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Comments on news posted 2013-07-25 14:35:51: Back in May, John McCain introduced the Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013. The Act would require that broadcasters provide channels on an a la carte basis to cable operators (and therefore you). ..

page: 1 · 2 · next

zod5000

join:2003-10-21
Victoria, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw

I like how this displays some knowledge of bundling....

Usually when I read about people complaining about high cable bills its focused on bundling and paying for a bunch of channels they don't watch. The anger and frustration over how expensive it is always seems directed at the cableco.

It's nice to see that government realizes that it goes beyond cableco's. The broadcasters will negotiate carriage terms that include bundling crappy channels with good ones. It lets them earn revenue on their less popular channels.

I like this bill. I wish we had something like it in Canada. I am surprised that the bill was introduce by John McCain?

Chuck_IV

join:2003-11-18
Connecticut

1 recommendation

This actually looks nice, but once the cable/broadcaster lobbyist machine gets fired up and starts tossing out the bribes to congress, this bill won't have a snowball's chance...


SHergenrader
Premium
join:2002-04-11
Shreveport, LA

1 recommendation

reply to zod5000
It always amazes me when I hear people complaining about how high their cable/satellite bill is but then when their cable/sat company stands up to these networks over higher fees they are furious towards the MSO and talk about switching to another provider. Switching doesn't help and will actually only make your bills higher since these networks are going to get their higher fees.


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

2 recommendations

Careful what you wish for

Sorry but too many people have this almost childlike delusion that al a carte will be this wonderful TV utopia. For most they will be very disappointed with the results. I'm probably one of the few that would actually benefit form this ad I think it's a bad idea. Not that the system doesn't need some tweaking. The old saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" applies very much to al a carte


FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

2 edits
reply to Chuck_IV

Re: I like how this displays some knowledge of bundling....

said by Chuck_IV:

This actually looks nice, but once the cable/broadcaster lobbyist machine gets fired up and starts tossing out the bribes to congress, this bill won't have a snowball's chance...

The latest on this bill:
»thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z···s.00912:

It sits in the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee chaired by Sen Rockefeller. If he isn't on board this bill goes nowhere.
»www.commerce.senate.gov/public/i···Chairman
»www.opensecrets.org/politicians/···e=Career
The 2nd biggest Rockefeller contributor is Time Warner, a big content producer.

And TV, Movies, & Music contributed $440,000 to his campaigns over the years.
»www.opensecrets.org/politicians/···5&type=I

TV/Movies/Music $440,652

--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."

TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath
reply to 88615298

Re: Careful what you wish for

People will see what this will do when they see the true prices for channels, $4 for EACH local channel, $10 for just regular ESPN. NICK being $5 per channel. And if you pay for HBO, they probably won't be able to bundle all 10+ of their channels so you'll be paying $10 per HBO network now. Cable bills WILL go up.

silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA
reply to 88615298
It could very quickly become abused to deliver less channels for the same money. Sports fans could experience even a price increase. Anyone who thinks networks are going to take a loss in revenue are dreaming. If half of subscribers ditch a channel due to al a carte, the other half is going to pay more for that channel. Al a carte would also be a nice opening for a network to bundle their own digital streaming service and strip their content from other services.

Granted I still think it should be done. But the end result is probably not going to be a price decrease.

NLiveris

join:2001-11-25
Chicago, IL

1 recommendation

reply to 88615298
Care to back that up with anything other than your opinion?

I pay $140 a month for the Tivo sitting my living room with all 28 of the movie channels and would absolutely love to ditch ESPN and the other 400 "niche" channels I never watch. Forced bundles seem very anti-consumer and with more public awareness, it should help reflect very poorly on those greedy broadcasters.

tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

cord cut

I think this is 2nd year w/o catv subscription and I don't really miss it. If you really want to watch a channel, chances are its out there in some streaming website for intermittent use. Most web streaming sites are not ready for prime time to serve millions of viewers. Maybe in the next 5 years they will be...

