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Comments on news posted 2009-10-20 11:30:56: Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and nearly a dozen other pay TV carriers have successfully beaten back a consumer lawsuit that accused the companies of antitrust behavior for forcing customers to buy bundles of channels. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · next


castsucks

@sbcglobal.net

I hope the lawsuit over being forced to rent the box does no

I hope the lawsuit over being forced to rent the box does not end up like this.

jvanbrecht

join:2007-01-08
Bowie, MD

I could care less about the antitrust aspect

What bothers me is that I am paying for channels I have no use for, and will never watch. The sports channels are a big issue, I do not watch sports, its not that I hate sports, I just hate watching sports on TV, end of story. Why should I pay (and lets be honest here, my guess is that the sports channels make up a significant chunk of the content costs that your cable company is passing onto the customer).

The real issue, is that is cable went to a la carte, I would have maybe 20 to 30 channels. I do not watch the rest of the crap.

jvanbrecht

join:2007-01-08
Bowie, MD
reply to castsucks

Re: I hope the lawsuit over being forced to rent the box does no

Thing is, you are not being forced to rent cable boxes. Well some people may be, but atleast in the DC Metro area, you have the option for cable card, they just do not advertise it, you have to ask, and argue for it. With directv, well you can already buy the equipment.


SLD
Premium
join:2002-04-17
San Francisco, CA

1 edit
reply to jvanbrecht

Re: I could care less about the antitrust aspect

I'd have HBO & Showtime. Nothing else. But I have neither because Comcast wants to charge me $55/mo. for content I don't want to get those two channels. So Comcast gets $0 from me. And those channels get nothing either - they refuse to sell their current shows online.


Vchat20
Landing is the REAL challenge
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Columbus, OH

Content providers

While by no means are the pay tv carriers off the hook, they are not the only bad guys in this. Should also complain to the content providers as well who force both you and the carriers into either paying for large chunks of channels they own or 'take a hike'. Disney and Viacom are two that clearly come to mind and they both repeatedly like to put a stranglehold on the pay tv carriers to where they either have to put up with rate hikes and take ALL of their owned channels or get nothing at all. And this all filters down to the consumer.
--
I swear, some people should have pace-makers installed to free up the resources. Breathing and heart beat taxes their whole system, all of their brain cells wasted on life support.-two bit brains, and the second bit is wasted on parity! ~head_spaz

nnaarrnn

join:2004-09-30
Nitro, WV
reply to jvanbrecht

Re: I could care less about the antitrust aspect

The cable guys around here say that carrying ESPN accounts for 60% of their channel cost, which i'm sure is passed on to the customer, as we're forced to have ESPN.

CMoore2004
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Jonesville, MI
reply to jvanbrecht

Re: I hope the lawsuit over being forced to rent the box does no

With DirecTV you might be able to go to Best Buy and pay money for a receiver, but technically you're just leasing or renting it after you walk out the door. When checking out, you even have to sign something saying you understand that, and if you cancel your service, you are required to send it back.

Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04
reply to SLD

Re: I could care less about the antitrust aspect

We only ever watched 3 channels. The cost from Cablevision is $54 per month, and will go up to $80 per month when they go all-digital.

So I canceled my Cablevision service and they get nothing from me. I guess they'd prefer to get nothing instead of, say, $10 per month for 3 channels.

--
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH
reply to jvanbrecht
said by jvanbrecht:

What bothers me is that I am paying for channels I have no use for, and will never watch. The sports channels are a big issue, I do not watch sports, its not that I hate sports, I just hate watching sports on TV, end of story. Why should I pay (and lets be honest here, my guess is that the sports channels make up a significant chunk of the content costs that your cable company is passing onto the customer).
I agree. I just dropped my cable box because of all the headaches with it. Back to regular POCS (plain old cable service) that still comes with ~70 channels... most of which I do not watch. I notice that many of the shows I watch are online on services like Hulu or the network's website. When I get an apartment I do not plan on getting cable. Internet is just fine for me. I would even be willing to pay a premium to get more content online, but the companies seem to just want to push back on that. These companies need to face the facts: cable is slowly on it's way out and revenues are shifting to the internet. They either need to capitalize on it, step aside, or fail.
--

- "Techie" Jim


castsucks

@sbcglobal.net
reply to jvanbrecht

Re: I hope the lawsuit over being forced to rent the box does no

still forced to rent the $50-$100 cable card


Hpower
Roflmao

join:2000-06-08
Glendale, CA
reply to jvanbrecht

Re: I could care less about the antitrust aspect

Yea I don't even watch any TV. Don't have or need one at home. I have my computer for all the entertainment needs. I see enough TV at work already with all the negative news and useless channels.

