WWE Rumors: Charter customers may be without WWE programming starting January 1st
Yet another impasse between a cable/satellite provider and a television studio could disrupt service for 25-30 million customers.
What’s the story?
Mike Johnson from PWInsider.com reported that NBC Universal, the parent television company for the WWE, is at odds with cable company Charter Communications. The dispute is over rights fees for Charter to carry broadcasts of NBC Universal channels such as USA and E! Network, among several other channels.
In case you didn’t know...
Charter Communications covers a vast amount of cable subscribers throughout the United States, and just added even more after its merger with Time Warner Cable. The subscriber base in the United States is estimated to be 25-30 million customers.
The heart of the matter...
This type of issue is definitely common, as you’ll see on a fairly regular basis companies such as Charter, Dish Network, or DirecTV at odds with a television studio over the agreement of renewing rights fees.
The studios will typically run crawls along the bottom of the screen of their programming warning them that they could be shut out of their favourite shows and to contact their provider.
The deadline for the agreement is January 1st, so customers could get shut out to start the year. However, this type of situation happens all of the time, and in most cases, the deal is agreed upon at the very last minute with no interruptions in service.
It all comes down to which side will cave first because neither can afford to not exist with 25-30 million subscribers.
We’ve seen this song and dance so many times, and it’s hard to tell who is truly at fault. After the merger with Time Warner, the subscriber base of Charter has increased vastly, and there is no way they risk alienating so many new customers.
I wouldn’t be surprised if I turn on the television on the morning of January first, and still have access to USA, E! Network, Syfy, and others.
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