CEO Of 21st Century Fox Thinks People Aren't Really Asking For A La Carte TV Channels

from the there's-a-farce-here-somewhere dept

There are two subjects that seem to keep TV execs in complete denial: cord cutting and the demand for a la carte TV packages. Both are very real (and, frankly, the increase in the former is somewhat driven by the latter), but to listen to cable execs it's just not happening. Not happening. La la la la, they can't hear you, not happening. The latest such example is from Chase Carey, CEO of 21st Century Fox, who insists that any such demand "is a farce" which some might see as a slight improvement from that time he called it a "fantasy," but not by much. So why is it "a farce?" Well, because Chase Carey knows better than you what you really want. And you want bundles because they're just that awesome.
"The bundle is still a great proposition for the consumer when you compare it to the a world of $5 lattes and cell phone bills,"
First of all, we've been hearing variations on the "what a good deal compared to the $5 latte" argument in a variety of industries, and it's almost always bogus. It's clearly an apples and oranges comparison here. No one forces you to buy the blueberry muffin, the "adult contemporary" CD, plus three smaller cups of coffee you'll never drink just to get that latte. Also, frankly, the $5 latte is the result of actually giving consumers what they want in a competitive market. The same cannot be said for the TV market. At all.

Here's a general rule of thumb modern businesses: if you're working on giving people what they actually want, that's probably a good thing and bodes well for your business. If, instead, you force them to deal with a bunch of crap they don't want -- and then mock them for suggesting a better product, you're not long for this world.


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  1.  
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    Arsik Vek (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 5:42am

    Well, he's actually totally right, when you consider the fact that they would price any a la carte options to ensure they get the same obscene payments out of customers. If people are paying $100 a month for the bundle, and the average person is only expected to get 5 channels, you can bet they're each gonna be $25+. A la carte or not, as long as there's no real competition, they're going to have a hand deep in your wallet.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 5:47am

    well, he IS right, nobody cares for "A La Carte TV Channels". In fact, less and less people care for TV at all.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 5:53am

    Mike doesn't get the point: those who pay $5 for a latte don't care about a few bucks.

    Oh, and cell phone bills: $100 bucks a month and up is typical, no one gives it a thought, except to brag...

    Anyhoo, after Mike has been in the cable biz -- or any biz beyond re-writing -- for a few years, and if clearly understood the "few bucks" principle, then he might have a point.

    "there's-a-farce-here" -- IT'S YOU, Mike, pretending yet again that you advise multi-billion industries, and that they care about your opinion they're doin' it all wrong.

    Where Mike daily proves the value of an economics degree.

    01:51:54[b-602-0]

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 5:53am

    "The bundle is still a great proposition for the consumer when you compare it to the a world of $5 lattes and cell phone bills"

    Did I miss the part where you have to have the latte every time you go into a store to buy something else, or the part where the latte is only available as part of a package that includes a bottle of water, hot chocolate and sandwich for $20? Did I miss the part where you can't choose to have the latte made the way you want it, but have to from a limited choice of options, rather than being able to choose from a range of sizes, milk types, flavourings, etc.?

    Plus, maybe things are different in the US, but aren't cell phone bills simply pre-built bundles of line rental/data/voice/text plans to begin with?

    What a strange, deluded analogy.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    Giving the option of building a custom channel list while giving a bottomline (ie: minimum 20 channels maybe?) would be GREATLY appreciated. Everywhere. Really.

    In other news I recently heavily downgraded my cable tv package and got netflix with a 5x faster connection while saving more than 50 bucks in the end. And if the movie isn't on Netflix then it does not exist. (I kid, I still look actively for indie stuff not there).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 5:58am

    I expect to hear the same tune being regurgitated by many big ISPs.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 6:02am

    He forgets one thing

    You can only watch one TV channel (per person) at a time!

     

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    Anonymous Howard (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 6:15am

    Re: Mike doesn't get the point: those who pay $5 for a latte don't care about a few bucks.

    You had a point until the last paragraph.

    I think the saying "less is more" is quite accurate in your case.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 6:16am

    Two points for consideration that seem relevant to me.

    1. I tend to believe that persons within an industry have access to information, current and historical, that inform their opinion. Thus, I believe it is a mistake to tell one who certainly has such information in hand that he/she if just plain wrong if I do not have such information so that we both talk using the same baseline of information.

    2. It does seem plausible that ala carte can distort the current economic model...one that might not be in the best interests of the public at large. Looking at the link in the link, http://www.broadcastingcable.com/blog/currency/analyst-says-unbundling-would-destroy-tv-value/125500 , it does seem to me that fair observations are made that merit being addressed and traversed.

    Ala carte has obvious appeal (like in a grocery story, buy only what you need and/or want).

    Perhaps a larger selection of bundled packages may be more beneficial. Frankly, I do not know. All I can say is this. I know what I would like, but it does not necessarily follow that I would be better off financially.

     

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    CARTE BITCOIN, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 6:16am

    Afraid..

    CEO Of 21st Century Fox is afraid of A La Carte TV Channels, no?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 6:21am

    As much as it would be nice to get TV channels a la carte, the economic reality is that bundling the channels makes less popular channels possible, because the popular ones (sports) subsidise them.

    Ben Thompson explains it very well in this piece, although he erroneously calls it "cord-cutting" instead of "unbundling".

