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October 2, 2014

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'Smallville' Becomes Legal Battleground

by Scott Harris, posted Mar 29th 2010 12:30PM
Over the last 75 years, Superman has taken on challengers of all shapes and sizes, from alien overlords, to mischievous imps to killer robots. But now he's about to face a menace far more dangerous than Lex Luthor could ever be: a phalanx of Hollywood lawyers.

That's because, according to the Hollywood Reporter, 'Smallville' creators Miles Millar and Alfred Gough have teamed up with series co-producer Tollin/Robbins Productions in a lawsuit against Warner Bros. and the CW network. The allegation? Bilking 'Smallville' producers out of profits through the iffy industry practice known as "vertical integration."

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Time Warner Cable shopping for a new name

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 5th 2010 8:04PM
They've been called many names before by their customers and clients and this week, they are officially looking for a new one. Not that one, sicko.

Time Warner Cable has officially launched "Project Mercury," a behind-the-scenes marketing project to find the company a new name by the end of 2010. Why now? First, they had to come up with a name for the renaming project.

Maybe we can save TWC some bucks by asking our loyal readers to suggest their own names. And remember, all suggestions are monitored for obscenities.

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Fox, Time Warner make peace, not war, for now

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 2nd 2010 8:00AM
Fox, Time Warner make peaceIt seems that Time Warner and Fox have reached common ground in their hostage negotiations for Fox's programming and your eyeballs. And no toes had to be severed to achieve it. Merry Christmas.

Both sides reached an agreement in their two week long price fixing war that almost left viewers without their precious Fox shows that could have included some college football bowl games.

Of course, none of the games were interrupted or blocked and the world hasn't ended as a result of it. So consider this debate closed for now until the next time Fox dares to ask a cable service for a penny more of the profits. After all, it's not like Time Warner has raised their rates.

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S#!% just got real in the Time Warner/Fox price fixing fight

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 30th 2009 9:02AM
Time Warner price fixingNo, that's not an altered image of a ransom note clipped from a clever New York Times article or a Photoshopped jpeg cooked up by our art department. Truth be told, those guys ate some mystery Chinese take-out in the office fridge and haven't been heard from since.

Time Warner has pulled out all the stops in their ongoing battle with Fox over licensing fees by accusing them of holding their viewers' favorite shows hostage.

They even went so far as to present their customers with a faux ransom note that demands the money or "you'll never see Fox again." Give Time Warner Cable one more day and they'll start mailing their customers severed toes.

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Support swells for returning FEARnet to Time Warner

by Nick Zaino, posted Apr 9th 2009 8:06PM
FEARnet dropped by Time WarnerI am an unabashed fan of what Frank Zappa once called "Cheepnis," a certain quality shared by really good, low budget horror and sci-fi films. Which is why I was happy a couple of years ago when my cable provider picker up FEARnet, which gave me cheepnis on demand. And it's also why I'm glad I don't have Time Warner or Bright House Cable, who recently dropped the network, leaving their subscribers without the ability to watch both Warlock films on impulse, or Near Dark, or Idle Hands.

Our colleagues over at Cinematical have a good overview of the story (and a link to the FEARnet page showing Night of the Creeps). There's also a page on FEARnet with a phone number for the network, which will lead you to operators who will help connect you with your cable provider to demand (or ask politely, as Cinematical's Scott Weinberg suggests) that they reinstate FEARnet.

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Time Warner and Viacom kiss and make up

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 1st 2009 11:20AM
MTVAfter a much publicized battle, Time Warner Cable and Viacom have settled their dispute. For the new year, Time Warner Cable subscribers can enjoy such channels as Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, VH1 or (God help them) MTV.

I didn't see this going any other way. If Viacom withheld its (very popular) line-up of channels from TWC, both of them would lose a valuable revenue stream. This is not a good idea in such an economy where people lose their jobs; I've learned that when the income stops coming in for most households, the first thing to go is cable television. This is not the case for me because the first thing to go in my house in such a situation would be the groceries (no way am I giving up Stephen Colbert).

At least subscribers can now enjoy such greats as Spongebob Squarepants, South Park, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Sadly it means they'll also have to put up with The Hills.

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Is ESPN teaming up with The NFL Network?

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 22nd 2008 10:33AM
NFL Network logoIf you're a pro football fan and you don't get the NFL Network, chances are you know about the stalemate between the NFL Network and cable operators, like Time Warner. Because of their inability to strike a compromise, eight NFL games last season which The NFL Network broadcast, were unavailable to many cable customers, causing much hue and cry.

Well, it looks like there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. ESPN is talking with The NFL Network about a broadcasting partnership, that according to The Associated Press. If a deal is done, NFL Network games in 2008 could be seen by just about everyone, not just those of us who are satellite subscribers.

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Time Warner cable to offer Web TV

by Brad Trechak, posted May 31st 2008 9:02AM

Time Warner CenterTime Warner will soon be offering its users a way to stream Internet video to their television screens as part of an overall home networking system. In short, Time Warner is getting into the same business that Apple TV has already gotten into long ago.

