Variety’s John Dempsey writes about the cable news carriage wars that could play out in the near future as new fees are negotiated…(via TVNewser)
Channels such as CNN and Lifetime are ubiquitous in the cable world but are watched during an average night by relatively few of those subscribers. Nielsen may take a seat at the bargaining table as ratings begin to play a bigger role in operators’ willingness to drop nets if they make exorbitant demands — leaving subscribers caught in the middle.
For example, CNN, hammered in the Nielsens by Fox News over the past few years, will face some stiff resistance from operators when the current deal expires because the ops are resigning themselves to gigantic increases from Fox. Scenarios like CNN vs. Fox News will play out across the cable-TV landscape.
Cable operators and satcasters “are preparing for trench warfare to keep cable-network rate increases to the low single digits,” says Boston-based media consultant Rob Stengel.