Pick Your Own Channels Law Proposed, Denied

from the cable-companies-are-going-to-freak-out... dept

A bill is being discussed in Congress that would force satellite TV companies to put local broadcast TV channels on a single dish. Apparently, many split the channels between two dishes, and require you to get both if you want all their local channels. However, more interesting is that one Congressman has tried to add an amendment to the bill that would allow subscribers to do a la carte channel picking - something many consumers have wanted for many years. Unfortunately, the amendment was quickly withdrawn after others expressed "concern" over the amendment - though, it's not clear what their concerns were (other than making some of their corporate contributors unhappy). There's still a chance that the amendment will be re-introduced later, but it seems unlikely to be accepted.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Chris O'Donnell, Apr 29th, 2004 @ 10:53am

    No Subject Given

    Even if it passed, the operators would just price the ala carte channels prohibitively high so that we all still buy the package deals.

     

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  2.  
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    Greg, Apr 29th, 2004 @ 3:14pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Yup. You want every channel? $30 ESPN alone? $29.95

    The cable industry is more or less correct in arguing that "a la carte" programming options would probably raise prices for the overwhelming majority of cable customers in the long run and put some channels out of business. The only people who would benefit from such a move are those who really only want to get one or two cable networks and the folks who run the pay cable networks such as HBO and Showtime.

     

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  3.  
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    AMetamorphosis, Apr 30th, 2004 @ 7:39am

    Pay for what you purchase


    Greg,

    The channels that would not survive from a la carte programming really don't deserve to exist. Do you like subsidizing ( fill in the blank ) ?

    Yes, the people that would benefit from this are people like me that would only pay for what we use. That's fair trade.

    The cable companies are losing millions from consumers like me that just do not feel justified paying 600.00+ a year when the only channels we want are a few. Imagine how many people would sign up for cable if we could buy purchase ( reasonably ) al a carte or perhaps a reasonable flat rate for " choose YOUR 10 " channels of choice.

    Does your phone provider make you pay for ALL features they offer ? Wouldn't you resent having to pay for call block blocking or 3 way calling if these were " features " you never use ?

    Those of us that do not watch a lot of TV just are not willing to sign up for these overpriced packages to subsidize those of you that do ...

     

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  4.  
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    JaneDOE, May 8th, 2006 @ 5:01pm

    Y NOT?

    Ok. I pay $35/month for my Comcast. That is WITH a $10 discount. My boyfriend watches The History Channel most of the time. I watch "Adult Swim" on Cartoon Network & I also watch Comedy Central and FX. Those are my main channels. If I paid $2.50 per channel, it would be WAY cheaper! If you watch more TV than that, STAY WITH YOUR COMPANY! For those of us who only watch 5-6 channels out of our 60 channels that we pay for, this is an AWESOME idea! $2.50 per channel??? What is wrong with that? I'm sure you couldn't buy HBO or Shotime al a carte, (GREG) but if you can afford to have those stations, then KEEP WHO YOU HAVE!! It's not that hard.... If your happy with ur cable/satellite company, stay with them. I think this is an awesome idea for those of us on a low income.
    The cheapest cable company doesn't have that luxury but if more people switch to this Pay-4-What-U-Use, maybe it will force the cable companies to lower their prices (which would be better for all)!
    This isn't rocket science, people, but it's a good idea.

     

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  5.  
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    a;sldkfj, Jun 5th, 2006 @ 6:16pm

    I agree w/ the above

     

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  6.  
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    Steven, Aug 12th, 2006 @ 7:50am