     

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    Arsik Vek (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 6:22am

    Re: He forgets one thing

    You can only watch one TV channel (per person) at a time!

    Pffth, Amateur.

     

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    David, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 6:45am

    Cable is history at my house...

    Cable, as well as satellite TV, has been cut off completely at my house. It's not that I'm against TV -- I'm not -- but these days I spend all my money on my Internet connection and we watch what we want from the web. Considering my cable bill was over $250 a month (granted, with a lot of channels to choose from), it's been a welcome relief on my monthly expenses. Plus the family was really (mostly) watching reruns and so we find other, less expensive ways to watch those reruns. I personally don't watch sports on TV so I don't need the live sports games (something I know some people cannot live without). If we had unbundled access at a reasonable cost, I'd probably turn back on a few channels.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Mike doesn't get the point: those who pay $5 for a latte don't care about a few bucks.

    "You had a point"

    Where? All I see is an unfounded assertion that Americans are morons who love paying large utility bills without trying to get a better deal, followed by 2 paragraphs of rambling ad hom attacks on the writer of the article. Nary a point to be found, unless the former point is actually true, which still doesn't change the idea that Americans would be happy to find a better deal within an unrelated product in a different industry.

     

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    LAB (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:04am

    Reminds me of the music industry when file sharing began. Keep your head in the sand and the problem will go away. I have not had a TV for over a year and a half. I got rid of cable as it was too expensive and many channels I didn't watch. Netflix conditioned me to watch programming on demand and once that happened, how I viewed was fundamentally changed. Now, if I could pick channels a la carte it would not matter. I am conditioned to watch programming on demand.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:06am

    Out of the hundred-plus channels we get

    We watch about 15. And that number is going down. So unless they give us an a la carte option, in a few years, it won't be 8: it will be 0.

     

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    jsjohnson, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:12am

    So let's quit complaining....

    And show him once and for all. Is there an online petition site that would allow us to settle the question of whether a lot of people really want a la carte once and for all?

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:15am

    Re:

    prezactly...
    i'm so sick of our entitled media overlords i'd just as soon throw the teevee OUT the fucking door...

    i'm married, so i'm not in charge, so the teevee stays...
    (SWMBO got sick of it too, and we *briefly* cut the cord, but she got withdrawal shakes, so she got dish back... only month-to-month, though, no contract horseshit)

    while -yes- there are gems to be found on the teevee, for the most part, it is 90 out of 100 channels of crap that i HAVE TO PAY FOR to get the 10 i watch 90%+ of the time...

    again, while i can find some 'real' news sources like democracy now, some rt, etc; 90% of the news on teevee is TOTAL shit... (partly because it is endless faux-shocked horseshit, but mostly because of what they DON'T talk about, which is all the important stuff...)

    gee, you got korporate-owned media whose sole purpose is to reinforce the status quo and profit from that, and we get media whose sole purpose is to reinforce the status quo...
    that's surprising !

     

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    ethorad (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:18am

    Re:

    So basically by bundling a popular and unpopular channel together, they get people who don't want to watch the unpopular channel to subsidise those who do.

    The problem is the only way that is sustainable is if nobody else is allowed to compete. Otherwise another company will realise that they can offer a package of just the popular channel. They will be able to do that for a lower price than the bundle obviously. Then the only people who still buy the bundle will be those who want the unpopular channel.

    So they can only continue with their bundling practice by stifling competition, ie by interfering with the free market.

    Also, since when were cable companies in the business of creating niche channels so that everyone's pet interest was covered? As far as I know, being corporations, they are driven by profitability. The way they increase their profitability is by increasing their revenue - which means making a new channel and forcing their customer base to buy it. Sure they can claim to be serving some small demographic's wants - but only at the expense of everyone else.

    Why are niche channels on cable even required? Even the smallest niche can have video channels on the internet. Plus, smaller niches don't need a rolling 24hr feed by definition.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:18am

    Re:

    Well, considering I pay $100* for cable (including sports channels) and 10MB/s and 1000 X-net minutes including premium-rate lines, I'd argue that a lá carte channels should be an option, rather than a joke.

    *that's adjusted, based on currency rates - I pay £65/mo for all of the above and get some quality sports.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:26am

    I cut the cord 10 years ago or at least I told Comcast to cut the cord 10 years ago. I've recently noticed they still charge me a fee for local television channels too, even though I cancelled them 10 years ago and don't even have a cable line hooked up to my televisions. I get the "it's cheaper" this way speech when I ask about it and "you'll have to pay to reconnect" when I try to ditch the local TV channels. For some of us, they refuse to completely cut the cable and force services upon us we don't even want or use if we want internet from them. This is the problem with monopolies. I wish I had more options for internet service because Comcast seems really shady in their packaging schemes.

     

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    Crazy Canuck, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:31am

    What did the Fox say? =P

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Mike doesn't get the point: those who pay $5 for a latte don't care about a few bucks.

    Americans are morons

    Plenty are.

    Have you met 'em?

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:34am

    Re:

    on demand... and without commercials.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:42am

    Re:

    " It does seem plausible that ala carte can distort the current economic model"

    That is precisely the point. Currently they charge you for a lot of completely shit programming laced with advertisements that they can shove down your throat, they get paid several times for the same programmes and get paid shit loads of money as a result.

