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US Sen. McCain working on 'a la carte' cable TV bill - Page 2

post #41 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

Again, this is not a job for Congress and I'll just leave it at that.

 

Sorry to be the voice of reason here but it's policy that got us into this mess and policy will have a big hand in getting us out. Spectrum, competition, etc.

post #42 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don108 View Post

The REAL problem, IMO, is that cable companies make exclusive deals with municipalities and cities so that only one company supplies an entire area. 

The city probably granted the permit to a particular cable company to trench every street and lay the fiber/cable. The city paid nothing and the citizens get cable. Win,Win. On the other hand had the city dug the trenches, laid the cable and paid for all the re-paving, sidewalk replacements and re-landscaping to complete the job at a cost of millions of dollars, they could have leased out the conduits to as many cable companies as were willing to provide service in that area. But...most cities don't have the budget or the long term foresight to undertake such a project. They are all busy changing the name of the city to Googleville in hopes that Google will choose them as the next ultra-high-speed infrastructure location.

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post #43 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post

 

Animal Planet? Really? If channels are popular enough, they'll survive and if they're not, they'll die. I don't see any problem with that.

Then welcome to the world of only:

1) brain dead sitcoms

2) reality shows

3) major sports

 

That's what you'd have without bundling to allow studios to be able to provide content for more niche markets.

post #44 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawson100 View Post

 

Sorry to be the voice of reason here but it's policy that got us into this mess and policy will have a big hand in getting us out. Spectrum, competition, etc.

 

Yup, patch a bad policy over a bad policy over another bad policy and what do you get? Our government and legal system.

 

If what you say is true that "policy got us into this mess", then you can either: (a) fix it with policy or (2) get rid of the policies altogether. Do you want to put new shingles over a rotting roof?

post #45 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post

Animal Planet? Really? If channels are popular enough, they'll survive and if they're not, they'll die. I don't see any problem with that.

Do you know how many small city professional teams survive only because of revenue sharing? More choices is always better than less.
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post #46 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

I don't consider this small stuff. It's obvious the free market is not working when you consider the high cost of cable. Therefore, something needs to be done at the appropriate level. Cable crosses state borders so it enters federal jurisdiction. Congress refuses to work on the high priority stuff (medical care, unequal taxation, corruption in the stock market, invasion of foreign countries, etc.) so why not have them work on something that directly affects the livelihood of a majority of the US population. I would like to choose the stations I pay for but I also understand paying a la carte is never the least expensive way to buy anything. 

Taking what i said out of context is the problem. I was responding to Rob Bonner who seemed to be referring to world shatteringly important issues being more relevant to Congress than this. I am really agreeing with your sentiment ... that was my point.
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post #47 of 138
What's to stop the cable companies from charging even more for a la carte and and essentially still ripping us off?
post #48 of 138

Perhaps McCain is starting his 2016 reelection campaign early.

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post #49 of 138

What's cable TV?

 
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post #50 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


All good points and I agree. By the way isn't this him just being Mavericky? 1wink.gif

We still don't know the details and that is where the devil resides, as we all know. But it does take being Mavericky to stand up and make policy that benefits the average Joe (no, not just you AJ). For the most part politicians these days seem to be utterly spineless creatures living in the pocket of big business. If this really is the common sense move that it appears to be, I take my hat off to the Mavericky one. 

post #51 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCProfessor View Post

Cable TV is the crack of 1st world problems. They load up the programming with paid commercials and then get paid again from the consumer. And there's an article on CNN today about the 4K TVs. I'll never buy another TV until Apple or somebody can deliver built in Netflix, Hula, etc.