    Truth in viewing revealed

    Another side of the coin which the entire media industry is terrified of is that finally consumers would dictate programming. Channels and programs which no one watches would financially fail. The media keeps telling Americans what is popular and what is in demand while shoving their perspective and social agenda down the general publicís throat. I would prefer paying an amount per show which would be even more detailed than per channel. This would be much easer than you might think, the signal box would record the shows you watch and turn in the data and users could even pull their viewing habits up on line, and be shocked at how much TV they really watch. Americans would then be controlling the media, what a switch that would be. A channel might have 80% good programs but the 20% not appreciated by the public would financially fail. The Nelson ratings would become worthless, yea! The advertisers could finally really see what programs reach the public and specific groups they are targeting it would be a boon to product marketing. Itís easy to see why the media will throw everything they can at stopping this ala carte movement, just like tobacco. Media pushes their version of news, political comment, entertainment, education, etc. If we had the power to demonstrate direct financial rejection of the media programming it would reshape our entire society and our value system. The spineless bureaucrats will always bow to the media industry so they wonít receive bad press; they have and will sell our rights to the first politically expedient lobbyist or campaign contributor.

     

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  7.  
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    Warren, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 7:27pm

    Choosing Channels

    I agree with what has been said above, I think that it would open up a much larger consumer base if people could pick thier own channels. I am currently going through this at a new location where I am foced to choose between the lesser of the evils. What I propose would not necessarily be an A La Carte System but say a package that would give you 20 channels of your choice for $20 (Dish Network currently offers a 40 channel package for this price so I don't think it would be unreasonable). To be fair we can't be including premium channels ie HBO, Cinemax, Starz in such packages as they cost more to operate/run. Any of the commercial interrupted channels would be fair game for this package. Anyways so instead of spending $40 for a package with 80-155 channels (only 10-15 of which you watch on a regular basis), you would have a package that only offers 20 channels but they are all of your choosing and for those who want more channels there would be additional packages (ie $30 for 30 channels of your choice). The problem that I face now is that in order to get all of the channels I really enjoy (only 15-20 in total), I need to get a package that costs $50-$60 a month in and of itself and even if I watched TV 24-7 and watched all of the 155 chanels or whatever I still wouldn't feel like I had gotten my money's worth out of it. I for one am a sucker for the Documentary channels and no one offers a comprehensive package for them.

     

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  8.  
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    chris, Jun 9th, 2007 @ 1:35pm

    choosing your own channels

    I completely agree with choosing your own TV channels. I feel the same way with music, and don't even bother to watch movies on cable (or satellite, as we have now) because I refuse to have someone else "edit" or censor something I am old enough to watch in its entirety. There is so much trash on TV as it is, it's truly pathetic. Basically, we watch local channels when we have time, and for satellite (or cable, if you will), our interests are these channels, but not daily, or even weekly: ------- 1. ESPN (tennis only) ------- 2. MTV and VH1 ----------- 3. History Channel ----------- 4. Storm Channel --------- 5. BRAVO ------------- 6. Discovery Channel----------- Basically, that's it. Six channels out of 100 (which doesn't even include the cost for our local channels that we never had to pay for before), would cost us $6.95 (local) plus $29.99 = just under $40.00 a month...for what? When you look up America's Top 100, you can see all the crap they try to give you instead. You can't even get BRAVO in that lineup. I can't believe the crap DISH includes in the Top 100. Most of it is is time-wasting mind-crap for bedridden seniors, and people stuck in the hospital, basically. We looked at the Family Channel as an option, but they think families are all younger, and older family members need not apply. It is filled with mindless spew, something I never let my children watch because they were too healthy and played tennis, etc. We never liked Nickelodeon (too much advertising junk toys and foods) when my children were young, so we never subscribed, thankfully. What does freedom represent in America? Freedom of choice with religion, but not TV. -------------------- http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/whats_on_dish/programming_packages/at_100/packages.aspx

     

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  9.  
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    Derek, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 5:55pm

