Showbiz Sandbox 204: The Argument Over Broadcast Retransmission Consent Fees

September 9, 2013


After a programming blackout that lasted more than month Time Warner Cable came to an agreement with CBS over retransmission consent fees. Unless the 20-year-old retransmission consent legislation is revised or updated, the number of network blackouts will continue to increase. Unfortunately the real losers in all such disputes are consumers.

The Time Warner Cable-CBS deal was reached just as the new television season is about to begin. We’ll review some new series that have potential and are worth catching, as well as a few you might want to avoid.

Meanwhile, the book publishing industry was in the news last week with Amazon announcing plans to bundle e-books with the sale of traditional print copies, and a new startup hoping you’ll stop buying books altogether and simply rent them.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including declining attendance on Broadway over the summer, Bruno Mars heads to the Super Bowl and a major personnel change at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Vin Diesel’s ‘Riddick’ Opens No. 1 With $18.7 Million

Bold Play by CBS Fortifies Broadcasters

Will Time Warner Cable’s Failed Battle With CBS Change Anything? Understanding Our Reversal on Retrans Issue

The Disequilibrium of Power: How Retransmission Consent Went So Wrong & How to Fix It

Cord-Cutting Reality: Pay-TV Industry Loses 217,000 Subscribers,0,7983225.story

Broadway Grosses For Week of September 8, 2013

Tokyo Chosen As Host City For 2020 Summer Olympics

Summer Attendance Falls on Broadway, but High Prices Lift Sales Totals

Paramount Picks Four Chinese Actors for ‘Transformers 4’ Roles via Reality Show

Motion Picture Academy COO Ric Robertson Steps Down,0,4232372.story

Ric Robertson’s Academy Exit Represents Changing of Guard

Amazon Offers Readers Kindle Editions of Purchased Print Books for $2.99 or Less

Encouraging Readers To Sell Their Physical Books?

Oyster Launches Spotify for E-Books

Unlimited E-Books For Less Than $10 A Month


  • mgiltz

    I’m most excited by Amazon’s bundling offer — letting anyone who bought a hardcover book pay a few bucks and get an ebook as well. (Only certain books qualify.) I think every publisher should do this. Buy a hardcover and get an ebook and audio book bundled along with it — not as an excuse to raise prices but to make books more appealing. If they just want an ebook, you pay less. Heck, people pay less for ebooks already. Why doesn’t every publisher see books should be just as user friendly as music on CD and movies on disc?

  • Luis

    Hello, I don’t know if this is happening to just me, but the last episode can’t be downloaded from iTunes. Well, actually it looks like it downloads but it never appears in the podcast menu.

  • Luis, you are not the only one of our listeners to be experiencing problems with downloading or listening to the show on iTunes. In fact, I’m having issues with doing both myself.

    The issue seems to be intermittent and be caused by our podcast host. This has been going on for a couple of weeks now and we’ve spent countless hours trying to fix the problem. Obviously it’s time to switch hosting providers.

    May I ask if it’s every episode you are having problems with or just the last episode?

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

  • Luis

    Hello Mr.Sperling,
    I just had problems with the last episode.If I am not mistaken the number 204.
    Thank you for clarifying the problem. Now I feel a little better, although sad because I can’t download the show. I will listen it here.
    Sorry for my English, I am still learning.

  • Luis, your English is actually quite good. We were able to fix the download issue by uploading another version of the MP3 file. We’re not sure what “corrupted” the first file, but all episodes should be appearing and downloadable in iTunes now. Thanks for making us aware of the issue.

  • Luis

    Thank you Mr. Sperling. I listened it here but I am going to see if I can download it through itunes.