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What happens when two of the most hated pay TV companies say they’re merging?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by sparkyscott21, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. sparkyscott21

    sparkyscott21 Moderator Staff Member

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    As a blizzard hammered the east coast on Thursday morning, news of a pending deal that could see Time Warner Cable merge with Comcast hammered pay TV subscribers across the country. The two national TV, Internet and phone service providers are regularly ranked at the very bottom of the industry when it comes to subscriber satisfaction, and consumers had strong reactions when they learned the two giants intend to merge. How strong? According to one report, they likened the unholy union to the Death Star in “Star Wars” and the evil Eye of Sauron from “The Lord of the Rings.”

    “Consumers weren’t buying the assertion of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts that the combination, which will have 30 million TV and Internet subscribers, would be ‘pro-consumer and pro-competitive,’” AP reporter Ryan Nakashima wrote. “Using a contorted logic, the two companies are expected to argue to anti-trust regulators that the fact they don’t directly compete against each other in many parts of America shows the deal won’t reduce competition and therefore should be approved.”

    That logic is likely among the causes of consumers’ outrage. There’s already barely any competition in the marketplace, so why not ensure that things stay that way?

    “It’s almost subconsciously built into their business model that they don’t have to worry so much you’re going to leave for a competitor,” America Customer Satisfaction Index managing director David VanAmburg told AP. “It’s definitely a big factor.”

    Meanwhile, some industry watchers expect the merger to be scrutinized by regulators, who may have trouble finding ways to convince even themselves that a deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable would be in consumers’ best interest.

    “I think hopes of a rapid approval of this deal are greatly misspent, and that it may take a ringing Republican victory in the 2014 mid-terms for it to gain traction,” Sector & Sovereign Research analyst Paul Sagawa wrote in a note to clients. “If it were me, I would only approve it with a firm regulatory framework that requires broadband network investment, ensures open competitive access into and out of the network, allows 3rd party consumer equipment to connect directly to the internet and to front TV service from the carrier, and that assures service pricing in line with competitive market levels. Then again, we’re talking about Washington, so who really knows what will happen.”





    2-14-14
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  2. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    Wow!

    ... they likened the unholy union to the Death Star in “Star Wars...

    And I thought our discussions here were getting a little heated! I had no idea.

    Thanks

    Carl
     
  3. zim2dive

    zim2dive Active Member

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    Sad thing is that for us TWC customers... Comcast would be a step up (at least on the broadband side, which is all I use TWC for)
     
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  4. ericd

    ericd Active Member

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    LOL, very true.

    Lately I've been thinking a lot about doing the same as you. I've been looking at Dish and Direct TV for my cable and keeping TWC for broadband. What do you use for your cable content?
     
  5. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people hate TWC and Comcast, I don't doubt that. Apparently many millions also like the service and products provided by both companies, why else would the companies be two of the largest cable TV providers and broadband providers? I know I wouldn't do business with Comcast if I wasn't happy with the service and value, I have several other options and so does probably better than 90% of Comcast customers. I am not accepting the company is doing a poor job of providing service, if it was, it wouldn't even be in business much less about to become the largest pay TV company in the country if the TWC merger goes through.
     
  6. Scuzzo

    Scuzzo Active Member

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    well, I accept comcast is doing a poor ass job.. i have experienced the bad customer support myth... and i have seen my comcast bill grow like a well fed hog, fattened by.. ehhh.. what ever... it seems to me that some folks just like to take a contrary view to be different... so... it is what it is... but i am much more likely to believe the horrid customer support stories because i have experienced the ninth layer of hell, so much so that the last bill increase of 50 dollars per month... caused me to cut ties right then and there... if you are big enough you dont really have to care because your customers get numb to the fact that the bill is increasing every other month... its just more easy to accept the screw job then do anything to change it.... but your still being screwed by the big cable company.. like i said get two huge dinosaurs or a company to form up... and they will be big enough not to give an F.. i hate comcast,, to any one who is tired of comcast... just cut the cord its a great feeling... but if comcast is the only game intown.... if all other competition is beaten down by the size of the beast then just think how tough a market it will be when they combine with TWC... its almost a Ma Bell monopoly .. i cant see this good for any one... its a profit motive its not about better service... its about stamping out competition..
     
  7. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Another person continued to use Comcast but hated the service? Why would anybody do that? I know I don't voluntarily use services I don't like and you think I am contrary, the norm is for everybody to continue to use a service they don't like? Hilarious point of view, I am waiting for an explanation for people using services they don't like, I just don't think it is happening. The many millions of Comcast customers must be happy or they wouldn't be using the service is the only explanation I can come up with. I know why I use the service, it works as advertised and is price competitive with the other options.
     
