The Truth About Channel Negotiations
Why do disputes happen?
Grande, and all other multichannel TV providers, pay programmers (networks or TV station owners) a “carriage fee” per channel, per month, per customer. As contracts come to an end, we negotiate new agreements, most often with fee increases demanded by the programmer. Most of the time, you never hear about them. But sometimes, a programmer will demand a significant and often outrageous increase in their monthly fees. We believe it’s our responsibility to take a stand to help protect you from excessive fee increases.
Does this happen to other cable companies?
Yes. These kinds of increases and negotiating tactics also happen to other providers such as Time Warner, AT&T, Cable One, Suddenlink, DISH, DirecTV and others.
Why would a network say or imply that Grande is trying to drop their channel?
When a dispute over fee increases becomes contentious, the network or TV station owner may attempt to create misinformation and panic as part of their negotiating strategy. They may tell you Grande wants to drop, or is dropping, their channel. They believe they will increase their negotiating power by making this part of a public conversation in order to cause Grande’s TV subscribers to put pressure on Grande to accept their excessively high price increase.
Why doesn’t Grande just pay what TV stations and cable networks ask for so that I can continue to get my shows?
It’s our goal to provide you with great TV programming at reasonable rates. When the owners of TV stations and cable networks ask for more money, we negotiate with them in an effort to keep our costs, and therefore your costs, as low as possible. Imagine the impact on your household budget if we accepted these excessive demands for just one channel, let alone all the channels we offer.
Can there be a temporary loss of a TV station or cable network?
In negotiations with TV providers, channel owners will sometimes deny you access to their programming and then blame your TV provider. That tactic is an attempt to frustrate you and then have you complain to your TV provider. But the real motive behind it is to help the channel owner use you as leverage to gain huge fee increases that eventually lead to increases in your bill. When programming disputes occur, channel owners sometimes spend millions of dollars on newspaper ads, TV and radio commercials that tell you what you could lose if your provider were to drop certain channels. But at Grande, we are glad to keep channels on under our current contract while we negotiate until a new contract is in place.
If channels are temporarily suspended, what are my viewing options?
Much programming is now available on Amazon Instant Videos, Netflix, and iTunes as well as a few other online options. Programming from broadcast channels can be obtained free online or over the air with an antenna.
What Can I Do?
Write to your US Congressman or Senator to share your frustration and demand an overhaul of the 1992 regulation that allows programmers to demand these outrageous increases, known as Retransmission Consent.