What's really cool is there are no borders, you can watch channels from around the world outside of their contracted markets.. the walled gardens have no way to keep international viewers outside when the stream is not "authorized" You can watch doctor who (or whatever your fave is) stream live on UK tv in the USA.. how cool is that?

Angrychair

join:2000-09-20
Jacksonville, FL
reply to zod5000

Re: I like how this displays some knowledge of bundling....

said by zod5000:

I am surprised that the bill was introduce by John McCain?

Why are you asking us?

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC

Blackout rule for the NFL

Is a *GREAT* idea.

Take public money to fund your playground? Great. No blackouts for you!

TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath
reply to NLiveris

Re: Careful what you wish for

The question is- do you know how much your current provider pays for those channels or how much will they charge YOU for each channel? You still could end up paying more for TV than what you do. But what else do you get for the $140 per month? If that is just TV, other options are available.

nfotiu

join:2009-01-25

1 recommendation

reply to silbaco
Sports channels are the problem. And it is great news that the bill goes after the back end bundling.

Sports channel prices can't go up too much and still get people to subscribe to them by choice.

A la carte on the backend will definitely kill the big tv rights deals rsn's are handing out right now, and a lot of that revenue will be removed from the system, and player's contracts will be corrected a little. These are all good things IMO.

Charging the 60,000 people who are watching the Dodger's $120-$180 a year is the fair model, charging 3 million who don't 70$ a year is a broken model that has to be fixed.


tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

tell John McCain I want...


lizard tongue
No more brown M&M's in my packages, and Twinkies should be in 3 packs for the same price because they made them smaller
and all houses should be built with 4 bathrooms no more and no less.

Had any public money been spent building the CATV industry it MIGHT be reasonable to tell them how to package their product.
Let's see why he won't tell the oil industry to be more consumer friendly.

nfotiu

join:2009-01-25
The cable and broadcast industry was built on laws protecting their revenue.

desarollo

join:2011-10-01
Monroe, MI
reply to 88615298

Re: Careful what you wish for

It isn't child-like, many people see little value for the programming received. I don't. I am tired of week long benders of Pawn Stars and Deadliest Catch with stupid viewer Twitter comments.

If I have the ability to vote them off my monthly bill, they have to try to keep me as a viewer. What we have now isn't working. Why should I be paying for channels I don't watch? Why should I be paying for networks that show the SAME show for days on end?

With that said, you'll see 2/3rds of the channels disappear. The few freebies will be cable news and maybe wide appeal super stations. And the cable bill? Yeah, that's not going down at all.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to TBBroadband
Right... because you know this to be fact. If I am not mistaken the large dish companies did (do) a la carte channels and they all got along and profited fine. There have even been post here in the past by small cable companies that had a la carte pricing and they didnt seem to mind it so much.

Bottom line is that your assumptions of price is silly and the only one that is probably even close is ESPN and that channel will probably and should probably be closer to an HBO price, which I am fine with.

Forced a la carte does not remove bundles. They could also do # of channel bundle, theme bundle and other smaller/bigger bundle choices right along side of having ALL channels available a la carte. This all or nothing way of doing things based on how they force (negotiate) it upon the MSO's needs to change.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to tshirt

Re: tell John McCain I want...

LOL, are you actually implying that CATV industry received absolutely no financial benefits to be built?


tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
reply to nfotiu
Many industries have had state and federal protection over the years, helping them stay in business is a good source of private sector jobs.
It doesn't mean the gov't gets to control their method of business if it is otherwise legal.


tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Skippy25
Actually the CATV companies pay out for right of way, pole rental, franchise fees, permits, taxes, and often provide public access studios production assistance and many other public benefits for "free" while receive no public funds. I think you'd find the vast majority of money moved to the gov't or purpose defined by them, if you opened your eyes.

If you mean financial benefit like stable legal protection from cable theft and non paying persons (hard to call them customers) and a favorable business climate (compared to say cuba or the USSR) then yes but that would apply to every company that has ever done business in the US.
Are you suggest the gov't should seize and control them all?
or just the ones YOU don't like?

me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO
reply to TBBroadband

Re: Careful what you wish for

Why would you not use your antenna for local channels? I'd be fine with a la cart even if each channel cost $5, I only watch 9 channels anyway so that would be about 1/2 of what my family pays now.