Built in how? My Panasonic has Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. built in. I don't need a media streaming box like a Apple TV or Roku.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #52 of 138
There are pro's and con's to any government proposal, just as there are positives and negatives to the existing cabe bundling model. This one thing appears to be certain, no subscribers ares content with the existing program channel bundling arrangement and thus some change is needed. Neither the cable providers or network providers seems to have the stomach to propose any new or different solution either. Everyone with whom I have spoken with on this matter, only desire pay for the content that they watch and not to subsidize those marginal or fringe channels that they are forced to pay for within the bundle. 'Yes', a pay per content will change or eliminate some programing, yet this is the reality of the marketplace, all three major three networks in he 1970s objected to the rise of cable TV, however, the content provided on cable TV provided a spring full of novel and new channels and today no one dares to suggest that we should go back to the stovepipe 3 network TV model. Today the threat to cable is their lack of insight and innovation. Unless they change to the demands of the market, especially the population in their 20's, then cable is going to go the way of broadcast TV. Young viewers are not tied to the cable, they like Netflix and mobile viewing, this is something that cable does not do well. Pay-per-program may in fact liberate cable TV companies and allow them to create new and better programming. Today, we are being super-saturated with 'Reality' and 'Food' shows, lets open up the programming so that the content providers and creators make better programming, lets bring democracy to media broadcasting! I sick of junk being piped down my throat by the cable providers.
post #53 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I agree with the overall sentiment against bundling but his strikes me as odd that McCain would be against the free market and using "big government" to want to take care of something that should have been dealt with decades ago if it was to be dealt with at all, not when the internet is already breaking it down. This is like the EU going after MS just a few years ago for bundling IE with Windows.

 

You don't get it.   This is about getting some "free market" back into the equation, and not more "big government".   Governments are what gave the cable companies near monopoly positions in most markets.  This is an attempt to force cable providers to provide consumers choice.  

 

Quit trying to draw lines and just lumping people into categories based on what the mainstream media tells you they should be.  Think deeper and understand the real issues.

post #54 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

 

I'ts not the same thing at all. And, as someone who despises all major cable companies with a passion, I can tell you that ala carte channels will simply not work--at least not anytime soon. The reason is that the first channels to fail will be the small, but popular ones...such as Animal Planet. They get revenue, in part, based on monthly fees paid by the cable companies (who in turn charge consumers as part of a package). Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, has discussed this at length. He says the number one request of consumers is to have ala carte pricing. However, he also states that if it happens, a lot of the channels people love will fail. His argument makes perfect sense (he went into the numbers specifically during several interviews). I suppose it could work with major changes to the content delivery model, but that would require a absolute revolution. What are the odds of that? The cable companies are like the new RIAA--completely outmoded regional monopolies and duopolies fighting innovation every step of the way, all while crying about how consumers are cheating them. Unreal.

Supply and demand still works. That won't change.

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post #55 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

We still don't know the details and that is where the devil resides, as we all know. But it does take being Mavericky to stand up and make policy that benefits the average Joe (no, not just you AJ). For the most part politicians these days seem to be utterly spineless creatures living in the pocket of big business. If this really is the common sense move that it appears to be, I take my hat off to the Mavericky one. 

Sorry my attempt at humor without being political. No offense intended.
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post #56 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

Government has no business getting involved, McCain is just another interventionist.

I love learning American politics I just wish it wasn't on AI. I have to ask as part of my education though, would a sheriff in the wild west protecting a damsel in distress from a bunch of thugs be 'interventionist'? The people voted and appointed them didn't they? How do you rank Liberty for all between damsel's and thugs' rights?
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post #57 of 138
Train #1 = data-caps. Train #2 = online content. They're on the same track hurtling towards each other.
post #58 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

You don't get it.   This is about getting some "free market" back into the equation, and not more "big government".   Governments are what gave the cable companies near monopoly positions in most markets.  This is an attempt to force cable providers to provide consumers choice.  

Quit trying to draw lines and just lumping people into categories based on what the mainstream media tells you they should be.  Think deeper and understand the real issues.

Amazing. You've completely ignored my comments regarding the free market being pushed out decades ago, the fact the free market is already breaking down the old models, and that the cable companies will still have a lock-in in most market since they supply the access. 1oyvey.gif

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post #59 of 138
Unbundling the channels is the wrong way to do it. They need to unbundle the network allowing competitors to provide services over their networks. It happened to the telcos, and the same should happen with the cable companies.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #60 of 138
This is a good thing although it's sad that the government is involved in making it happen. If Cable Operators don't step into the future, IPTV will force them to make the transition anyway. Broadcasters will only be strong-armed by the Cable Operators for so long before they take over their own delivery medium cutting out the middle man.
post #61 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

[...] ala carte channels will simply not work--at least not anytime soon. The reason is that the first channels to fail will be the small, but popular ones...such as Animal Planet. They get revenue, in part, based on monthly fees paid by the cable companies (who in turn charge consumers as part of a package). Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, has discussed this at length. He says the number one request of consumers is to have ala carte pricing. However, he also states that if it happens, a lot of the channels people love will fail.

