Friday, August 16, 2013

Time To Cut Losses? 

When is it time to cut losses and bow to what seems inevitable?  This is an issue facing Time Warner cable in its face-off with CBS.  Time Warner has dropped CBS from its transmission in a dispute over fees.  Angry householders have levelled a class action suit against Time Warner and others are abandoning cable for Verizon FiOs.  This doesn't include the reputation damage to Time Warner, loss of credibility and poor PR.  Time Warner doesn't seem to care at this time.  It wants to drive home to CBS that the network is being greedy in its charge for retransmission.   The two sides have appealed to the public through advertising, and appear to be locked into a long-term war with each side proclaiming it is the victim.  

Even if one assumes that CBS is over-charging, one has to ask if Time Warner will be on the losing end of the battle, especially if subscribers leave by the thousands.  To win the the PR fight,  Time Warner ought to be explaining to the public vigorously why it won't pay CBS what the network is asking.  It needs to position itself as a consumer advocate and not a greedy cable company.  It might well be doing this but the message has yet to get through.  The company can't afford to let up.


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