BrainBlown

@173.227.18.x
reply to zod5000

Re: I like how this displays some knowledge of bundling....

I think it is because both McCain and Blumenthal saw how much they are paying for TV services that got this going


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
reply to Skippy25

Re: Careful what you wish for

said by Skippy25:

Right... because you know this to be fact.

Listen take a channel like TNT which is one of the most popular cable channels. Now while popular you surely won't have 100% paying for it. For example as of last year TNT was going for $1.21 per sub. And that's with 100% paying for it. Now if only half the people subscribe to it they would obviously raise that to $2.42 under an al a carte system. If it's only 1/3 then it would go up to $3.63. TNT is no way is going to willingly make LESS money under an al a carte system. And if they can't make that lost revenue back on subscriber fees then you'll see worse programming( because it's cheaper ) on the channel, and more commercials, more infomercials. That's just the reality. And while everyone thinks "Yeah let the those niche channels go under if they can't support themselves" nearly EVERYONE watches at least one of those niche channels that will go away.

Look at it this way OTA is 100% free( outside the cost of the antenna )so it's like al a carte where you're not paying for channels you don't want. Ok why aren't more people going OTA only? Oh because the selection sucks. And while everyone says they don't watch ESPN the ratings during college football season/MNF says otherwise. And the $20 a month that ESPN will now cost will cost you more for the 4 months of college football/MNF you subscribe to ESPN for than just having things the way they are now.


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

1 recommendation

reply to me1212
said by me1212:

Why would you not use your antenna for local channels? I'd be fine with a la cart even if each channel cost $5, I only watch 9 channels anyway so that would be about 1/2 of what my family pays now.

A) OTA is not idea for many people. In my area you get in ONE channel reliably.

B) YOU watch only 9 channels. That's not reality for most. 9 x $5 is $45. Heck Digital Select tier through Charter in my area is only $15 more a month and you'd get in oh about 100 more channels than that.


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
reply to nfotiu
Except ESPN has some of their deals signed through the late 2020's. ESPN has no choice but to pay.


tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

one of his funnier efforts

»politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/20···pt=hp_t2
"pick up the coin, come on pick up the coin"
There is nothing dignified about public senility.

Satch

join:2009-11-25
reply to 88615298

Re: Careful what you wish for

said by 88615298:

Sorry but too many people have this almost childlike delusion that al a carte will be this wonderful TV utopia. For most they will be very disappointed with the results. I'm probably one of the few that would actually benefit form this ad I think it's a bad idea. Not that the system doesn't need some tweaking. The old saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" applies very much to al a carte

Here is my view on Ala Carte programming:

n some respects, Ala Carte programing may help for small one to two-person households who are in agreement with what they like to watch. The problem is with larger families who rely in TV for entertainment, news, and educational services. How many people can actually agree on what services they would want to watch in an Ala-Carte channel model? How many channels are loved by some people, and hated by others even in the same household? In larger households, interests in what channels represent value may be too diverse where one may have to question how much money would be saved, over the conveyance of TWC Triple Play bundles. In my experience, I like the Triple Play better than Ala Carte. However, I use Internet, Cable TV, and Phone every day. For people that don’t, smaller packages might help.

Satch

biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361
reply to 88615298
They have been increasing prices while at the same time increasing commercial time for years. You're lucky if a 1 hour program has 40 minutes of the actual TV show. I remember not to long ago it was 45 minutes. The Star Trek TOS episodes that I have on Blu-Ray are actually 50 minutes long.

biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361
reply to 88615298
They should have thought about that while overpaying for sports programming during the last 10+ years.

biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361
reply to tshirt

Re: tell John McCain I want...

Sorry but that ship sailed years ago. There isn't a job in this country where the government doesn't have their paws in regulating.