Optimum, the subsidiary of Cablevision, has responded to one of my Tweets about pulling the plug on WFSB Ch. 3. Not a surprise. Companies now have people or software-generated responses, anytime their entity is brought up in social media.
“We’re negotiating w/WFSB Ch 3’s owners & we want to reach an agreement that’s fair to our CT customers,” the Tweet reads.
Snow storm better end soon
The negotiations better conclude soon or the snow storm better end soon, like before 6:30 pm Friday night. That’s when Optimum will pull the plug on WFSB. Originally they were going to cut the cord when the clock struck 12 midnight on New Year’s Day. The impending “Snow storm of the Century” led to both sides agreeing to extend the negotiating deadline to 6:30 Friday night, January 3. The explanation was to allow Ch. 3 to pump out storm news as a “service” to the people of Connecticut. The real reason was Ch. 3 was not about to blow a ratings opportunity during the storm. The viewers of Connecticut would have figured out there are other media venues to get their “service”, including three other Connecticut TV stations. And it doesn’t matter if its storm “Bethany” or storm “Hercules.”
Deal must not include rate hike
But back to the negotiations. To me, the only agreement that’s fair “to our CT customers” is no rate hike. If WFSB raises the cost Optimum must pay to carry its signal, and if Optimum passes the cost along to rate payers, where is the fairness there? People have had it with the price-gouging by the cable-TV industry, regardless of which side in negotiations raises the rates.
NFL part of the picture
And once again, remember that we get another one of these cable-TV disputes at the dawning of the NFL playoffs. And guess which network carries the AFC playoffs? And guess which network is affiliated with WFSB? If you answered CBS to both questions, get a free pass to the Ed Sullivan Theater.
Cut the cable-TV cord
Regardless of the outcome, I am still determined to cut the cable television cord in 2014. The cost is now beyond reason, as the cable companies or the TV stations with which they negotiate, expand into areas they have no business belonging, balancing their failed experiments on the backs of their subscribers.
But I will repeat, the deal, and there will be one after much hand-wringing, must not include a rate hike, or there is no fairness. Period.