    The a la carte model would basically means that the head of Fox would take a pay cut. (mind you I hear Netflix are doing rather well)

     

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    cpt kangarooski, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:48am

    Well, I think they're about to miss the chance to gracefully transition to such a model. Frankly, I no longer even want channels a la carte. After all, most of the time I'm not watching the channel, and so I'd still be paying for something I wouldn't be using. I'd rather see individual shows be paid for directly.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Mike doesn't get the point: those who pay $5 for a latte don't care about a few bucks.

    True. The last paragraph, while a great sentiment, is not how most American companies do business today.

    The number of frustratingly successful companies that actively try to screw over their customers is quite large. IMHO "screw the customer" is the new "the customer is always right".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:54am

    Re:

    The question is if TV is relevant enough in the future to warrent any type of business-model.

    If you look at Youtube, they are moving foreward with their premium and freemium channels. Both of the concepts seem to attract mostly niche markets, but it is all produced with the specific market in mind.

    If you look at Netflix etc., they act like a VOD-channel with some specialized content for the internet and some bought licenses for TV-shows.

    Both are models with no need for a cable subscription. One is a bundle of a la carte VODs and one is based completely on unbundled VOD-channels.

    The bundled method has its place in the relatively unsaturated and rather significant market of flow tv-packaging made specifically for the internet-market (like Twitch.tv provides the options for livestreamed computer games!). As a whole it is a model among many, but the ties to the "TV first"-model has to be cut for the market to truely develop.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    Re: Mike doesn't get the point: those who pay $5 for a latte don't care about a few bucks.

    I have no home phone, only cell phone. I will pay for a $5 latte on the rare occasion I really want such a thing, because I am treating myself.

    I have NO cable because I only have the luxury of a few hours of free time after work which I mix up with other activities. I am not interested in paying an additional 70-80 dollars to watch the three channels or so that have shows I enjoy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:00am

    Re:

    I originally had purely internet package at around $70 from them. Got a call to add local channels and they said it would reduce the bill. I made sure that they wouldn't increase the price later in any way such as in 6 months or 6 years from now. Now my bill is $65 a month for about a year now and I just put the digital receiver in my closet.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:03am

    The bundles certainly are a good deal...

    ...for the cable companies but not for the consumer. They have the bundles strategically split up so that for the average consumer to get the channels they really want, they have to have every channel offered. For me, I would have to get the top tier bundle to get the last couple channels I want. I refuse to do it so I do without.

    Oh, and I also do without the $5 latte.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:06am

    Re: Cable is history at my house...

    Yep, same as my situation.

    I had 30mb internet and cable TV with HD-DVR service. My bill was $196. I cut the cable TV cord at the beginning of this year and shaved off over $110 from my bill. Now, I go with internet only and use Netflix, Amazon Prime and (occasionally) Vudu for rentals. If I can't find it on one of those services, it simply doesn't exist to me.

    Cable and satellite TV is way, way, WAY over-priced. Execs think they're providing us "value" with their bundles. But, they're not. At all. If niche channels would die with a la cart, then they simply deserve to die.

    Consumers expect a la cart because they are quite frankly fed up with buying things they aren't interested in in order to get something they are interested in. They also expect to be able to lower their monthly bill as a result of a la cart. And it is this point that execs are fighting against because their shareholders would never agree to a scenario where most of the consumers would be able to lower their monthly bill as opposed to continually seeing bi-annual rate hikes.

    But, that's just too bad. As long as they continue to bury their collective heads in the sand and not adapt and give consumers what they want, I'll continue to refuse to give them my money.

     

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    Nick (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:11am

    I worked as a phone agent at DirecTV for a while, and I heard from customers all the time as to why they have to pay for packages with all these channels that sucked. The most basic package (that they never advertise) has about 30 channels plus locals for 30 bucks a month. Some people looking to reduce their bills go to it, and complain that NOTHING is available. The next step up? the 70 channel pack for 60-70 bucks. And still very few movie channels.

    The REAL meat of TV packages come ala carte already: HBO, Starz, Showtime, Encore, etc. However, those cruise on their success (and have to pay for modern movie rights) and charge about 15/month for their packages each.

    I'm in favor of pay-per-channel programming, but once you got it, would you REALLY shell out for the one or two channels that you - while waiting for that movie to start - clicked over for half an hour? I'm talking about Discovery, History, TLC, and other channels like that. They have something neat to watch once in a while, but when you're looking at your bill, it's hard to justify paying for them, even $1/month (which I doubt it will be that low).

    Everyone, everywhere, wants to take out the channels they don't watch (GodTV), but somewhere there is someone that doesn't want AMC and watches only GodTV, so they want to strip out AMC. It's a lose-lose situation for programmers, now that I think about it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:11am

    The best option would be to offer both choices ..my $5 latte has been made at home for about 25 cents since I decided no one has the right to make my purchasing choices for me

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    Re:

    If less popular channels are not profitable then they do not deserve to exist. Why should I pay for crap. If the niche channel has no market then put something in it's place that customers want. That is just good business!! The CEO of 21st Century Fox needs a refresher course in business 101...

     

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    RD, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    Re: Mike doesn't get the point: those who pay $5 for a latte don't care about a few bucks.

    "there's-a-farce-here" -- IT'S YOU, Mike, pretending yet again that you advise multi-billion industries, and that they care about your opinion they're doin' it all wrong."

