Time to end Time Warners monopoly.

In case Time Warner forgot, it got to string all that cable up without having to compensate anyone else for the use of existing poles or buying right-of-way. In exchange, they provide a “franchise fee” to local communities and deliver “Public access” programming.

It sounds as if this is the way Time Warner is going to pass off their payoff of WDTN- yet, there are those of us who are civic minded who only pay for public access and to avoid mounting an exterior antenna to pick up the local broadcast stations. The Home Shopping network isn’t really a bonus. In fact, there are stations that want to be carried on cable networks for free- just because they are looking for ad reach. At some point, Time Warner should be offering a free level with just these channels and the public access. It doesn’t cost $10 a month to maintain a cable into the house- but, it would have if they had to pay for their access to the public poles and right-of-ways.

If they are going to get this increase, they should have to provide the same public access channels to phone companies providing television programming and to satellite providers- as well as fund public streaming over IP of DATV.

Time Warner Cable customers who take basic cable or expanded basic cable service will see rate increases of 10 to 12 percent beginning in November, according to the company.

Customers who take bundled packages of more than one service — various combinations of digital cable, phone, high-speed data or high-definition television — won’t see the price increases because their rates are guaranteed for one to two years, said Pamela McDonald, regional spokeswoman for Time Warner Cable.

Basic cable service offers 24 channels. Expanded basic — also known as standard — service adds about 50 channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, CNN, Fox Sports Network Ohio, Nickelodeon, Discovery Channel, Bravo and USA Network.

The rate increases will affect fewer than half of Tme Warner’s approximately 300,000 customers in the Dayton region, McDonald said Tuesday, Oct. 21. She declined to be more specific, saying that Time Warner does not want to reveal precise figures to competitors.

Subscribers who take basic cable service are currently paying between $10 and $11 per month and will see an increase of about $1 starting in November, McDonald said.

Time Warner needs the rate increases in order to cover costs of programming, operation and customer service, McDonald said.

Some Time Warner Cable customers getting rate increases.

I got rid of everything except the basic service 2 years ago and haven’t looked back. Netflix provides movies (and I’m probably moving to Blockbuster because of Netflix adding a $1 surcharge for BluRay’s starting next month) and most of what I watch is available over broadcast with my TiVo. But, with things tightening up- I’ll be dammned if I pay a buck extra for an NBC less basic package.

Antennas are starting to look real good. Just remember, next February, you’ll need a converter box for all non-digital tvs and a different antenna as the stations switch to digital broadcast. Boxes run about $40 and a government rebate check will be available for the same amount.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog, please head over and use our services at The Next Wave Printing for all your printing needs. We have 4 Color Business cards starting at just $13.50.

22 Responses

  1. Billy Jackson October 23, 2008 / 11:25 am
    I got upset with Time Warner. In Oxford, they all of a sudden increased our bill by 30 or so dollars. No explanation, no warning, no nothing.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Gene October 23, 2008 / 11:30 am
    DirecTV.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Drexel Dave October 23, 2008 / 12:16 pm
    NoTV. I had a great time last night listening to the entire Sam Cooke SAR records collection and writing a paper, and sipping coffee. My girlfriend massaging my shoulders simultaneously to all of this would have been nice, but you deal with the cards you’ve been dealt for any particular point in history.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. In the 'burg October 23, 2008 / 12:41 pm
    Just this morning I had to write a note to my son’s READING TEACHER asking if she would exempt him from an assignment that involved watching a certain cable TV show.

    How ironic is that??? MY reading teachers used to tell me to read instead of watching TV. Now they’re telling kids to watch TV for homework.

    It’s been years since I had a TV, let alone cable, and I’ve never missed it. The kid DOES have a TV in his room, but it gets lousy reception so it’s only good for movies and video games (which I also try to limit).

    I hope his teacher can come up with an alternate exercise for him (um, like actually reading a BOOK, maybe?)because I’m not going to upgrade him from FarmerVision just for her.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. J.R. Locke October 23, 2008 / 1:57 pm
    Cable in the classroom?