    Choosing own channels

    ya know i agree with all of you it would be a good idea to have a "pic own channels" package cause not counting the movie channels i only like maybe 50 channels that includes some of the locals in my area but not all actually all but 2 since in my area i can't even get the CW channel so i have to pay $5.99 for 6 channels so that i can and i only 1 watch 1 show on pbs and that's on sunday nites which i can get on BBC anyway thro the week so don't need that 1 however someone mentioned $2.50 per channel is a good idea especially for ppl on low income um if you think about $2.50 PER channel would be expensive for my 50 channels that comes to $125 which is a lil MORE than i'd pay for the Everything pkg provided by Dish Network with ALOT less channels now if they offered 3 channels for $1 then ya THAT would be a good idea cause for my 50 channels that's around $17 a month if they did 2 channels for $1 that would be $25.50 still a better rate than $39.99 for what 120 channels and maybe 15 or 20 of those worth watching if ya go up in pkgs u get more channels but a load more of crap channels i don't even listen to the "CD" channels except maybe 5 or 6 if i listen to them at all which is hardly ever and there's like 30-50 on the everything pkg. as far as the movie channels go well i like them all provided by dishnetwork except a few of the encore pkg like the western channel drama wam love i don't really watch those cause there not really what i call "movie" channels so i'd be willin to pay $31 for all of them except those channels i mentioned which is pretty much $1 per channel there's a few other channels i like but right now Dish doesn't offer them but i'd be happy to add them when they start offering those channels

     

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  10.  
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    Derek, Jun 13th, 2007 @ 5:55pm

    Choosing own channels

    ya know i agree with all of you it would be a good idea to have a "pic own channels" package cause not counting the movie channels i only like maybe 50 channels that includes some of the locals in my area but not all actually all but 2 since in my area i can't even get the CW channel so i have to pay $5.99 for 6 channels so that i can and i only 1 watch 1 show on pbs and that's on sunday nites which i can get on BBC anyway thro the week so don't need that 1 however someone mentioned $2.50 per channel is a good idea especially for ppl on low income um if you think about $2.50 PER channel would be expensive for my 50 channels that comes to $125 which is a lil MORE than i'd pay for the Everything pkg provided by Dish Network with ALOT less channels now if they offered 3 channels for $1 then ya THAT would be a good idea cause for my 50 channels that's around $17 a month if they did 2 channels for $1 that would be $25.50 still a better rate than $39.99 for what 120 channels and maybe 15 or 20 of those worth watching if ya go up in pkgs u get more channels but a load more of crap channels i don't even listen to the "CD" channels except maybe 5 or 6 if i listen to them at all which is hardly ever and there's like 30-50 on the everything pkg. as far as the movie channels go well i like them all provided by dishnetwork except a few of the encore pkg like the western channel drama wam love i don't really watch those cause there not really what i call "movie" channels so i'd be willin to pay $31 for all of them except those channels i mentioned which is pretty much $1 per channel there's a few other channels i like but right now Dish doesn't offer them but i'd be happy to add them when they start offering those channels

     

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  11.  
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    Faye, Oct 1st, 2007 @ 9:26am

    My child does not need to see junk for the brain

    I am tired of not knowing when a heavy swear word, a sexual image, or perhaps a traumatic devilish killing image will appear on a channel. It could be the comercial or even the show itself. I am getting rid of cable for this very reason. Since I can not know when to sheild an image or scene from my child. If I could pick chanels then I would pick the Dicouvery Channel or News Networks and Kids/family channels etc..

     

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  12.  
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    AG, Jan 4th, 2008 @ 5:34pm

    Thanks for Your comments

    I have been reading various sites trying to understand what this new law means to the general consumer. Your comments helped....so this is the law currently being passed? I see dates from late 2007, just want to confirm and gain a better understanding to make a sound decision for my household. Thanks.

     

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  13.  
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    Ron, Jan 15th, 2008 @ 2:37pm

    Pick n' match

    To me, a pick n' match lineup would be awesome....basically the same as thier current Top 100 or Family Package, etc...but have categories to choose from....eg., Package A would be 40 channels total...you pick 10 of this type, 5 of that type including, Sports, Religious, Home and Garden, Family, Local, Movies, etc....It's a sald bar...You get 2 meats, 4 veggies, a dessert and drink for $8. That would simplify things a whole lot.

