Several of you may be following the recent issues over cable companies such as Time Warner, Charter, Cablevision, and Cox's refusal to carry the new NFL and Big Ten Networks. The debate is over the cost of the network, and how it should be distributed to subscribers:
The owners of the Big 10 Network and the NFL Network want all cable operators to put the channel on standard (non-digital) service. Big Ten Network wants to charge cable systems a rate of $1.10/month in the Big Ten States and .10 a month in non Big Ten States. The cable companies say the cost is too high, and want to distribute the channel on an optional digital sports package, where people who don't want to pay for the channel do not have to receive the service. (Where I live, with TWC, Digital Sports Package is 4.95/mo extra and has about 10 sports channels.)
The NFL and Big Ten Network says that the cable operators do not know how to negotiate. Satellite Dish systems (Both Direct TV and Dish) offer Big Ten Network. But dish is not an option for everyone, especially for people who have consolidated billing (Cable, Internet, and Phone Service) from the cable company. A question raised is how many people would switch for just those two networks, especially those with consolidated billing from their cable company.
We all know that globally cable companies PR has not been good. Rising rates and poor customer service have been serious issues. Cable says that they are "looking out for the customer, because the Big Ten Network does not represent a strong enough value." The downside of that argument is that both NFL Network and BTN are already on Dish systems. Thousands of people who don't have a dish system could not view the much hyped Packers-Dallas game UNLESS they lived within reasonable range of the home team market. (An NFL mandate says that over the air broadcasts must be made available to sports teams within the home market.)
So who do you side with in this debate and why? If an agreement is reached, what do you believe will happen?