Disney vs Time-Warner: Arguing Over Your Money

With yet another standoff looming over cable fee rights, Disney (ABC/ESPN) and Time Warner Cable have decided to go public with their argument over who is to blame for your rising cable bill.

The agreement for Time Warner to air the Disney-owned properties (including all the ESPN channels as well as ABC) ends September 2nd. Negotiations over just how much TWC should pay for each channel per subscriber has turned nasty, with each side putting up websites to push their side of the story.

Time Warner has its website which says 40 cents of every consumer dollar already goes to programmers.

Meanwhile, Disney counters with its own website that says that TWC isn't being fair in negotiations and if you suddenly lose your Monday Night Football or ESPN's slate of college games on September 2nd, don't blame Disney.

Of course the bottom line is eventually going up for both sides. Right now the average cost of cable per month is $75 across the U.S.

Consumers are already paying for each of the cable outlets on their service, whether you watch them or not, usually just pennies per month. For instance the Food Channel costs distributors about 8 cents per month right now.

ESPN, the Big Dog in this game, is getting on average $4.10 per subscriber per month, which is why they can pay billions to the SEC and outbid everyone else for the BCS. That monthly stipend is easily the highest payout for any channel.


In order to help for pay for new programming such as the BCS, ESPN would like to charge carriers $5 a month for each subscriber.

Both sides know how this will end -- usually with a last-minute agreement to "save" consumers from having some of their favorite channels struck off the cable. This current fight is just to see who can do the best job of damage control over rising rates.

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