Monday, February 13, 2006

Cable and Satellite TV A La Carte

According to a recent Associated Press story, consumers could save 13% on cable bills if they were allowed to pay for their cable/satellite tv service by channel instead of being forced to subscribe to 208 channels that they don't really want. In fact, the FCC is considering introducing legislation that would force providers to offer such services. Well that's not a big surprise to me. I think I can honestly say that I would be pretty happy with about 10 channels. Break down my monthly DirecTV bill, and I think that would put my bill at, hmm, carry the one... $2.98. Sounds good, I'll take it.

Now, back to reality. Cable and satellite services survive because they charge you $40 for a bunch of stuff you don't really want. Force them to charge per channel, and you'll only end up paying more per channel. Now it's not clear from this report if the new legislation under consideration would also dictate the price per channel service providers would be allowed to charge.

The other issue at stake here is allowing picking and choosing channels as a way for parents to control what channels are available to children. Seems like a swell idea, but we already have this now. If a parent is even slightly tech savvy, they can program their cable box, satellite dish, TiVo, or what have you to lock out certain offensive channels from their children, husbands, pets, and so forth.

Of course that's just my opinion. I could be totally wrong.

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  • I think lots of people would switch from Cable to Satellite if DISH and DirecTV would offer some low-cost TV A La Carte.

    Who knows, if first-time subscribers were offered say 10 channels for $10 on a national TV ad, there might be a great influx, maybe enough to turn a profit for the bigs!


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  • find away for "cable" channels and network affiliates to make money outside of advertisement, and you'll get your a la carte channels. those channels are put in a price bracket for a reason.

    the same reason sports subscriptions and movie channels are thrown in free as incentives to join up with these hooligans. nielson says you're either a movie watcher or a sports fan.

    in order to offer you "exclusive" viewing of either one of those luxuries, carriers have to make deals. unfortunately, in this country, the consumer is the one who gets stuck with the bottomline.

    don't think the gov's not involved. fcc regulates not only censorship but your local network affiliate viewing as well.

    anyone thought a lil'harder about the digital conversion? ever wonder why that would be pertinent enough for the gov to create a law for it? 1 word, cable. satellite companies can offer more in quality of picture as well as channels but not always local channels. guess who always has local channels, but isn't always need? cable.

    with the new law, you'll have to have one or the other, or both. neither carrier will lose out completely.

    but i gotta tell ya...i'd drop the satellite service and go with the cable. honestly, signing a contract for a service that comes from space...and is basically susceptible to interruption from even the slightest cloud cover, well, just doesn't seem like good business sense.

    dude, dump the tv addiction and read a book. you'll learn more and the library's free. if you enjoy sports that much, start playing them again or take your family to see the teams play instead of sitting on your butt. can't afford it? make it a community event, raise money, do something other than get the gov involved.

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