All Articles Tagged "Time Warner Cable"
The National Association of African-American Owned Media (NAAAOM) is suing Comcast and Time Warner Cable for a stinging $20 billion — yes, billion – for supposedly refusing to carry Black-owned channels and allegedly paying Rev. Al Sharpton to ignore their discriminatory practices, The Hollywood Reporter says.
Filed in California on Friday, the complaint says that the two cable providers — who are proposing a merger — tout diversity and inclusion, but only one channel in the lineup is Black-owned: The Africa Channel. The owner of this channel, though, according to Mediaite, helped with Comcast’s purchase of NBC Universal, “thus creating a serious conflict of interest,” the plaintiffs claim.
The topic of the NBC acquisition is where Rev. Sharpton comes in. NAAAOM alleges that the Reverend, as an employee of NBC, was paid off by Comcast to boast about the acquisition and the company’s pursuance of diversity, which the plaintiff says is a “a sham, undertaken to whitewash Comcast’s discriminatory business practices.”
“The lawsuit goes on to say that Comcast made large cash ‘donations’ to obtain support for its acquisition. The money includes $3.8 million to Sharpton and his National Action Network. The money, it’s charged, was meant to pay Sharpton to endorse the NBCU deal and divert attention away from discrimination,” THR said.
Pointing at Sharpton’s NBC gig, the plaintiffs find it odd that despite the Reverend’s “notoriously low ratings,” Sharpton still managed to maintain his position as a host for more than three years. This, according to the lawsuit, is in exchange for “Sharpton’s continued public support for Comcast on issues of diversity.”
The National Action Network, Al Sharpton’s civil rights group, fired back saying that the Reverend’s MSNBC show is doing just fine.
“…[T]he numbers are clear. Rev. Sharpton’s show has the highest ratings of any 6 p.m. show in the history of the network,” they said.
In a statement to THR, Comcast responded to the allegations, too.
“We do not generally comment on pending litigation, but this complaint represents nothing more than a string of inflammatory, inaccurate, and unsupported allegations.”
The plaintiffs also point their fingers at Comcast for allocating only $3 million a year to African-American media, despite having an annual budget of $25 billion for licensing pay-television channels.
Calling the lawsuit “frivolous,” Comcast said, “We are proud of our outstanding record supporting and fostering diverse programming, including programming from African American owned and controlled cable channels.”
In a deal that has major media implications, Comcast will buy Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal that values Time Warner Cable at $159 per share, CNBC’s David Faber reports.
At this price, Comcast would be paying an 18 percent premium to yesterday’s closing price. “It would value Time Warner Cable at $45 billion. Comcast is valued at $146.5 billion,” reports Business Insider.
As you can imagine, the deal will make Comcast, already America’s largest cable provider, a uge cable company. It currently has 23 million subscribers. Time Warner has 12 million subscribers, making it the second largest.
Still, there are some investors who think Comcast is overpaying in this deal. And others who see antitrust issues looming.
And then there are still others — consumer advocates and lawmakers — who think the deal will give Comcast too much control over what we watch on TV and see online, particularly in light of a recent court decision on net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission and possible the Justice Department or the Federal Trade Commission will take a look at the deal before it’s finalized.
Comcast beat out Charter, which wanted to merge with Time Warner Cable. Charter wanted to pay only offering $132.50 per share. But the Comcast deal could take a year to complete.
The deal will mean less competition, so do you think consumers will benefit from the deal?
Time Warner Cable (TWC) has demonstrated the fine art of creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. In promoting and hiring people of color in its management and workstaff, TWC was honored as a 2013 Top Company for People of Color by the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC).
TWC provides its minority employees with an outlet for networking with resource groups including Black Business Employee Network, OUT@twc, VetNet and !Hola TWC!
The Black Business Employee Network, for example, hosts seminars for aspiring entrepreneurs who want advice from seasoned business men. Their last seminar featured television personality Daymon John — you might have seen him as an investor on Shark Tank.
