In any other area of business, if a product doesn’t sell, the company making it fails — but not in the world of pay TV. There, if nobody watches a particular network, the entertainment industry’s answer is simple: change the network’s name…and force people to keep buying it anyway.Read more →
Since 2012, the FX basic cable network tried to make a star of foul-mouthed Brit Russell Brand with a live talk show, Brand X. After two seasons of failure, the network has thrown in the towel on Brand’s show…but the alleged “comedian” is still hanging around the network.Read more →
For many years, the Discovery Channel was home to genuinely educational programming which was never tawdry or exploitative. But not anymore — as the network’s new program Naked and Afraid shows.Read more →
Recently, Time Warner Cable paid a combined $11 BILLION for rights to LA Lakers and Dodgers games – and starting next year, subscribers will forced to pay for four new channels showing those team’s games, whether they watch sports or not. But some residents of southern California are fighting back.Read more →
A recent survey has found that over 10% of young adults, or “millennials,” are committed to living without pay TV – and almost another 30% are considering joining them.Read more →
“Getting famous is as easy as having sex and letting the cameras roll…When his longtime crush finally asked him out on a date, Zach Stone hatched a plan to cash in on his first time. Because who wouldn’t want to see a sex movie starring an awkward virgin?”
So says MTV.Read more →
Senator John McCain’s Television Consumer Freedom Act will “kill independent networks in the U.S., limit consumer choice, and make programming way more expensive,” claims one cable executive. But all those problems already exist under the current regime, and Senator McCain’s act will fix them…unless industry bosses get their way. Read more →
The annual convention of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association occurs this week. Normally at the convention, the industry pats itself on the back; but this year, there’s plenty for the NCTA’s members to be worried about – not least, the attitude of their customers.Read more →
A law professor who filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the cable industry says that the cable “trust” overcharges pay-TV customers – to the tune of $34 billion a year.Read more →
In addition to forcing subscribers to pay for hundreds of channels they never watch and don’t want, the current cable and satellite regime has other unfair effects. Because a few major conglomerates control pay TV, they are able to squeeze out independent networks – as Hallmark Channel executive Bill Abbott recently explained.Read more →
The cable industry has long made billions of dollars off of customers with its practice of “bundling” – forcing each subscriber to pay for hundreds of channels they don’t want to get a few they do. But TV channels aren’t the only things the companies “bundle.”Read more →
For over a decade, the cable industry has maintained a united front on the issue of Cable Choice, determined to preserve the status quo – continuing to charging consumers for “bundles” of networks they never watch and don’t want. But now, some cracks in the alliance are beginning to show.Read more →
Just when you think the media has gone as low as it can, it surprises you.
This week, multiple online news sites DEFENDED pop star Ke$ha’s drinking her own urine on MTV – and attacked the PTC for saying people shouldn’t have to pay for it.Read more →
How many times have you heard it argued that television content providers are just delivering what audiences want? That since networks are in the business to make money, they would never air content that would drive away viewers, and so if you’re offended by what you see, you must be in the minority.
If that’s...Read more →
Millions of Americans will be enthused about Senator McCain’s Cable Choice bill…but ESPN President John Skipper isn’t.
ESPN is far and away the most expensive of the basic cable channels. Dishonestly attempting to shrug off McCain’s bill, Skipper recently opined that “the cost for a family of four to go to dinner and a movie...Read more →
CNN’s new series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown features the foul-mouthed chef spewing endless profanity – including the f-bomb – while also making vulgar comparisons between food and body parts.Read more →
“Product placement” is the practice of prominently displaying a product’s brand name in an entertainment program, whether it is shown visually or referred to in dialogue. But increasingly, this practice goes far beyond Simon Cowell displaying a Coca-cola cup on his desk on American Idol. Read more →
The cable industry for the last few years has been trying desperately, if unconvincingly, to assert that claims of its death have been greatly exaggerated. It’s hard to ignore the fact that more than 80% of Americans are still paying for cable subscriptions. But equally hard to ignore is the fact that each year...Read more →
Michael Powell served as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 2001 to 2005. During his tenure in office, Mr. Powell presided over a vast expansion in media consolidation, the concentration of media power in fewer and fewer hands. The result is that today, the overwhelming majority of American media – everything...Read more →
The Bible, History Channel’s new mini-series which is airing every Sunday night in March, has proven to be a smashing success, gaining one of the largest viewership numbers of any cable program premiere. The first two episodes last Sunday night drew nearly 15 million viewers – a number far outstripping that of other supposed...Read more →