Bright House Networks is the sixth largest owner and operator of cable systems in the U.S. and the second largest in Florida with systems located in five states including Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and California. Bright House Networks serves approximately 2.5 million customers who subscribe to one or more of its video, high-speed data, home security and automation and voice services. The company also offers services spanning Internet, MEF-certified Metro Ethernet, WiFi, security, telephony, and video. Bright House Media Strategies, the advertising arm of Bright House Networks, offers businesses "advanced targeted advertising solutions"[clarification needed]. Bright House Networks also owns and operates exclusive local news and sports channels in its Florida markets.
Prior to 1994, some of the systems were fully owned by Advance/Newhouse under the names Vision Cable and Cable Vision (no relation to Cablevision in the NYC metro area), while in other areas, Bright House Networks is the successor to TelePrompTer Cable TV, Group W Cable, Strategic Cable, Paragon Cable, Shaw Communications and the Tampa Bay / Orlando Time Warner Communications (previously Time Inc.'s American Cable & Comm. Co. before the Time Warner merger) systems in Florida.
All of the systems now owned by Bright House Networks were owned by the Time Warner Entertainment - Advance/Newhouse Partnership. Under a deal struck in 2003, Advance/Newhouse took direct management and operational responsibility for the portion of the partnership cable systems roughly equal to their equity. Bright House Networks offers video, high-speed data, home security and automation and voice services. In addition, Bright House Networks operates two regional local news channels -- Bay News 9 in the Tampa Bay market, and Central Florida News 13 in the Orlando market. Bright House Networks has an extensive fiber optic network in the Florida area and uses it to provide commercial services including dedicated Internet access, VPN services, and private network transport as well as telecom facilities such as SIP trunking and PRI service.
Although Bright House Networks is now separate from Time Warner Cable, most of its carriage deals are still negotiated on its behalf by Time Warner. Thus, Bright House customers are affected whenever there are carriage disputes between TWC and a content provider, which has happened several times since in the company's history.
From its inception in 2003, Bright House's systems in central Florida, including Orlando, refused to carry Fox Sports Florida. This dated back to when the central Florida cable franchise was held by Cablevision, and then Time Warner Cable. As Bright House is by far the largest cable provider in central Florida, this left most of the Orlando area without most Orlando Magic games. The dispute ended in 2009, when Bright House added Fox Sports Florida to its lineup.
On July 9, 2012, Hearst Television removed its stations from Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks systems, when all parties failed to reach a deal. In the interim, WESH Orlando was replaced on Bright House systems in Central Florida with WBRE-TVWilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a station owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, while other Hearst stations on Bright House were replaced with other cable channels offered by Bright House. Nexstar complained that Bright House has used WBRE's signal outside their markets without permission, while Bright House was within its rights to use that station's signal as a replacement until a deal with Hearst was reached. According to Time Warner Cable, the dispute stems from Hearst's demand of a 300% increase in its retransmission fees. The substitutions lasted until July 19, 2012, when the deal was reached between Hearst and Time Warner.
In July 2010, ABC's parent company, Disney, announced that Disney is involved in a carriage dispute with Time Warner Cable for the first time since 2000 (Time Warner Cable was affected in that carriage dispute back in 2000). In Bright House-served areas, the dispute involved the Disney Channel, Disney XD, ABC Family, and all the networks of ESPN. Despite word of an early agreement on August 30, 2010, it was not until the evening of the September 2 deadline that an agreement was reached between Disney and Time Warner Cable.
In December 2009, the Fox Broadcasting Company announced that a dispute with Time Warner Cable could lead to Fox's owned and operated affiliates to be pulled from Bright House systems in the Detroit, Tampa Bay, Orlando and Gainesville markets, along with Fox's cable and sports channels in all markets served by Bright House. The carriage protests were announced shortly before Fox was to carry the Bowl Championship Series, which included the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. The dispute excluded Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and some regional sports channels, which are on separate contracts. Shortly before the 12 Midnight ET deadline on December 31, 2009, Fox granted Time Warner Cable and Bright House a brief extension during New Year's Day as talks continue, so that viewers would not miss the Sugar Bowl, though the other bowl games and the NFL lineup remained at risk. A settlement between the two parties was reached the evening of January 1, 2010, though no terms were disclosed; during the discussions that day, none of Fox's channels or stations were blacked out.
On December 31, 2008, Time Warner Cable and Viacom's MTV Networks had not agreed to renew any Viacom channel beyond the end of year. Therefore, Time Warner and Bright House Networks would have lost all 19 Viacom channels (including Comedy Central and Nickelodeon) starting on January 1, 2009. This blackout was narrowly avoided when a zero-hour deal was reached shortly after 12 Midnight ET on January 1, 2009.
On Aug 2, 2013 at 5pm, the carriage deal between CBS and Time Warner Cable expired, with no renewal deal being reached. Bright House Networks customers in many major markets lost access to not only the CBS broadcast channel but also cable channels FLIX and The Smithsonian Channel. (Some Bright House markets have separate deals with the local CBS affiliate, such as Orlando'sWKMG-TV, and continue to air local CBS programming.) Premium channels Showtime and The Movie Channel, which are also owned by CBS, were similarly pulled from the cable lineup, including the corresponding Video On Demand services. Bright House has claimed that CBS withdrew permission to air Showtime, while CBS has denied that and calls the blackout a "punative" measure by TWC.