In addition to conferences like these, Time Warner Cable employees, according to a press release, have participated in mentorship and leadership programs to aid in self-improvement.
“We believe passionately that our commitment to diverse voices makes us a great place to work, helps us better serve our communities, and enhances our relevance to our 15 million customers,” said Peter Stern, Time Warner Cable’s Chief Strategy, People and Corporate Development Officer.
This is NAMIC’s first “Top Companies for People of Color” list. Besides their inclusive hiring practices, NAMIC, placed TWC on the list due their “alignment of diversity with its business goals and objectives,” a press statement said. TWC strives to implement strategies that keep the workplace heterogenous and all-embracing.
“Time Warner Cable shares NAMIC’s goal of advancing diversity and inclusion within the evolving marketplace,” said Alicin Williamson, interim head of NAMIC and principal of The Raben Group.
“The 52,000 people of Time Warner Cable are honored to receive this recognition from NAMIC,” Stern adds.
Time Warner Cable currently serves 15 million customers and is one of the nation’s largest high-speed data provider.
According to Sean “Diddy” Combs, he recently made “one of the biggest announcements” of his life. Must be exciting, right? Well, it was a major business move by the hip-hop entrepreneur who recently launched music-themed television network Revolt TV.
The 43-year-old music/fashion mogul has inked a carriage deal with Time Warner Cable (TWC) for to distribute Revolt TV, meaning that when the network launches this fall, it will be available to all TWC customers, reports The Huffington Post. This is in addition to Comcast, with whom Combs signed a deal with earlier this year.
“This is a landmark distribution deal that demonstrates Time Warner Cable’s commitment to bringing a platform for music artists and fans to their subscribers,” Combs said in a statement. “It positions Revolt to come out of the gate strong, and we look forward to igniting the passion of initial audiences across the U.S.”
Entering television has been a longtime dream of Combs. “When I was growing up, I was watching television all the time — I used to wonder, ‘Why don’t those people look like me, or talk like me or walk like me?’,” Combs said when he first launched Revolt TV. Comcast was the first to jump on the network. “I would also like to encourage and to invite Time Warner, DirecTV, Cable Vision and all the other distributors to come and get down with the get down.”
Will you watch Revolt TV?
Yesterday at around 6pm marked the end to a month-long standoff between Time Warner Cable and CBS, with the network finally coming back to the 3.5 million TWC customers who’ve had to do without The Big Bang Theory and NCIS since August 2. For tennis fans (*raises hand*) it’s been brutal because CBS airs US Open coverage. But at least Big Brother has been off the air for a while. (Other networks, like Showtime, were also affected.)
“The resolution comes as the NFL season is about to get underway, as the U.S. Open enters the finals, and CBS’ new Fall season approaches,” notes TVNewser. This means service is restored to viewers in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas.
The issue was, of course, money. CBS wanted double the $1 monthly charge per subscriber that it gets from TWC. Time Warner wanted more access to CBS programming. TWC, according to The Daily Beast, made $500 million in the last quarter. But even that figure is after being impacted by competition from DISH, Verizon FIOS, DirecTV and the Internet, as more people cut their cords.
The New York Times has declared CBS the victor in this dogfight, with the company “winning not only a significant financial increase for its programming, but also its stake in the digital future.” But the details of the deal haven’t been released. “We are receiving fair compensation for CBS content,” Moonves said.
“We certainly didn’t get everything we wanted,” TWC CEO Glenn Britt said. So we can take a guess about how things ultimately went down.
So we get the second week of the Open back (yay!) and whatever else CBS, et al broadcasts. Did you miss the station at all?
Can’t get CBS on your TV lately? Well, if you are a Time Warner Cable subscriber in New York, Los Angeles or Dallas you could be without CBS Corp programming for several weeks, reports Business Insider. The two companies are no where close to settling a fee dispute.