 

I don't know how you get from "some will fail" to "it won't work." Why do smaller channels need to be "protected?" If they fail they obviously weren't popular enough to warrant their existence. We don't force patrons of popular restaurants to take a certain number of meals from smaller, less popular restaurants. It would be ridiculous. If a restaurant isn't popular enough to survive, then it goes, even if the few people who DID like it are disappointed.

 

If a channel can't attract enough subscribers to survive, that pretty much says it all. Thinning the herd might actually be a good thing.

post #62 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCProfessor View Post

I'm still waiting on the savings from the govmint breakup of Ma Bell. Of course instead of paying $100 to Ma Bell, I get my choice of paying $120 to a multitude of companies. 

But you now get much more. Calls are no longer metered where it was more expensive to call someone in the next county than across the country.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #63 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

I don't know how you get from "some will fail" to "it won't work." Why do smaller channels need to be "protected?" If they fail they obviously weren't popular enough to warrant their existence. We don't force patrons of popular restaurants to take a certain number of meals from smaller, less popular restaurants. It would be ridiculous. If a restaurant isn't popular enough to survive, then it goes, even if the few people who DID like it are disappointed.

If a channel can't attract enough subscribers to survive, that pretty much says it all. Thinning the herd might actually be a good thing.

Again, that's how small city pro teams survive.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #64 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Bonner View Post

Yeah, this is what I want Congress working on since there are no higher priority issues to deal with.

 

Doesn't John have another Benghazi hearing to go to...

post #65 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I like this because:

1. It says 'urging', not 'forcing'. The latter would be insane.
2. It's exactly the same thing Microsoft was forced to do, and that worked out for the best.

It's a shame we need a law for these idiots to get their act together and offer what would actually be best for consumers, but that's how the telecoms have always worked.

In the face of this, though, they just might be a LOT more amicable to Apple's plan than being forced to come up with their own. Non-hobby Apple TV (box), here we come!

Of course, this thing needs moved to PO right now…

I'ts not the same thing at all. And, as someone who despises all major cable companies with a passion, I can tell you that ala carte channels will simply not work--at least not anytime soon. The reason is that the first channels to fail will be the small, but popular ones...such as Animal Planet. They get revenue, in part, based on monthly fees paid by the cable companies (who in turn charge consumers as part of a package). Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, has discussed this at length. He says the number one request of consumers is to have ala carte pricing. However, he also states that if it happens, a lot of the channels people love will fail. His argument makes perfect sense (he went into the numbers specifically during several interviews). I suppose it could work with major changes to the content delivery model, but that would require a absolute revolution. What are the odds of that? The cable companies are like the new RIAA--completely outmoded regional monopolies and duopolies fighting innovation every step of the way, all while crying about how consumers are cheating them. Unreal.

Well that seems strange doesn't it. If they are popular, people will pay to watch the,. If they are channels people "love" then there is no reason for the rate to even change.
post #66 of 138
At last something sensible from John McCain. People might argue this is beyond the scope of government intervention but the cable and satellite companies are monopolies. Should this bill pass just wait and you'll see that the bulk of the stations everyone watches will wind up costing as much as we are paying now.
post #67 of 138

You actually believe that the "free market" is operating here? They're a monopoly and therefore subject to regulation. Deal with it.

post #68 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

Well that seems strange doesn't it. If they are popular, people will pay to watch the,. If they are channels people "love" then there is no reason for the rate to even change.

There simply isn't any exact 1:1 ratio at work here. There are several examples of TV shows that were canned only to come back in some form after the execs realized they made a mistake. Them's the breaks but it still shows that the model isn't perfect.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/9/13 at 10:15am

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post #69 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCProfessor View Post

Damn Canucks... should have launched a few nukes at you 30 years ago and claim the oil rights. :-)

 

I hear Kim Jong-un is looking for a foreign policy advisor. :)

 
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post #70 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCProfessor View Post

Yeah you have a point. I grew up when you could only "rent" the rotary dial phones from Ma Bell and it was a party line. And that's kind of my point. Why can't I buy my boxtop and choose the carrier. Then we need to move on the the exclusive power company and water works. 