    If you dont like it, please feel free to FUCK OFF to another site that is more in line with your thinking. I hear the RIAA and MPAA have sites now. Or you could do actual work and create your own blog/site compatible with your views instead of being a useless shill slug doing NOTHING but whining about the inadequacies of a site you seem unable to separate yourself from. But that would require work, and thought, and creativity (to say nothing of giving up your shill paycheck by Big Media) and as you have so ably demonstrated on a daily basis, you are incapable of any level of success.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:28am

    Re:

    I tend to believe that persons within an industry have access to information, current and historical, that inform their opinion. Thus, I believe it is a mistake to tell one who certainly has such information in hand that he/she if just plain wrong if I do not have such information so that we both talk using the same baseline of information.

    Sounds plausible but..

    Whenever I haved become privy to this "information" it has turned out not to be what I thought it would be.

    You have to remember that such information will only be available if the person in charge takes the trouble to make it available and then only in a form that they dictate. Thus there is a high probability that the assumptions that they started with will be built into said information.

    Your attitude is a recipe for willing subjugation to those who you beleive know better than you do. If the American founding fathers had taken that line the USA would have remained a British colony.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:35am

    Re:

    Giving the option of building a custom channel list while giving a bottomline (ie: minimum 20 channels maybe?) would be GREATLY appreciated.
    Well it'd certainly be a welcome start... Of course the real consumer option is to have 1 big "channel" with á la carte shows, where you can sample to see if you like it then sign up for a season at a time for example.

    If only there were some mechanism that would allow for TV shows to be accessed like that... Wait a moment! How about that "inter-tubes" thing with..um... "earcommerce" or something?

     

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    Dirkmaster (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Cable is history at my house...

    " Execs think they're providing us "value" with their bundles."

    They are, to their stock holders. Customers, naw. But who cares about them? Where else are they gonna go?

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re:

    This. There are two things I stopped being willing to do many years ago: arrange my schedule just to watch a particular show, and put up with advertising. Before online streaming became useful, I did this with DVDs. Streaming or no, broadcast & cable TV aren't appealing to me -- especially cable TV, which is an insanely bad value proposition.

     

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    me@me.net, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: yep

    music industry
    movie industry
    cable industry

    heads up ass, and clouded by greed. They deserve to fail if they can't or won't adapt.

     

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    BentFranklin (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    If a latte costs $5 it's precisely because the consumer was offered a variety of a la carte choices and chose options that amounted to $5.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 8:59am

    Re:

    I technically subscribe to the basic Comcast package too, because my internet service really is cheaper that that way. I think it's how Comcast plumps up their cable TV subscriber numbers.

    I don't even have the box hooked up, though.

     

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    Crusty the Ex-Clown, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:02am

    Newton Minow was right

    It's all a vast wasteland. Why bother turning the damn thing on, unless it's to watch a DVD?

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:04am

    It's not $5 lattes. It's $5 bottles of tap water.

    If Hollywood is wondering why people don't go to movies anymore, maybe it's because they're paying too much to have movies at home. When I hear about people paying $2,000 a year or more for commercial laden TV, I just have to call them crazy.

    The interesting thing about Netflix is they bundle ALL the content and you pay for the whole package, but it only costs $8/month ($96/year). And I can watch it on my own schedule without commercials.

    I'd love to say I'm a cord cutter, but I've never had a cord to cut. Between Netflix and my local library, I've got more things to watch than hours in the day to watch them.

    So I save my money and spend that extra $1,900 on theatre, games, travel, music, books, and maybe a few blurays.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:06am

    I don't know what he is talking about I already have a la carte.

    Netflix and Youtube.

    He is not getting my money from bundles I can assure you.

     

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    Crusty the Ex-Clown, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re:

    What you're leaving out are the fees paid to the cable company by the shopping networks, which are based on the number of viewers reached. You get a discount on Internet-with-basic over Internet alone precisely because of said fees. (I used to be on the local cable TV board - what a joke that was.)

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    All people want it to be able to watch whatever they want, whenever they want, and however they want it. Whoever can do that gets my money. Right now the closest thing it Netflix.

    Since I stopped watching TV, my life has become almost completely absent of advertising, and my desire to buy things has dropped significantly. I'm no longer filled with want, and it's pretty nice.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re:

    If you look at Netflix etc., they act like a VOD-channel with some specialized content for the internet and some bought licenses for TV-shows.
    Indeed, Netflix would be an pretty good model, were it not for the total lack of decent content.

    I think it's pretty dishonest for companies like fox to hamstring services like this by refusing content or "offering" it at obviously infeasible rates and then claim there's no market for it.

     

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  50.  
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    Pragmatic, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: Mike doesn't get the point: those who pay $5 for a latte don't care about a few bucks.

    Cathy's paranoid ravings aren't getting her the adoring crowds of followers she craves so she posts here in the hope of landing the Alex Jones audience. She fails at every turn as logic ain't her thing. Oops!

     

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  51.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:27am

    Re:

    Thus, I believe it is a mistake to tell one who certainly has such information in hand that he/she if just plain wrong if I do not have such information so that we both talk using the same baseline of information.
    Well call me a rebel if you must, but I prefer to believe the real, if anecdotal, evidence of everyone I know who has cable or satellite TV saying "Why the hell do I have to pay for 200 channels of crap to get the 20 I want to watch?" over the assumed and possibly entirely imaginary "evidence" of someone with a vested interest in selling me the 200 channels of crap...

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:39am

    Food and TV isn't the same.

