The good news for Time Warner Cable's nearly 15 million subscribers in 28 states: It looks like the cable behemoth is no longer in danger of losing such Disney-owned channels as ABC and ESPN on the eve of college and pro football seasons and the new primetime broadcast season. The bad news: The deal between the two entertainment giants leaves the door open for further clashes between programmers and cable service providers, disputes that are likely to add to your cable and Internet bills in the near future.
Disney and TWC had been battling for weeks in the run-up to Sept. 2, the day Disney's current contract with TWC expires. Disney wanted higher fees for its popular channels, including ABC (which cable service providers used to pay nothing for, since its signal was broadcast over the air for free), the Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN2 and other viewer favorites. If its terms weren't met before the contract expired, Disney had threatened to pull the signals and darken those channels for TWC subscribers. For its part, TWC had resisted the higher carriage fees, though it would ultimately be passing on those increased costs to its subscribers.
Now, however, the two sides have reached a truce, and while there is no official deal in place, both sides seem to expect the details to be worked out before the threatened signal pull-out at midnight Wednesday night. While neither side will discuss the details of the negotiation, it's clear that Disney has won some concessions, which will eventually mean higher cable bills for TWC customers. And probably for other cable customers as well, since the current battle is hardly the first that has erupted this year over carriage fees; nor is it likely to be the last.
Disney vs. Time Warner Cable: Yet Another Battle That May Take Away Your Favorite Channels or Raise Your Bill
Playing this week in summer reruns: another battle between a cable network and a service provider that threatens to either take away your favorite channels or increase your monthly cable bill.
There have been several such battles this year. The latest is between Disney (parent company to such widely-viewed channels as ABC, the Disney Channel and ESPN) and Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest service provider. Like other programmers in those earlier squabbles, Disney is negotiating for increased carriage fees, the per-subscriber amounts that the service provider pays to carry each channel.
But how hard is the test in question? Could a "fat" former football player who has been retired for 16 years manage to do it? On 'Mike and Mike in the Morning,' (weekdays, 6AM on ESPN2), Golic and Greenie would debate the issue. That debate would be settled later in the afternoon. Video inside.
The reason for all that hatred couldn't have been just what his decision actually was. I mean, the guy moved from Cleveland to Miami -- the only justification you need for that is to remind people that you moved from Cleveland to Miami. The only two people who think that's a bad move are Ian Hunter and Dan Gilbert and it's not clear that either of them are sane.
No, LeBron's downfall had nothing to do with sports. What hurt LeBron was that he made the one mistake that is unforgivable in America: he screwed up on TV.
We'll see both Andrews' "lighthearted" and serious sides on GMA, she promises USA Today. "Some [segments] will be fun and lighthearted," she says. "I don't take myself too seriously and like to have a good time."
But the host -- who was famously targeted by a stalker who videotaped her in the nude without her knowledge -- also plans to strike a serious note in focusing on crimes against women. "With what I've been through, I want to talk to women who are victims. ... And people haven't seen I can have a serious tone. We feel it's important to start off with serious issues so people take me seriously."
She had her share of offers after 'Dancing', she she told USA Today in her first interview about her new contract, but opted to stay on at ESPN. "The biggest reason I wanted to stay was because they'd expand my role," said Andrews. "It's time for me to try new things. ... The hosting stuff is what I'm really looking forward to."
Speculation about LeBron's move was unending. First off, before we even got to LeBron's actual decision, there was constant guessing about what he would do. On tonight's 'Larry King Live' (weeknights, 9PM ET on CNN), Larry had on a couple of so-called "experts," who predicted that LeBron would move to New York. Incorrect! Very incorrect! Still, it's interesting to watch "experts" be immediately proved wrong at something, so that's fun.
Then, LeBron James actually told us what city he was going to. It was presented as a one-hour special on ESPN. (Thu., 9PM ET). Mr. James chose the Miami Heat. Chris Bosh also just joined that team during this free-agent period. So it'll be James, Bosh, and guard Dwayne Wade on the team.
But never fear. TV Squad is here for you -- so we had our very own Dr. Ryan Vaughan sit down for an hour of live blogging to bring you all the important moments during the James 'The Decision' broadcast.
What's the "special" about, you ask? A chronicle of his freakish career? A montage of highlights? A story about LeBron teaching a quadriplegic how to dunk? Nope. None of those. Unfortunately.
No, tonight at 9PM ET, we'll finally know which team LeBron will be on. That's it. Information that you will inevitably be able to decipher by looking at his shirt will be the subject of a one hour television "special."
The LeBron James free-agent saga is due to come to a conclusion Thursday night with a one-hour televised broadcast on ESPN when James will reveal which team he'll play for next season. ESPN said his representatives had contacted the network with a proposal that included donating sponsorship money raised from the broadcast to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
James's plans are still a closely guarded secret, but as reported by the AP he met last week with six teams -- the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls -- at his office in Cleveland, OH.
More than 184,000 people signed up to follow James on Twitter after he opened an account on Tuesday, but so far his only tweet has been: "Hello World, the Real King James is in the Building Finally. My Brother ... gas'd me up to jump on board so I'm here. Haaaa."
This summer brings the biggest event in football -- or soccer as we call it on this side of the pond. It's the Super Bowl for the international set and the best soccer teams from around the globe are gearing up to stake their claim on the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The 2010 World Cup Television Schedule will play on several different stations including ESPN, ESPN2, ABC and games will stream online at ESPN360.com.
The internet is a teenager right now - you can tell because it's always angry and is totally obsessed with seeing Megan Fox naked. The internet needs to grow up with a coming-of-age ritual all its own. And, as much as I'd like to put a glove of stinging ants onto the hands of the people who call me a douche every week in the comments, there's only one real way for the internet to finally achieve adult status ...
Berman has been called the face of ESPN, and that's probably true. He's been there since 1979, just one month after the sports cable giant began as a fledgling idea that many assumed would never make it. An all-sports network? Are you mad? Seems hard to believe that now, but 31 years ago it was a radical notion and Chris Berman was a wannabe sportscaster in Hartford, Connecticut, who took a chance with the cable start up. It paid off big time when ESPN became the worldwide leader in sports broadcasting.
In that regard, he's probably right. TBS offered Conan ownership of the show, a whole lot of money and more creative freedom than he could ever wish for compared to what he would get from any of the networks.
Simmons is also correct in that Conan's 11 P.M. show on a cable channel will put him more in competition with 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' and 'The Colbert Report' than either Letterman or Leno. That's ironic when you consider the sketch the three of them put together during the writer's strike.
While Simmons is correct about all this, we don't appreciate being called "the egghead crowd." Give us some dignity, man. We don't call you "the dumb jock crowd." It would be a cliché.
Since summer is the time for beaches, parades, cookouts, and fireworks, and I hate beaches, parades, cookouts, and fireworks, it's TV time! That's especially true since there are more original shows on summer now than there used to be. Here are the five shows I'm looking forward to the most. And none of them are reality shows.
1. 'Mad Men.' To use a popular phrase, duh. Of course this is number one on my list. It's still weird to me that the best drama on television is a summer show. I don't know why this is still surprising, since we're not living in 1980 anymore and summer in a real TV season now and not just a place for repeats, reality shows, and shows that need to be burned off.
Maybe it's best that this show airs in the summer. It has a little more breathing room than it would have if it debuted in October.
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