Time Warner Cable cut CBS programming last Friday, affecting an estimated 3.5 million customers, including golf fans who missed Woods’ major win in the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday.
CBS, the No. 1-rated U.S. broadcast network, is home to hits like The Big Bang Theory and NCIS. And according to the network, there are no talks taking place at the moment, but it is “ready to negotiate in good faith.” Time Warner Cable announced it regretted the inconvenience to viewers and aimed to resolve the situation “as soon as possible.”
According to industry analysts, the dispute is over how much Time Warner Cable should pay to carry CBS and the battle could last until the start of football season in September, when millions of viewers rely on their cable providers to watch primetime games.
The fall is also when many new season shows begin airing. CBS plans to start its fall lineup on September 18 with the premiere Survivor. Other CBS primetime shows launch their seasons beginning September 23.
“The longer (CBS) waits, the more they don’t get a chance to promote their fall lineup in the two biggest cities in the country,” BTIG media analyst Rich Greenfield told Business Insider. CBS has fought back against Time Warner Cable by suspending videos of full episodes on CBS.com for customers with Internet access provided by the cable company in affected markets.
Politicians are even speaking out. Both New York City mayoral candidates City Comptroller John Liu and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn have called out Time Warner Cable and CBS for what has become a caustic and public fight. While the government may eventually step in, programming blackouts have become more common in the United States as TV networks fight with cable or satellite service providers that pay “retransmission fees” to transmit programs nationwide.
“Last summer, satellite operator DirecTV’s 20 million customers were unable to see more than 20 of Viacom’s cable networks for 10 days. Fox went dark for 15 days for more than 3 million Cablevision customers in 2010,” reports Business Insider.
DirecTV has sided with Time Warner Cable’s decision to drop CBS programming.
Do you miss your CBS?
Actress Rosie Perez is fired up and recently kicked off a rally against Time Warner Cable, Inc., accusing the company of discriminatory programming practices. The rally was organized by minority and arts communities.
The protesters claim that Time Warner Cable, Inc.’s is unwilling to offer customers diversified programming “as evidenced by their decision to drop the Ovation channel,” according to a press release.
The Ovation Channel was a cable network dedicated to arts and artistic expression. The dropping of Ovation has caused outrage among various organizations including Citizens’ for Access to the Arts, a nonprofit coalition of organizations and individuals, and the Urban Arts, of which Rosie Perez is Artistic Board Chair.
The arts organizations point to a new survey as evidence that minority community desire to enjoy the arts. The survey found that over two-thirds of respondents (67 percent) and nearly three-quarters of Hispanics (74 percent) said that it’s important to have the arts available to them in their communities. The survey polled Hispanic and African-American Time Warner Cable subscribers in both New York and Los Angeles. Ovation, the protesters argue, was the only access to the arts many minority communities had.
“I am deeply saddened by Time Warner Cable’s refusal to provide minority communities with quality programming,” stated Bertha Lewis, president and founder of The Black Institute in a press statement. “It is disturbing to witness the yearly destruction of creative expression on the part of cable networks. Our young generations rely on the subsistence of art to not only better themselves, but to better the future of our communities. It is unfathomable to think that Time Warner Cable would willingly substitute this necessity to satisfy demands for mindless reality television.”
Time Warner Cable responded to Madame Noire via email will the following statement:
“We agree the arts are important, and we are committed to providing our customers with a diverse lineup of programming they want to watch. As for Ovation, the majority of their programming is old movies, reruns and infomercials, not arts. Our customers seem to agree that Ovation’s programming can easily be replaced with similar or identical programming on other networks such as PBS and others, as we have had very little customer response to the removal of Ovation from our channel lineup. We don’t agree with any of the claims made from this supposed study; through the video and Internet services we provide to our customers, we allow them to gain much greater access to the arts, regardless of their race, income or geography.”
Time Warner Cable customers: Do you miss Ovation?