    When I go buy a quick meal from a buffet at a grocery store near work, I almost feel guilty at times paying less then $4 for a drink and a sandwich I built myself, makes me wonder "how can they stay in business with such low prices". I'd gladly continue to shop there even if they added $3 to their prices, since it's good food and I can have quick lunches by myself there.

    If cable ran such a food place however, they'd be telling me that even though I just want a salad, a drink, and a bag of chips that day that I also need to buy a taco, a burger, a ham sandwich, and a 2 liter bottle of soda for $25 total. Why should I have to buy all that food and a 2 liter bottle of soda that I'll never eat/drink?

     

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  53. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:42am

    So true

    i find all sorts of (usually old and obscure) movies and TV shows on YouTube, which also has Let's Plays, YouTube Poops and other goodies you can't get on TV

    Firefox + Adblock so I never see commercials or ads, don't have to put up with channels (Except the user kind) or time slots i just go pick what i want to watch when i want to watch it

    Hollywood can suck it

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:44am

    Same here

    internet is awesome

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:46am

    A geek chanel with an anti-geek name.

    This "niche" content argument is overrated. While I was still subscribed to cable, I realized that my favorite niche channel had gone to the dogs and that a whole host of other channels were doing far better at serving that particular "limited demographic".

    Although it still turned out that I didn't ever even bother recording of off any more than a few channels.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Decent content is subjective.

    I've had Netflix for several years, and never lacked for something to watch, and still have over a hundred things in my queue waiting for me.

     

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  57.  
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    JR Price (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    This can't be OotB. This posting actually makes sense, is on topic, doesn't berate Mike, doesn't mention Google at all and is not inflammatory at all.

    I don't know whether to be disappointed that someone else is using OotB's name or glad that this wasn't the usual load of horse-hockey that we usually get from this name...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:06am

    Cant wait until every person is streaming and these morons are out in the cold trying to sell their "sweet bundles" for a thousand dollars a month to 90 year olds.

    Kind of a freakish trend "Ceo of X scared of the future, scared of innovation, digs in heels, comfortable right where he is scamming people, denial etc "

    Seems to be a common affliction at this point among legacy companies.

     

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  59.  
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    ECA (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    FREE Tv, I find it very funny.,

    that in MUCH of the world..
    Sat service is free..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-to-air

    The reasoning is that the COST of setting up Antenna's around 1 nation if VERY VERY HIGH, and limits your coverage, when 1-2 Sats can hit everyone on a continent..

    There are Tons of channels sent to Sat for free, but NOT in the AMERICAS..

    http://www.lyngsat.com/freetv/index.html

    The FUN part is getting a receiver that uses the USA formats. $50-$300..

    HOw many channels do you want?
    http://www.lyngsat.com/freetv/United-States.html

     

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  60.  
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    jackn, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    cable execs

    There's a job title I am glad to see disappearing from our universe.

     

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  61.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    It makes sense.

    They've found a great way to make a lot of money. They look at all the other new options, but none of them bring in as much money. It seems illogical to change to something that doesn't make as much profit.

    ...Until one day the new services do bring in more money, and by that time it's too late for them to change. Someone else owns the business. That's the future they can never see.

     

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    Rapnel (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    A La What?

    Cable television is nothing but an exceptionally well engineered advertisement trap. Nothing else.

    I'll go out on a limb and say bundling any cable tv offering (if they existed) is an idea that has been aged out.

    Too nothing, too late.

     

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  63.  
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    PRMan, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:50am

    Re:

    You actually admit to using the Google service YouTube?

     

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  64.  
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    PRMan, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re:

    I like GodTV. It's the best of all the Christian channels. Besides, they actually pay to be on the air, don't they? So it's hard to remove someone who's paying to be there.

     

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  65.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re:

    I technically subscribe to the basic Comcast package too, because my internet service really is cheaper that that way. I think it's how Comcast plumps up their cable TV subscriber numbers.

    I wish Cox had a similar system. Cox's basic package, with local channels, is $34.99 a month (a price I paid when I initially cut the cable.) Cable internet, unbundled, is $73.99 a month, but ~$65 a month if you bundle it with phone and basic cable (it is more if you skip the phone.) Doing the math, $34.99+$25(phone)+$65 > $73.99, which meant I dropped the extra $80 and paid the extra ~$15 a month.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike doesn't get the point: those who pay $5 for a latte don't care about a few bucks.

    I've been to over 10 countries around the world and Americans are far from the only morons on the planet. They just continue to think the world revolves around them and if you're not from "The U.S. of A.", then you must have grown up in a third world country.

    "You're from where... Czechoslovakia? do you guys have internet there?"

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, this is my experience as well. I use Netflix because it's the service that gives me almost all of what I want fro such a service. I think there is lots of decent content there.

     

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  68.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    My Comcast bill, with the "have to take basic cable" discount + one step up from the slowest internet service, is about $80 a month. Which is crazy expensive, but I have no realistic alternative.

     

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  69.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How can they count me as a "viewer reached" when I don't even have my cable box hooked up?

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 11:54am

    Re: FREE Tv, I find it very funny.,

    HOw many channels do you want?


    None.