  8. Scuzzo

    Scuzzo Active Member

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    wow, you just dont get the whole thing... here let me spell this out... if Comcast is the only game in town... it will not matter how bad the service is... and there is no motivation for comcast to improve the service... because..
    Yes? they are the only game in town... its easy to jump if you have choices.. if you have no choice. and dont or cant take advantage of dish or what ever.. then that jump is a bit more difficult.. and just google or reasearch or any thing and you will see that comcast customer service is not sterling... your may be... but i bet for ever one who like there comcast experience there are 3 or 4 or more who are just tired enough to accept it, the will say well, its not great but what are you going to do? and with this next aquire... what was comcasts competition becomes.. comcast... the beast gets bigger.. with a larger pool of customers... they can throw resources to drive out other providers.... and after that... what is there motivation to become better at well anything... you may love comcast and were the bozo button and all that crap... but there are PLENTY of folks who have been will be screwed by C.... and i beleive them more then.. and i support their right to get on a silly little fourm and vent.. with out some one saying "your complaint has no merit" and with that said am done with this... i think my argument is valid enough....
     
  9. zim2dive

    zim2dive Active Member

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    can you spell m-o-n-o-p-o-l-y ? can you spell legislature-bought-and-paid-for? :) (ie. one municipality in NC created a Google Fiber caliber service a few years ago.. lawmakers quickly passed a bill prohibiting anyone else from doing so). I can either get slow DSL, or Roadrunner (or Earthlink.. who is just reselling RR).. not much choice. Ironically, I get better deals on my RR than the folks who bundle with TV.

    For TV, I've switched back and forth between Dish and Direct... with a mild preference for Dish.. I think both are better/cheaper than most cable offerings, altho cable usually comes with no commitment (or it used to anyway), altho I have to admit, fees for everything are going nuts, as the content providers keep jacking up the prices, and the Sat/Cable companies cave to the higher pricing (and happily pass it along to us) b/c the customers don't have the stomach to lose a channel for a few days.
     
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  10. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    There is no monopoly for pay TV or internet service. I have never once in my life lived in a place where I didn't have choices for TV service, I am 62 and have moved around. People whining about Comcast having a monopoly don't know the facts. Here in Little Rock we have AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Dish Network, and DirecTV as traditional pay TV services, I don't have to have any of those four, I can make Google TV and OTA deliver more than I can watch. Internet service, choice, value and high speed options are available and if Comcast and AT&T decided to price gouge or offer poor service, Google Fiber or some other option would step in, they aren't going to let that happen.

    The sky isn't falling, people can whine all they want. Are Comcast and TWC like crack cocaine or methamphetamine? People know they are bad and can't stop using it? I won't do business with companies that don't provide the service and quality I want and sure can't understand why anybody else would.
     
  11. zim2dive

    zim2dive Active Member

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    I'm only talking about broadband.. I really have only 2 choices... TWC (and Earthlink, which is the same), or rather slow DSL. U-verse says I'm not eligible.

    and I live in one of the top-20 (10?) techy areas of the country.
     
  12. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    If you don't have several options now, this doesn't change your situation, just puts Comcast in place of TWC. Things could get better is how I would look at it since Comcast darn well better have their act together if this enormous investment is going to pay off, Comcast can't force people to pay for internet and TV, they have to choose to use Comcast. I seem to be in the minority here but I don't believe people are going to use the service if it isn't high quality and a good value. About a year ago I saw on the internet that Comcast was offering customers in some markets a great short term promotion on 50Mbps internet and a basic cable TV package plus HBO, I read about it and thought if they offer that here, I am going to take it. They did offer it last month and I took it. I get to decide what services I use and after living in Little Rock 8 years, we have used Comcast about 4 years, the other 4 better deals were elsewhere.
     
  13. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    Well, I've finally lost interest in this topic & this forum through boredom & a growing sense of disbelief in many of the posts here. None of this makes any sense. Folks either keep advising members to invest in a dead platform or worse, refuse to believe their own hands on experience of the various Google TV devices & TVs.

    Others seek to invalidate cable & broadband subscriber experiences in areas of the country they have never been. It's beyond ludicrous! Or they vociferously defend GTV as working for them by their own diminished expectations. When someone points out that GTV lacks in a certain function that even the most basic streaming device can perform, they answer by saying they have no need for that function.

    And lastly there is the Google TV Fanboi post. A frighteningly fanatical approach that bears no resemblance to present circumstances. Always the hope & prayer that Google or the manufacturers will do exactly the opposite of all evidence to the contrary. Blind faith is their mojo. Facts are the enemies of these cult-like obsessives, easily ignored as they post diatribes supporting GTV and attack, yes ATTACK, anyone trying to conduct a meaningful discussion about the current state of affairs of this platform.

