What lessons should programmers learn from Time Warner Cable’s push to move networks like GSN, The Outdoor Channel and American Life to digital tiers? Networks better triple- check their contracts. One of the reasons these disputes are flaring is due to TW Cable’s desire to "manage their benchmarks." That means cutting certain networks’ distribution to better reflect what’s allowed in their contracts. For example, if TW Cable commits to put a network in front of 65% of its HHs, and that network is in front of 75%, then TW will look to cut 10%. For its part, TW Cable says it’s making its decisions based on the networks’ cost, programming investment and ratings. "We want to offer the highest quality and the widest choice at a reasonable and competitive price," TW says. As for the rumor that Carl Icahn’s deal with Dick Parsons dictated these moves, TW says, "That has nothing to do with this."

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