Verizon Communications is taking an unusually aggressive tactic in the cable wars with an advertising campaign that warns consumers they stand to lose some TV networks if they stick with Time Warner Cable, reports the New York Times.
The Verizon ads highlight the Sept. 2 expiration of Time Warner’s contract with Walt Disney, which provides networks such as ESPN and ABC, and remind viewers that millions of viewers lost part of the Oscars telecast in March because of a dispute between ABC and Cablevision, the story says.
“Count on ABC7 for the best programming. Count on FiOS for ABC7,” one full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times read on Saturday, while another ad in Florida’s St. Petersburg Times said, "You don’t have to wait to find out if you will keep your favorite shows. Switch to FiOS.” Verizon and Disney declined to comment, while a Time Warner spokesman said the company is continuing negotiations "in good faith," the story says.
The attack represents another shot in the battle for pay-television consumers, which is placing pressure on cable operators, the Times points out. Last year, cable’s share had shrunk to 62 percent market share from 72 percent six years ago. Meanwhile, telecom companies now have 5 percent market share, up from basically none six years ago, while satellite companies now has 33 percent market share, up from 28 percent six years earlier, the article adds.