Cablevision Steps Out Of Line, Says A La Carte Is Great

from the i-like-the-cafeteria dept

The fallout of the FCC’s decision to support a la carte cable TV pricing rolls on, with Cablevision ditching its cable-TV brethren and saying it loves the idea. We noted earlier in the week how AT&T’s support of a la carte was a shrewd PR move, letting them kick their new cableco rivals without worrying they’d actually have to implement the plan, given the unlikelihood Congress will actually mandate it. So what’s Cablevision’s motivation? While the company has made some adept moves in broadband, it’s tough to see this as much more than just posturing. Like with AT&T, if Cablevision really wanted to implement a la carte, it could just do it. AT&T blamed TV networks — what’s Cablevision’s excuse, or when will it start offering a la carte service?


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Comments on “Cablevision Steps Out Of Line, Says A La Carte Is Great”

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6 Comments
Botch (user link) says:

Actually, you can believe Cablevision

As a former Cablevision employee, I know that Cablevision has for a long time been campaigning for a la carte channel selection.

When cable television first came into being, service providers were mandated to carry and include all channels within (I think) a 50-mile radius. This was to insure that local news, public broadcast, and other such programs weren’t tossed away in favor of more premium channels. The cable companies would have always much rather offered to the customer exactly what they want and price the premium stuff accordingly.

The Other Mike says:

Re: Actually, you can believe Cablevision

I tend to agree with Botch. Cablevision likely wants to do a la carte programming. As was brought up here a few days back, they stand to make a ton more money for the same channels if they carry them on demand. I opted for a better package deal on my cable instead of an a la carte for two channels because the package was cheaper. Now if they could do away with packages…

Vele (user link) says:

A la carte makes sense

As cable systems improve and move into iptv, a la carte is starting to make more sense. The whole argument behind bundling is that there’s a marginal cost of offering multiple channels (products) to customers and thereby not capturing a larger market. Thus, bundling has been a great strategy for software and other products where there’s a relatively fixed cost of providing individual software packages. However, with newer cable systems, the marginal cost of managing different channel packages for consumers goes to zero, thus making it profitable for cable companies to offer a la carte and thus stemming the tyde towards sattelite. Subscribers may stil end up paying in aggregate similar amounts, but now you have finer data on who watches what and you are essentially killing Nielsen’s ratings. Given I watch only about 10-20 channels in total, I’d gladly do this until the channel concept slowly dies for on-demand content.

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