Time Warner: Contradictions, Bullying, Crying Wolf

Time Warner Cable’s website claims, “From your TV to your tablet you can enjoy what you want, like never before.”  What if you want to enjoy CRN Digital Talk?  How about Ovation?

Little-Bully“They are bullying the small, independent businesses at the expense of consumers,” said Chad Gutstein, Ovation’s chief operating officer, in a recent Variety article.

CRN Digital Talk’s President & CEO, Michael J. Horn, has written about Time Warner’s bewildering behavior toward both businesses and customers.  Horn says that TWC’s Eric Goldberg called him “delusional” – and demanded to know why he was sent customer complaints.

“We Need to Keep Our Customers Happy”

This directly flies in the face of Time Warner COO Rob Marcus, who told Rapid TV News, “We’ve been losing too many customers when their promotions expire. We need to keep our customers happy.”

But then TWC CEO Glenn Britt declared (again) that Time Warner will “examine each network with an expiring contract and attempt to drop or reposition those that in our judgment do not.”

(Heads-up, New York-based Time Warner customers: prepare to lose dozens of channels, including E!, Lifetime, IFC, and the Starz networks.)

“We regret that the economics of the pay television industry have come to this, but we can no longer burden our customers with costs for low-performing networks,” Time Warner said in December.

Time Warner Contradictions, Double Talk

 

So this means Time Warner customers are paying less – because they’re getting less, right?

“[Time Warner Cable has] raised rates on Los Angeles customers,” Variety’s Ted Johnson writes, “hikes blamed on the higher costs of programming, with the monthly cost of basic cable rising 8.2%, to $72.50, and the price to get local channels going up almost 18%, to $20. Its DVR rental fee rose to $12.99 per month, from $10.95.”

 

Crying Wolf?

Time Warner blames “steeply escalating programming costs” that “[force] us to closely assess each network as it comes up for renewal.”

Time Warner crying wolfMeanwhile, Time Warner magically scraped up a reported $10 billion to create two regional sports networks in Los Angeles: one for the NBA’s Lakers and the other for baseball’s Dodgers.  The Lakers deal purportedly was inked for $3 billion – while the Dodgers channel cost more than twice that.

Time to Cut the (Time Warner Cable) Cord?

“Convenience, comfort and lack of true competition are what have allowed cable operators to raise rates on their customers, even when they’ll be paying more for the same, or shelling out substantial monthly fees for a whole plethora of programming they will never watch or even find,” Johnson wrote. Interestingly, TWC listed CRN as “FM Channels” in most markets – making it difficult for some subscribers to find CRN.

Time Warner could easily be in business with more customers and great content providers – if only it chose to do so.

Images via Shutterstock

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