That's why I think unbundling the network makes more sense than unbundling the channels.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #71 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianCPA View Post

 

Yup, patch a bad policy over a bad policy over another bad policy and what do you get? Our government and legal system.

 

If what you say is true that "policy got us into this mess", then you can either: (a) fix it with policy or (2) get rid of the policies altogether. Do you want to put new shingles over a rotting roof?

 

 

Let's be clear - I'm not advocating one approach over another here. But just acknowledging that the cable companies are now where they are due to a heap of policy - how content creators and bundlers and distributors pay one another, who owns the infrastructure, taxing, spectrum. That's just to name a few things. It's tangled. Good job security for the lawyers for some time to come, right?

 

If you want to get rid of all the shingles you're the one who's going to get rained on. True you'll see a lot of sunshine when you remove that roof. I'm all for tearing the roof down but it's smart to have a new roof in place unless you want to get rained on. Just to extend your metaphor. I recognize that metaphors always have their limit.

post #72 of 138
Wonderful. The government once again inserts itself into private industry, to "fix" something that the free market is already fixing (ie, people are increasingly dropping their cable boxes altogether...when that desertion rate reaches a certain level, cable companies will change their ways, or they'll go out of business and be replaced by a better model).

But who needs to let someone invent a superior product (like Netflix, Apple, Amazon, etc.), when you can have a huge bureaucratic institution like our Congress pass a bunch of byzantine laws that are often influenced by special interest groups (ie, campaign contributors to the politicians), that have all sorts of unintended consequences, and that, once the laws go on the books, are then notoriously difficult to reform.

Sounds like a great formula for "protecting" the consumer.

God, how I hate what this country is becoming...
post #73 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

Again, this is not a job for Congress and I'll just leave it at that.

Um.... these are public airways. It is darn well the job of Congress, whether you like it or not.

post #74 of 138
Another problem is that most smaller channels are owned by the big ones. Whenever you hear a cable company is in negotiations with say ABC they're not just talking the broadcast channel but Disney, ESPN, and others.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #75 of 138

 

 

Been using "a la carte" for almost 10 years now and I sure wont go back to packages.  The only place in north America that I know offer this is the Quebec province in Canada. Its not even available in other Canadian provinces.

 

The thing is Cable and Bell Fibe do also offer regular packages, but at least we have "a la carte" option if we want. Most people here want a mix of english and french channels, complicating the packages content so they came out with this solution.

 

You will notice that some channels are bundle has one "choice" inside the "a la carte" line up. I like that.

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

On top of the "a la carte" packages, we must take the basic:

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

So the minumum cost for "a la carte" in Quebec is $24 + $18 so $42/month.  The funny thing is people always assumed you pay for unwanted channels in packages (true), but when chosing 15 channels you find out its not that easy. I always have to  drop some I would have wanted on some occasion.

 

 


Edited by herbapou - 5/9/13 at 11:00am
post #76 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianCPA View Post

 

Yup, patch a bad policy over a bad policy over another bad policy and what do you get? Our government and legal system.

 

If what you say is true that "policy got us into this mess", then you can either: (a) fix it with policy or (2) get rid of the policies altogether. Do you want to put new shingles over a rotting roof?

 

Well, it would be more effective for keeping dry than simply ripping off the roof with no plan for a new one, now wouldn't it? Or were you hoping the invisible hand would magically build you a new roof? Sorry, the invisible hand only pleasures itself.

post #77 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Sorry my attempt at humor without being political. No offense intended.

No No - you misunderstood. No offence taken. I was probably being political. Hard not to. ;)

post #78 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillio View Post

This is not good for a future Apple TV. It's good for current and future cable subscribers, don't get me wrong. However, if a-la-carte subscriptions will be enforced, it will make any future Apple TV less revolutionary. We want the cable companies, and cable service to be as horrible as possible, until after Apple TV (the real Apple TV) launches.

 

You're are assuming Apple goes without the ISP's.   I am not so sure of that. I personnally thinks Apple is or at least was trying to go with Cable partnership.

post #79 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Again, that's how small city pro teams survive.

 

I'm sorry, I don't know what a "small city pro team" is. Are you talking about sports? Production crews?

post #80 of 138

It's interesting that while a la carte is desired for television channels, it is absolutely not desired for the Internet. 

 

 

There's obviously a fundamental difference somewhere, but can someone articulate it? 

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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