"We're actually going to have equipment we make available to subscribers," said Chief Executive Glenn Brit at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York this past Friday. "It's actually going to be a new wireless cable modem that will allow you to network everything in your house."

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Verizon FiOS to debut in NYC?

by Brad Trechak, posted May 28th 2008 10:01AM

Verizon HeadquartersVerizon Communications is hoping to have its FiOS TV service available to customers in New York City within the next two months. This would be a tremendous boon to those who subscribe to cable, as suddenly the choice for providers will increase from solely Time Warner.

From the article: "Verizon spokesman John Bonomo said the city's Franchise and Concession Review Committee had given the green light to the video service, which is delivered along with high-speed Internet over an all-fiber network and is meant to compete with cable television."

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HBO signs... a NY Times columnist?

by Brett Love, posted May 22nd 2008 11:21AM

HBOThis one just struck me as a bit odd. HBO has signed long time NY Times columnist Frank Rich on as a creative consultant. The two are tight-lipped about what projects he may or may not be working on already, but his new position is described as contributing to original program development. Apparently there will also be the opportunity for Rich to become a producer of projects that he helps with.

He's going to keep his gig at the Times while working with HBO, although he will avoid writing about the network, or their corporate overlords (and ours), Time Warner. Hiring creative consultants isn't the usual modus operandi for HBO, and programming group president Richard Plepler added that "it is not something the network is looking to do on a regular basis." Odd as it sounds on the surface, Rich did spend 13 years as the Times' chief theater critic, so he has some background for the gig. And anything that gets us closer to Jay Black, creative consultant to The CW, has to be a good thing, right?

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Time Warner to test PVR-like "Look Back" service

by Brad Linder, posted Aug 13th 2007 11:40AM
Look Back Time Warner is preparing to test a new free service that will give both viewers and advertisers more control over their TVs. From the consumer side, Time Warner's "Look Back" service is something more than video on demand, but something less than a personal video recorder. From an advertising perspective, this could be the future.

Here's how it works. You can watch pretty much any show on demand the same day it airs, up until midnight. Two of your favorite programs are on against one another? No problem. Watch one live, and watch the next right after. Of course, if those two shows are on at 11PM, you're out of luck, but that's beside the point. Or is it?

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Could VOD kill the PVR?

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 26th 2007 11:00AM
Time Warner Video On DemandTime Warner president Jeff Bewkes says cable providers should be working toward providing on-demand versions of every television program from every television network.

If consumers can watch any show they want any time they want, he argues, cable providers can save the time and money it takes to install personal video recorders in their houses. Of course, by eliminating the need for PVRs, cable companies could also be removing the consumer's ability to skip advertisements. "Free" video-on-demand would have to be advertising supported, and that means cable providers would disable the fast-forward function.

And that's why I don't really see Bewkes' plan working. Certainly one of the most appealing aspects of a PVR is that you can watch shows whenever you feel like it. But being able to pause, rewind, fast-forward, and yes, skip commercials is another part of it. Would you be willing to pay as much for DVD purchases and rentals if there were ads that you couldn't skip?

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When your new Time Warner PVR includes more than you paid for

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 2nd 2007 4:00PM
Time Warner porn PVRSure, if the cable guy accidentally hooks you up with a couple of extra channels, you might conveniently forget to call the company and complain about the error. But what do you do when you order a new PVR and its hard drive is partially full when it arrives -- with porn.

One Consumerist reader had just that problem. His new Time Warner box arrived, but before he could sit down and help set it up, he had to go out and run some errands, leaving his wife and 3 and 8 year old nieces to program in shows to record.

As his wife hits the list button, up pops a screen showing the previous owner's recordings, including Hole Diggers - Part 2, which begins playing while his wife tries to figure out how to make the menu disappear.

Yes, this guy should obviously call Time Warner and complain. But the moral of this story is that you should probably check out any new hardware you get before using it, especially if it looks like it may be used. You never know what you're going to find.

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Lincoln Nebraska holds hearings over buggy Time Warner PVRs

by Brad Linder, posted Feb 28th 2007 11:40AM
Time Warner CableI've spent a lot of time as a journalist covering City Council sessions in Philadelphia, but I've never sat in on a hearing quite as geeky as this. A Lincoln, Nebraska City Councilman will hold hearings in March on Time Warner's PVRs which as pretty much anyone in the country who uses them can tell you, kinda stink.

Councilman Jonathon Cook -- a Time Warner customer -- says subscribers "are not getting what they paid for," with Time Warner PVRs. Apparently the city's franchise agreement with the cable company allows City Council to hold such hearings. It's entirely clear what actions the city could take against Time Warner in response to the hearings, but if there's one thing I learned during my aforementioned years covering legislative sessions, it's that you don't need actual power to hold a public hearing, you just need the urge to grandstand on a topic.

Lincoln Time Warner customers have complained that a new program guide rolled out by the cable company is both ugly and buggy, and that the cable boxes are slow to react to button presses on a remote control, all of which sound par for the course for generic cable company PVRs.

The Lincoln Journal Star, which reports the story also has a page filled with customer complaints/suggestions for Time Warner.

[via digg]

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