Lawsuit Hopes Dying Cable TV Fees Might Be Resurrected In the Form of Local Streaming Fees

Harley Quinn’s rage needed for idea that local government fees be passed along to streaming

Back in August of last year, we posted a story on: New Boston, Texas Small Town (and other cities) Suing Netflix, Hulu and Others Over Local Utility Fees.

Here with an update of sorts: the battle seems only to have expanded. If it wasn’t class action time six months ago, it is now.

But let’s keep it real. What is this about, really?

Local governments smelling money in the air from big tech companies. Since they are seeing decreased fees from Cable TV providers, it’s time to look at the new source of revenue: streaming!

With little precedent, it may take years to understand the implications of these cases. Companies will likely appeal any decision, and unless the Supreme Court takes up one of the cases, states will be covered under a patchwork of lower court rulings. But an increasing number of local governments see these fees as an opportunity to recover money from the services that are slowly replacing cable TV. “They need money now, and they’ve got this law on the books,” says Bergmayer. With the status of streaming services in flux, they’ve settled on an optimistic approach: “let’s go for it and see what happens.”

The fight to make Netflix and Hulu pay cable fees – The Verge

I’m not on the side of local government on this one. Neither should anybody else that wants to see their monthly streaming fees stay low and simple. Given, Netflix and HBO Max are getting up there, but most of them are $10/month or less.

This also reminds me why I’m not a big fan of Cable TV: it’s those onerous fees, the bulk packaging of way too many garbage channels that we never watched and the painful reminder that new customers were treated to better deals than existing customers — constantly.

It’s one thing to run a promotion for brand new members, but shouldn’t loyal customers who don’t cancel and return repeatedly be treated to a better lower price over time? This would improve retention and reward customer loyalty. Instead, companies act like new customers are more important. They’re not. They’re probably less important than those who pay month after month, year after year for the service and never cancel.

I digress. A big, loud “Boooooooooo!” to this whole local fees being passed along to streaming. Glad to see Netflix and Disney (a la Hulu) lawyers are in defense mode circling this one. Deep pockets fighting back …

Evel Knievel vs. Disney’s Duke Caboom Legal Dispute

Am no legal scholar here, but the similarities between the two pictured above are undeniable.

Does Duke Caboom in Toy Story 4 infringe upon Evel Knievel? That’s the question Evel’s son, Kelly, and his company are asking the courts to decide in a lawsuit aimed square at Disney.

A company called K&K Promotions just filed suit against Disney, Pixar and whole a bunch of their subsidiaries … claiming the stuntman driver toy that Keanu Reeves voiced in the latest ‘Toy Story’ flick is a clear and obvious rip-off of the legendary American motorcycle daredevil.

Disney Sued Over ‘Toy Story 4’ Duke Caboom Resemblance to Evel Knievel

We’re guessing the likeness alone wasn’t what immediately triggered the lawsuit, but the toy that Disney made of the stunt cycle. There can only be one wind-up stuntcycle from a daredevil motorcycle, and that’s the classic Evel Knievel Ideal toy. Once upon a very long time ago, I had one of those badboys and it was more fun than any toy has the right to be.

When you start getting into the toy licensing business, it’s a whole other issue. There’s a series on Netflix right now covering just how big the toy business is for franchises and that’s something Evel’s estate can’t overlook.

Not sure why Disney didn’t just go all in and buy a license for Evel? Wouldn’t that have been even more exciting in Toy Story 4 to have an Evel Knievel daredevil toy in the movie? Talk about crossbranding galore.

No idea how this turns out, but when the courts are involved it can get expensive quickly.

AMC Network drops lawsuit against AT&T over alleged network unfairness

The Shudder promo code above likely doesn’t work any more, but you can find more

An update on the lawsuit between AMC and AT&T over alleged unfairness AT&T was showing its existing network over competing networks. The carriers have reached an agreement.

The Walking Dead parent alleged AT&T favors its own competing networks including HBO and TNT by insisting on “discriminatory” terms to renew affiliation agreements with AMC. AT&T had called the complaint “without merit” and insisted it treats “all programmers fairly.”

AMC Networks Request To Withdraw Complaint Against AT&T Granted By FCC – Deadline

What’s most interesting in the Deadline article is what AT&T says about AMC toward the end of the article.

“The cost to provide AMC Networks’ programming to our customers should reflect that AMC Networks’ shows have been declining in popularity as compared to their peers for several years.”

Ouch. Don’t know if AT&T is correct about the stats, but do know from a fan standpoint, I disagree on at least one area of AMC Networks.

AMC is the network behind Shudder, for that alone they deserve my respect vote. Shudder is an awesome, low-cost niche streaming service for horror fans. If you like horror and aren’t subscribed to Shudder, find yourself one of the many easily available promo codes (just do a Google search for “Shudder promo codes”) and check out a free month trial. With Halloween right around the corner next month, the timing is great.

We resubscribed to Shudder this week, making it the ninth streaming service we are currently subscribed to:

  1. Netflix
  2. Amazon Prime Video (as Prime members)
  3. HBO Max
  4. Disney+ (subscribed annually, mostly for our grandchildren, we hardly ever watch it)
  5. Peacock (premium subscription is free, since we are Xfinity internet customers)
  6. Shudder (resubbed new this week of 9/14)
  7. Hulu (will cancel once working through the movies & shows we’re currently watching)
  8. CBS All Access (contemplating dropping after Lower Decks, just not that much else there of interest)
  9. DC Universe (most likely dropping soon, but waiting first to see what this week’s big announcement is, see: )

Add all these subscription fees up and it’s pushing $75+/month. We can’t watch all these channels enough to justify keeping all, so we’ll drop the ones we’re watching least and return when something we really want to see on the channel returns.

Shudder from AMC, to get back to the article in question, is well worth subscribing to, especially in the fall, when that horror halloween witchy time of year is in full force.