Friday, October 29, 2010

Cablevision v. Fox: The lesser of two evils

Sometimes in life, it's hard to figure out who to dislike more out of a field of d-bags. As a Cablevision customer current embroiled in the ongoing Fox/Cablevision dispute that has kept Fox's stations off the air for 3 million people in the greater NYC area for two weeks, that's the boat I find myself in. Some disorganized thoughts:

  • I'm predisposed towards being on the side of Fox, as they are the content creator. They have the stuff people want and they have a right to charge what they want for it. People (and other companies) can chose to buy it or not.
  • That being said, it's pretty objectionable that they want to charge someone for content that they distribute freely over the air anyway!
  • On the other hand, it's becoming clear that Cablevision isn't serious about actually negotiating. No serious talks are going on. I find their current cry baby, appeal-to-the-government-to-intervene-in-this-dispute-on-our-behalf strategy to be highly distasteful. Seriously Cablevision: you have an obligation to do everything in your power to deliver a service to your customers with whom you have entered into a contract to do so. It's shameful that you let an agreement with a content provider lapse to begin with, leaving your customers without content they pay you for. That you've let it go on this long without actually seriously negotiating is a disgrace.
At the end of the day, I actually don't understand this whole model of distribution and who pays who. Cablevision has a pipe into my house. Fox, a content provider, wants to use that pipe to send content to me and show me advertising along with it, thus making money. And Cablevision pays Fox for the privilege of letting them use that pipe? Seems backwards to me. I mean, I get my Internet service from Cablevision. Does Cablevision pay Google for the privilege of Google showing me ads when I search for stuff?

Seems like a broken, 19th-Century utility model that's not well suited for the 21st.

Anyone have DirectTV? How's that working out for you.

1 comment:

connan said...

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