[Standard] Playing hardball can make you look bad. Ask Time Warner.

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From: Adam Rifkin -4K (adam@XeNT.ics.uci.edu)
Date: Wed May 03 2000 - 16:00:35 PDT

Actually, this is a nice juxtaposition in The Standard's Media Grok
today. Both Time Warner's tantrum with Disney and Metallica's tantrum
with Napster's users show that there are no fine whines when media
players engage in cockfighting in public...

[Nice Metallica article, Keith. :]

> From Media Grok at http://www.thestandard.com/

> What Does Time Warner's Snit Mean for Its AOL Deal?

> Take a time-out from the nonstop media coverage of Time Warner's
> hair-pulling episode with Disney, and you may pick up an aroma of fear
> blowing in from Virginia. Because Steve Case & Co. must surely be
> asking themselves what kind of morons they've gotten themselves mixed
> up with.

> Let's take a minute to understand this morning's headlines: Just as
> AOL and Time Warner have been trying to convince the world that they
> would be responsible custodians of a Net and cable TV empire, Time
> Warner showed a remarkable lack of level-headedness. Miffed that it
> couldn't negotiate a cable renewal deal with Disney, Time Warner
> dropkicked the Mouse House's broadcast kid, ABC, from its cable
> network. On the channels on which ABC was supposed to air, Time Warner
> plastered the grade-school taunt, "Disney Has Taken ABC Away From
> You."

> The two declared a truce yesterday, with Time Warner putting the
> much-missed ABC back on the air for 3.5 million boob-tubers. But
> follow-up media coverage has homed in on the deal's Net-related
> ramifications. The Boston Globe beat other outlets to the punch with
> coverage yesterday that raised the question of whether Disney's fear
> of losing revenues to the Net ventures was really behind the Magic
> Kingdom's hardball negotiating tactics. According to the New York
> Times, Time Warner execs maintain that Disney made new demands after
> AOL announced the buyout. "Disney is gearing up to battle for its
> survival on the Internet, no kidding," former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt
> told the Washington Post.

> For its part, Time Warner was looking anything but benign. Its execs
> must have missed business school the day the teacher went over the
> basics of corporate fighting. Guideline No. 1: Never get into a
> pissing contest you can't win. Guideline No. 2: Who wants to win a
> pissing contest anyway? The execs fueled the media fires with
> statements like this one about Disney from Fred Dressler, Time
> Warner's senior VP for programming: "They were setting us up, that's
> the whole point." Disney hoped to use the ABC blackout to make it
> appear that TW was abusing its power and thus raise questions about
> the pending merger with AOL, he explained to the New York Times. Guess
> you played right into that one, didn't you, Fred?

> Strangely, no outlets reported asking AOL for comment on how the melee
> might affect its deal. But AOL execs would probably have issued a "no
> comment;" the air isn't exactly filled with the sweet smell of victory
> these days. - Deborah Asbrand

> Behind the Lines in Time-Warner vs. Disney War
> http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/123/living/Behind_the_lines_in_Time_Warner_vs_Disney_War+.shtml

> Blackout Of ABC Ends, For Now
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A57090-2000May2.html

> Heavily Pressured Time Warner Puts ABC Back on Cable, for Now
> http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/news/financial/disney-timewarner.html
> (Registration required.)

> A Public Relations Battle Made a Poor Substitute for Game Shows and
> Soap Operas
> http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/news/financial/disney-time-image.html
> (Registration required.)

> Time Warner Agrees t o Restore ABC Shows
> http://www.msnbc.com/news/401868.asp?0m=-14N

> ABC, Easy as MP3?
> http://www.msnbc.com/news/402081.asp

> ABC Back on Cable TV as Dispute Is Set Aside
> http://www.latimes.com/business/20000503/t000041591.html

> Disney's War Against Time Warner Signals Importance of Broadband
> http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/SB957307884766148005.htm
> (Paid subscription required.)

> Time Warner's Hardball Tactics Could Hurt Merger Plans
> http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-1806022.html?tag=st.ne.1002.thed.1005-200-1806022

> Time Warner Restoring ABC (AP)
> http://www.usatoday.com/money/mds021.htm

> ABC Back on Time
> http://www.variety.com/article.asp?articleID=1117781176

> ---------------------------------------------------------------------

> Metallica Names Screen Names

> Over the weekend, agents for the rock band Metallica logged on to
> Napster and captured the screen names of 335,435 fans who were
> offering the band's songs for download. The press seemed captivated by
> the image of the seasoned rockers trooping into Napster's headquarters
> bearing 30 boxes of printouts. Fans, meanwhile, were calling the
> heavy-metal band heavy-handed.

> CNET's John Borland first broke the story of this latest development
> in Napster's legal saga on Monday evening. CNET seemed the only outlet
> to identify the consulting company Metallica's lawyers retained over
> the weekend to collect fans' screen names.

> The New York Times turned in solid coverage (The San Jose Mercury News
> also picked up the Times story.) Matt Richtel and Neil Strauss pointed
> out that if Napster revokes the user IDs of the fingered Metallica
> fans, nothing prevents them from re-registering with new names.
> Richtel and Strauss got good soundbites from a disgruntled Rob Jones,
> founder of heavy-metal fan site KNAC.com: "They're (Metallica), the
> No. 1 fan of George Washington. They're just being the man."

> MSNBC's Lisa Napoli concentrated on fan reaction, and her coverage was
> nearly as colorful as the discussion on Slashdot. Napoli mentioned the
> spoof site PayLars.com (named in mock tribute to Metallica's drummer
> Lars Ulrich), which offers Napster-loving Metallica fans a way to send
> money to the band. (So far, the fans have cooperated to the tune of
> $211.)

> The Metallica-Napster saga got the attention of the Financial Times's
> man in San Francisco, but the FT coverage did little to advance the
> story.

> Several outlets added context by recapping news from other fronts of
> the MP3 wars. CNET gave some electronic ink to Rapper Chuck D's
> endorsement of Napster, and the New York Post broke an
> anonymous-source story claiming that MP3.com and the RIAA are talking
> around a figure of $100 million to settle their legal beef.
> - Keith Dawson

> Metallica on MP3-Swap Services: Kill 'Em All
> http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,14708,00.html?nl=mg

> Metallica Fingers 335,435 Napster Users
> http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-1798138.html

> Metallica to Try to Prevent Fans From Downloading Recordings
> http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/05/biztech/articles/03music.html
> (Registration required)

> Metallica Fans Remain Unforgiven
> http://www.msnbc.com/news/402572.asp

> Metallica Wants to Ban 335,435 Napster Users
> http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/05/02/0948200

> Rock Band Attacks Web Piracy
> http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT38TXPVR7C&live=true&tagid=ZZZAN4NOD0C

> Rapper Chuck D Throws Weight Behind Napster
> http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-1795578.html

> MP3, RIAA Spinning $100M Settlement
> http://www.nypost.com/business/3249.htm


Companies like AOL can take advantage of the CMGion network to give them more efficient global distribution of what they have on the web. -- David Wetherell

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