Monday, December 22, 2008

Who's got the power?

This is one of two posts about television, a subject I know next to nothing about. It's tempered a bit by economics and I do know that part.

I do not think I am alone in having that 1 utility bill each month which gives me apoplexy, every time I write the check. You may hate the phone company or the gas folks, I hate Charter Communications, our cable, phone and Internet provider.

Charter, while ostensibly a public company is primarily owned, operated and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, so they have too much money available to fail, but not enough to spend wisely.

Approx. 2 years ago, Charter got into a pissing contest with the local CBS outlet run by Belo Communications. Belo told Charter, you're paying everyone who competes with us for eyeballs, we want to be paid too. Until then you may not rebroadcast our HD signal.

Charter figured they had 'em since a number of folks spent a great deal of money for HDTV sets last year and the Super Bowl was broadcast by CBS. Not here on HD. The fans bitched but there was no HD Super Bowl locally.

So finally this year, after years of very stiff competition the local CBS gang won the rating wars against the NBC folks. How did BELO respond?

They told Charter they have until the end of December to cough up, or to stop carrying their signal all together Jan 1. Charter told them to ******* off.

So, who wins? I have no idea what is on CBS so I don't suspect I miss much TV. Who broadcasts most of the Bowl games? Few local customers get their reception off air or via satellite. No broadcast via cable, no ad sales?

America at its finest. My money is on Charter. Allen can wait em out.


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