    The concept of "channels" is obsolete and worthless to me. They represent inconvenience. What I want is to watch things that interest me, on my own schedule.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re:

    that's not the blue you think it is.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 12:21pm

    Re:

    Basically what I said when the government here just recently made it law for them to offer single channels. Forget when this is to take effect. I'm in Canada if you wish to google it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 12:38pm

    21st century fox .. with that thinking it should have remained 20th century fox

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Re:

    This is how I actually consume television. I buy a season pass here and there on iTunes for the must see shows, and catch everything else when it comes to Netflix, and end up spending way less than everyone I know spends on cable. Life is so much better without commercials.

     

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    ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Which is crazy expensive, but I have no realistic alternative.

    Agree. I have alternatives, but they aren't any better or are far, far worse. I'd love to get local channels without having to pay $34.99 to get the bundled channels (which seems ridiculous since I can buy a whole house digital antenna for less than one month of buying theirs.) It is either Cox, GSM/CDMA, or 1.5 mbps ADSL here.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 1:37pm

    Yes we are.

     

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    bob, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 1:39pm

    clueless executive

    of course he is clueless hell have you seen him he still thinks a handlebar mustache is cool

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 1:49pm

    Good. The longer they deny it the harder will they fall.
    If they manage to keep themselfs in the dark for a few more months then they will hopefully disappear from the market forever.

     

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    Jim, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

    I made a comment to a previous post where I estimated that the a la carte price to Fox News viewers, based on The State of the News Media web site and the ratings of the highest rated show on the network, would be about $110/month, assuming minimal commercials, especially since advertising would be much less attractive to such a limited audience. I would love to widen such a study, but there's virtually no other network cost or international revenue data available publicly, not surprisingly. I would estimate though, based on my reading, that the ESPN channels would be about $40/month, other sports providers $5-10 each. Also, since there are so many entertainment/reality channels out there, USA would likely run $7-8, Discovery (only, not their suite) about $5, and so on. Of course, these figures are different than what the cable companies pay the channels for each viewer...it's strictly a total cost divided by viewer calculation, estimating the "replacement cost" that each viewer would have to pay on an a la carte basis, like they were paying for HBO, and assuming no profit for the networks. Such a full analysis would settle a lot of arguments and show the full extent of this system's dysfunction.

    This analysis shows a few things:

    1. Entertainment viewers tend to subsidize sports and news programming, in general, not the other way around. As the global depression drags on, professional and college sports leagues are going to find it hard to keep getting ever increasing rights fees, as the entertainment viewers get tired of this mess and just subscribe to Netflix.
    2. Some channel categories, like 24-hour news, will probably just finish their collective decline and belly up in the next 10 years, which is likely a good thing for humanity.
    3. Entertainment programming will either have to concentrate on certain channels, like an HBO, a USA, and a Netflix paradigm, or go full out to a pay-per-show world online. Given that this would already create a huge decline for the industry, the risks of a pay-per-show arrangement would be too much for the industry to bear. As such, I think a much smaller cable bundle, with decent channels might be the industry's last gasp.

    Inefficient cable TV bundles are OK in a very prosperous world, but people just don't have the money to pay a $100/month "Hollywood and sports" tax every month nowadays. As a sports-only viewer, a la carte would be a wash, but entertainment viewers would see a big savings. Viewers in other categories, like news, shopping, religion, or music, would be hit hard. However, niche markets can be sated online, so I look forward to a day where people can choose whether to pay $10/month to watch Kim Kardashian...I think they'll choose "No thanks."

     

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    Greevar (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 1:56pm

    I only need my cable to do one thing: connect me to the internet. I don't need their TV packages, I can get my own entertainment online just fine. So let them drive their business into the ground, nobody needs them anymore.

     

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    John85851 (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 2:48pm

    What happens if they remove your channel?

    I've said this before in other "a la carte" threads, but:
    Who says which channels are crap? I may not watch the 10 golf channels, but I suppose someone else does.

    The problem with a la carte pricing is that cable providers will start making deals with the content providers (or the other way around) where the cable provider has to guarantee X number of subscribers or they won't carry the channel. After all, if no one watches ESPN Golf 3, why should the cable company pay ESPN to carry it?
    The bigger problem comes when you're the only one watching a channel and the cable company removes it. Everyone will then get upset that their favorite channel was taken away... and you know that the people who complain will be the ones who don't know about Hulu or other Internet-based services.

     

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    Jake, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because it's very difficult to prove you aren't without resorting to the kind of dodgy surveillance tactics that have generated rather a lot of bad press lately (this blog, passim), so the home shopping networks have to continue ponying up and taking the provider's word for it until they finally go bankrupt because who buys stuff from them anyway?

     

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    ECA (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:16pm

    Re: Re: FREE Tv, I find it very funny.,

    cHANNELS IS A DESIGNATION, A desCRIPTION..

    Like the number 1 or 2..

    If you really want to know...Every link you use on the net can be called a CHANNEL..

    AFTER all these years, HULU HAS FAILED.
    If you dont know what theat is..its the CORPS trying to drag you into INTERNET TV..and more commercials.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 12:54am

    Re: Re:

    Agreed. In the end the cable tvs should be a big netflix with everything.