    I love TV. I watch a lot of shows mostly sports (NBA League Pass is a must for me!) but there are all kinds of interesting shows on cable, only problem is the damn commercials. That is what makes DVR so great.

    Often in life it isn’t what you are observing but how you think about what you are observing. Some people think reading is better (maybe educationally beneficial is a better way to put it) than watching TV/movies but I tend to disagree. You can watch TV without analyzing and you can read a book without analyzing. Either one you ain’t get much out of it.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. In the 'burg October 23, 2008 / 3:49 pm
    At least reading is less passive than watching TV. It requires some imagination and brain power, and every time you read, you become a better reader.

    Every time you watch TV, you just become a better zombie.

    There may be some things on TV of value, but for the most part it’s a vast sea of crap. It doesn’t add anything to the quality of my life. In fact, it detracts from it. I don’t see anything redeeming about it.

    Cable in the classroom exists because it’s the only way to deliver information to a kid who’s been glued to screen since birth and has the attention span of a gnat.

    I’m with Drexel. There are far better things to do with my time and my mind.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. J.R. Locke October 23, 2008 / 4:30 pm
    Why are people passive when watching TV? You don’t have to be. There are so many different things on the screen that I find my mind is much more active watching film/TV than it is reading a book. Reading a book my mind often wanders but at a much slower pace. I would say watching TV my brain always seems to be using much more power…..may just be me though.

    The only sea of crap on TV are commercials….and there are just as many books that don’t add to the meaning or quality of life too! I guess my point is TV/Film and books are far more related than they are unrelated. There is this kind of elitist attitude towards reading books and I just don’t get it when the message are almost always the same.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. In the 'burg October 23, 2008 / 5:57 pm
    I agree with you about ads. But the majority of regular programming is crap, too.

    It’s like anesthesia. I’m much more alert, aware, engaged, informed, productive, and yes, even entertained, without it.

    I learned to survive without the constant barrage while I was living in a developing country. When I came back to the US, the first thing I did was carry the TV to the curb.

    I know for sure that if I watched TV, I wouldn’t have had as much time for things that are meaningful to me. I would never have written my book, wouldn’t have produced some award winning art, wouldn’t have had as much time to devote to causes I care about.

    It’s not just that it’s a brain drain, it’s a monumental waste of time. If that makes me an elitist, then OK, I guess I’m an elitist.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. TeresaLea October 24, 2008 / 3:27 pm
    Interesting viewpoints.

    I used to be into “my shows”- Lost, CSI, Battlestar Galactica, Survivor and my poker shows – just to name a few. Then one day about 2ish years ago, my house was hit by lightning and everything was fried.

    It took almost a year to get everything back to normal and repaired – but by this time I had gotten so out of the habit of DVRing my shows and had missed seasons of the shows so it was impossible to keep up to date… I just got out of the habit.

    Now, I’ll grab the occasional news program and some football, but that’s about it. Turns out the shows I thought I couldn’t live without really weren’t that important and I have no idea where I found the time to watch them, to be honest.

    But, I don’t hold the opinion that TV is a brain fryer either. The internets on the other hand….. :)

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Jane October 25, 2008 / 12:42 pm
    Without a doubt, watching TV is the biggest waste of time, and Time Warner is a huge waste of money. That’s it, I’m done, the box is going back today.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Gene October 25, 2008 / 3:09 pm
    This is all about the lack of HD service that DTN does not provide to cable.

    And everyone lies about TV. My friend says he has a “love-hate” relationship with TV. I said “yeah, you do. You love TV and Hate to miss it.” There are a total of 9 people in the world who do not like TV. TV is great -YES it rots your brain sometimes, but where else am I going to watch OSU vs. Penn State. News is important, even if it is slanted in one way or another. We all love TV and a lot of you try to act as if we are more sophisticated than TV, as if you are better than TV. You are not.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Jane October 25, 2008 / 4:55 pm
    Gene, my Time Warner monthly bill is like a used car payment, does that mean I’m better than TV? No. I sit in front of the TV surfing for something to watch and can’t find anything! Nothing worth what I’m paying a month! Point being, it’s a waste of time and money. Now if M.A.S.H. were on 24/7 then it would be worth it!

