Skip to comments.I Want My A La Carte TV
Posted on 05/10/2013 10:23:58 AM PDT by BO Stinkss
John McCain, the medias favorite maverick unless hes actively running for something has just introduced a bill in congress called the Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013. Normally, my iron clad rule of thumb is to take any side this guy is against but I have to admit he may have a point here. The bill would allow consumers to buy only the cable channels they want a la carte and not have 500 others jammed down their throats. Does anyone recall the original promise of cable TV? More than 30 years ago we asked, why should we pay 20 dollars a month for TV when it doesnt cost anything now? The official answer was, because programming will be commercial free! Not only that, we were going to get much more than the dozen or so channels we were used to. That was then. My, how times have changed. They were certainly right about the channels. We got hundreds. And then, hundreds more. And every damn one of them has commercials up the wazoo except the classic movie channel. (Their policy is to remain commercial free but to destroy your will to live with commentary by Drew Barrymore and Cher.) The cost of cable, which is easily over 200 dollars a month, doesnt even include any of the other movie channels which are all extra. Why in Gods name am I paying for hundreds of channels of programming I have absolutely no need for?
Im not the parent of small kids anymore so I dont need Nickelodeon or any of the kids networks.
Im an English speaking American so I dont want 10 Spanish language stations.
Im not a liberal so I have no use for CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, HBO, or Comedy Central.
Im not gay, (or even sure about all those letters in that LGBTQ thing), so I dont need Bravo, Logo, or HDTV.
I have no interest in professional sports so I dont want ESPN, or any of the other 20 sports networks.
I dont choose my entertainment based on the color of peoples skin so I have no use for BET.
Im old enough to remember the original Global Cooling Hoax so I dont want the Current network.
I love my country so I dont need Robert Redfords channel.
Im not an imbecile so I have no use for MTV or E!
Im not a 10th Century Savage bent on beheading people because I just saw a woman without a dishrag on her head so I dont want Algore-Jazeera.
In fact, ironically, more than 30 years after first getting cable I think I can now narrow my viewing preferences down to a dozen or so channels. Look, I dont want to dictate to anyone else what they can and should be watching. If you want to start a new LGBTQ network, go right ahead. More power to ya. And if you want to choose between 20 LGBTQ networks on your cable system you have my blessing. I just dont want to pay for it anymore.
Cable choice... Bring it on!
My worry is that ala carte pricing in TV will follow the model established by airlines ($5 to use the head....).
Cable right now is as the Boss would say, 57 channels and nothin's on.....
My guess is if I could buy the channels I wanted for 99 cents per channel per month, I'd have about 20 maybe 30 of them out of the 700 out their...
What does that say about Hollyweird and the Industry...
I don’t watch television but I have to buy basic service if I want Internet. Nonetheless, by what Constitutional authority is McCain’s proposal authorized. My cable is regulated by the franchise agreement reached with our town officials and a county commission. As much as I like the idea, I reject the notion it is any business of the federal government.
$200 a month. Where the hell do you live?
my worry is anything McCain touches gets worse or crashes.
we’ll probably end up with a 24/7 Megan McCain talk show.
Yes, you probably do. You must also recognize that ANY business person seeking to sell or represent its entire slate of offerings would naturally be predisposed to offer packages that includes some of his lesser subscribed paying companies? It’s business.
McCain and his crotchety assed so-called Maverick moniker needs to butt the eff out. He has no idea about capitalism - he has only experience in being a crazy a@@hole.
While they’re at it they can stop the monopoly too. I want to be able to choose which cable provider I want, not which one the town shoves down my throat.
Your cost would likely go up.
Even a clock that’s stopped is right twice a day, and with this idea it looks like McCain has taken a break from knifing conservatives in the back and mugging for the cameras long enough to propose something that would really hurt the content providers who fund and encourage the lefties.
Over half of the networks would go bankrupt if the customers were not forced to pay for their products. Imagine if you could actually choose your own programming, your cable bill would be much smaller..........
It would be nice if they had a tiered setup. Basic plan, you pick ten channels. The next level pick ten more. They could still charge for the premiums.
I am forced to support CNN in the basic programming and have to pay extra for FOX news. Let Mr choose not to take CNN if I don’t want it. Let them earn a living rather than sponging off everyone via the basic package.
Same with me. I’m sick of paying for Logo, BET, Telemundo, Univision, ect ect.
That’s about what it would cost here in the Panhandle of Florida as well, if all the channels are included, even the premiums like HBO, CINEMAX, STARZ, THE MOVIE CHANNEL, ETC....
I wholeheartedly agree. I was just commenting on the inevitabilities of business. Demand drives price. The only avenue to any purveyor of electronic mish-mash where some are good, most are bad is to offer a crapload of it in the basic package to try and trick you into believing you get more for less. Business.
All this sounds good but it really isn’t. Here are a couple of reasons why this is all a waste of time.
1. At least with DirecTV you can set a directory that just has Fox News in it and nothing else. Add whatever you want to that. I assume but do not know that the cable companies have a similar scheme.
2. I’m pretty sure that a huge number of those channels nobody wants are paying DirecTV and the cable companies to carry their 24/7 commercial offerings. Jewelry, appliances ... Those channels subsidize the rest. Take them away and the price of the rest goes up.
3. I’m sure there’s at least one other good reason. I just can’t think of it right now.
That works for me...
Well Mclame’s bill will only stay alive until he gets bought off.
That’s what we have here with Cox Cable.......
If I have these then I’m all set :-)
I download all else from usenet and YouTube
Would love this myself...but guarantee you if you only had 5 channels they’d figure out how to charge as much as they do now for 500 channels.
