NAB ad places blame for carriage wars with Time Warner, DirecTV, Dish Network

You can't argue with these facts from the Nat'l Assn. of Broadcasters. So, what is it about Time Warner Cable and the two satellite companies that makes them dig their heels in so hard? I dunno, maybe they'll respond.

Matthew Polka
So far the only person responding is Matthew Polka from the lobby group the American Cable Association. He spoke to MediaPost's Wayne Friedman:
Matthew Polka, president/CEO of the American Cable Association, stated: “The point that no one should miss is that CBS' massive blackout of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks showed that the retransmission consent market is broken and outdated rules governing these negotiations need to be updated to reflect current market conditions.”

He added: “If CBS can leave millions of pay-TV viewers in the dark for 32 days, no one can say with a straight face that the marketplace is working well for consumers.” 
There's a problem with that statement. CBS didn't leave their viewers in the dark, Time Warner pulled CBS' channels, a violation of their contract with subscribers in my opinion, as a negotiating ploy. 
Matthew Polka is a liar. Doesn't surprise me, he IS a lobbyist.

Asshole speaks, shit comes out. Surprised? It's Matt Lauer, still surprised?

Ann and Matt. She's making a point, he's thinking smug thoughts.

This headline also could have been, "Dick explodes, toxic spew wiped away."

Matt Lauer to Esquire:
The way the media treated what happened with Ann Curry was a disappointing learning experience. I was disappointed by the laziness of the media, the willingness to read a rumor, repeat that rumor, and treat it as a fact. And yet, what were my options? Does anyone want to see a person who’s making the money that the newspapers say I’m making complaining, “Woe is me, my life is terrible, and people are being unfair”? No one would’ve had any patience for that. I wouldn’t have any patience for that. So you just shut up and go about doing your job and hope that people who know you well — your friends and your family — know what’s true.
Or, you just shut your fucking mouth at that moment when everyone has finally stopped talking about what an asshole you are instead of accepting the bait from that magazine that doesn't hold your interests or your shows ratings as a priority. Where's the publicist? Where's the person telling him to walk away?

And btw no one believes this. No one. NO ONE.



How to advertise at me: Buy Podcasts and Hulu. And giant billboards, huge ones!

If you want to send an ad message my way, if you need my ass to get up off whatever it's on and to a store or a show or a website ... you gotta buy podcasts and Hulu. And of course giant billboards. Who, after all, can resist giant letters telling you to do stuff? (see above)


Of course when I'm indoors billboards don't work. But don't advertise on a network or cable show and expect me to sit through the ads, especially since the days of Chuck Woolery's "we'll be back in 2 and 2" are long gone. Ad breaks can be almost 5 minutes sometimes.

In fact, there was a TV Guide Network show called Stand Up in Stilettos and I found that if you hit the right key on the cable remote to advance the recording five minutes you could actually jump from the end of the last comedian's segment directly to host Kate Flannery introducing the next one. Five full minutes.

I don't watch anything live. With about nine minutes of ads in a half hour show it seems foolish.

The ads I do hear and see sponsor podcasts and shows on Hulu. Even Hulu Plus has advertising. You can't fast forward through the ads for your $7.99 a month, that just gives you the power to push the stuff to your big TV (via Roku, your smart TV, Google Chromecast, etc.).

I wonder what it would cost without advertising. Anyone?  Just an estimate is all I need.

Most of the shows I watch on Hulu have only four ad breaks a minute or shorter. VERY doable. Not frustrating at all.

Sometimes if I HAVE to watch a broadcast or cable show live as it airs I actually forget what was going on in the program because it was SO LONG AGO. 

(Yeah, I'm getting older too.)

The other place you can advertise at me is on my favorite podcasts. Sure, you can fast forward through those ads too, but usually they're read by the show's host and they're so integrated with the program that you ... uh, you just don't.

In fact, some of my favorite WTFpod moments have been when Marc Maron does the big sell for AdamAndEve.com. Very very entertaining. His tone is perfect. Check one here, click this link and then go to 12:35 on his recent Ben Sidran episode. Perfectly executed.

My Hulu membership in fact started from a podcast ad, from Comedy Bang Bang.

Of course I'll always have love for giant billboards. I don't need them to dance or light up or tell me the time and weather. Just be clever and have great visuals.

If you're trying to reach me otherwise, however, you're gonna have to knock on my front door. And, uh ... don't knock on my front door.



Esquire TV will take over Style Network spot instead of G4TV, which was killed for NO REASON!

Can you believe this shit?

Hollywood Reporter:
When the Esquire Network launches later this month, it will do so not on G4 but rather on the Style Network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The decision to rebrand the latter –a tightly guarded secret until this morning—comes as NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group chairman Bonnie Hammer looks to better define the brands in her cable portfolio.
Bonnie Hammer
So G4TV, home of Attack of the Show, Web Soup, etc., that channel was killed last year apparently for no reason whatsoever.