     

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  14.  
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    Terry, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 1:20pm

    My wife is Japanese and they are already doing this. Of course they are way more advanced than us also, using their cell phones as credit cards, and bathing in adjustable artificially intelligent jaccuzzies that know what your body temp. is. She asked me why we have 100+ channels of poo. I wrote and called my cable/satellite provider telling them I will not be signing up for another contract. I love the idea of having a choice and now they know what I want, at least. I am only one person but my voice was heard! All of you should do something and not just type about it. Call and write em' and tell em' whatcha want!

     

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  15.  
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    dax, Jul 11th, 2008 @ 11:11am

    picking channels

    someone said that they are afraid that we will dictate to them what we want and what they tell us to watch will die.... well it's happening anyway . people are downloading just the shows they want to watch... they need to keep up with technology or get passed up .. i'd love to just subscribe to the three channels i ever watch.. no need for 76 channels of crap .. oh i mean 73!

     

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  16.  
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    Alexandra, Jul 22nd, 2008 @ 3:20pm

    We shoulld have the rights to pick and choosewhat we want if we Are Paying for a service. Why is very thing play by play- and we have o rights anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

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  17.  
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    Mike, Aug 2nd, 2008 @ 1:27am

    Re: what a load of rubbish

    Fact: cable companies pay for channels/ networks which includes programing.
    Fact:Price is already negoiated
    Fact: channel price is already covered so cable company makes profit.
    Fact:Cable companies now make money of advertising, which they clearly stated advertising would not be on Pay tv, now theres ads every five minutes.
    Fact: Most of the shows now offered by cable tv are repeats which have already run on free to air Tv.
    Fact:Cable Tv provides both outlet for consumer but also Tv networks, they make money of both.
    Fact:The channels/networks which no one watchs drives up the cost of pay tv.Because they are being purchased by pay tv companies, at the subscribes expence. It cost the millions of dollars for crap noone watches anyway.

    Fact: if i wanted to pay per channel $2 and i selected 20 channels that would cost me $40.00 a month if 1000 people selected a min 20 channels per month it would amount to $40000 if 200 thousand select there own 20 channels min it would amount to $8000000 now take $8000000 and times that by 12 months of the year $8000000* 12= $96000000 now ad how much cable companies earn from advertising and your looking at $96000000 * $10000000 = $196000000 and thats a conservitive estimate.
    Fact: It would cost no less or no more to provide every single channel pick as you will as long as they set a bare min channel amount.

    Fact: the only reason they dont want to do that is that there are companies and organisations which have Tv channels on cable tv which wouldnt get tv time any where else , we just wouldnt watch them, they would die of immediately and hence there broadcasting rights to freedom of speak would be killed off. BOO HOO for them, because it because of them cable cost what it does and why cable companies wont change their stupid policies.

    Thats the Facts. If you live in the United States of America
    instead of Australia increase that from 200000 to 1000000 customers or more per cable company and you get a much larger figure that would blow your minds away.Its staggering just how much cable companies make, its only through poor management and shit programing that blows there costs out. Dont be fooled by lies morons make. For instance the poplution in the USA is massive there are nearly 301,139,947 people in the USA. now if 200,000,000 all pick 20 channels min at $2 how much does that amount to ? Take a guess go on i dare ya.

    want to no the asnwer ? $400,000,000 per month by 12 months
    = $4,800,000,000
    Fact: tell me now they cant afford it. please dont forget advertising has to then be included on that figure.
    Throw in that these companys are world wide and the total figures for wha they make well add it up yourself because its just way to big a figure for me to do.

    SO theres the facts. make noise contact your ember of parliment and Government and start getting the wrong wrighted.

     

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  18.  
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    J-Fay, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 4:28pm

    Are you serious? Where are you getting these prices? Are you just making up what YOU think is fair? Do you believe that Disney is worth $2.50? Do you think Disney does? ESPN? Lifetime? Hallmark? Food Network?

