Atlanta -- Citing the need to rein in rising
programming costs, Cable One Inc. has put some 70 satellite-distributed networks on
The Washington Post Co.-owned MSO wants to cut back to 37
networks, which will comprise a core package available to all 650,000 subscribers, with
each system choosing another three networks locally. It hopes to wrap up negotiations by
The carrot: Remaining networks will have the chance to pick
up Cable One systems they didn't reach before. The stick: More than 30 networks will
lose the Cable One subscribers they have now.
Cable One CEO Thomas Might said the main reason for taking
this unusual approach is simple: "To control programming costs. Programming costs are
absolutely out of control."
Might went on to say that recent decisions by Coaxial
Communications and TCA Cable TV Inc. to replace Country Music Television with Great
American Country -- largely for cost reasons -- were important signals to other
programmers looking to raise their fees. "There are pressures," he said,
"and there have to be counter-pressures."