A La Carte Channels Would Cost More

from the so-they-say dept

As expected, the FCC report studying what would happen if cable companies were forced to offer a la carte programming, so subscribers could pick and choose what channels they wanted, would likely result in people paying much more for their programming. The reasoning is that the costs to providers to handle the marketing and equipment changes would drive up the costs. By just offering a few bundles, and using existing equipment, costs can be kept much lower. The real issue probably isn’t so much the lack of a la carte programming, but that the programming offered doesn’t always match what people want. Of course, if providers don’t figure out how to let subscribers see what they want, they’ll just start to go elsewhere (legal or not).

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Comments on “A La Carte Channels Would Cost More”

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Chris (user link) says:

No Subject Given

I’m a little dubious.
And if it truly is cost effective to the consumer to have 17 channels, why not allow the consumer to pick which 17 channels to include in their own package? And if it’s only cost effective to have a certain number of “premium” channels against a certain number of “deep cable” channels… why not let the consumer pick from a collection in each category?

It’s a restrictive model against the consumer who wants choices.

eskayp says:

Re: No Subject Given

If consumers were allowed to choose, and pay for, channels on an individual basis we would all undoubtedly like it better.
One concern is that less popular, but valuable, channels like Discover and History would cost more per unit than popular (but fluffy and glitzy) channels that airheads prefer.
In spite of being more educational, documentary, or reality based, the channels with lower viewership would probably cost more, or be eliminated entirely.
Broadcast TV and the major networks have shown a proclivity to cater to the least common denominator.
I have yet to see any indication that cable would do otherwise.
That’s the price of capitalism and monopoly.
That said, our provider (CableOne) has repeatedly aroused the ire of local subscribers by shunting the more popular channels into the pricier bracket, while filling the ‘basic package’ with the least popular selections.
Many people dislike those selections but cannot afford better.
Again, capitalism and monopoly at work.
One alternative is having local government, or a community non-profit entity provide cable TV.
I believe this has been done already in New England, providing cafeteria menuing, a better selection of channels, and lower pricing, but I don’t know the details or history.
Last I heard, the commercial cable industry was fighting tooth and claw to have this option outlawed.
Hm, capitalism and monopoly, yet again.
Most of us don’t mind playing our fair share, but we become a little testy when we feel like we are being squeezed.
This turnip may decide to seek alternatives to bleeding.
I didn’t abandon Windows.
Windows abandoned me: BSOD.

Bill C says:

A'la Carte TV

I accidently hit the NetSat a’la carte thread and almost flipped. This is what I want – not to be forced to subscribe to 100ch of crap. I have been debating buying pirate decoders rather then have “free” sat systems just out of spite to avoid paying for garbage. I want ten channels and would be willing to pay $20 a month for them (or $10 for five ch) but not $40 a month for 100+ channels full of you know what. That is, I would be willing to pay four or five times the cost per “unit”. What busy, rational, intelligent person whishes to be exposed to 100+ channels of hideous dreck. To think that this might be bundled (some time in near future) in some way with affordable Sat Digital I-net or TiVo/RSS style downloading of selected programming would be wonderful. Digi TV providers will of course deny any such program could be profitable. They have had the power to forcably subject their customers to endless horors and have avioded any free market interplay. Let the programming that no one ewants to see just shrivel up and blow away and NOT be subsidized by my dollars. I like to use the analogy of the municipal monopoly offering 10K gallons of dirty water at a discount, at the same price as 1K clean water. Not a strictly accurate comparison, but close. There is no value in 10,000 minutes of “unlimited” cell phone use never needed nor in 100 TVch of idiocy unwanted.

Bill C

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