Cable Operators

Disgruntled Time Warner Cable Sub Switches To Dish Over HDNet

5/22/2009 3:13 PM Eastern

Time Warner Cable's move to stop carrying Mark Cuban's HDNet as of the end of the month has prompted at least one of the cable company's subscribers to cancel his service -- and immediately subscribe to Dish Network.

Chris Carey, a Los Angeles resident who is evidently a huge fan of HDNet's mixed martial arts programming, e-mailed a missive Friday to Cuban detailing his unhappiness with the cable operator's decision.

 Carey, who copied several Multichannel News staffers, HDNet and Time Warner Cable employees, and others, asked whether Cuban would be able to "close the deal" with Dish when that contract was up for renewal.

Cuban replied in less than an hour: "We just signed a new deal with Dish, so you are safe. Thanks so much for your support!"

 

Here's the text of Carey's original e-mail:

 

Dear Mr. Cuban,

 

I Want My MMA!

 

I had to jump through a few hoops this week to get it.

 

I've been a very disgruntled Time Warner Cable customer. I'll spare you the laundry list of customer service issues I've suffered through. It turns out that none of the issues were a true deal breaker.

 

Time Warner Cable's legal notice earlier this week that HDNet would be dropped from their channel line-up at the end of this month was that deal breaker. I finally pulled the trigger. On Monday evening, I called Dish Network and scheduled an installation appointment. It took some convincing to get my landlord to sign off on the installation-agreement form. (You have to know my landlord to understand why that is easier said than done.) I got the form signed, and I successfully made the switch to satellite yesterday. Today, I'm visiting my local TWC office to drop off both of their lousy Motorola DVR set-top boxes.

 

Alright, those weren't such bad hoops, but they have been enough of a hindrance to get me to tolerate frequent outages, constant pixelation, and an unreliable DVR. Sorry, I said I'd spare you the laundry list. Trust me, it is much longer than that.

 

Dropping HDNet was Time Warner Cable's last straw. I'm a huge MMA fan. If I'm going to pay a lot of money every month for television, the service provider must have HDNet. The first thing I do every Friday evening when I get home from a long week of work is tune in to Bas Rutten on Inside MMA. I pull all-nighters watching the live broadcasts of Dream and Sengoku from Japan. There is no way I'm going to miss the 'roid raging freak Jose Canseco get his ass handed to him by a 7" tall Korean freak show in the early morning hours of next Tuesday.

 

When asked why Time Warner Cable was dropping HDNet, Multichannel.com reported TWC director of corporate public relations executive Robyn Watson as stating "There's limited appeal for the programming."

 

I feel this statement is a bit shortsighted. HDNet broadcasts an extensive amount of the best non-UFC branded mixed martial arts programming. The sport is growing rapidly, and so is the audience. Do they understand that are dropping a revenue stream with excellent growth potential. Do the TWC executives not realize that even though HDNet doesn't carry UFC programming, they will be losing subscribers like myself that spend upwards of $50 monthly on UFC pay-per-view events?

 

Mr. Cuban, I'm not writing just to kiss your ass. I do have a question for you.

 

Are you going to be able to close the deal when HDNet's contract with Dish Network is up for renegotiation? I have no clue as to when your deal with Dish Network ends, and I signed a 2-year agreement as a new subscriber. Needless to say, the early termination penalty is fairly stiff.

 

September