• When Media Conglomerates Fight, Consumers Always Lose

    by  • January 25, 2017 • Cable Choice • 2 Comments


    Verizon FiOS customers in central New York planning to watch this year’s Super Bowl had better make other plans. Because of a carriage dispute between the Telecom company and the owner of Fox Syracuse, Verizon FiOS subscribers in the area have not been able to view Fox programming for at least three weeks, and there is no indication of the dispute being resolved any time soon – or in time for the February 5th Super Bowl, which Fox is televising this year.

    Disputes like this often arise between cable operators and content providers, usually as a direct result of the cable industry’s bundling scheme. If a cable provider wants to offer CBS, for example, the parent company, Viacom, can come back to the cable operator and tell them they can’t air CBS unless they also agree to air a dozen other Viacom properties. That translates to higher costs for the cable operator and those higher costs get passed on to the consumer.

    In every carriage dispute, consumers end up losing; either by missing out on programming they want to watch, or by getting stuck with higher bills.

    Local news sources report that this is the second time in two years that Fox Syracuse has been pulled from FiOS. The dispute, according to FiOS is over a 93% increase in fees.

    For consumers who are frustrated by these blackouts every time a content provider and cable system fail to come to terms, there is an alternative. Cut the cord. Fox programming can be accessed via digital antenna – and by becoming one of the growing number of cord-cutters, you are sending a powerful message to the cable companies that they need to drop the bundling regime and give consumers choice.  



    Ms. Henson is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. She previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She began her career with the PTC in 1997 as an entertainment analyst, documenting instances of inappropriate content on television. Ms. Henson has appeared on a variety of television shows including Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story, CNN Headline News’ ShowBiz Tonight, CNBC’s On the Money, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, and CBN’s Newswatch. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the country and has been quoted extensively in news sources such asEntertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. Ms. Henson is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in Government. She resides in Falls Church, Va., with her husband and their son.

    2 Responses to When Media Conglomerates Fight, Consumers Always Lose

    1. Patrick Richmond
      February 17, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      I think that it is plain stupid that many cable companies see how greedy they get. Some of these guys will even go and do their investment work over their cell phones while driving. Tell them not to space out on their phones and they might even sue thinking that they have a right to space out on their phones while driving. It goes to show how stupid these greedy guys get.

    2. K
      January 27, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      In addition to broadcast TV, you should also consider Roku. Roku lets you add and delete channels whenever you want to, giving you everything you want and nothing you don’t.

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