     

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  85.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 1:01am

    Re:

    "If Hollywood is wondering why people don't go to movies anymore"

    ...then they've missed the actual data coming out of their own industry. Due to a poor showing at some movies in the first half of the year, it's true that this year looks to be disappointing in the sense that it's not breaking any records. But, on a long-term view, the number of tickets sold looks to be at least on par with the early to mid-90s and the total gross is much higher in the last 5 years than any point in history, including this year (not adjusted for inflation). Source: http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/

    This is, however, before a couple of expected major blockbusters - the sequels to The Hobbit and Anchorman should have strong opening weekends if nothing else, and the feeling seems to be that Walter Mitty and other movies over the next couple of weeks could either be major successes or major flops - if the former, then 2013 will remain a strong year theatrically. That's also not counting international grosses, of course, which seem stronger than ever, with some films making the majority of their money overseas (a quick flick through the list of this year's releases shows most made 60-80% of their total gross outside of the US, with a few exceptions).

    There's a different potential argument relating to the home and broadcast markets, but since the industry is notoriously cagey about releasing accurate figures for those, I can't make an educated argument. I suspect that's what they're really complaining about, but between lower interest in owning DVDs and strong competition from both streaming and other media such as video games, they're fooling themselves if they think they can return to the 90s on that market.

    "When I hear about people paying $2,000 a year or more for commercial laden TV, I just have to call them crazy."

    This, I agree with.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 1:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Indeed, Netflix would be an pretty good model, were it not for the total lack of decent content."

    You know, everyone's entitled to their own tastes, but I always question people who say things like this. Unless your definition of "decent" consists of "something that was released at the cinema by a major studio in the last 6 months or be the very latest episode of a TV show, no exceptions" or "the TV show must have been produced by HBO", I honestly can't fathom how people can make this claim. The TV back catalogue alone would take my lifetime to get through what I would like to watch, and that's not including repeat viewings of favourite shows or movie streaming. There's holes, sometimes annoying ones, but the constant newly added content usually fills those gaps for me even if something I would like to watch expires.

    But, hey, each to their own. As long as you realise that it's the content providers at fault for not allowing Netflix to stream the content you desire, not an inherent problem with Netflix's business model, then your opinion is valid. We don't agree by a long shot, but it's valid.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 1:52am

    Re: Re:

    Definitely not the same character. It's not only sane, but recommends a Google service.

    Which mystifies me, really. I say "character" because it's possible that this is the sane person, but either adopting a different persona so they can pretend that people are unjustly reporting the ranting loon or after they've actually taken whatever anti-psychotics they've been prescribed. Either that, or it's someone reusing that name to make a point, but for some reason making an actual response rather than simply mocking the originator of the handle.

    If it's not someone with mental issues suddenly having a moment of clarity, I still think they need to find a better holiday, preferably one that brings them closer to actual people.

     

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    Vincent Clement (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 6:26am

    In a way, the headline is right. People are moving beyond a la cart TV channels. They are moving straight to a la carte TV shows.

     

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    @BroadcasterLove (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 6:28am

    Broadcasters Retran Fees are now SUBSIDIZED by Broadband

    Broadcasters sitting on Free Airwaves=No Innovation the past 40 years. Can anyone point to innovation by the Broadcasters?

    Broadcasters retransmission fees have grown from $230M in 2006 to $3B in 2012 and predicted growth to $6B by 2017, yet PayTV subs are declining.
    The simple fact is cable broadband subscribers are now subsidizing the PayTV bundle and retransmission fees!
    Broadcasters business model built on corporate lobbying and subsidies are not in the consumer's interest. Broadcasters fear Free Markets. What say you?

     

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    @BroadcasterLove (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 6:32am

    Re: PayTV is a Great American Scam- Give up the GHOST

    Broadcasters sitting on Free Airwaves=No Innovation the past 40 years. Can anyone point to innovation by the Broadcasters?

    Broadcasters retransmission fees have grown from $230M in 2006 to $3B in 2012 and predicted growth to $6B by 2017, yet PayTV subs are declining.
    The simple fact is cable broadband subscribers are now subsidizing the PayTV bundle and retransmission fees!
    Broadcasters business model built on corporate lobbying and subsidies are not in the consumer's interest. Broadcasters fear Free Markets. What say you?

     

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  91.  
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    @BroadcasterLove (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: Your Analysis and Thinking is FLAWED

    Dear Coward,
    Here in NYC you ONLY HAVE ONE CHOICE for broadband, either TWC, Fios, or RCN. All landlords let ONE provider in to get exclusivity $$$$, the consumer is trapped with no competition and no choice of provider.

    Add in PayTV bundle and broadband- take a look at Craig Moffett's analysis on a clear trend of decling PayTV subs and the growth in Retransmission fees means cable broadband is now subidizing PayTV.

    Give up the Ghost- broadcast networks need to change and adpat to free markets like OTT services or they will be replced by other co9ntent.

    The younger genration is not buying PayTV !

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Re: FREE Tv, I find it very funny.,

    A channel being a description of a preprogrammed stream of content that is broadcast on a fixed schedule. Links aren't channels if each link takes you to a single piece of content that you can watch any time.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Decent content is subjective.
    A fair point, that was the wrong term to use. What I meant was that in order to replace TV, a service like Netflix has to have at the very least the same access to content as every other TV provider... ie the latest TV shows and the same access to released films.
    You're right, much of this new stuff isn't necessarily "decent content" and many won't miss it, or are prepared to wait until Netflix are allowed to make it available, but the content companies hamstringing services like Netflix doesn't allow them to compete on a level playing field.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As long as you realise that it's the content providers at fault for not allowing Netflix to stream the content you desire, not an inherent problem with Netflix's business model,
    That was my point, I should probably have said "up to date" instead. How the hell that's not unfair competitive practices is beyond me... but then I'm neither a lawyer nor a stinking rich corporation...