3. It would be the end of the sports industry as we know it. Payments to ESPN and other sports-related channels are a kind of tax on cable and dish viewers for the benefit of the sports industry. That’s how those fifty-million-dollar salaries and billion-dollar broadcast deals are funded.
For that reason alone, this will not happen.
Come on now?!?! Bundled television is the socialist way. Think about it: The profitable and desirable channels / shows get to subsidize the crap that caters to niche audiences, in the interest of diversity and social justice. You’ll buy your cable package, and you’ll like it! It’s the patriotic thing to do: millions of under-served pseudo Americans rely upon it: Bravo network for gays, BET for Amish, Univision for the entire SW U.S., etc...
Exactly, and then the screams of racism will get the whole idea shot down.
No, the original promise of cable TV was that you would be able to get a good signal to all areas, without messing around with your rabbit ears or hoping the wind was blowing in the right direction.
Ala Carteq is here. Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV unit. Buy the programs you want, episodes or series, WAY cheaper and no ads! Never saw anything on FoxNews that I did not know about already.
You're getting robbed. Turn off some extras and negotiate with the cable company.
Or, get rid of it altogether.
The price of the popular channels would go way up and then people would find another way to get the content then the government would find a way to tax/control that.
You don't have to tune in the channels you don't want.
Dish network in SoCal did have multiple personal directory setup, and the wife had hers, I had mine. Loved it.
Add to that an increased monthly charge from the cable company and Govt. taxes.
Ah, here we go, from 2011:
“Viacom’s Chief Executive Philippe Dauman noted that ESPN alone “is double the cost of all our networks combined.””
“Cable executives worry that these high fees [to ESPN et al] will lead to de-bundling, as younger people want cheaper à la carte packages. ESPN is the obvious target for cable execs, given it charges the highest per-household subscription fee of any cable channel.”
“SNL Kagan [an industry research firm] estimates its monthly per-subscriber fees for the flagship channel [ESPN] have risen 42% to $4.69 since 2006, compared to the average cable channel fee, which rose 24% over that same period to 26 cents a month, report Schechner and Peers.”
More recently (Feb 2013):
“Some consumers now see separate $2-$3 charges, specifically tied to sports, on their monthly TV bills. At least three pay-TV service providers — DirecTV, Cablevision and Verizon — have done that so far. DirecTV, the first to do so, says in a statement that its $3 monthly fee in select areas is meant to help offset the “skyrocketing costs of sports.””
“Disney’s ESPN, according to the Charlottesville, Va.-based research firm SNL Kagan, charges cable operators by far the industry’s highest fees — $5.13 per month. Virtually all other channels charge less than $1 monthly, such as CNN (57 cents) and MTV (39 cents). And ESPN insists operators carry the channel on basic cable — so they can’t recoup their costs by putting it on a pay tier.”
Back in the day, we had the 10’ C-band dish. We had the option of bundling or a la carte. I paid like $5 for a years worth of Cartoon Network.
We only watched about 12 channels and paid $80 a year.
Not only do I not want to tune into them(which I don't), I don't want to have to pay for them either.
Plus the providers are in a bind too. Companies like Viacom and turner say, “you want MTV, TBS, TNT? You gotta take this too” and buy crap like Current, ect. And when those companies raise license fees, your cable bill goes up. Shows like Game of Thrones and Walking Dead are expensive to produce. And advertising only covers so much of the cost.
I dropped Netflix when they pulled their sponsorship from Rush. Screw ‘em.
Do you really believe that the cable company will charge you less each month for using their facilities if you don’t want QVC or MTV? The Company will just say all crap channels are free and you pay extra for the popular ones. Crap channels pay the cable company.
MY hope is that when my current contract with DirecTV expires next year, the ability to order ala carte programming off the web and use streaming or download-and-watch delivery has matured to the point where I can cut off cable/satellite altogether.
Honestly, it’s already almost to the point where I can just buy the shows I’m interested in off of iTunes or the like, and then I also own a copy of that show for good (as much as DRM-protected media allows for), not just for the single airing. If I can get live events and supplement with a regular OTA antenna, I should be just fine.
The corporatist lefties don’t want you to have a choice.
There should be a charge for airtime, that’s all. It wouldn’t matter what channel you used. Just pay for the time you are watching. That way, people can channel surf all they want, and watch what catches their eye.
Spot on info! We have a winner!
McCain knows this too, just that it sounds like he is working hard for the lowly and downtrodden.
He should just go lay in a corner someplace and growl and bark.
As much as ala carte programming sounds good, there is a pit-fall. When the cable company see's that everyone wants a certain channel, the cost will go up accordingly. The more people want a channel, the more it will cost. Ala Carte is great for people who love the obscure channels that few people watch. Guaranteed, any savings had by ala carte programming will quickly disappear once no body buys all those channels you don't watch.
Either that, or price controls are put in place, and the government dictates how much per channel cable providers can charge; yes even more regulation than currently in place.
But unless the studios are willing to spend money on good tv, we’ll end up within thing but a bunch of (comparatively) cheaper to produce crap like Honey Boo Boo and Amish Mafia. You may want good TV, but someone has to pay for it.
I pretty much agree with your choice except I would swap FOX News for FOX Business.
It’s funny how many FReepers think the gov’t can change the law and make things cheaper. I said it on the thread yesterday on the same subject: $10/channel or 200 for $100.
If al la carte comes, it won’t be cheap.
Good point...just add FOX Business to my list :-)
“Same with me. Im sick of paying for Logo, BET, Telemundo, Univision, ect ect.”
I would argue the opposite. Blacks and Mexicans probably watch fewer channels on average than the typical subscriber. I mean how many Spanish cable stations are out there? Just sayin
Well, they can either offer a la carte and bundling options or they can continue down the their current path of losing viewers to the internet.
Everything is available at no cost to you somewhere on the internet.