Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cinemoi contract dispute

I noticed in my satellite box guide yesterday, where the schedule for Cinémoi should have been, a message saying, "Cinemoi no longer available". There was nothing about this almost anywhere on the Internet, until last night, when going to Cinémoi's website revealed a pop-up message to the effect that DirecTV is evil incarnate for not wanting to pay enough in the way of carriage fees to keep Cinémoi going, which is why those big meanies toook the channel off of DirecTV. Well, they would put it that way, wouldn't they?

I'm not going to take sides in this, in no small part because I know next to nothing about what's going on behind the scenes. Each side is going to blame the other, and it's easy enough to understand both side's public statements: content providers (the cable channels) need to earn enough money to ensure that they can keep operating. The people who deliver the content, whether it be DirecTV in this case, or cable or even streaming services, don't want to be gouged any more than those of us viewers do. Sure, they all want to keep as much money in their pockets too.

The only thing I have to say is that this is why a la carte pricing of cable channels is such a bad deal. How many people are going to miss Cinémoi? And yet, it's the sort of channel that, because of its niche programming and lack of opportunity for "local" commercials, is one that's likely forced to accept lower carriage fees. Cinémoi, as far as I'm aware, doesn't have the backers necessary, in the form of other channels, to get cable and satellite systems to accept it as part of a package deal with a bunch of other, presumably more popular channels. If so few people know about the contract dispute, how many of them would have thought to subscribe to the channel if it were ofered on an a la carte basis? And for those who did want to, they'd have to pay a lot more.

Something tells me a deal is going to get worked out eventually. But it's still disappointing to see things like this happen.


Judy said...

We used to have a version of Cinemoi on cable in the UK and it was very good at one time but then cut back on its programming and suddenly closed down. I hope your channel reappears, but agree it is hard to get people to subscribe to single channels rather than packages.

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

I just read this article which guesses that Cinémoi probably won't be coming back.

It's a shame, since they did have some interesting movies, including a few I would have liked to blog about whatever next time they were coming up, like Kirk Douglas' The Juggler, or Van Heflin in Count Three and Pray.

And they were the only channel to air the hilarioudly dreadful Girl on a Motorcycle. TCM couldn't even get the rights to it when they had a month of Jack Cardiff movies back in January 2012.