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are right. It would be great if anyone could license any content from the studios, but they have largely monopolized film and television distribution in this country - whether in theatres or on cable or on broadcast.

     

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    Anonymous, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 3:31pm

    Now we know what the Fox say!

     

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    Hellmark, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 9:07am

    I disagree

    I personally don't watch a lot of TV, and didn't have cable channels until earlier this year. I went for one of the largest packages available, because the channels that seemed of interest to me are split up. I watch Fox Sports Midwest during Baseball season, Animal Planet, History, Discovery, HBO, and my local broadcasters. Every now and again I'll watch a Random channel, but that isn't that frequent. I have an over hundred dollar TV bill, for what equates out to be 5 channels.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2013 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike doesn't get the point: those who pay $5 for a latte don't care about a few bucks.

    This is not as wide-spread an opinion as you make believe it to be.

     

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    Arlena Jones, Feb 2nd, 2014 @ 12:36pm

    Intervene.LLC

    Arlena T. Jones
    118 Fellow Avenue
    Kalamazoo, MI 49001
    269-501-1740 269-321-2529
    arlenatjones@yahoo.com

    Objective:
    Seeking a position that would allow me to use my skills inSocial Service and or related field.

    Employment History:

    The Connector Head start Program
    Atlanta, GA
    09/2006-01/2007

    Lead Teacher
    Provided preschool education to 12 children ages newborn to 2years old, facilitated before and after school programs, substituted for teachers when necessary, participated/organized educational activities and outings and found creative alternatives to traditional discipline.

    Agape community Center
    Atlanta, GA
    Group and Team Leader
    Worked with a team offering students, staff, and community members an educational based sexual health program, various topics included; communication skills, drugs, alcohol, healthy reproductive issues, and sexual assault, performed educational research for students, collected donations, performed community service, food drives and traveled with students.

    Pace Academy
    Atlanta, GA
    08/2005- 02/2006
    Substitute Teacher
    Attended professional workshops and clinics, organizing team development activities and moral, worked with team members individually on the development of athletic skills and ability.


    The Lovett School
    Atlanta, GA
    08/2005-02/2006
    Head Basketball Coach
    Organized team selection, attended professional workshops/clinic, organized activities that encouraged team development and moral, worked with each team member on the development of athletic skills and ability.

    Prevention Works
    Kalamazoo, MI
    05/2004-07/2005
    Program Facilitator
    Worked with families and youths from various backgrounds/situations, facilitated adult health promotionprograms, taught Peer Education programs, life skills program, developed program agenda, attended community events, health fairs and research of current health trends in adolescence, teens and families encouragement of active parenting.

    Department of Children & Family Services
    Decatur, IL
    01/2002-02/2004
    Youth Advocate
    Facilitated family and individual youth counseling, response programs, youth and family referrals and recommendation, interventions, abuse and neglect social services programs and general youth home and health evaluations.

    Education:

    Chuck Bentley Apprentice
    Chuck Bentley Production Mix Company 24
    Kalamazoo, MI

    PMN Intern
    Kalamazoo, MI
    2011

    PMN –TV-Radio Certification
    Public Media Network
    Kalamazoo, MI
    2010

    Business Financial
    Henry Ford Community College
    Detroit, MI
    Completed 2010

    CTI Life Coach
    Co-Active
    Chicago, IL
    Completed in 2009

    Major: Sports & Entertainment Marketing American International University, MI
    Major: Sports Marketing
    Kalamazoo Valley Community College
    Richland Community College
    Major: Political Science
    Loy Norrix High School Diploma 2001






    Certificates and Licenses:

    Active Parenting, Active Parenting LLC, GA
    Strengthening families, Prevention Works Organization, MI
    Celebrate families, Prevention Works Organization, MI
    Skills and Abilities:
    Excellent communication skills, service provider, 13 years experience with facilitation and training of Community outreach programs, and six years experience coaching and mentoring.

    Honors and Activities:
    PMN Volunteer of the Year, ASEP American sport education program, 2005 Women National Football League, S.W. Michigan Jaguars 2005 Salvation Army Youth Volunteer Basketball Coach 2004-2005. The Boys and Girls Club of Kalamazoo Volunteer and Youth of the Year 1998-1999, March of Dimes “Walk America” Volunteer 2002, Kalamazoo Gospel Mission “Feed Kalamazoo” Volunteer 2001.

    Notes and Other Information:
    I am an experienced program facilitator and motivational speaker, specializing with youth counseling, parent empowerment and family communication skill building. I posses extensive knowledge in a wide variety of family counseling programs, which bride the communication gap with families and offer innovative parenting tools. In addition I have experience offering youth health education and proven problem solving methods that can be applicable to the real world.



    Thank you


    Sent from my iPhone

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
    identicon
    Duke Nukem, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 7:59pm

    Here's a hint as to getting indie movies that aren't on Netflix

    ...it's called renting DVD from a physical bricks & mortar store, many of which (if you look around) still exist in big cities in the USA. Keeping cable TV for channels like The Sundance Channel and IFC so that you can see said indie movies also helps too.

    Amazingly enough. my sister and brother in-law still watch TV and movies on cable, but have given up DVD's completely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    identicon
    Duke Nukem, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Re:

    Some of these niche channels could become local digital OTA LPTV (low-power TV) channels like Star Ray TV here in Toronto where I live.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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