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Many cable customers have questions about how Time Warner Cable puts together the packages of channels we offer consumers. Most don’t realize how complicated it can be. What does it all mean? The business of television can involve lots of companies before a show is viewed in a consumer home. Distributors like Time Warner Cable […]

Many cable customers have questions about how Time Warner Cable puts together the packages of channels we offer consumers. Most don’t realize how complicated it can be.

Video Content DistributionWhat does it all mean?

  • The business of television can involve lots of companies before a show is viewed in a consumer home.
  • Distributors like Time Warner Cable pay fees to content creators, TV networks and local stations for the right to distribute those shows to consumers.
  • Those content creators and TV networks can set certain rules or guidelines for how their shows and channels can be sold to end consumers, including which packages can contain their channels.

In addition to these business negotiations between companies, there are other forces that determine how Time Warner Cable can package channels:

  • Federal regulations define how Time Warner Cable can carry local TV stations.   Local over-the-air TV stations have the right to  either require that Time Warner Cable carry them  on a set channel number for free, or the local over-the-air TV stations can negotiate with Time Warner Cable for channel number, fees (which are ultimately paid by the consumer) and other conditions.  These rights were granted by the US Government to the broadcasters, as part of the TV station’s license to deliver free, over-the-air programming using the public airwaves.
  • State/local franchise authorities often require companies like Time Warner Cable to set aside a certain number of channels for use as Public, Education or Government channels.  These so-called PEG channels are programmed by local governments, as a condition for granting Time Warner Cable the right to do business in the local city or state.

So, package options are partially determined by the business negotiations between companies, and partially by regulations.  Learn more about how the business negotiations between companies affects the price consumers ultimately pay for video.

What about buying channels individually, or a la carte?  Learn More.