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

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  • Reply 21 of 148
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,976member
    sdw2001 wrote: »
    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).

    Sounds like bullshit to me. If they are amortizing the cost of small channels now, can continue to do this by making the popular ones cost more to subsidize the cost of the cheaper and less popular ones. Creative pricing can solve this, but big business hates change.
  • Reply 22 of 148
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member


    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

    Can't believe it took 16 posts for this to get called out. 


     


    I mentioned it in post 3.

  • Reply 23 of 148
    jakebjakeb Posts: 563member
    I have a feeling they'll just make the individual channels more expensive.
  • Reply 24 of 148
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jakeb View Post



    I have a feeling they'll just make the individual channels more expensive.


    They'll probably turn it into a subscription model....oh wait

  • Reply 25 of 148
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,773member
    paxman wrote: »
    Yes, it should have been done from the get go, but it wasn't. If this bill goes through it will dramatically change the landscape (or speed the change up). It will pave the way for someone like Apple to create a fully fledged real time TV service. 

    But I do wonder why McCain is onto this. It doesn't seem like a Republican move. Government (Big or small) should have been onto this forever. The Free Market can do it's thing (be opportunistic, provide services and obviously make money), but government's job is to regulate on behalf of everyman and this actually (on the surface) seems to  do that. 

    Will we end up paying less for our content? That is a different story and personally I doubt it, but for now I'll settle for more control over how and where I purchase my content.

    All good points and I agree. By the way isn't this him just being Mavericky? ;)
  • Reply 26 of 148
    james0378james0378 Posts: 19member
    crees! wrote: »
    Again, this is not a job for Congress and I'll just leave it at that.
    Not a job for congress?! That cannot be the case. Give me one good reason that congress shouldn't have it's fingers in this pie. They pass wonderful, functional, productive, transparent, and well intentioned legislation all the time. McCain knows what's best for you. He is smart and knows what it takes to be a pioneer, a leader, a man of principal and convicti--- never mind, I can't do this. McCain is a spineless schmuck and has no clue what should or shouldn't EVER be legislated. Congress definitely has no business screwing with the free market. The government has been screwing with it for years and look how marvelous that has turned out.
  • Reply 27 of 148
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,773member
    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…

    New Apple board member in the making? ;)
  • Reply 28 of 148
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 720member
    If A la Carte Cable TV is forced on the Cable Companies, then the cost of Cable TV will simply go up.

    Currently, Cable TV is offered in packages because the stronger channels are SUBSIDIZING the weaker ones.

    To make up for the loss of income for carrying the weaker channels, Cable Companies can simply RAISE the prices of the more desirable channels.

    For example, a cable company can say you can pick one channel and pay $200 a month for it.

    It will give you a discount for every further channel you choose. The second channel can cost $190, the third $180, etc.

    Pretty soon, you can choose the channel you want. But the cost will be tremendously high - higher than what you pay for now.
  • Reply 29 of 148
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,261member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    Well while not disagreeing with the sentiment nor taking a stand on McCain's bill either way, I have to say if all Congress did was consider high priority laws then we'd be missing out on a lot of smaller not so important bills which are quite often important in their own way ... if that makes any sense at all ... image I think I am trying to say little stuff matters too. If the people we send to Washington actually tried to work things out and not be intransigent so much they'd have time for both you'd thing!



    That's me not being political image


    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. 

  • Reply 30 of 148
    umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mudman2 View Post



    And if this does not work he will push to invade France


     


     


    No problem ! we are already among you, you see ....


     


     


     


     


  • Reply 31 of 148
    don108don108 Posts: 79member
    The REAL problem, IMO, is that cable companies make exclusive deals with municipalities and cities so that only one company supplies an entire area. That's like having only one airline coming into your airport. If you don't like their service or their price...too bad. You have no choice. There is no actual competition.

    Until exclusive deals are ended there will be no competition. The cable companies will scream, "It's what the people want. Let the market decide!" but they will fight tooth and nail against any real competition.

    Where are the free market defenders? Why aren't they complaining about this obvious monopolistic and unfair marketing? Until there is true competition we will pay more and get less than any other industrialized country in the world.
  • Reply 32 of 148
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,819member
    mstone wrote: »
    McCain is viewed as a liberal by the ultra conservative Republican leaders. He occasionally comes up with a reasonable idea or two but he always caves in and rolls on his back when his handlers disapprove of his consumer advocacy tendencies.

    Perhaps, but what will really kill this bill is the cable industry's lobbyists.
  • Reply 33 of 148
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    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.

    Why does it strike you as odd? He is a Republican. What strikes me odd is that he's for the consumer and not big business.
  • Reply 34 of 148
    briancpabriancpa Posts: 61member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by crees! View Post


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



     


    Couldn't have said it any better.


     


    We reward (aka "subscribe to") all these companies that we despise and then whine when we don't get our way. I hate cable companies too... so I bought a $10 antenna and AirPlay things I can’t get with my antenna. That way, I don’t have to cry to my senators about those bully cable companies. I've got nothing to complain about when my cable bill is $0 a month.

  • Reply 35 of 148
    j1h15233j1h15233 Posts: 274member

    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.


     


    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.

  • Reply 36 of 148
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member
    It would be nice to have an A La Carte Cable bill. Hotels pay per room per channel they get. It would be nice to be able to do the same thing. The only problem is the Cable companies will probably end up charging a lot more per channel for the A La Carte route than the bundled route.


    Oh, I just noticed, this has nothing to do with Apple, Macs, iPhones, iPods, or iPads.
  • Reply 37 of 148
    sessamoidsessamoid Posts: 182member
    If any of you honestly think the cable and broadband industry even vaguely resemble open and free competition, you need to have your heads examined. Insanely high costs of entry would be enough to distort free market economics even before you get into the oligopolies that dominate modern media production and distribution, or the sanctioned MONOPOLIES that are regional cable companies.

    There's nothing about the current situation that suggest that the "free market" is operating optimally in this area.
  • Reply 38 of 148
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    All of these things are simply band-aids until cable companies are forced to split data off from 'cable'. Any other fixes are pointless if Comcast can simply punish you for streaming by throttling you, or by withholding their content (as e.g. owners of all NBC properties.)

    It speaks to their ability to buy legislators that such monopolistic, vertical integration is even allowed.
  • Reply 39 of 148
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    don108 wrote: »
    The REAL problem, IMO, is that cable companies make exclusive deals with municipalities and cities so that only one company supplies an entire area. That's like having only one airline coming into your airport. If you don't like their service or their price...too bad. You have no choice. There is no actual competition.

    Until exclusive deals are ended there will be no competition. The cable companies will scream, "It's what the people want. Let the market decide!" but they will fight tooth and nail against any real competition.

    Where are the free market defenders? Why aren't they complaining about this obvious monopolistic and unfair marketing? Until there is true competition we will pay more and get less than any other industrialized country in the world.

    They'll tell you that DirecTV and Dish Network are competitors but that's only for the TV part. Verizon has stopped the expansion of FiOS and only concentrating on the areas it already started and had gotten agreements with.
  • Reply 40 of 148
    ddawson100ddawson100 Posts: 517member

    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.

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