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May 20th, 2014
11:50 AM ET

Customers give dismal scores to TV providers

By Brian Stelter, CNN

Note to Comcast and AT&T executives: you've got your work cut out for you.

Subscriber satisfaction with cable and satellite TV providers has slumped across the board, according to a new American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey of tens of thousands of people.

Of the eight providers studied, the worst performer is Time Warner Cable, the cable company that's merging with Comcast. The second worst is Comcast. They were in the same order last year — but this year, their scores are weaker.

Time Warner Cable has a score of 56 and Comcast has a score of 60. The industry average is 65.

The data was released in a report Tuesday, two days after AT&T announced a plan to acquire the biggest satellite provider in the country, DirecTV.

FULL STORY...

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Filed under: AT&T • Comcast • Time Warner Cable
April 13th, 2014
01:38 PM ET

Money and power

Senator Al Franken discusses his opposition to the proposed merger between Comcast Time Warner and the influence that lobbyist money might have on the senators' scrutiny of the deal.


Filed under: Blog • Comcast • Time Warner Cable
February 16th, 2014
12:49 PM ET

The monster Comcast deal

Brian Stelter and Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron analyze Comcast’s proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable; will it benefit or hurt consumers?


Filed under: Blog • Comcast • Reliable Sources • Time Warner Cable
TV blackout wars in a quiet period
December 27th, 2013
01:05 PM ET

TV blackout wars in a quiet period

By Brian Stelter, CNN

The TV industry has a holiday tradition straight out of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas:" End of year feuds that lead to channel blackouts for viewers.

But this year, everybody is playing nice. (It's almost as if the hearts of television executives have collectively grown three sizes.)

At issue are the carriage fees that distributors like Comcast and DirecTV (the biggest cable and satellite providers in the United States, respectively) have to pay to carry cable channels. They regularly have to re-negotiate fees with programmers like The Walt Disney Company, which controls ESPN and ABC Family, and Viacom, which owns MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

Talks tend to get heated toward the end of the year - but evidently not this year. On Tuesday, Time Warner Cable and Viacom announced a deal a full week before the Jan. 1 deadline.

A number of other high-stakes negotiations have also been completed in recent weeks. An informal survey of industry representatives indicated that last-minute blackout threats were unlikely this New Year's Eve.

Distributors and programmers tend to keep their deals a secret - for competitive reasons and to cultivate a "no drama" perception in the industry.

Read more of Brian's article online here.

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Filed under: Comcast • DirecTV • Reliable Sources • Time Warner Cable • Viacom