Time Warner Bribes Partners to Keep Shows Offline

Cable provider even threatens to drop programming in retaliation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2013 12:30 PM CDT
In this Feb. 2, 2009 file photo, a Time Warner Cable truck is parked in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

(Newser) – Cable companies must be terrified of cord-cutters, because they're playing hardball to try to keep shows offline. Time Warner and other "pay-TV operators" are offering media companies higher payments if they'll keep their content off of web video services, and even threatening to drop networks that don't fall in line, sources tell Bloomberg.

Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt essentially said as much yesterday at an industry conference, saying that the company "may well have" contracts with a "prohibition" on web distribution. In other cases, it may require that companies offer Time Warner the same deals they give web providers. "This is not a cookie-cutter kind of business," he said. The practice is raising some eyebrows; in a report yesterday, an analyst called on the FTC to investigate whether it violates antitrust laws. (Read more cable TV stories.)

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