An Idaho woman is trying the even the score—quite literally—for a runner-up in the most recent season of Survivor, the popular CBS-TV reality program.
Yung "Woo" Hwang of Newport Beach, Calif., a 29-year-old martial arts instructor, came in second place, losing to Tony Vlacho in a five-to-one vote from the so-called Survivor "jury" made up of previously ousted contestants. Vlachos took home $1 million for his efforts.
But Shirley Ellis, a 78-year-old Coeur d'Alene grandmother, says she was so upset at the outcome that she has begun a mail-in campaign to raise a million dollars for Hwang, saying Hwang should have won because he was the more honest of the two finalists.
This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that Ellis opened up a bank account and launched an online campaign to raise the funds. The Press reports that Ellis has thus far received approximately 20 letters with some people sending two dollars and others sending as much as $196. The letters have come from coast to coast—from Washington, D.C., to southern California.
"Two dollars," Ellis said opening another letter this week, kissing the crisp bills. "Two fresh ones."
Netflix is flexing more of its muscle, exploiting its ever-growing subscriber base by saying it will increase subscription prices for new customers by one or two dollars a month in the coming months.
Current U.S. customers, who pay about $8 per month, won't immediately be affected by the new increase.
In its first-quarter 2014 earnings announcement, unveiled April 21, when it boasted of strong earnings and subscription growth, Netflix also announced it would jack up its prices for new subscribers. Netflix said it had added 2.2 million new streaming subscribers just in the first three months of this year. To date, Netflix has nearly 36 million subscribers in the U.S. and over 48 million globally.
Netflix has seen particular growth since showcasing its award-winning original programming, led by House of Cards, which launched its second season this past February. Another original Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, opens its second season in June.
At the opening bell on the NASDAQ exchange this morning, shares of Netflix took an immediate jump. Shares were up 6 percent by mid morning.
As threatened, Cable One announced late Monday night that it was being forced to remove a string of networks, owned by Viacom, after failing to come to an agreement with the broadcaster. Cable One said that due to expiration of its deal with Viacom, it was removing BET, Centric, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, MTV Hits, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nick Teen, Nick Toons, Spike, TV Land, VH-1 and VH-1 Classic.
Cable One CEO Tom Might said that Viacom had insisted on increases greater than 100 percent to carry all 15 of their channels.
“We asked for a price reduction because of their declining viewership and they refused," wrote Might in the late-night news release. "We also asked to drop the less popular networks and only carry the networks our customers really watch, and the rate they demanded was even higher."
Might also said that Cable One was ready to move forward with its plans to add other networks to its lineup, including BBC America, Sprout, the Hallmark Channel, National Geographic, and the Sundance Channel, to replace the missing Viacom networks.
But Viacom Executive Vice President Carole Robinson said Cable One had continued "to stall our conversations rather than work collaboratively and quickly toward a compromise."
Facing a midnight deadline when the current contract between Cable One and Viacom expires, Cable One is already dangling out a number of other channels that it may add to its lineup if Viacom pulls the plug on its 15 networks—including BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodoen, Spike, TV Land and VH-1.
Cable One CEO Tom Might insists that his company has been negotiating diligently with Viacom, but "despite our best efforts, Viacom is still asking for a rate increase greater than 100 percent to continue carrying all 15 of their networks, even though the ratings are down since 2010 on 12 of their networks."
Meanwhile, Viacom Executive Vice President Carole Robison said Cable One was "continuing to stall our conversations rather than work collaboratively and quickly toward a compromise."
If indeed Viacom's networks disappear from Cable One, the cable provider says it is considering adding a number of higher-rated channels that viewers have requested, including BBC America, Sprout, Hallmark Channel, National Geographic, Sundance and others.
Viacom, the uber-broadcaster which includes BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon among its 15 broadcast networks, is pushing back against Cable One as the two parties come down to the final hours of negotiations and a threatened blackout of Viacom's properties.
Cable One CEO Tom Might said March 29 that Viacom had offered a renewed contract but with a rate increase of more than 100 percent. Might said he was looking for Viacom to either reduce its rates or allow the cable provider to "drop some of their less popular networks to reduce the total cost."
But in a statement early this morning, Viacom Executive Vice President Carole Robinson said Cable One and its negotiating representative "continue to stall our conversations rather than work collaboratively and quickly toward a compromise."
"We are simply asking your cable provider for fair value for our networks, which continue to deliver more viewers than any other cable programmer, but cost far less to cable companies," wrote Robinson.
The current contract expires March 31.
With only a few days to go before John Stewart, Stephen Colbert and SpongeBob might disappear from tens of thousands of Treasure Valley TV screens, Cable One says it continues to negotiate with Viacom to continue carrying its 15 networks, including BET, Centric, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, TV Land and VH-1.
Cable One CEO Tom Might said Friday morning that Viacom had given a proposal that would see a rate increase of more than 100 percent.
"We are asking Viacom to either reduce their rates ... or allow us to drop some of their less popular networks to reduce the total cost," wrote Might. "So far, they have refused both reasonable requests. In any other business, when there is less demand, the price goes down, not up."
The current contract is expected to expire at month's end.