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"a la carte" Cable


Swiss Cheezhead
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Most cable companies already offer a la carte programming; it's just prohibitively expensive. While I'd like to be able to just pick a few channels for $4 per month each, I don't see how one can justify the Federal government forcing the cable companies to do that.

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Most cable companies already offer a la carte programming; it's just prohibitively expensive. While I'd like to be able to just pick a few channels for $4 per month each, I don't see how one can justify the Federal government forcing the cable companies to do that.

 

Wouldn't the cable company have done this already if it was good for business? :D

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Most cable companies already offer a la carte programming; it's just prohibitively expensive. While I'd like to be able to just pick a few channels for $4 per month each, I don't see how one can justify the Federal government forcing the cable companies to do that.

 

 

Wouldn't the cable company have done this already if it was good for business? :D

 

 

I won't pretend to be 100% educated on the topic, but I know it's far more complicated than that, obviously to the point where McCain has gotten the govt. involved.

 

Suffice it to say that there's not a whole lot of regonal/local competition among cable companies. That's why the organization that represents the cable "giants" (Time Warner, Comcast, etc.) doesn't want "A la carte cable," but the organization that represents the smaller companies likes the idea.

 

The big cable companies suck. They continue to increase their prices and they have numerous local monopolies throughout the country.

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Wouldn't the cable company have done this already if it was good for business? :D

 

probably--however, what is good for business is not always what is good for the consumer (or for economic efficiency in general).

 

One potential reason for the government getting involved is (as Cheesehead just mentioned above) that the cable marketplace is typically not competitive (and thus will not be economically efficient if the market is left to solve the allocation on its own).

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Wouldn't the cable company have done this already if it was good for business? :D

 

 

Yes, but I'm not concerned with their business as much as I am concerned about how they force consumers to pay for products they don't need or use.

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Good, now price it within reason and I'm there. In fact start cutting

 

1. All the 20 or so Freaking Spanish and Asian channels

2. Another 20 gone by removing all that Home Shopping/Coin/Knife/Gem/whatever type channels

2. Kiddie Channels

3. Don't need Golf, Speed, E, Court TV, Gameshow Network, the knitting channel or any other obscure bull

4. All those music only channels with the goofey graphics from 1970

5. All the local Fox sports channels that always seem to be playing the same damm game, or when there is something good you want to watch it's freaking blacked out.

 

So there is about 100 channels you can remove, cut my bill in half and give me a On-Demand feature along with about 10-20 more HiDef channels.

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Way back in the old days..say around the 1980s or so, a la carte packages were very common. Responding to pressure, many cable companies switched to packaging because people felt getting a range of channels represented value. Now the pressure is to go back the other way. Go figure. :D

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I read a very good article a couple weeks back making a case that a la carte is a really bad idea. I'll see if I can dig it up.

 

Edit: Hmmmm. So, I found it and it's not that smart after all. Most advocates and studies say a la carte is the way to go as an option to packages, not instead of them.

 

Quick note: The provision of packages is very much the same as the provision of bundled options when you're buying a new car, I think. You might want the 6 CD changer but not the extra AC, but you can't have one without the other because they're bundled. So, cable packages aren't unique.

Edited by Ursa Majoris
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probably--however, what is good for business is not always what is good for the consumer (or for economic efficiency in general).

 

One potential reason for the government getting involved is (as Cheesehead just mentioned above) that the cable marketplace is typically not competitive (and thus will not be economically efficient if the market is left to solve the allocation on its own).

 

That makes sense. I don't know enough of the subject to dispute anything.

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hmm...:D

 

all local HD channels...or...all HD channels...except premium ones...

 

nfl network...sunday ticket....espn news....and umm....usa...tbs...maybe a few others and call it a day.....

 

Cable companies don't get to offer Sunday Ticket.

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Edit: Hmmmm. So, I found it and it's not that smart after all. Most advocates and studies say a la carte is the way to go as an option to packages, not instead of them.

 

 

Exactly -- some people will still want the full bundle. Even my wife said last night, "What about those times when I don't want to do anything but watch T.V. and NOTHING is on our favorite channels? That's when I turn on 'Discovery Health'..." (my answer: "you'll just have to watch that 'Law & Order CI' for a 3rd time")

 

Either way, it's all about more options for the consumer. Some people want the bundle. Some don't. Right now, the people who don't have no option.

