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Oscars Gain Here; TWC Rate Hike Explained

Despite the complaints about the edginess or crudeness of host Seth MacFarlane and how long it took to get around to giving out the top awards, the local ratings for the Oscar telecast Sunday improved from a year ago.

The 3 hour and 35 minute program had a 24.6 rating on Channel 7, up slightly from the 24.1 it received in 2012.

That could be as much a testament to the popular movies up for awards as it was to MacFarlane. National ratings were also up, and significantly higher for the younger demographics that contained viewers who were more likely to be attracted to the creator of “Family Guy.”

The older demographics of Western New York make the Oscar gain more impressive here.

The viewing patterns here over the length of the program are interesting.

The program started with a 27.6 rating at 8:30 p.m. on Channel 7, kept steady at 8:45 when MacFarlane’s opening was still going on and rose to a high of 29.2 at 9 p.m. Then there was a steady decline.

Theo James

Theo James

WNYers started going to bed around 11 p.m., when the big directing, acting and best picture were starting to be announced. The program had a 22.4 rating at 11 p.m., slipped to a 21.2 at 11:15 and hit a low of 17.0 at 11:45 about 15 minutes before “Argo” was named best picture.

With viewership patterns like that, you may be asking why doesn’t ABC end the telecast at 11 p.m.?

We forget that much of the country watches in different time zones. The show ended at 9:05 p.m. in California. Besides, I’m guessing many WNYers DVRed the last hour and watched it Monday.

A week or so ago, Time Warner Cable announced a rate hike that it said averaged a 2.6 increase for about one-third of its customers who aren’t on promotional packages. It said the increases were needed because of increased programming costs. Remember, WNYers just recently began getting The NFL Network.

The details of exactly who was going to get hit hardest with the increase were sketchy at best. They finally arrived in the mail with my bill on Monday. I live in Buffalo and was told by TWC spokesman Joli Plucknette-Farmen that prices can vary by community.

It became clear from my bill that some of the people in Buffalo who can least afford a price increase – those with basic cable — will get a much bigger increase than 2.6 percent. Basic cable subscribers – who Plucknette-Farmen said are a “small, shrinking minority” — will see their bill go up 11 percent or $1.74 cents a month. Digital cable subscribers who aren’t on a package will see their rates go up 6 percent or $5 a month. Those with digital cable and phone, digital cable with internet, and digital cable with internet and phone will see their pages go up $3 a month if they aren’t on a package. DVR service is going up $1 if you aren’t on a package.

And if you are on a promotional package?

Here is what Plucknette-Farmen wrote me a week or so ago: “We encourage customers to contact us as their promotional period ends so we can help them find the right mix of services for their interests and budgets and the price of their services is based on that choice.”

Translation: I imagine your bill will go up by the above amounts as soon as the promotional period of your package ends. In other words, eventually it will hit more than one-third of TWC subscribers.

Minireview of “Golden Boy,” the CBS police drama starring Theo James (the British actor who was in one memorable episode of “Downton Abbey”), Chi McBride of “Boston Public” and Bonnie Somerville of “NYPD Blue” that premieres at 10 tonight on Channel 4: I am so not impressed and wanted to be because it comes from a former writer of “NYPD Blue.”

It is about an ambitious cop, Walter Clark, who becomes the youngest police commissioner in New York City history years after he learns police politics and methods from his older-wise, partner, Det. Roy Owen (McBride) while dealing with his problem sister. Somerville is very good playing  a tough detective who is partnered with Owen’s nemesis, Detective Arroyo (Kevin Alejandro). Told largely in flashback seven years before Clark became the Commish, the first two episodes are flatly-written and contain routine cases that “NYPD Blue” handled so much better. Clark is so obviously overeager and ambitious that he is annoying. However, McBride makes “Golden” as watchable as he usually does every series he is in.  Rating: 2 stars out of 4  

pergament@msn.com

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4 responses to "Oscars Gain Here; TWC Rate Hike Explained"

  1. Bob says:

    TWC raised the price of their Sports Package from 5.99 to 8.99 a few months ago, shortly after adding the NFL network. This method of “drip” pricing actually makes their actual year-to-year increase much higher than stated.

  2. Doug says:

    I made a rookie Time Wanrer cable DVR mistake. I recorded the Oscars, and not the show on after the Oscars, so I didnt get that last half hour of the Oscars.

    So, does anyone know why they cant program the DVR’s to record the actual show, rather than the preset time slot which everyone knows is not long enough.

    I consistently miss the last 30 seconds of every sitcom.

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