There is only a few channels I watch which is history, discovery, and travel chanel.
--
The Internet is about to go down....it is actually.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to Bobcat79
said by Bobcat79:

We only ever watched 3 channels. The cost from Cablevision is $54 per month, and will go up to $80 per month when they go all-digital.
How so?

caco
Premium
join:2005-03-10
Whittier, AK

You want to see a real fight?

Let congress try to mandate that tv services need to provide a la carte services. Content providers will empy out their entire war chest trying to get that killed if it ever is attempted.

Anyone thinks that Disney is not going to link ESPN or Disney channel to everyother crap channel they have or that Viacom will not threaten to withhold Nick if you dont pick up MTV is living in la la land.

Content providers are in driver's seat because they know everytime negotiations are up they can just run a scroll saying that x channel will go dark on x day if evil cable/sat company doesn't fall in line with their $$$$$$ demands. Cable/sat companies immediately get thousands of phone calls demanding that channel stay on the air and everybody gets screwed. Happens every couple years.
--
»www.seabee.navy.mil


baineschile
2600 ways to live
Premium
join:2008-05-10
Sterling Heights, MI
reply to nnaarrnn

Re: I could care less about the antitrust aspect

said by nnaarrnn:

The cable guys around here say that carrying ESPN accounts for 60% of their channel cost, which i'm sure is passed on to the customer, as we're forced to have ESPN.
Sort of. Its ESPN, and all of its affiliates (espn2, espn classic, espn deportes, espnnews, etc). They account for about 30% of the programming costs. Sports channels in general (local sports networks, in my case, FSN; VS, big ten network, speed channel, espnu, etc) make up another 20% or so. So, basically, sports costs us a lot.


baineschile
2600 ways to live
Premium
join:2008-05-10
Sterling Heights, MI

Impossible until all digital

This wont be feasable at all, especially for cable, until there is an all digital lineup. There arent filters created for the Hz spectrum for single channels; and to do so, the cost would be so high, it would be something like $18/channel.


NOVA_Guy
ObamaCare Kills Americans
Premium
join:2002-03-05
reply to Vchat20

Re: Content providers

So I wonder what would happen if a major cable company like Comcast would just turn to Disney and tell them to take a hike? In reality, though, it's not like that will ever happen so it's probably a moot point.

I would love to have a choice in channels I receive via cable, satellite, etc. This would be the ultimate in competition. Then one would be able to tailor an entertainment package to exactly fit one's needs without having to keep all the useless crap (like CNN, ESPN, MSNBC, HSN, etc., etc.) that one never watches.
--
Nobel peace prize for Obammer... Now he's got one more thing in common with Arafat besides hating America. And he's just as succesful as Jimmy "the failure" Carter.

ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Trouble is brewing

They can keep fighting this all they want, but these content providers had better see the light soon that many people don't want all this crap that they have to pay for. I have Netflix, and I love the freedom it gives me. In fact, there are so many people at work who have it that I had trouble giving away free month trial cards a few weeks ago, and our outgoing mail basket is full of little red envelopes every Monday morning. Thing is, hardly any of these folks know that they can stream content to their TVs with a Roku box or other compatible hardware. Just wait until they figure that out.

And we're paying around $75 for our HD sat service with a DVR. I like it, but I find that, since we got Netflix streaming, we use it a lot less. I'd have to pay an ETF if I dropped it right now, but when our contract is up, I'm not sure what will happen.

The point is, cable and sat service is getting more and more expensive, the quality of programming, by and large, is dropping, and viable alternatives are appearing. Sooner or later, something is going to give. The studios and cable/sat companies can stick their heads in the sand all they want, but change is coming.

Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04
reply to fifty nine

Re: I could care less about the antitrust aspect

said by fifty nine:

said by Bobcat79:

We only ever watched 3 channels. The cost from Cablevision is $54 per month, and will go up to $80 per month when they go all-digital.
How so?
I'd need 3 boxes @ $6.75/mo each, plus Cablevision's hidden "iO Navigation" fee of $5.95/mo.

$54 + $5.95 + 3*$6.75 = $80.20.

I elected to cancel my service entirely, so now I pay Cablevision $0. Dolan can put that in his pipe and smoke it!

--
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to baineschile

Re: Impossible until all digital

And many cable systems are moving in that direction right now, and the two DBS companies have been there since they launched around 15 years ago.


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to caco

Re: You want to see a real fight?

said by caco:

Anyone thinks that Disney is not going to link ESPN or Disney channel to everyother crap channel they have or that Viacom will not threaten to withhold Nick if you dont pick up MTV is living in la la land.

