Days ago I stumbled upon a recent dispute between Fox and Time Warner Cable. The basic idea of the dispute was that Fox wanted more money from Time Warner for carrying their channels and Time Warner didn’t want to. The whole thing ended up with publicity campaigns on both sides (Rolloverorgettough.com for Time Warner Cable and Keepfoxon.com for Fox) to make use of TV viewers’ support to raise their bargaining power. They eventually settled the dispute so viewers will continue seeing Holmer Simpsons munching on doughnuts.
It is interesting how Lauren Collins explained in The New Yorker how Time Warner Cable was basically using a forced-decision device since there’s a spectrum of other options available to them. Time Warner Cable could have just absorbed the price increases and sacrifice their profits. By running the Ad campaign, they’re signaling to Fox that they’ll not accept any changes to the pricing of the deal – either get paid the same or no more screenings of Fox programmes; effectively introducing a Morton’s fork. At the same time, like what Collins mentioned in the article, “The strategy in a nutshell: couch potatoes as human shields.” The company handling Time Warner Cable’s campaign, Purple Strategies is pretty amazing; they are basically specialist in positioning stand in public for organizations or political bodies in ways that allow them to maneuver themselves under different circumstances.
The incorporation of strategic movements in corporate lives is going to become increasingly common, which gives us more reason to check out Dixitt and Nalebuff’s Thinking Strategically or their newer Art of Strategy.