First Posted: 12/31/2008
Time Warner cable has finally done it they have gone above and beyond what I am able to tolerate from my cable company. At first I was just upset with the high price of my services, but Wednesday the company announced that it is eliminating 19 channels without reducing the monthly rates.
And thats not even the beginning of what has got me more than a little ticked off. A couple of the channels that will be eliminated are TV Land, which carries The Andy Griffith Show and Comedy Central, which eliminates a lot of good television, including one of my favorite shows, The Daily Show.
So, as of 12:01 this morning, you had to kiss your Andy Griffith reruns good-bye that is if you have Time Warner cable. I dont imagine that will fly in Mount Airy for too long.
The reason why Time Warner is eliminating the channels is because Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, and other cable channels, has demanded Time Warner pay more for those channels. Time Warner officials say the increases could be as high as 36 percent. Viacom counters that the increases would cost an extra .23 cents a month per subscriber which works out to $39.5 million more in total. According to an Associated Press report, Americans spend a fifth of their TV time watching Viacom shows but its fees make up less than 2.5 percent of the Time Warner cable bill.
The channels that where to go off the air for Time Warner customers at 12:01 a.m. today include: Comedy Central, CMT: Pure Country, Logo, Palladia, MTV, MTV2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV Tr3s, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Nick 2, Nicktoons, Spike The N, TV Land, VH-1 Classic and VH-1 Soul.
The other problem I am having with Time Warner is the cost. I am paying $173.22 a month and while I know that includes cable, Internet and unlimited long distance, that is outrageous. That amount is up from a couple of months ago when it was $167 a month. The company went up $5 a month and gave no good reason for it.
When I first signed up my bill ran $129.34. Then after one year, the company started charging for the DVR box, which is a digital recorder that I have fallen for hook line and sinker. Even though the cable company is charging me $25.45 for the digital package and the DVR box. It feels like highway robbery especially when you break it down like this: $6.50 for the digital variety tier; $9.95 for DVR service; $1.50 for digital access; $7.20 for the DVR converter; and 30 cents for the remote control. Now, is that not ridiculous?
So how is Time Warner taking away 19 of the 77 channels I now have, yet not reducing the amount I am paying per month?
And to hear that Time Warner officials are now bickering with Viacom about an additional 23 cent cost to carry 19 channels is just a joke.
According to an Associated Press story, Time Warner has said Viaocms demands for higher fees were egregious, especially at a time when the country is in the throes of an economic recession and subscribers are sensitive to costly cable bills.
Time Warner cable spokesman Alex Dudley said, We are being put in an awkward spot. Advertising revenue stinks so they are looking to stick our customers for the difference. We have to hold the line for our customers.
I find that quote hysterical. Hold the line … you have got to be joking. Perhaps next company officials would like to hold the IV line to my vein as they suck out more blood for services.
I truly hope that fans of The Andy Griffith Show or The Daily Show or SpongeBob SquarePants call Time Warner to let them know what you think.
I think what has had me hooked is that I do love the DVR box simply because I am work so much, that it makes sense to record shows to watch in my free time. I am also hooked on having the Roadrunner.com e-mail address. Before cable, I had dial-up Internet, and lets just say without quality high-speed Internet, much of the Internet is off limits because of the slow speed. Last, I really do enjoy having unlimited long distance, which only cost about $40 a month. I dont have many people that I talk to across the country, but when I do, I like to talk. If I switch to just cell service, Ill have to constantly watch my minutes. And for me, I just rather prefer talking on a home phone to my cell. My cell is sometimes unreliable and hard to hear.
But after today, I may have to rethink what I am willing to put up with. Im sure if I search hard enough, I can find comparable service for a much better price.
Maybe if everyone in Mount Airy looks around, perhaps Time Warner would change its tune.
Mondee Tilley is a staff reporter with The Mount Airy News, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.