Tell me more x
, there is a new speed test available. Give it a try, leave feedback!
dslreports logo
story category
A La Carte D-Day Comes for Stubborn Cable Industry
by Karl Bode 07:57AM Tuesday Apr 29 2014
“I’m not saying the jig — er, business model — is up, but if your platform, your programming and your audience are all under attack, the degree of difficulty in selling big packages of entertainment over cable is increasing," writes David Carr in the New York Times, noting that the cable TV practice of forcing customers to buy bundles of channels simply isn't sustainable. "Ultimately, it isn’t any one thing that will pull apart what has been a durable generator of profits; instead it will be the accretion of options and the changing habits of consumers who want to choose their programming according to their tastes, rather than having it pushed at them in bulk by a cable company."

80 comments .. click to read

Recommended comments

Question The Current Paradigm
Da Bronx
·Optimum Online
·Clearwire Wireless

3 recommendations

reply to elefante72

Re: Take some parallels to the music industry

said by elefante72:

Look at the music industry. When I was a kid the only way to get music (legally) was to buy the entire album ....

Not so! I was able to purchase single songs on 45RPM vinyl records, never had to buy entire albums. Then, uber-greed set in, and the albums ruled. Services like iTunes and Amazon went back to basics, and are doing quite well selling singles like in the good old days.

Unlike the cable industry, the record industry started out fair and became corrupted, whereas the cable industry started out corrupted, became even more corrupt, and will eventually die a welcomed death. As a result, I NEVER subscribed to cable, and never will. It's too late for cable, technology is rapidly making them irrelevant. Their only valid use today is as a dumb pipe, through which all the good stuff flows.

"Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot."

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people"

Complete Your Transaction


3 recommendations

reply to Mr Guy

Re: I'm skeptical

said by Mr Guy :

said by desarollo:

Ala carte won't reduce prices,

Too bad most people don't agree with you. every person calling for al a carte think it's about reducing cost not improving programming. People think "I only have 6 channels I'll get TV for $20 a month" and that's fantasy talk. Some people will save a little most will pay about the same. A sizeable portion will actually pay more.

Introducing choice will drive prices down as people will be able to see and made decisions based on price. See how much ESPN costs? Goodbye. See how much HSN reduces your bill? Ok, will keep that. Local channels are only $4 each? I'll take some of those.

It's only the cable company's dream that each channel will cost $15 and people will pay more. Once choice is introduced, customers will vote with their wallets and cut out the fat.


East Amherst, NY
·Verizon FiOS

5 recommendations

reply to plencnerb
Forget channels (the one good show and the rest s**t). That is the $9 CD. The natural step immediately after that is you buy the show you are looking for--itunes. And you subscribe to a "catalog" Netflix, Amazon, etc for casual or repository viewing. Cm'on Pandora, Spotify, etc this stuff already exists today...

Really do you love AMC or do you love Breaking Bad. Maybe a second show. The rest is drivel.

Think of the upside--the reality shows will evaporate like bad whiskey sitting out in the sun. Sports will have the largest hangover.

Channels need to die too....

ALSO with technology people are spending less time watching TV, so the packaging makes even less sense.


East Amherst, NY
·Verizon FiOS

4 recommendations

Take some parallels to the music industry

Look at the music industry. When I was a kid the only way to get music (legally) was to buy the entire album, and that album cost pretty much the same regardless of the quality of the music (which is personal), but there was some real s**t out there. Just like cable today, and there is LOTS of sh**t.

Someone got smart when CDs came out because people started ripping them. They then took the $14 CD (yes back in the 80's which would be over $20 today), and then made a mini CD (with the one good song and two shi**y songs) and sold that for $9.99.

Eventually Apple came along and destroyed the album (well music did that because albums today have no cohesion--just like cable), and then was born the .99 track. The album was gone.

Profits went down (as they should) and the shi**y material doesn't get any revenue. HOWEVER the platform for any said artist to emerge has exploded. Essentially the curator (middle man) died, and now the choice in music is amazing, and cheap. The middle man went off and still survives and brings even more middle of the road crap for the masses, and also went out and started buying venues and jacking up live performances. The new money maker for artists....

Long story short, the same will happen to cable and this is all possible because of broadband, PERIOD.

Since cable is not creative, they will follow the same path. Break it up slowly--put the headliner show in there and a few crappy ones to pad the bottom line, and then voila you get what you pay for. Programming quality will go up immediately and the choices will be amazing. And actors will get paid a reasonable wage again, and the curators will be sucking wind. They will start buying up venues (Comcast, Disney, etc.)

The ones who suffered were the artists. They fat middle man was sitting back smoking cigars and making all the profit. They say they were taking the risk, which is BS because they OWNED and monopolized the distribution channel so their risk was limited and known--hardly worth the lions share of the profits they were keeping for themselves.... Now today the artists can sell directly and reap the benefits of their creation, the way it should be...