micro aerials up for each subscriber and then not pay CBS a single penny?

Even Time Warner could probably pay for that from the the fees they won't pay CBS, may even be able to drop the subs cost to the customers and get more customers too. Everyone wins (except the FTA broadcasters)

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Silver badge

Fix the laws

Just make it so that "must carry" stations can't charge if they carry commercials, or are forbidden from running such commercials in their Cable TV feed.

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