Well, isn't that just one giant fuck you to the people who worked there.

Apparently the reason is that the Style Network has a lot of overlap with other Comcast cable properties like E!, Oxygen and Bravo. That makes total sense. But why didn't someone figure that out before they fired all the G4 people?

I don't understand! Bonnie Hammer is a better executive than this. She really screwed a lot of G4 employees doing this.

Gonna try to get some reaction from the G4 crew and add it later. 


Here's the BIG FUCK YOU from Time Warner Cable

From their site called TWC Conversations, though this is nothing like a conversation. Although it's a Q & A format they both ask the questions and provide the answers. Nice, huh?
Q:  Will I be getting a credit for the blackout of CBS?

We already provided a preview of premium programming from Starz Kids & Family, , and a free movie on demand or an Amazon gift card, and free antennas to those that chose to take them. We also provided Tennis Channel to all digital customers during the US Open. All of that has a significant retail value and we won’t be providing any additional compensation.

Remember that CBS is carried as part of a programming package, and we typically do not adjust what customers pay for changes to the lineup—whether channels are added or removed.
They used me as a pawn in their negotiation.
They failed to deliver contracted services.
I already had Starz.
I don't care about tennis.
I got no gift card.

This is what qualifies as doing business in America in 2013. Time Warner Cable has managed to set the bar even lower than ever before.

The CBS/Showtime blackout is over, so why am I still VERY angry?

It's all over. Sometimes last night after 6 pm. all those Showtime channels on the grid repopulated along with the Smithsonian Channel. Of course we never lost the CBS Sports Network, poor little unpopular channel. It's been the whipping boy of the whole debacle.

I am still pissed off. Pissed off at Time Warner Cable. Pissed off because they chose to not deliver content I had already paid for (you pay your cable bill for the upcoming month's service) as a negotiating tactic in a dispute that should not have involved me at all.

I was not on Time Warner's team or CBS' team, I was on MY team. They were not on my team, despite their constant claims to be "working for me." The point of it all in Time Warner's mind was that they were protecting me from higher prices.


So we're back to Ray Donovan and the final season of Dexter and all the Gigolos reruns you can stuff in your craw from the On Demand menu. One thing this new agreement does do for consumers is provide Time Warner subscribers to Showtime Anytime, their IPTV catchup service. Not yet, just checked, but apparently soon.

I will not be happy until the pay TV services begin to sell access to their catchup services to non-cable subscribers. Starz doesn't have one yet but I'm sure it's in the pipeline.

Ultimately what the disruption did for me was it let me know I could survive without cable. I purposely spent many days with just offerings from Netflix and Hulu and I was very happily enrobed in all kinds of great programming from previously unseen British sketch comedy from Robert Webb and David Mitchell to the first season of Bob's Burgers with which I needed to catch up to movies like Iron Sky (Nazis who have been settled on the dark side of the moon since WWII are found) and Safety Not Guaranteed (Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass get ready to travel through time).

If I didn't have a senior in my home I would be cutting the cord right now. However, he has a thing for turning on the History Channel and watching hours of their Vegas-set pawn and restoration shows. Still gonna try, gonna lay out the costs and the benefits for him and see if I can talk him into it. The difference in price is enormous! These two services and a digital antenna can get you through and quite famously, actually.

Something to think about. Huh?


Aristophanes? The Odd Couple, still freakin' hilarious

Great run of episodes this week and last on The Odd Couple on Me-TV. They're currently airing season three of the show which ran for five years on ABC from 1970 to 1975 and is notable in that it's the rare TV cast that is more identified with these lead roles of Felix Unger and Oscar Madison than the cast of the movie on which it was based.

Yes, yes, I respect Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and their respective places in the pantheon of the movie industry ... but when you think Felix and Oscar they aren't the first people in your head. You gotta respect not only Tony Randall and Jack Klugman for that but also creator of the TV show and producer Garry Marshall who crafted a what is in my mind is one of the great sitcoms of all time and nominated for Outstanding Comedy for three of its five years.

Even if it did start out a little shaky (and it did, those single camera episodes in season one pretty much lay flat for me) it's at this point that the show is finally finding it's legs and gaining some notoriety, enough to book a run of guest stars starting with David Steinberg in season two and then Howard Cosell, Deacon Jones and finally Allen Ludden and Betty White which aired two nights ago.

Here Jack Klugman talks about the episode and Tony Randall's performance:

There's so much on this show at the Archive of American Television, click here for that.

Coming up next week if the shows run in sequence is the ticket scalping episode that created this remarkable piece of comedy that has stood the test of time.: