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10 Years On & We're Still Acting Like A La Carte TV Is The Devil
'A La Carte Will Destroy TV' Rhetoric Rides Again...
by Karl Bode 02:35PM Wednesday Jul 17 2013
Over the years the broadcast and cable industries have fought tooth and nail against not only offering a la carte (buying individual channels instead of bundles) pricing, but any variation from the current tactic of bundling a massive number of channels. You might recall that the industry offered two primary excuses for why it was simply impossible to offer a la carte pricing:

Click for full size
1: Smaller, more niche channels won't survive!

2: Offering consumer channel choice will raise everybody's TV rates!

Those justifications effectively stopped what at one point was a pretty deafening clamor for more channel pricing options, be they a la carte or something else. A decade later and both of those things are happening anyway. Prices have soared relentlessly to insane new heights, and now we're starting to see niche channels like Ovation being dropped from cable lineups (because, well, ESPN).

With a growing number of people belatedly realizing they're being fed a load of nonsense by broadcasters, we've recently started seeing a renewed push toward some kind of channel pricing shift by consumers and cable TV companies alike, be it a la carte or smaller channel bundles. Leading that shift in a minor way has been Verizon, who recently made a small concession in this direction by offering users a channel bundle without Sports for a little less money.

With this renewed interest has come the return of the all-too-familiar hand wringing about how a la carte will kill television as we know it (as if that would actually be such a bad thing). Analyst Laura Martin at Needham & Co is only the latest, insisting that the move to a la carte would kill most channels off entirely, leaving us with a decimated cable industry and just a measly twenty channels to watch:
quote:
If the pay-TV industry undid the practice, known as bundling, it would lose about $70 billion, or half its revenue, annually, she said. In an ominous prediction, Martin concluded that unbundling could halve the total market capitalization of the TV ecosystem.

"Our calculations suggest that if the TV bundle starts to degrade, $400 million of market capitalization will turn into $200 million over 10 years, based on the datapoints from music and newspapers,” Martin wrote in a note to clients Monday. Fewer than 20 channels would survive in such a universe, and virtually every household watches several channels that would not make the cut, she said.
Except that something needs to give with the cable industry's relentless price hikes, and Martin doesn't even consider that it may not necessarily be a bad thing to blow up the current broken TV model and build something new; something which doesn't even need to be as severe as a full move to a la carte. How many of the channels you currently get are worth your time anyway? Besides, many of the niche channels killed during such a shakeup could find a new home in places like YouTube's new subscription lineup, helping to give a leg up to Internet Video's hamstrung evolution.

Whether you agree with a la carte or not, it remains absurd that it's 2013, we've been debating this for a decade, and we're still not really seeing any real flexibility in channel lineups, a la Carte or otherwise.

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elios

join:2005-11-15
Springfield, MO

waste of bandwidth

maybe no one wants some of the crap there wasting bandwidth on
let the small channels fail if no one wants them
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: waste of bandwidth

Well of the 200+ channels, 20 probably would survive and spew mass drivel which the masses like. That is providing a popular service.

The other 180 could go out of business, or OMG go to IPTV, DUH. I could select them on Roku, ATV, whatever or it could be baked into a smart TV and pay for a sub or by the drink. They can figure it out. Free up bandwidth on cable plants, redirect to internet, and away we go. Even the lowliest Roku for $50 is cheaper than a cableco renting you a big box for $8/month.

Puff daddy has just launched a channel (cant remember a name) but was some sweetheart deal and will be added to cable that almost nobody wants and it was like .50 (no pun intended)...

I watched a snippet on GBTV (or blaze or WTF its called now) and Glenn beck said that by going from cable to his own studios and delivering over the internet from Dallas cost him a fraction and went to all Red HD cameras (costing less than $10k). And BTW, he is now making money hand over fist by charging people $10/month to watch him. Nobody talks about that, and how low cost and successful it is, because frankly it's going to newspaper-ize these guys just the same. I CANT WAIT....

As to market capitalization, excellent. That means there is more efficient means also known as capitalism. And I'm sure Charlie Sheen can get by on $1m for 22 minutes versus $2m for 22 minutes, and ARod can get by on $10m a year vs $30m... The horror. I used to watch old baseball movies when these guys actually made upper middle class salaries (like $200-$300k) in today's dollars. Sadly if these actors and sports people salaries come down to earth, I'm not against it...

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

1 recommendation

You do realize that those crap channels get bundled in with more popular channels. ie fuel gets bundled with FoxNews. If your cable company wants to deliver fox news, then they're forced to keep fuel as well... You want ESPN? Well congrats, cuz ABC will not let your cable company carry ESPN unless they carry ABC Family as well.

The fact of the matter is this: Those crappy channels are forced upon the cable companies in exchange for channels that are actually entertaining. Networks (Fox Entertainment, ABC, NBC, Viacom, etc) will not do anything which cuts their revenue. Moreover, if you watch live sports, your pricing will likely either stay static with fewer channels, or it will go up with a-la-carte.

Live sports are the linchpin to high cable rates. You demand live sports? Then bend right over.
--
"What makes us omniscient? Have we a record of omniscience? ...If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning."
-United States Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: waste of bandwidth

I'm in your corner 100%...

Not true, but I understand your point. My point is nothing lasts forever and it will dissolve sooner or later. In the meantime I pay $75 for 2 play and a reasonable amount of channels that I don't feel slighted.

My old gig I used to build these infrastructures, so yes I know how they are put together and commingled.

I have FIOS Select HD: ABC Family, YES, ESPN, NO.
And I only pay $75 for the 2 play.

I 150% agree on live sports, and SelectHD has 0%, so that is why the cost is so reasonable. PrimeHD (which has some sports channels) is $30 more a month + now these RSN fees. On the other hand my area cableco TWC, its 0% or 100%, there are no tiers here, digital or none. You can get one off broadcast, but its a rip at $20/month.

I personally think (outside of Verizon typical piss poor app dev and lifecycle) FIOS is one of the best services I have, ranked up there w/ my Cell on Verizon. It's pure quality and they are awesome. Of note, DirecTV when I has them was great to work w/ also--other than shoveling Buffalo snow off the dish-- so props to them except they have package diarrhea too. The price just got too much and after they got rid of Tivo, bye...

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by tiger72:

The fact of the matter is this: Those crappy channels are forced upon the cable companies in exchange for channels that are actually entertaining. Networks (Fox Entertainment, ABC, NBC, Viacom, etc) will not do anything which cuts their revenue. Moreover, if you watch live sports, your pricing will likely either stay static with fewer channels, or it will go up with a-la-carte.

Live sports are the linchpin to high cable rates. You demand live sports? Then bend right over.

You are right.

The "lame debate" still goes on because the content companies call the shots. And if people think that they don't hold all the cards by bundling lousy channels with channels people want, see what happens every time a cable company gets some guts & decides to not pay for the bundle. The regular TV watching consumers(which are way more prevalent than those elitists who claim they watch only 4 channels) scream bloody murder; call their congresscritters, the FCC, and the newspapers about how they can't live without show xyz or abc and the cable companies are evil low lifes for taking away their reason for living. And then the congresscritters get involved and threaten the evil cable monopolist for making their voters unhappy.

People want a la carte to happen? Then stop whining about the cable companies to their congresscritters and whine about the evil content monopolists. Maybe then something will happen.
--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."

LowInfoVoter
Vote early, vote often, vote democrat.

join:2007-11-19
USA
said by elios:

...there...

there = location

c band

@rr.com

LOL

c and ku band is still the best way no middle man... love it..

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Re: LOL

said by c band :

c and ku band is still the best way no middle man... love it..

Hardly anything good on HD in C-Band these days.

c band

@rr.com

Re: LOL

Where do you think cable and directv and dish get there stuff from? C and ku band.. IN the right places its free.. O did i say FREE... You just cant have a 4dtv anymore with a side HD box anymore.. There is ALOT hidden if you know where to look..
neftv

join:2000-10-01
Broomall, PA

Make me happy

I can see a la cart working for the benefit of the consumer. I have Dish Network HD the lowest package of like 40 channels and my bill is close to $50/month with DVR fee. Of those channels I only watch 4 or 5 channels and I don't go to the other channels anyway so the argument that "Smaller, more niche channels won't survive!" is mute. I don't go to the channels I don't watch anyway so its a waste to me.
So say I have to pay $3 per channel I watch 3 x 5 is $15/month. I can't see how that will raise everyone's rates if I pay more per channel I want to watch then my counterpart in a bland package. So that argument is mute too.
Angrychair

join:2000-09-20
Jacksonville, FL
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Considering the general lack of quality

It seems to me that paring things down to 20 or so channels would be just fine. I imagine that number wouldn't include premium channels like HBO anyway. It's interesting how unionizing workers is so frowned upon by big business but unionizing pay tv channels needs to be pried from their cold dead hands.

NOYB
St. John 3.16
Premium
join:2005-12-15
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Current Product Tying System is Illegal

"Smaller, more niche channels won't survive!"
Because there is not sufficient demand for them or value by them to the consumer. Under the current illegal product tying system customers are force to pay for (buy) them anyway.

"Offering consumer channel choice will raise everybody's TV rates!"
Define "raise everybody's TV rates". Total monthly cost? Per channel average? What?

With this renewed interest has of course come the return to hand-wringing about how a la carte will kill television as we know it (as if that would actually be such a bad thing).
Exactly! Change in this case would more likely be of a positive nature.
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Jim Gurd
Premium
join:2000-07-08
Livonia, MI

Re: Current Product Tying System is Illegal

said by NOYB:

"Smaller, more niche channels won't survive!"
Because there is not sufficient demand for them or value by them to the consumer. Under the current illegal product tying system customers are force to pay for (buy) them anyway.

Exactly. I wonder how the content providers are allowed to get away with this.

PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Manchester, NH

Re: Current Product Tying System is Illegal

That is because it is not in fact illegal.
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 recommendations

Karl, are you advocating wide consumer choice...

...or lowest common denominator TV?
very few shows would exist/survive in a world with no promos, ads, spinoffs or recommendations.
so you want to turn viewing choices over to a Netflix, amazon, or you tube like recommendation system with viral hits driven by who can hire the most thumbs on twitter?
I think that's the problem with TV quality today.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: Karl, are you advocating wide consumer choice...

In the last year, I have found more awesome indie bands on the internet (and paid) than in my 40 years of listening to ClearChannel and it's predecessors. Breaking this monster up will lead to more diversity and quality, and the best will bubble up. It's like TV Payola.... The big thing is going to be the "AGGREGATOR" I don't have time to look at every single piece of content, I need a service or "the man" to filter or help me filter the data so it's usable. Enter BIG DATA MAN... Def new industries will form around this... There will still be a space (those 20 channels) for the blockbuster TV.

Point of history. Star Trek, TOS. Read about how the networks did their best to kill it off and how tight they made the budgets...

»io9.com/5941608/10-things-you-pr···l-series

Oh and going to see an indie band (for $20) where 500-1000 people are there beats rolling into MSG where I need a pair of binoculars to see the ants on the stage and drop $100+/tix...

I just went to a concert this we, Train...but the concert was 4.5 hours. Started a 8PM, they didn't come on until after 10. Gavin McGraw, the Script took up over 50% of the time. I guess its how they can keep prices up, but I really only wanted to see Train. The other 60% were paid commercials... When they came 2 years ago the concert was 2.5 hours total for two acts. Not to mention the $13 beers and $8 pretzels, and $5 bottles of water...

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit

Re: Karl, are you advocating wide consumer choice...

said by elefante72:

In the last year, I have found more awesome indie bands on the internet (and paid) than in my 40 years of listening to ClearChannel and it's predecessors.

Great so you found an alternate source that has EVERYTHING you want, and if you continue paying along with enough others, more bands MAY choose that method, doesn't mean all will or that you can use their works without their permission if they don't, it also gives you NO right to insist their current choice of distributor be broken up. You are talking about entertainment- an enjoyable but un-necessary luxury and the seller can demand whatever price the market will bare.
No actual crack is enclosed, you CAN put down the bong a walk away.

The industry is driven by money all you have to do is out bid the record labels on a consistent basis
linus5171

join:2004-02-10
Poplar Bluff, MO

2 recommendations

Make ESPN A Premium Channel

I never watch ESPN or Sports but it is the most expensive of the channels I have to pay for. They need to separate ESPN and the like and those people that want to watch sports can pay a premium like HBO.

ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Make ESPN A Premium Channel

said by linus5171:

I never watch ESPN or Sports but it is the most expensive of the channels I have to pay for. They need to separate ESPN and the like and those people that want to watch sports can pay a premium like HBO.

Disney stockholders and managers benefit from ESPN being included in standard cable packages. Until regulators act in the public interest and require a la carte or provide significant disincentives for required bundling, the sheer market power that Disney wields will forestall any change that would benefit consumers.

"The reality is that there is not another media property in the world worth as much as ESPN because no media asset delivering content generates close to as much money. "

»www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenha···billion/
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
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XJakeX

join:2005-03-05
Coventry, RI
Both Disney and ESPN *were* premium channels when first introduced. They were only about $5.00/month if I recall. But they were the first premium channels offered that made you watch commercials, and people didn't exactly sign up in droves. Who can blame them. The Premium channel concept by definition (at the time just HBO and Showtime) meant no commercials. Eventually, they talked the cable companies into including them as part of an expanded basic package, and of course raised the price of that package to cover it..

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME
Reviews:
·ObiVoice
·Pioneer Wireless

Less Channels

Means more room for DATA on that COAX, I don't see that much of a downside.

Yes, niche channels have some great content, that's where Internet video is great, it costs less to distribute, and doesn't rely on getting a deal with the TV provider, they could charge the consumer directly and have a much better profit margin.

This seems win-win to me

NOYB
St. John 3.16
Premium
join:2005-12-15
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:1

Rates

So it costs x for n channels and they would have us believe it would cost >x for <n channels.  LOL
 

PToN
Premium
join:2001-10-04
Houston, TX

Why cant...?

The studios or producing companies offer their productions on their own...?

Shit, i dont even mind commercials, for all i care they can add the same amount of commercials as there are now on traditional TV... All i want, it is to be able to access quality shows that i want on any device without paying $100 a month per cable...

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL

Re: Why cant...?

$50/month is too much

PToN
Premium
join:2001-10-04
Houston, TX

Re: Why cant...?

yes, for watching a hand full of channels and even more narrowed range of quality shows. Yes, 50/month it is too much
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

canada systems have some good stuff to copy

like theme packs and being able to BUY THE BOX with out outlet / mirroring / DVR / HD fees.

any ways why not start with separate tier for sports. And you can put stuff like TBS / WGN (old super channels) as part of an limited basic pack.

As for channels like TNT that show sports from to time to time and is used as an TBS overflow add it to the same pack an TBS or make it be part of the sports pack.

As for the other ones that show limited sports at times like truetv (NCAA March Madness) let you pay for it only for even time or move the games to CBC sports network that is part of the tiers for sports.

as for the nbc news channels used for the NHL play offs add temp channels / alt feeds for that, let local RSN's mirror the feeds, open the news channels up to free view for that time.

As the olympics that NBC uses some it's news and other channels for. We can open the news channels up to free view for that time, add temp Olympic channels, have some like the old Olympics Triple Cast but at an lower cost, make it part of the sports pack.

In the UK, new zealand , australia sports is it's own add on pack.

En Enfer
This account has been compromised

join:2003-07-25
Montreal, QC
kudos:4

Re: canada systems have some good stuff to copy

Canada ain't a perfect system either.

Most canadian specialties receive $0.45 in average per subscriber per month, 90% of english and french language specialties belong to the same small group of broadcasters (Bell, Shaw, Corus, Rogers).

Most Quebec province service providers offer à la carte packages. 15 channels for 15$, 20 channels for 18$, 30 channels for 25$, or some variation like that, the channel gets its cut, the service provider get the rest.

Those same channels are also offered in tiers by quantity (popular channels, more specialties, even more specialties, the whole package!) and by theme (sports, music, lifestyle, youth).

So, from basic package which may or may not contain a major sports channel (Bell will include their TSN while Rogers will include their Sportsnet, but not both), you can pick by quantity, by theme, or à la carte 15-20-30. From there, you can pick additional channels (1, 5, 10) of your choice for an extra fee.

And yes, even with this system, the "dump" channels (such as BookTV) still manage to raise $4 million per year of subscription revenues, make a small $40k in national advertisement revenues, low/minimal programming acquisition costs, low/inexisting ratings, run the channel on an automatic system in a closet, and cash in $2.5 million after taxes, laughing all the way to the bank.

Statistics shows that for a provider offering à la carte, more than half of their customers pick the old-fashion "most popular" packages and the ability to pick additional channels is way easier for customers than force them to pay something like 10$ additional for 1 channel they're interested in as part of a theme package.

Exceptions, Fox's "Speed" channel ain't offered à la carte because Fox said so. Canadians interested in that channel must purchase a "less popular but more expensive" or a "sports" package for 10$, and call both Fox and the cable company for being a bunch of greedy morons.

Bottom line, offering à la carte does not mean 100% of cable subscribers will switch to that, and it does not mean the popular and thematic packages will be eliminated. Offering cheaper alternatives should be a priority.
--
Tell your children over dinner, "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."
SatManager

join:2011-03-17
North Las Vegas, NV

IPTV

Just have everyone make the technology leap to IPTV with it in the TV or a set top box. The channels are streamed as needed, they can be even personalized to the customer - just think your own personal commercials. Billing is in accordance to the channel you watch plus the minimum system charge. Yep, they know what you are watching, when you are watching, but then, they know that now with some systems.
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

Garbage Channels

Gets rid of those Spanish channels. No one watches that.

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

Re: Garbage Channels

said by brianiscool:

Gets rid of those Spanish channels. No one watches that.

Except maybe the 16.9 % of 314,000,000 US population that is Hispanic.
»quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html
--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."

NOYB
St. John 3.16
Premium
join:2005-12-15
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:1

Re: Garbage Channels

Most of them don't watch them either. Ever hear of immersion?
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1
Tell that 16.9% to get dish. If they want Spanish channels from their country.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit
quote:
Gets rid of those Spanish channels. No one watches that.
You actually believe that your personal OPINION is more conclusive than the cable companies actual channel statistics? THEY know exactly which channels are being watched, channels with poor viewership get cut all the time.
quote:
Tell that 16.9% to get dish. If they want Spanish channels from their country.
For most of them, the US is THEIR country. Im born and raised in Brooklyn NY, if I want to subscribe to RAI , Italy is "my" country?

PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Manchester, NH
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by brianiscool:

Gets rid of those Spanish channels. No one watches that.

Most Spanish channels are local broadcast affiliates and therefore may have "must carry" status. Not to mention they add virtually nothing to the bill.

I'm guessing that's not the real issue here, though....
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???
lancguy

join:2012-03-25
Lancaster, PA

Here we go again

Yet another story about how awesome ala-carte would be for the consumer, would cause the market to be more competitive, lower the cable bills, yada yada. Truth is ala-cart programing will not lower your bills. Sure you can pick the channels you watch the most, but consider this. Right now, some channels are required in the retrans agreement to be part of a particular teir, whether it's basic, standard, or some digital package. the cost for that channel is spread among all the people that are on that tier in a particular MSO. So there could be 100's of millions paying 50 cents to a dollar for that channel, unless we are talking ESPN, Comedy central, TNT or some other network that charges a small fortune per subscriber. Anyway, under ala-cart that channel that use to get several million dollars from an MSO is still going to get its fee, but instead of being spread out among all the subscribers in that tier, it will go to a much smaller group that subscribe to the channel. The cost per channel will have to rise. Think of just how bad ESPN will be if it were to go ala-carte. And people will pay it because they need the endles supply of yaking about their teams and players.

Sports channels are the single biggest driver of these rate increases. I hate just about all the sports. I also like alot of programs on channels like USA and TNT, but because of the sports programing, they charge a premium (though not as much as ESPN). My biggest problem is that there are people in my household that enjoy them. And I still like to watch my college football team play....maybe someday we'll have a winning season. So I will still have to keep sports.

People say that all these niche channels will just go IP. And yes, there are channels that I won't miss, TLC use to be good prior to it's change to scripted reality. Discovery occasionally has a good show. BBC has some excellent programing that I watch from time to time. But again, watching IP on a big screen tv is crap. And not everyone has a tv hooked up to the internet. If I'm sitting at my desk on my computer, I'm doing something other then watching tv.

The current system is not perfect, nor is it sustainable. Once the providers stop the forced bundling, MSO's will be able to offer smaller, more taylored packages that should be more affordable. But I don't think we will ever see ala-carte.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL

Re: Here we go again

frankly, I don't care if it lowers the bills. I want cable tv to die.
--
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party

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

The "excuses" are true

"Smaller, more niche channels won't survive!"

Yes, that's what happens in the free market.

Offering consumer channel choice will raise everybody's TV rates!

Probably true... The networks offer a channel at a price based on the number of potential viewers, i.e. a channel in Dish's "tier A" has "X" total subscribers, so the network gives a price based on that. Kinda like a volume discount. If you switch to the a la carte system, that number "X" no longer applies. There's an even better solution though: All of the satellite and cable systems can tell the network exactly how many of their subscribers watch the channel in question from the details they can collect (anonymously) via set-tops. Granted, on cable, set-tops aren't always used or required, but that's not the case on satellite.

PacWest97

@qwest.net

per show, not per channel

I see a lot of discussion about packages, bundling, IPTV and content creators, content providers, middlemen and the like but what is missing from my view point is that I don't want to subscribe to any channel what-so-ever...

My perfect model is more akin to iTunes or Amazon where I subscribe to the particular show. The only issue with the online per show model is that it's not live and we have to wait till a "season" ends to watch all the shows.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL

Re: per show, not per channel

iptv?
ncbill
Premium
join:2007-01-23
Winston Salem, NC
The cable shows I want I subscribe to via Amazon Video, e.g. Walking Dead, on a per-episode basis.

The commercial-free show is pushed down to my Tivo early in the morning (typically 3-6 AM) after the night it airs.

said by PacWest97 :

The only issue with the online per show model is that it's not live and we have to wait till a "season" ends to watch all the shows.


NOYB
St. John 3.16
Premium
join:2005-12-15
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:1

Worst Case Scenario

The industry always trots out the worst case scenarios when trying to defeat al a cart. "lose half its revenue, annually". Not likely. If the amount of money people are spending today can support x channels, it can support less than x channels even better.

--
Be a Good Netizen - Read, Know & Complain About Overly Restrictive Tyrannical ISP ToS & AUP »comcast.net/terms/ »verizon.net/policies/
Say Thanks with a Tool Points Donation
kd6cae
P2p Shouldn't Be A Crime

join:2001-08-27
Bakersfield, CA

Why pay for free channels?

One thing I don't understand, is why cable companies like time warner put some channels that are free to carry, into packages you must pay to access. For example in my area, if I want to watch NASA TV, which admittedly is a nitch channel, I must purchase the choice tier, or whatever it's called now to get that channel. That's fine, except that NASA TV is free to carry for anyone wanting to do so. NASA even provides the downlink info on their web site, so if you have your own KU band dish you can watch it directly yourself! So why then can't I get it for free on my cable company? It costs them nothing to carry that channel? Just my thoughts.

NOYB
St. John 3.16
Premium
join:2005-12-15
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:1

1 edit

Illegal Product Tying

Personally I believe that the current system is illegal. It ties together products that have no interdependencies to force the customer/consumer to buy products they do not want in order to get those they want.

What would you think of hand tool manufactures only selling packages of tools. So to get that hammer you have to buy a bunch of other tools you don't need. Especially if many of those others were niche tools that you will never use. So they force you to buy them.

There are channels and programming I do not wish to fund. But I am forced to do so in order to get those I what.

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linicx
Caveat Emptor
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join:2002-12-03
United State
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Silly

I had naked channels on the big dish, OTA with news and music from around the world,and never paid more than $25. It did not raise my rates; it lowered it. There is a plus here. Half of my cable channels were free OTA, plus ten OTA church channels, and most were piggyback. I dumped the washed out signal, the crappy channel lineup, the set top box I rented, and 99% of the piggyback advertising. I missed little local news as I bought the newspaper or listened to the radio.

It hard to out ship the old bull shipper. Ask the rancher. I dumped cable 10 years ago, and don't miss the lies or the excuses cable comes up with as telco has just as many.
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