Television

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cable One, NBC Agree to Last-Minute Extension to Keep Networks in Lineup

Posted By on Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 10:12 AM

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Some people just work better under pressure.

Facing a midnight deadline, NBC and Cable One hammered out a New Year's Eve extension, just a few hours before their current agreement was about to lapse. After spending the better part of a month sniping at each other in dueling press statements, the two sides played nice in the end, thus keeping NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen, Sprout, CNBC, MSNBC NBC Sports Network and Telemundo on Cable One's lineup.

According to a statement from NBCUniversal: "This agreement confirms the value of the entire NBCUniversal portfolio. NBCUniversal looks forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with Cable One and ensuring that our loyal viewers will always have access to our valuable programming"

As a bonus, channels including the Esquire Network, Chiller, Cloo and Universal HD will be added to the Cable One lineup as part of the agreement.

Cable One confirmed on its Facebook page that "We are continuing to negotiate in good faith with NBC Universal through next week in order to complete negotiations and avoid disruption to these channels. We appreciate your patience."
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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

NBC Contract With Cable One Runs Out at Midnight Tonight

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 9:42 AM

NBC's broadcast plans for tonight's New Year's Eve festivities include a live broadcast from Times Square, hosted by Carson Daly. But NBC executives are also keeping a close eye on what Cable One chooses to do with NBC's multiple broadcast platforms at midnight.

Earlier this month, Boise Weekly reported that Cable One was in an 11th-hour standoff with NBC, similar to its earlier feud with Viacom, which ended earlier this year with Cable One pulling Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and a number of other networks from its lineup.

An NBC Universal spokeswoman told BW, "At this point, based on Cable One's unwillingness to productively negotiate, we have to start informing our viewers that they are at risk of losing access to our programming."

The current contract runs out at midnight tonight.

NBC Universal stations include:

NBC (KTVB-TV in Boise)
USA
Syfy
Bravo
Oxygen
Sprout
CNBC
MSNBC
NBC Sports Network
Telemundo

Meanwhile, an official statement from Cable One said, "We are shocked and dismayed that NBC Universal has launched a negative ad campaign regarding our current negotiations. Despite the fact that NBC Universal is currently demanding a rate increase that is more than double our previous contract, we are continuing to negotiate in good faith and are optimistic that we will come to an agreement."
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Video of Final "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" for David Letterman

Posted By on Sat, Dec 20, 2014 at 10:45 AM

A nearly 30-year holiday tradition has been tucked away in the vault.

David Letterman will say goodbye to the Late Show on May 20, 2015, but this past Thursday night he bid a Christmas farewell to a long-standing tradition: a bring-down-the-house performance of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Darlene Love, Letterman's bandleader Paul Schaffer and an all-star orchestra and chorus.

Letterman is a famous curmudgeon, but Schaffer said the comedian made an exception for Darlene Love's performance on his NBC show in 1986. 

Love, who was was one of Motown's greatest back-up singers in the 1960s and early '70s, had hit some hard times by the 1980s, as chronicled in the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom. Love told The New York Times that she's particularly grateful to Letterman for helping to re-energize her career by inviting her to be a part of his Christmas show. As a final tribute to Letterman, Love told The Times that she vows not to perform "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on any other television program in the future. 

So it was a particularly emotional evening, Dec. 18 when Love took the microphone to belt the Christmas classic one final time for Letterman.

(On a personal note, I've been in the audience of the Ed Sullivan Theater on a few occasions for Letterman's Christmas show. It's a bizarre broadcast, including someone  knocking a meatball off the top of a Christmas tree with a football, a joke—told every year—involving some pot-smoking radio disc jockeys and the Lone Ranger, and Darlene Love. There's nothing quite like it and it's equal parts sweet, silly and sentimental.)


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Friday, December 19, 2014

Dispute Could Result in NBC Networks Disappearing From Cable One

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 3:58 PM

After spending months in a feud with Viacom, which ended with Cable One pulling Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon from its lineup this past April in Boise and other markets across the U.S., Cable One is ending 2014 i n the same fashion—this time it's at loggerheads with NBC.

"Cable One has declined all NBC Universal offers stating they believe it deserves to receive our valuable programming at below market rates," an NBC Universal spokeswoman told Boise Weekly. "At this point, based on Cable One's unwillingness to productively negotiate, we have to start informing our viewers that they are at risk of losing access to our programming."

And that's why Cable One customers in the Treasure Valley will begin seeing messages on NBC Universal stations warning them that they may go dark in 2015. 

NBC Universal stations include:

NBC (KTVB-TV in Boise)
USA
Syfy
Bravo
Oxygen
Sprout
CNBC
MSNBC
NBC Sports Network
Telemundo

"Cable One customers have already lost 15 Viacom networks, and if Cable One drops NBC Universal, subscribers will have lost a total of 26 valuable programming [networks] including some of the most watched on TV," said the spokeswoman.

Cable One responded with a statement on its Facebook page, noting, "We are shocked and dismayed that NBC Universal has launched a negative ad campaign regarding our current negotiations. Despite the fact that NBC Universal is currently demanding a rate increase that is more than double our previous contract, we are continuing to negotiate in good faith and are optimistic that we will come to an agreement."
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Idaho Woman Raising Money for 'Survivor' Runner-Up

Posted By on Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 9:20 AM

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."


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Netflix Will Raise New Customer Subscription Rates

Posted By on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 9:41 AM

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.


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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cable One Removes Viacom Channels in Contract Standoff

Posted By on Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 9:32 AM

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."


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Monday, March 31, 2014

Cable One Says It's Ready to Add BBC, Sundance, if Viacom Pulls Plug on Comedy Central, Nickelodeon

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 9:32 AM

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.



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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Viacom Pushes Back Against Cable One In Stalled Negotiations

Posted By on Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 3:00 PM

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.


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Friday, March 28, 2014

Facing Possible Blackout of Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Cable One Says Viacom Wants 100 Percent Rate Increase

Posted By on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 10:08 AM

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.

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