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

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  • Reply 121 of 148
    pt123pt123 Posts: 696member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by alexmarrero View Post




    If I only want to watch HBO, I should pay just for HBO, not a cable package too. Free market means a la carte. I mean, I'd be happy paying just for BBC America, USA, HBO and ESPN. Just four channels... supposing a max cost of $5 (which is ridiculous) a month for the basic ones and $20 for HBO, I'd be paying $35 plus fees. Not $60 or $80.


     



    Why stop there at just one channel? Wouldn't true free market be the ability to pay for just the show I want to watch? If I just want Sopranos, why should I pay for the rest of the HBO shows that I do not watch?


     


    And why would there be a max cost? Free market means free to charge the amount to make a profit, don't buy it if you do not like the price or product. The studio will charge whatever they need to make a profit.

  • Reply 122 of 148
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,228member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pt123 View Post


    Why stop there at just one channel? Wouldn't true free market be the ability to pay for just the show I want to watch? If I just want Sopranos, why should I pay for the rest of the HBO shows that I do not watch?


     


    And why would there be a max cost? Free market means free to charge the amount to make a profit, don't buy it if you do not like the price or product. The studio will charge whatever they need to make a profit.



     


    That pretty much itunes business model. Problem is if I would have to buy each show I watch on itunes it would cost my a lot more than my cable bill.

  • Reply 123 of 148
    scprofessorscprofessor Posts: 218member


    All of this dialogue and debate has me thinking of a new idea for TVs or cable boxes. If this goes through, someone needs to develop the Nest thermostat for channels. After a month of viewing, it would automatically pick the top 25 and send that info to the cable company to subscribe. If you view another channel out of the top 25, the system would automatically adjust your subscription if viewed enough. 


     


    I also like the idea pitched by another of paying for shows that channels.

  • Reply 124 of 148
    mytdavemytdave Posts: 447member


    Why?  Leave it alone.  This is not the role of Govt.  Let the free market take care of the problem, all this bill will do is muck up the works.  We're already heading in a a-la-cart direction - it's called the internet.  How about this - kill the bill that's seeking to tax the internet.

  • Reply 125 of 148
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    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.



     


    That's not obvious at all. It's not even obvious that Cable TV systems, companies and markets are really a free market at all. For one thing, cable companies benefit from any number of special benefits and competitive protections and monopoly powers granted by local municipalities. However, at the end of the day, cable TV is small stuff.

  • Reply 126 of 148
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    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. 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.


     


    +1 this

  • Reply 127 of 148
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post



    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.


     


    +1 this

  • Reply 128 of 148
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    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.



     


    You should think deeper as well. This is not about getting some "free market" (appropriately quoted by you) into the equation. It is about less free market. More free market would be banning the local (government granted) monopolies that most cable companies enjoy. You don't solve the restriction of the free market by government action by using more restriction of free market by still more government action. Well, you can...but that's not "getting some 'free market' back into the equation."

  • Reply 129 of 148
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post



    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.


     


    I'd bet money that he's for some other big business that you're just not seeing.


     


    As an unrelated example, I'll bet that Mr. McCain is not going to be introducing legislation anytime soon that would allow alcohol producers and retailers to deal directly with one another.

  • Reply 130 of 148
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    The "invisible hand" (a lovely fairy tale we like to tell our children) was amputated at the shoulder at birth.



     


    I wouldn't say that the proverbial invisible hand is a "lovely fairy tale" but, indeed it has been amputated. Indeed, if it were a fairly tale, the latter part of your extension of the analogy is nonsensical.

  • Reply 131 of 148
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by alexmarrero View Post


    [...] the concept of free market would allow for competitors, but where I live I have no other option than subscribing to TWC.



     


    I have the incredible good fortune to live in an area where I have choice of TV provider -- a cable company, a telephone company and a satellite provider. All three bundle channels. Different bundles on each, but the same model across the board. Not surprising then that putting together a package that fits what we want costs about the same from any of 'em.

