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

(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.

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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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