How does WOW! choose the channels it offers?
WOW! makes every effort to bring its basic cable customers a broad selection of popular channels, basing decisions on customer feedback, Nielsen ratings, and input from local WOW! employees who speak with customers every day. We also hope to offer your family more control over the value you receive based on specific interests – like sports – where you could decide whether or not to subscribe to them. Finally, we want to boost our on-demand and on-the-go offerings so you can see more of the individual series you want -- when, where, and on whatever device you choose. Some programmers are willing to deny you that future and make your family pay more just to keep things the same.
Why does my cable bill go up every year?
We do our best at WOW! to keep costs reasonable. And where we have greater control over such items as employee wages and cost of operations, we manage with great efficiency. But many programmers believe they are entitled to more of your family’s hard-earned dollars. We believe loyalty is always earned and never entitled, and we become frustrated when programmers are willing to use your family’s loyalties to drive up costs without adding any additional value.
I already pay WOW! a lot for cable service – can’t you just cover the cost increases?
We take great pride in operating as efficiently as possible so that we can provide you with the excellent experience and value you deserve. WOW! typically absorbs some of the cost increases programmers demand. But cost is only half of the equation. If programmers keep demanding more and more for the same – or even less – then that’s resources WOW! cannot invest toward innovation and creating the next wave of products to enhance your family’s video experience.
Why shouldn't I switch to another TV provider so I don't have to worry about WOW!'s problems with programmers?
Unfortunately, that won’t help. Every major TV provider -- DISH, DIRECTV, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, and all of the major cable companies face the same situation. Each of these companies has contracts with the same network owners. When the contracts expire, networks raise their rates.
Why is sports programming so expensive?
As more people watch scripted series or other entertainment on DVRs or on-demand, sports is one of the few genres that remains live and immediate. So in that sense, the value of sports goes up. Yet the number of games has not changed dramatically. Teams and networks are carving them up into smaller and smaller channels – typically ones they own and control together. And they won’t allow even the most loyal fans to see them unless everyone else who’s not interested is also obligated to pay. That’s why choice is so important. We want fans to have every opportunity to see their favorite teams, while also respecting families who cheer for other teams or have entirely different interests.
What is retransmission consent?
WOW! won’t get rid of a local broadcast station -- the only one making that decision would be the station itself. Since 1992, television station owners have been authorized by Congress to grant or deny permission for a cable television provider to re-transmit their signals. This right is renewable every three years, and broadcasters’ demands for retransmission consent have been skyrocketing. The law also allows local broadcast network affiliates (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX stations) to prevent WOW! from offering a neighboring affiliate that carries the same national programming. If you think this is working against your family, you can express your concerns to your local Congressional representatives. The movement for local choice continues to gain momentum, and your voice certainly helps.
How are broadcasters different from cable networks which also charge a programming fee?
Broadcasters want to be paid like cable channels, but there’s an important difference: They’re broadcasters and their signals remain free to everyone, over-the-air. They also make most of their most popular shows available for free online. You can provide your family a second line of defense with a very simple, very inexpensive digital antenna. Broadcasters are required by law to provide signals strong enough to reach their entire community. WOW! is certainly willing to compensate broadcasters for the convenience of offering their stations in your channel guide and line-up, but customers should not have to pay a premium for programming that is available elsewhere for free.