Happy New Year from Game Show Newsnet!
Thanks for visiting!

SS Monday SS Tuesday SS Wednesday SS Thursday SS Friday SS Weekend SS Archives Primes Lineup About Us
InSites On the Buzzer Numbers Game State of Play WLTI Block Party Video Wall Replay News Archive Contact


Opinions expressed in the State of Play do not necessarily reflect those held by Game Show Newsnet as a whole.

Copyright Statement

No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. Copyrighted material appearing on this site constitutes fair use, and no challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

Anything For Money Part 1
January 8

Welcome to the first article of the new year in State of Play. And with the new year, we still have a very old problem - the recession. Everybody wants a rapidly disappearing pot of money. What to do about it? If you're contestants, you beg celebrities for it. If you're a series of cable channels, you charge 200% to one of the nations biggest regional cable companies.

Let's focus this week on the cable channels. Scripps has decided that they want to hike up their rates for many cable providers, chief among them Cablevision. According to Scripps, it's 'only' a few pennies, but according to Cablevision (who is the only group to actually show numbers), it's up from 25 to 75 cents, which would be a 50 cent, or 200% increase, for a total of around 2.2 million a month or around 25 million a year (give or take a few million). What this would mean is that Cablevision would pass the lack of savings on to the viewer to pay extra for HGTV and the Food Network.

With the departure of said channels for awhile (since neither side seems to be budging from their positions), what does this mean? If you're a game show fan and one of the 3.1 million in the Tri-State area affected, that means say goodbye to new episodes of HGTV Design Star, Chopped, The Next Food Network Star and Iron Chef (though WPIX was nice enough to air the Iron Chef Super Battle on Sunday). It also means that when you get the service back, you better hope to find the marathons of where you can catch the repeats of these episodes, since Scripps isn't going to stop airing new episodes just because 3 million people can't watch their programming.

Of course, the first question that I have is 'why now'? According to CBS News as of Friday, you currently have an (approximately) 17.3% unemployment rate in the Tri-State area, and with people struggling to make ends meet, those unemployed will be using their money on food instead of TV. Now Scripps can make the argument that HGTV is in the Top 10 in Primetime (which it is), but not in that important 18-34 demographic. Neither network is anywhere near the Top 10, while overall in non-Primetime, The Food network is 16th and HGTV is 17th in Ad-Supported Cable Networks. So a small raise of a few pennies? Maybe. A justifiable 200% increase? No.

Now let's look at the big picture. Cablevision is run by the Dolans, who also own Madison Square Garden. A lot of their revenue is generated by the Knicks (which are abominable) and the Rangers (who are struggling to get a playoff spot). With a total of 80 home games to generate revenues from, the revenue is just not there for the Dolans to be giving out increases. All entertainment revenue is down (which you would expect in a massive recession), and while Scripps may be looking to offset their own losses, asking Cablevision (and in affect the general population) to give them an extra 20 million plus in this sort of economy is astounding.

For Scripps to be that bold to make that sort of demand would be financially irresponsible for Cablevision to say yes to. But of course, they will eventually settle and get sort of what they want. The real losers here are us, the viewers, who not only miss out on programming, but will be paying more money for programming we are not currently watching. And although it won't affect Scripps' ratings from a national perspective too much, don't be surprised if a number of TV viewers change their habits and decide that Scripps programming needs to be Chopped.

Gordon Pepper will have more money matters next time. Meanwhile, e-mail him at gordon@gameshownewsnet.com.