    This forum has devolved from a pertinent source of help to Dante's 9th circle of Hell.

    Get real...

    Take Care

    Carl
     
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  14. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Comcast isn't the only game in any town I have ever lived in and I am not aware of any city where that is the case and this sure doesn't change that. Comcast will replace TWC in the cities TWC operates in. Comcast offers only optional services, people can choose to use the service or not use the service and the only reason I would ever use Comcast for anything is if the service worked as promised at the price promised, period. You seem to think people are idiots and will use subpar services.

    Name one city where there are no choices for TV other than Comcast or will be if this merger goes through. Name one city where there are no options for internet other than Comcast or will be after this merger goes through. Even if there are any, Comcast needs to provide a level of service that will prevent Google Fiber or other competitors from moving in.
     
  15. Scuzzo

    Scuzzo Active Member

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    troll...
    no,, i refuse to be baited by some old guy on the interwebs who,,, well i just think is a bit of a D@#$... I hope you win this internet trophy... or get laid soon or something good happens..
    because frankly im tired of hearing about how your "This meets my needs" prattle... your opinon is just not relevant... just some old guy sparing on a forum.. trying to win some silly argument... well.. ok you win... kinda sad that you hold this as some kinda importance... mho... GTV is a dead platform, and this whole place should be formatted out of existence.. DERP!!! now go polish that trophy... be sure to show the kids... I WONZ ALL THE INTERNETZ!!! good on ya... Tivo man!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  16. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    Geeze Chris

    I think you need to reread your response to Scuzzo's post. You've just switched positions in the same paragraph. Competitors are supposed to be able to move in by legal means. That is the difference between a business model that promotes choice. Providing a level of service doesn't seek to prevent Google Fiber or other competitors from moving in. It makes their entrance into the area of competition null & void if the service Comcast provides satisfies the needs of their current subscribers.

    All else is monopoly...

    Carl
     
  17. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    So you can't name one city where Comcast is the only choice or will be the only choice after this merger?
     
  18. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    If you have any evidence this merger is illegal by all means point that out to our government. I have asked anybody complaining about this proposed merger to explain to me why people use Comcast, other than by choice. I know I have a choice to use other services but somehow people keep on repeating Comcast has a monopoly but nobody can name a single city where that is the case or will be the case after this merger. I assume you can't name a single city either since you haven't named one. Are Comcast customers just stupid and believe Comcast is the only choice? Are people psychics and believe that after this merger everybody is going to choose to use Comcast and all other competition will disappear?

    I don't know if the government will approve the acquisition or not, I think it is more likely to be approved than not approved but only time will tell. It sounds like the people complaining already don't like TWC and already don't like Comcast so I am not sure why this is worthy of more complaints. There are a lot companies I don't like and a lot of services I don't like and I will be darned if I will use any of them unless the services and value offered meet my requirements and I thought that was the norm.

    I have reread my post and read your last two posts, I thought you were done whining about this topic and were going to move on but if you can offer evidence to support your points as I requested, go ahead. If you can show me where I switched positions in my post, I would like to see you explain that.
     
  19. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    Wow!

    You really aren't trying to make sense. You're acting like a person w/an agenda.

    Too bad...

    Carl
     
  20. zim2dive

    zim2dive Active Member

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    I'd rather have Comcast *and* TWC competing for my business.. instead I am just trading one corporate over-lord for another. Whoever that is, they don't have to be "good".. they just have to be "not as bad" as the DSL option.

    My co-workers who have moved down from the great Socialist experiment known as Massachussetts laugh as we talk about the "deal" we got by calling TWC retention to get $15/month off our bill... so that the cost is now the same cost they had with no haggling, and only half the bandwidth they had. The "free" market isn't free when the local legislature is protecting the (very few) incumbent providers.

    Having TV is an expendable option for me (and we have more options for that, which is why I am on Satellite).. cutting the broadband cord really isn't... I use it for work.

    EDIT: for that matter.. any time I've seen a deal on dealnews, etc for broadband pricing I shake my head b/c it's so much better than what we can get... I've been trying to find a chart which shows broadband pricing vs. speeds for the US.. I have to imagine I simply we can't be doing much worse than TWC (for broadband and for cable TV.. thankfully we do have the satellite options for the TV side of things)... I really do think TWC has to be the very bottom of the barrel, at least for metro-type areas (ie. if we lived in the boonies, I might not expect as much.. I'm sure there are still some ppl stuck with SD)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014

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