I can not believe I am talking about another carriage dispute with Cable One once again. Last March, Cable One and AMC Networks had a dispute and it almost pulled AMC and The Walking Dead off the air. Last October, Cable One had a dispute with Turner Broadcasting and we were left without any Turner Networks for about a month. And now, Cable One is in a dispute with Viacom. That’s the third dispute, in one year! Sure, every cable/satellite carrier might have a dispute here and there with a provider. But I don’t think a cable/satellite has had three disputes in one year! Has that ever happened before?
As I am writing this post, all of the Viacom channels have been pulled off from Cable One. I was watching @Midnight, and it was taken off during the middle of the show! Cable One sure does know how to make people upset. Cable One has said that Viacom is still asking for a rate increase greater than 100% to continue carrying all 15 of their networks, even though the ratings are down since 2010 on 12 of their networks. They have said this with Turner and AMC as well. They also asked Viacom to allow them to carry just the channels some of you really watch, and the rate they demanded was even higher. That means they would have to pay more, for fewer channels.
Cable One has said they have received feedback from their customers and the customers dont want to pay more for networks that they are watching less. So, since Cable One has taken off all of the Viacom channels, they are replacing the channels with ones customers have demanded, including BBC America, Sprout, Investigation Discovery, the Blaze, Hallmark Channel, National Geographic, TV One, Sundance, and others. My first question, when the Viacom dispute ends and their channels come back, which will eventually happen, unless Cable One wants to lose most of their customers, will these channels disappear, or will they stay in the lineup? If Cable One brings in the Blaze, and then removes it when Nick comes back, this will make many people angry, especially here in Alabama.
On the other end, Viacom has said that Cable ONE has refused to negotiate with them and are choosing to drop your channels rather than productively work to reach a deal. They have offered Cable ONE – at no additional cost – new channels, more on demand content, and access to content beyond the TV (including websites and apps). Here is the kicker, Viacom says that Cable ONE pays a lot of money to networks that carry sports. On its website, Cable ONE admits that “sports networks account for 75% of all network fees,” yet receives small viewership. So, who is right, and who is telling a big fat lie. Judging by the problems with this cable company, I think you know where I lay the blame.
I have two big issues with Viacom and this is something Cable One should be talking about. One, Viacom is having disputes with many smaller cable companies. I can tell by just looking through the Twitter feeds. Apparently Viacom is trying to rip off the smaller cable companies, I hope that is not true. Two, Viacom has been slowly adding more and more commercials to their networks. For example, on TV Land, sometimes Viacom will time-shift their programming and add extra time to a TV show, and add in more commercials. Here is a screen shot of the TV Guide. Seriously, who wants to watch nine more minutes of commercials in a Bonanza episode?
And things could not be better for Cable One. They have a monthly bandwidth cap on their internet usage. It used to be 50 GB, now it’s 300 GB. That means people who wants to cut the cord can’t do it, unless they want to pay a lot of extra fees. And since we live too far away from Birmingham, we can’t pick up the local stations on antenna. And I live in an apartment complex, and the landlord won’t allow anyone to have a satellite. And AT&T Uverse is not offered where we live. That means I am stuck with Cable One, whether I like it or not. With Anniston being one of the worst cities in America for unemployment, and me being unemployed for over two years now, maybe it’s time I moved out of Anniston, there’s a thought!
After this latest dispute, and the others in the last year. I am starting to wonder what is wrong with Cable One? No other cable companies like Charter, Comcast, Cox, and others are having problems with their providers. Yes, Time Warner did have a dispute with CBS last year, but that was only one dispute. Not three in one year like Cable One has had. So here is my message to the executives at Cable One, grow up! Seriously, three disputes in one year, Cable One needs some better negotiators. All this is doing for Cable One is making people angry, and it results in less subscribers. I have talked to the DirecTV and Dish Network operators here in Anniston, and they have said they are seeing a record amount of people switching to satellite, because Cable One is an unreliable company.
Even AT&T and their Uverse is seeing a record amount of people subscribing here in town. All because Cable One keeps having problems with their service. All while our bills keeps going up and up. I have friends who have gotten tired of the shenanigans from Cable One and have switched their TV and internet to AT&T, and they say their service is far better than what Cable One offers. I even have friends and PR people from other TV networks, who sends me stuff about upcoming TV shows. And they have said they sometimes have problems with Cable One. Cable One, it’s time to bite the bullet and pay for the channels and take the difference out of your profits instead of passing the buck to the customer!
I wish Calhoun County and the cities of Anniston, Oxford, Jacksonville, and Weaver would have the guts to kick out Cable One and bring in another cable provider who would stop these carriage disputes. If that does not happen, Calhoun County will soon become one of the top counties in the nation for the amount of people with satellite or AT&T. Because our cable system sucks! What is next for Cable One, not carrying the SEC Network when it launches in August and angering everybody because they can’t see Alabama or Auburn football on TV? I bet that will be the next controversy with Cable One.