The New Ma Bell Sure Does Like A La Carte TV

from the politics-at-work dept

On Monday, we wrote about telco plans to offer TV over fiber — pointing out that the plans seemed too conservative. They were too much like what cable TV already offers, rather than leveraging the technology to offer something new. On Tuesday, the FCC suddenly announced that it had changed its mind and a la carte TV programming was a grand idea. Now it’s Wednesday and along comes a story to tie the two together. AT&T (which we’re still having a hard time not calling SBC) has come out with a public statement saying how much they adore the idea of a la carte TV, if only the network programmers would allow it. It’s an easy play for AT&T to make. They get to kick their main competitors while they’re down, just at a time when competition between the telcos and cablecos is at its sharpest point, and have almost no worry that they’ll actually have to offer a la carte programming. Despite the FCC statement, it still seems unlikely that Congress will act. If the telcos really want a la carte pricing that badly, they can push for it. To claim that they don’t have enough clout with the TV programmers is ridiculous.

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