Content providers are in driver's seat...
You're exactly and that (the content providers) is the source of the problem, not the cable or satellite companies. This group sued the wrong people.

cornelius785

join:2006-10-26
Worcester, MA
reply to jvanbrecht

Re: I could care less about the antitrust aspect

I'd love to have an 'a la carte' tv system. i wouldn't hesitate to drop every damn sports channel, music channel, or any other channel i don't care for. i turn the tv off (assuming i'm controling the remote) before i tune into some sports show/channel/whatever.


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
reply to ISurfTooMuch

Re: Trouble is brewing

I wholeheartedly agree. I won a Roku box a month ago and signed up for Netflix to use it. I have a 6 year old and 2 year old and they love the Roku. They even ask to watch it over normal cable.

If I canceled cable today, I'd save almost $70 a month. That would be enough to pay for Netflix, two new DVDs every month and still have plenty of money to spare. Yes, I would miss some of the shows that I can only watch on cable TV, but I've got to ask myself if those shows are worth paying $70 a month. Right now I'm not so sure that the answer is "yes."
--
-Jason Levine
Support a children's charity. Buy a calendar and/or a photo book. Shooting For A Cause


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to castsucks

Re: I hope the lawsuit over being forced to rent the box does no

said by castsucks :

still forced to rent the $50-$100 cable card
Not really. Some cable companies allow you to buy them.


mod_wastrel
iamwhatiam

join:2008-03-28
kudos:1

Bundles = POS

But bundle vs. a la carte being an "antitrust" issue? I don't see it. I canceled cable a long time ago because I couldn't get only the channels I want (to not pay for the ones I don't want, and not "subsidize" those I don't want for everyone who does--ESPN et al).

The Internet is my "a la carte" now, though I expect every ISP that also provides TV service (Comcast, at&t, Verizon [FiOS]) to do everything it can to void that capability as soon as it can. "TV" is such a small part of my day anyway. So, if bundling is my only choice for channels, then I'll pass.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to Bobcat79

Re: I could care less about the antitrust aspect

said by Bobcat79:

said by fifty nine:

said by Bobcat79:

We only ever watched 3 channels. The cost from Cablevision is $54 per month, and will go up to $80 per month when they go all-digital.
How so?
I'd need 3 boxes @ $6.75/mo each, plus Cablevision's hidden "iO Navigation" fee of $5.95/mo.

$54 + $5.95 + 3*$6.75 = $80.20.

I elected to cancel my service entirely, so now I pay Cablevision $0. Dolan can put that in his pipe and smoke it!

You do not need cable boxes for digital service. All you need is a TV with a digital tuner that supports QAM.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to baineschile
said by baineschile:

said by nnaarrnn:

The cable guys around here say that carrying ESPN accounts for 60% of their channel cost, which i'm sure is passed on to the customer, as we're forced to have ESPN.
Sort of. Its ESPN, and all of its affiliates (espn2, espn classic, espn deportes, espnnews, etc). They account for about 30% of the programming costs. Sports channels in general (local sports networks, in my case, FSN; VS, big ten network, speed channel, espnu, etc) make up another 20% or so. So, basically, sports costs us a lot.
If that's the case, I'm paying a lot of money for nothing since I don't watch any sports except the superbowl and that's at a friend's house not mine.


JTRockville
Data Ho
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-28
Rockville, MD
reply to baineschile

Re: Impossible until all digital

True, you need an all digital system. But in countries that have a la carte selections, the price low:

said by John McCain and Kevin Martin, »fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/a···54A1.pdf :
Make Cable Go A La Carte
As Published in the Los Angeles Times on May 25, 2006


...

Real-world examples illustrate the benefits of greater choice and more competition coming through our TV sets. In Hong Kong, viewers can select and pay for only the channels they want. A family that wants to watch sports, movies, news and children's programming can receive 15 free channels plus a selection of 11 additional digital channels (including ESPN, HBO, CNN Headline News, National Geographic Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel) for only $27.50 a month. To get a package that includes those channels in Washington, the cost is $82 per month — almost $1,000 a year. That's quite a difference.

Similarly, in Canada, digital subscribers can buy channels individually or enjoy significant savings on a "5 pack," a "10 pack" or a "15 pack" of their own choosing.

...


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to baineschile
said by baineschile:

This wont be feasable at all, especially for cable, until there is an all digital lineup. There arent filters created for the Hz spectrum for single channels;
Yes there are. They are called band stop or notch filters.

hsdguy

join:2001-06-17
Plymouth, MA

REALLY?

Did the American people think that they would have won against these companies?

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to fifty nine

Re: I could care less about the antitrust aspect

Oh, his bad. Maybe he should go out and buy 3 new TV's to support this?

By him saying he "needs" 3, I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he knows what he is talking about when it comes to his hardware.