  • Reply 132 of 148
    fithianfithian Posts: 82member
    Back in the day, with big satellite dishes, one could choose which channels to subscribe to. As I recall, HBO and Cinemax was $5 per month for 16 channels. IFC was $10 per year, and so on. There were even network channels available to those who could not get local reception. Then the silly little dishes came along with their convenient packages for ten times the cost and no choice of individual channels. The same subscription plan could work with small satellite dishes, but Dish and DirectTV would not be in favor of it, due to the bundling by the creators of the content.

    It will take someone with the clout of Apple to make it happen. Cable companies exist mainly for their internet cabling, and when that ceases, they will have to move to another mode of business. With LTE becoming dominant throughout the country, it will be very possible for home internet to be connected to the wireless providers, at a higher speed than is currently offered by DSL or cable companies. It is not uncommon to get 30Mbps down in my area, which is twice the cable speed.
  • Reply 133 of 148
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    fithian wrote: »
    Back in the day, with big satellite dishes, one could choose which channels to subscribe to. As I recall, HBO and Cinemax was $5 per month for 16 channels. IFC was $10 per year, and so on. There were even network channels available to those who could not get local reception. Then the silly little dishes came along with their convenient packages for ten times the cost and no choice of individual channels. The same subscription plan could work with small satellite dishes, but Dish and DirectTV would not be in favor of it, due to the bundling by the creators of the content.

    It will take someone with the clout of Apple to make it happen. Cable companies exist mainly for their internet cabling, and when that ceases, they will have to move to another mode of business. With LTE becoming dominant throughout the country, it will be very possible for home internet to be connected to the wireless providers, at a higher speed than is currently offered by DSL or cable companies. It is not uncommon to get 30Mbps down in my area, which is twice the cable speed.

    No they could not offer the same. You're not constantly tuning into an array of satellites but one (multiple 'ones' throughout the world) that they put up there (which last I checked is a very expensive thing to do) and then had to buy the rights to transmit content.

    There will always be the need for hardwire internet. There's just not enough bandwidth for everyone to go solely wireless.
  • Reply 134 of 148
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,776member


    The minute Obama agrees with him...Republicans will claim Obama is commie socialist who is trying to kill capitalism.

  • Reply 135 of 148
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,776member


    ...

  • Reply 136 of 148
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,776member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by crees! View Post


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



     


    I am a liberal and I agree with you. Consumers can talk with their money. 

  • Reply 137 of 148
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member


    Government inadvertently causes problem, public demands "someone" solve the problem, government penalizes companies taking advantage of poorly crafted laws and writes new laws causing more unforeseen problems... repeat ad infinitum.


  • Reply 138 of 148
    ericblrericblr Posts: 172member
    ****checks self in mirror**** Damnit! I kinda like this bill!! I want to hate it so friggin bad, especially coming from the dunderhead McCain, but I can't help myself:-)
  • Reply 139 of 148
    mundtymundty Posts: 10member
    Are the people in the 18-35 bracket even paying for cable anymore? Every time I go over to my parent's house, it's a disaster just trying to find something to watch. I never realized just how bad cables live t.v. and on demand selection is until I saw what Netflix and Hulu had to offer. I can watch almost any series from start to finish with Netflix and Hulu, and if I'm really desperate iTunes has everything else. Compare that to cable which doesn't even offer half the content On Demand that Netflix/Hulu does, and even if you do find a show you want to watch, you can only watch one season anyway.

    $16 a month for Netflix and Hulu's far bigger and more complete catalog, plus pay as you go just about any Movie or TV Show you can think of on iTunes.

    -or-

    $90 a month for a much smaller on demand catalog, incomplete seasons of every show you want to watch, and at least 250 channels you'll probably never watch.

    Tough choice.
  • Reply 140 of 148
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I find it odd that McCain is working on a cable bill. Seems more likely that he's still trying to figure out how to program the clock on his VCR.
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