    In theory, it is a great idea. But if it happens and ESPN says we want $30.00 for our one channel and Disney says " Well we're bigger so we are worth $35.00." We have to have Lifetime for the wife, what if they charge $15.00? The teenagers need MTV and VHI. There's another $15.00 for both. But wait, Dad wants Comdey Central. $8.00 please.

    $103.00 a month for your custome made package. I'll keep 2-71 and pay my $55.40. If I can't afford it. IT'S A LUXORY and I'll turn it off.

     

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  19.  
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    david, Nov 18th, 2008 @ 11:06am

    communist country!

    they should....why are they controlling us like communist korea?

     

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  20.  
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    dave, Jan 2nd, 2009 @ 9:50pm

    already doing this

    I do this already - it's called video on demand from netflix. Already removed the dish from my roof and don't miss it at all.

     

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  21.  
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    paul sansone, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 7:31pm

    pick your channels

    I was one of the first dish network subscribers in TN. and I got 10 channels for $10 in 1995.I sure liked it that way.90% of the the stuff on the dish is junk and bias anyways.I hope another satellite company starts up that allows us to choose what we want to pay for..

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    In a time when there are so many urgent needs for our elected representatives to be working on, it seems more than a little petty to be blogging about satellite television channels, but when I read the post that someone had already proposed legislation that would have ensured consumers the option of choosing the networks they pay to see and it was denied, I had to weigh in. The monthly amount we pay for satellite service through DirectTV has climbed, as have the number of channels we receive. The problem is, we don't want the vast majority of the channels we now have to pay for in order to see the relatively few channels we do. I couldn't tell you how many religious and/or shopping channels we have to wade through to get from one channel we actually watch to the next. Most of my viewing consists of one to two hours a day, three to five days a week, four to six channels, tops. That's it! I would like to be able to view about six channels that are currently included in my monthly 'package.' A small scale package by comparison with other offers. None of the 'premium'/movie channels are included. 'Basic,' it is called. 150 channels. How can we, the viewing public, move this issue forward without taking up alot of precious time from our busy lives and those of our officials. Any ideas? AJK

     

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  23.  
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    griffith88 (profile), Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 11:48am

    your kidding me

    Im really p%##ed off with the Satilite providers and the goverment for not letting us ala cart.What is the matter with them.Has the goverment ever looked at the chioces we get from directv and others.Im 62,I dont watch kid shows to often,so the family plan on directv is no good for me.I really like the military and science channel.I watch Fox news,and speed and ESPN.So I have to get the 200channel Choice extra package.GIVE ME A BREAK...somebody is getting paid to keep this out of congress.IT SUCKS give us our rights to buy the programming we will actually watch. Give us some different package choices.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2010 @ 6:02pm

    Wow

    No one is paying the Comcast $268.71/month like me....? It's really amazing I have the platinum package with ALL the channels, internet of 2Mbps up/15Mbps down and digital voice phone service. I went to order a Disney show off OnDemand, (OnDemand gives you access to a specific channels database of selected programming as long as you're subscribed to the channel.) I have Disney, it's channel 122, Comcast wanted to charge me another $15.95/month for Disney OnDemand. Please tell me why I should be required to pay them more when there is no other channels/services/offers that they can possibly give me? Short one of their giant satellite dishes and maybe a government rated OC 128/256 connection I already PAY them for everything else.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2010 @ 6:18pm

    get lawmakers that work for us

     

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  26.  
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    James, Feb 19th, 2011 @ 3:22pm

    Agree

    It would be great to be able to pick and choose the channel lineup that you prefer. I currently had to upgrade twice just to get 2 channels that I wanted to watch and they are not even premium channels. It would also prevent having to wade through numerous channels that I have no interest in just to find my favorite. I also have no need for the hundreds of music channels they have on there. I don't watch TV for the music.

     

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