Santa Monica, CA
reply to JTRockville
Re: Impossible until all digital One need only look at the prices previously charged for BUD service and current bulk / MDU / Free-to-guest rates to see what ala carte could do for the consumer.
I would expect, that most customers would actually pay MORE with ala-carte as an option - because we'd actually buy more channels that we want, and cable/satelco would have a "basic connection" charge. But we'd be happy, because we actually get to choose what we want to watch, and not what we don't. Why is there is so much opposition to freedom of choice?
I think the main reason industry opposes ala carte, is that it simply easier math to limit us to a short menu of tiers. Comcast and Time-Warner's rate sheets already fill an 8.5x11 sheet with 6 point type. Imagine the complication their $10/hour customer service clerks (or worse, the $2/hour Bombay clerks) would have dealing with billing issues.
Further, those brightest-guys-in-the-room Harvard MBAs love to have pricing models where we all fit in to convenient boxes. Choice would be a nightmare for them.