 

Quick note: The provision of packages is very much the same as the provision of bundled options when you're buying a new car, I think. You might want the 6 CD changer but not the extra AC, but you can't have one without the other because they're bundled. So, cable packages aren't unique.

 

 

I might be missing your point, but people still have countless options for buying cars. If Dealership X won't sell them the 2005 Maxima with a CD changer and no AC, they can go to Dealership T, U, V, W, Y, or Z...or visit cars.com. Here in Omaha, for instance, I either have to settle for the five "antenna channels" or the 78-channel bundle from Cox. :D

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I might be missing your point, but people still have countless options for buying cars. If Dealership X won't sell them the 2005 Maxima with a CD changer and no AC, they can go to Dealership T, U, V, W, Y, or Z...or visit cars.com. Here in Omaha, for instance, I either have to settle for the five "antenna channels" or the 78-channel bundle from Cox. :D

 

My point is that when you buy a new car, you're buying the basic version. Then you can add packages to that basic car, as you like. However, the packages (usually there's 8 or 10 or so) are not "splittable" within themselves, so if you really want that moonroof, you also get a bunch of other stuff that's in the moonroof package whether you want them or not. And you have to pay for them.

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Looking at those 78 channels on my online guide, here's a list of the ones I wouldn't pay for:

 

TLC ("What Not to Wear"?? Thanks for the "learning")

WGN (not a fan of Chicago teams, Chicago news, "Elimidate," "The Beverly Hillbillies," or "Matlock")

Lifetime (I think this channel exists only to remind men that men-hating women still are in charge somewhere)

CNN (maybe "Headline News," but I haven't watched CNN since "Shock and Awe")

Nickelodeon (no kids)

MTV (needs to change its name to "TDTV" -- "Teenage Drivel Television." "Laguna Beach" is the worst show of all time)

A&E (very little art, even less entertainment)

BET (not black)

ABC Family (no kids)

FoxSportsNet (it's never better than ESPN, although "Best Damn" is fairly entertaining)

Disney (no kids)

Cartoon Network (no kids)

HSN (my brain works)

Food (I love food and cooking food and I still don't watch this channel)

Travel (do travel enthusiasts really sit around watching shows about traveling?)

PaxTV/ISATE (what the hell is this? Paid programming 70% of the day??)

FoxNews (like CNN, I'm just not into "news personalities")

HGTV (my apartment has no garden)

Discovery Health (one interesting program a week isn't enough)

Bravo (Kelly Griffin stand-up sandwiched between "Real Housewives of Orange County"? No.)

Golf (I love golfing and I love watching major tournaments -- never tuned into this channel)

CMTV (not a country-music fan)

TVLand (I believe bad, old shows should stay dead)

MSNBC (see CNN and FNC)

Spanish station numero uno (I speak English)

Spanish station numero dos (I speak English)

Spanish station numero tres (I speak English)

 

 

Wow...that was painful. Most of those channels shouldn't exist, but I'm paying for them. :D

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My point is that when you buy a new car, you're buying the basic version. Then you can add packages to that basic car, as you like. However, the packages (usually there's 8 or 10 or so) are not "splittable" within themselves, so if you really want that moonroof, you also get a bunch of other stuff that's in the moonroof package whether you want them or not. And you have to pay for them.

 

 

Okay, I get that, but the main difference is that the pool of available upgrades for cars is, what, a dozen or so? The number of TV channels is 75 to well over 100.

 

Plus, if you're forced to buy a car with air conditioning just because it's in the moonroof package, you'll still use the AC. I'll NEVER watch Lifetime.

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I don't want FOXNews or CNN.....but I guarantee they would work in a deal where you'd get ESPN and ESPN 2 in HD for free when you get the CNN/FOXNews etc. bullsh!t package....

 

and yeah, they'll still offer small packages to get you the channels you don't want so you can get the channels you really want at a cheaper price...

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Looking at those 78 channels on my online guide, here's a list of the ones I wouldn't pay for:

 

Cartoon Network - WHAT ??? Adult swim! Watch it or die! Tune in after 10pm

Travel - Poker! They run WPT!

HGTV - One show: Rezoned. They show houses that were made from pump towers, warehouses, schools, and churches. Really cool.

 

Edited by AtomicCEO
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