Thursday, December 30, 2010

Suddenlink, Viacom in Retransmission Consent Disputes

When content owners and distributors start having more public disputes about their business relationships, it is clear that financial stress is growing in the revenue ecosystem. And that is what is happening in the cable TV business (and in the satellite TV business and telco TV business to some extent).

Time Warner Cable and Sinclair Broadcasting have disagreed about financial terms for Time Warner to carry broadcast signals. Suddenlink is engaged in a similar retransmission consent dispute with Viacom, which could result in Suddenlink losing access to a large number of major channels.

Financial disputes between programmers and distributors are not unusual. But the inability to come to terms without risking service disruptions are more common these days, in part because distributors realize ever-growing retail prices are going to have a negative impact, at some point, as alternatives become available and linear video prices continue to climb.

It is significant that multichannel video subscriptions have declined for two consecutive quarters, something that never has happened before. If the trend continues, observers will be forced to admit that multichannel TV now is more than a mature product, but has become a "declining" product.

1 comment:

mike_dish said...

If you're nervous about losing Comedy Central, MTV, VH1 or Nickelodeon then I highly suggest checking out DISH Network. As a DISH customer and employee I can tell you that DISH has the lowest programming prices (with more choices) in the entire pay-TV industry, including HD Free for Life for qualifying customers. I highly suggest checking DISH out at dishnetwork.com/200HD

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