01 January 2010

Fox v Time Warner Cable - and the winner is...

As everyone knows, R Murdoch decided to play a little high-stakes poker with Time Warner Cable the other day. I don't think anyone really thought that it would reach the point where consumers of TWC were not able to get Fox programming - but as a negotiating tactic I can see how it would appeal to Murdoch. It's all very "turn-of-the-century robber baron" which really suits not only his style - but also how out of step with the times his company has become.

And now we get to see just how out of touch TWC is. A deal has been done, and we're already hearing that the result will likely be increased cable bills. If TWC does this - it's a clear indication that they have entirely lost the plot. I know... I know... their costs just went up. So prices need to go up. But.... here is the rub....

Off in the corner this whole time - watching Zombie Murdoch and Zombie Britt growling and snapping at each other - sit Apple and boxee and Netflix and all the other new smart people. They know that the more damage both these old monsters do to the other - the more they accelerate the decay. And the faster that happens - the sooner these new smart companies step into control.

I mean... what are they people thinking? So say you can't get Fox on TWC. What does that do? It causes more people to switch. And say you suddenly have to pay more for cable? What does that do? It cause more people to switch.

And what will they switch to?

I'm sure Zombie Murdoch and Zombie Britt say "Dish Network" and "ABC" etc.

But no.

They switch away from cable.
They switch away from traditional TV.

I think most of us know that the story is over. All that's left is to determine which of these new smart fast companies is the one to own the spoils from the big scary zombies.

But the zombies, as we all know, are already dead.


At 10:02 AM, Blogger Dan Roddy said...

Chris, great post. Am based in Hong Kong but am back in Santa Monica for the holidays and I just could not believe this Fox/Time Warner squabble. Watching my wife get all upset at the rabid Fox commercials because she thought she would not be able to watch American Idol, and knowing that this was all a negotiating game, I just had to wonder what these guys thought they were going to accomplish from the standpoint of the consumer. It's like a critical employee threatening to leave... even if they decide stay, you start looking for backup and options... and you are correct, it would NOT be different cable provider.


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