The Evolution of Time Warner Cable Television
The story behind every single one of the Time Warner cable television companies’ services closely mirrors that of 20th century America. It begins nearly a century ago, with Emanuel “Manny” Kimmel, the son of Austrian immigrants who were naturalized sometime before World War I.
According to stories told by his relatives on Ancestry.Netscape.com, Kimmel spent his teenage years in the 1930s working in Philadelphia. According to Wikipedia.org, Kimmel became involved with the mafia around this time and continued his involvement and work as a bookmaker into the 1960s.
Information on Kimmel becomes less limited in the 1960s due to his business partnership with card counter, finance theorist and M.I.T. professor Edward O. Thorpe (www.edwardothorp.com). Essentially, Kimmel backed Thorpe’s applied blackjack research in the early 1960s, and the two made out like bandits. It was around the same time that Kimmel began the Kinney Parking Company, which parked cars and provided funerary services.
Time Warner Cable Television Companies’ Services: Overview
The Kinney Parking bought up several smaller, mom-and-pop funeral homes to become the Kinney Services Corporation, and it also began buying up other companies in no way tied to funerals or parking. In 1966, for instance, it merged with the National Cleaning Company to become Kinney National Services Inc. And in 1967 it acquired National Periodical Publications (later DC Comics), the Ashley-Famous talent agency and Panavision. Then, in 1969, the company dropped Ashley-Famous to avoid violating anti-trust laws when it bought Warner Bros.-Seven Arts.
Just a few years later, in1972, Kinney National was forced to spin off its non-entertainment holdings into after a scandal involving its parking business made the name “Kinney” toxic. What was left became Warner Communications Inc., and Warner Communications the company remained till it merged with Time Inc. in 1990.
Today, Time Warner is the parent company of not only Time Warner Cable, but also DC Comics, HBO, New Line Cinema, TBS, The CW Television Network, AOL, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, CNN and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc., among many others.
Essentially, this setup allows Time Warner to create a comic book property, turn it into a movie, build hype for the movie in the media, make a video game based on the movie, then show the movie on HBO to viewers who pay the company for cable access, and finally, create a cable-only spinoff series for a basic-cable station to which it rents access to its competitors while also collecting subscription fees from its TV service subscribers!
It’s a pretty smart setup... But then, what would you expect from a company whose founder backed one of the fathers of modern card counting?
Time Warner Cable Television Companies’ Services: Breakdown
Essentially, Time Warner Cable Television Companies’ Services can be broken into three groups: Production, distribution and delivery. Subsidiaries like New Line and Warner Bros. make movies you want to see; they then distribute these films through theater companies, and once each movie has had its day on the big screen, the company continues distributing it through HBO, which it rents out to cable and satellite TV providers.
Of course, this isn’t the end of the money train for Time Warner, though. Even if no cable or satellite provider were to pay the company for the ability to offer HBO, Time Warner can provide access to the channel on its own and charge TV viewers subscription fees for HBO on top of other standard TV packages like its Time Warner cable HD TV package. All told, then, you’ll often end up only paying Time Warner for every one of its movies you watch.
Time Warner Competitors: Showtime and Satellite Television
This system of the Time Warner cable television companies’ services being provided all together would give Time Warner a decided edge if it weren’t for the fact that all its major competitors have also done the same thing. As a result, Time Warner has competing networks like Showtime and satellite television providers, like DISH Network and DIRECTV, to contend with.
Naturally, every American wants the right to choose what he/she watches, so Time Warner is just as obliged to include Showtime in, for instance, its Time Warner Cable HD TV package as its competitors are to include HBO in theirs. For other conglomerates this works out roughly to an even trade. But this isn’t the case for some of the competing TV service providers. Both HBO and Showtime must find their ways into satellite television packages, or competitors like DISH Network and DIRECTV subscribers wouldn’t have the same channel selection as, say, Time Warner Cable HD TV subscribers.
And yet, the fact that satellite TV providers make relatively few of the channels they show hasn’t hurt them because DISH Network satellite TV and the associated DISH Network deals, are available anywhere in the U.S. Time Warner Cable, in contrast, is only available in areas where Time Warner has shared or exclusive access to a network of cable lines. And this, in itself, means that Time Warner has to split some of the profits with middlemen that it would otherwise have entirely to itself. Maybe this is why DISH Network is able to offer more channels for less. Remember, DISH Network has the best value and the best TV entertainment with the lowest all-digital price nationwide…every day! Switch to DISH Network today and see the difference.
Disclaimer: Please note that this article was written when the satellite TV provider DISH was branded as DISH Network. As of 2/1/2012 DISH Network has changed their branding name to DISH. Article post date: 08/26/2010.