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Downingtown, PA
reply to KrK

Re: Industry retaliation

said by KrK:

said by Ebolla:

It is not zero cost, there are people putting in the codes unless you think that the majority of people would NOT want to speak with a rep and try to figure out everything online or via a phone system.

The costs would be negligible, especially given the revenue. Oh, and I'm quite positive the vast majority of people would NOT want to speak to a Rep or even try and use a phone system or for that matter do it online, although that would be simple as well.

No, it would be much easier then that. You'd push a button on a remote. Done.

The cost wouldn't be negligible. Granted, the cost of putting in the different programming options for each customer would be. But everyone is forgetting one thing - carriage rates for channels are based on viewership. Based on the number of households that receive that channel. If that number drops, then the cost per household for said channel goes up. The cable provider has less pull with the content provider at that point.

Also, while people may bitch about the authoritarian nature of some of these content providers, they provide carriage discounts to cable companies to carry niche channels that they also own.

I'm not saying that ala carte can't be done. But I have to agree with the notion that it would do nothing to reduce prices. And would probably raise them for each channel you subscribe to.

What's more if you take true ala carte - just pay for the channel that you want - in order to make it financially viable, even a crap channel will charge you several bucks a month, whereas with a cable distribution they charge pennies per subscriber. Want proof of that - go check out how much it costs to subscribe to Wealth TV ala carte. It's something like $5/month through Roku. Verizon pays literally a few cents for that channel. Expect that your basic cable channels will run you in the $5 - $6 range, per channel, to subscribe to. And popular cable channels (ESPN, Discovery, Food Network, Fox News) will probably cost you close to $15 - $20/month. How small would you have to keep your carte to keep your cost below what you pay with cable today?

I'm not saying that cable is cheap. But I can pay $100/month and get 300 channels, a bunch of HD, and lots of VOD. Or I can pay the same amount and get the 10 channels that I normally watch, and nothing else. Yes, for some folks ala carte would save money. But I think for a vast majority it would end up costing more. These systems come about for a reason. You may think the cable companies are nothing but a bunch of greedy SOBs, but in reality they are just listening to their customers. Customers demanded more HD... poof! We had an HD war between providers. Want lots of VOD? No problem! The thing is... all of these things cost money. These companies are just giving their consumers what they're asking for. And then those same consumers bitch when the price goes up as a result.

Edit - one last thing... one set of channels that people would probably drop if they had the option - home shopping channels. Yeah, they get annoying, but guess what else they do? They help offset your cable bill. Cable companies get paid to carry those channels.