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. In the 'burg October 25, 2008 / 11:29 pm
    Hmmm…I don’t know if I’m “more sophisticated than TV” or not, but I know my alma mater’s better than OSU.

    “WE ARE…
    PENN STATE!!!”

    :-)

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Gene October 26, 2008 / 5:03 pm
    I love the people that say things like, “the book was better than the movie.” These people are trying to tell the world they READ books. Ohhhhhhh. I rarely read books, but I read all of the time. Books have become a RahRah for most people. I would rather read things that don’t have that much bullshit. TV is great. Everyone loves it, not everyone wants to admit it. Those who say they hate TV struggle to make money, don’t have long lasting relationships and are emotionally volatile. Also, they are losers.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. David Esrati October 26, 2008 / 5:47 pm

    Gene-
    I’m flattered:
    “I would rather read things that don’t have that much bullshit”
    Since you spend so much time here- it means you must think this site rocks.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Gene October 26, 2008 / 8:13 pm
    this site – and the info you provide with various topics – is great. You have more content in a few paragraphs than most books. And, most importantly, you write about stuff that matters, stuff that is happening now, important to a lot of people’s daily lives. I have always thought you have done a good job, no, great job.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. David Esrati October 26, 2008 / 8:15 pm

    Damn Gene- and I thought I was “JV”

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Gene October 26, 2008 / 8:42 pm
    I guess I can explain it this way. You know when you call someone a “bitch” but you really mean to say “you are acting like (or being) a bitch” – same goes for JV and all other names thrown out there. I think other people do the same, they call someone something, but really mean that they are acting (or in this case their comments are) that something. I hope this clarifies the “JV” thing.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. pizzabill October 26, 2008 / 9:22 pm
    I prefer TV because reading just makes my lips tired.

    David- your blog and posts are typically excellent and are certainly appreciated. I don’t always agree with your opinion, but that would be quite boring wouldn’t it. Thanks.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. J.R. Locke October 27, 2008 / 6:49 am
    Gene you sure do see the world in absolutes don’t you? All people love TV? Struggle to make money? Can’t have lasting relationships? Interesting science….most breadwinners I know watch less than 5 hours of TV a week.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. J.R. Locke October 27, 2008 / 8:23 am
    Just for the record I ordered Time Warner cable for $49.99 a month plus NBA League Pass for a one time payment of $179. This is what I am doing this winter ;)

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Melissa October 27, 2008 / 11:19 am
    I think this debate’s incredibly interesting, because it points to a larger issue in our society right now: the supposed elitism behind “intellectualism.” TV being considered (by some) “low brow,” “common denominator,” etc. Reading being called “boring,” “time wasting,” “snobbish.” Not directly on this blog, but you get the drift. “Us versus them” (on BOTH sides of the coin).

    To quote a really old campaign, Reading IS fundamental, folks! Literacy is power, comprehension is key, vital to change of all types. It’s seriously depressing if we’ve devolved to the point of being a society where unless we get our info in 10, 15 or 30 second sound bites, we have no time or use for it.

    That being said, I won’t write off TV completely. Yes, there is a ton of garbage filtering through those little tubes (a bit less for those of us non-cable/dish viewers), but if you’re going to chuck TV out the window, you should be a bit more honest with yourself and admit the Internet is also an ENORMOUS time waster; despite the news and blogs, let’s be honest – there’s a ton of time spent at icanhascheeseburger.com and the like, too! LOL

    TV is a respite from an insane day, when I just want to turn my brain OFF for a few minutes, maybe an hour or two. TV has even been known to bring immediate updates on everything from the nation’s status to our local weather. And in the public programming capacity, TV allows any citizen to create his/her own programming.

    As a reader since age 3, I usually DO prefer the book to the movie (because the adaptations SUCK by and large). And I have my weekly “shows” that I really don’t like to miss. Cheers!

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *