Cross-Addressing: The TWC Gambit

The press reported that in a letter to CBS CEO Les Moonves, Time Warner Cable boss Glenn Britt offered to make CBS available to its cable subscribers on an “à la carte” basis: Customers would have to specifically request the CBS network in order for it to be added to its subscription package, and secondly, TWC would pass the cost, which would be set by CBS, directly on to its subscribers without taking an incremental fee for inclusion of the channel.

By implication does this imply:

-- TWC is contemplating launching programming packages in which it passes on all wholesale network licensing fees directly to its subscribers and only requires a small monthly maintenance fee to insure valued service.

-- TWC is planning to evolve its subscription model to compete with over-the-top services like Roku and the futuristic Intel, Google TV and Apple TV by dropping its current subscription package model, and in the future, will only require subscribers to purchase hardware – a cloudy set top box like utility  – to access programming.



-- TWC is quietly contemplating investing in Aereo, Dish’s Hopper DVR and/or any other copyright expansive defining service.

-- TWC could offer an à la carte channel proposition for any of the channels it carries on its platform, if so desired

Whether this gambit is an “empty gesture” and a “sham” designed to distract from the fact that TWC “is not negotiating in good faith,” as Moonves contends, has Time Warner Cable, in fact, cross-addressed, without meaning to, issues that have been on the minds of media pundits and consumers alike and subtly provided an answer to this long awaited à la carte question.

5 comments about "Cross-Addressing: The TWC Gambit".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, August 12, 2013 at 9:29 a.m.

    The true value of bundled licensing fees to that networks is absence of transparency to the subscriber. In this case, CBS could win the battle but lose the war, if TWC figures a way to unbundle (and possibly flourish under newer revenue streams).

  2. Jonathan Sims from Independent, August 12, 2013 at 9:37 a.m.

    There is only one clear implication in my opinion: offering CBS on an à la carte basis is just the next phase in what seems to be a rather bruising negotiation. The odds of CBS agreeing to such a deal are nil, and Time Warner knows it. Round Three: ding ding ding ding ding.

  3. Edmund Singleton from Winstion Communications, August 12, 2013 at 11:31 a.m.

    A la carte is just around the corner for everyone...

  4. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, August 12, 2013 at 1:01 p.m.

    If only Federal taxes were a la carte. We would then only pay for what we wanted to fund. Alas, government services are typically bundled. I wonder if Congress, so eager to unbundle cable, would be glad to unbundle government.

  5. Edmund Singleton from Winstion Communications, August 13, 2013 at 5:19 a.m.

    Everyone should know that the next battle ground will be with Cablevision's poor service, I should know since I am a subscriber for phone and internet service, I drooped the television option in favor of DirecTV three years ago...

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