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Canada Television News

Canadian Telcos Lobby Against Pick-and-Pay TV 244

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the netcraft-confirms-broadcast-media-is-dying dept.
silentbrad writes with an excerpt from the Financial Post: "BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., and Shaw Communications Inc. which together control two-thirds of the $8.3-billion broadcast distribution market, are lobbying against the so-called 'a la carte' model that would allow customers to pick and pay for individual networks, arguing the change would have disastrous consequences for programmers, such as Bell Media and Shaw Media. 'A regulation requiring that all programming services must be made available to consumers on a stand-alone basis would have far-reaching ramifications,' BCE, whose Bell owns 30 specialty networks, said in a submission to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. 'Undoubtedly, a market shake-out, causing many specialty services to exit, would ensue.' The three big players, led by BCE, have told the CRTC they support the status quo of 'tied selling,' or the practice of grouping weaker-performing networks in with a popular channels, versus a new approach to sell channels individually. ... In the race for subscription dollars, rates for TV services across providers have risen sharply over the last decade as the number of specialty channels, each commanding its own fee, has soared. Net costs to subscribers climbed another 2.6% in 2011, while average bills now hover around $60 a month."
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Canadian Telcos Lobby Against Pick-and-Pay TV

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  • Dur (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:27PM (#39599293)

    Of course they lobby aginst it..

    Nobody actually WANTS to pay for all those shopping, religious nut, cable access bullshit channels.

    And yet someone has to pay for them. Because we can't just tell those channel execs 'your channel sucks and nobody wants it, we're dropping it'.

    So they stay. And we all get to pay for crap we never wanted.

    • media cartel if customers get to pick their own programming?
    • by tibit (1762298)

      The shopping channels pay for themselves. I agree about the others.

      • I wonder how many of the channels that do make money kickback part of the profit to the cable providers? Above board or otherwise.
      • by Shotgun (30919)

        But would they pay for themselves if they weren't in your face, trapping you as you flip through the channels? That is, if people could cut off the flow of temptations?

    • Its pretty cheeky alright, an $8.3 billion market, paid for by consumers, and now these guys want to push lawmakers to ensure that the people who pay the bills don't get to control the content. This is why I haven't watched TV in 3 years.

    • Re:Dur (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorpNO@SPAMGmail.com> on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:59PM (#39599709) Homepage Journal

      Of course they lobby aginst it..

      Nobody actually WANTS to pay for all those shopping, religious nut, cable access bullshit channels.

      And yet someone has to pay for them. Because we can't just tell those channel execs 'your channel sucks and nobody wants it, we're dropping it'.

      So they stay. And we all get to pay for crap we never wanted.

      I think you're operating under a delusion here. Most of the country is quite religious, and thus the "religious nut" channels would do just fine under a "pick and pay" plan. So would the shopping channels (You think the shopping channels would die? Do you know any women at all?). Public access would probably be thrown in for free anyway, as they don't really cost much. You seem to think that the rest of the country thinks and feels as you do, and... I doubt that the case. Things like religious networks and sports networks would thrive.

      No, what would have a harder time surviving are narrow interest, boutique channels. Things like "The International Film Channel" and such. Even the SyFy network might tank, as people would have to ask themselves "do I really want to pay for stuff like Megacroc vs. Giantshark"?

      I've long wanted a cable cafeteria plan, as I'd pay for maybe three dozen channels and chuck the rest. I don't find anything on network TV worth watching anyway, so my DVR is filled with classic films from TCM, and things like certain sporting events and documentaries. I think there are more cable customers like me than you in the United States. Your MTV2's and CurrentTV would be in Heap Big Trouble in a market where people had to actually pay for them individually, methinks. If you like the boutique channels, maybe you should be thankful for the current system.

      • Re:Dur (Score:5, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:06PM (#39599805)

        No, what would have a harder time surviving are narrow interest, boutique channels. Things like "The International Film Channel" and such. Even the SyFy network might tank, as people would have to ask themselves "do I really want to pay for stuff like Megacroc vs. Giantshark"?

        Netflix easily replaces all of that for under $10/month. Amazon video gets even more of them. Channels are pointless in 2012. Why pay for stuff that is broadcast while you are at work? It should be ala carte for individual episodes/seasons/movies.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          >>> Even the SyFy network might tank, as people would have to ask themselves "do I really want to pay for stuff like Megacroc vs. Giantshark"?

          I would pay for their original series (Being Human, Eureka, Stargate, and reruns of Twilight Zone/other classics). I don't like all that "reality" crap on the other channels. In fact I DID pay extra back in the 90s. Syfy cost $5 extra, and yet it still managed to survive (and grow).

          Though they should probably rename themselves "Fantasy" because that's real

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Nobody needs cable for religious nut channels. They are some of the strongest channels being broadcast. It's rather frustrating really. The major networks you can't get but the fundie and spanish channels all come in 5 by 5.

      • Re:Dur (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:41PM (#39600289) Journal

        Damn - spent all the mod points yesterday. :)

        I would add to that the prediction that most of the flagship Discovery Network channels would likely still rake in the monies (Discovery, Science, Travel, History, TLC, etc). TBS would hold out okay as well, but mostly because they're smart enough to capture and re-run the good sitcoms and dramas). Comedy Channel? It would probably do okay. Cartoon Network? Adult Swim (usually) makes it worth keeping. NatGeo? Likely would do okay, but that's only semi-certain.

        I think channels like Univision and Telemundo would do pretty well also, but channels that cater to other ethnicities (Vietnamese, Korean, Persian, Russian, etc) would likely wither pretty quickly. Lifetime, Oxygen, and all the estrogen-laced channels? The channels in that niche would go all Highlander on each other (as in: there can be only one!). Others that would also see some hard intra-niche fighting would be Animal Planet vs. NatGeo Wild.

        SyFy would die a well-deserved death, as would MTV (no, seriously - fuck 'em. Aside from Jackass, IMHO they've contributed little-to-nothing since 1995 or so that would justify its continued existence). Golf channel? Yeah, it'll die, but slowly (at the same rate its fan base does). The Weather Channel? Sadly, but yeah it'll die, or at least its TV component likely would.

        The *really* niche stuff? Likely dead on arrival: Tennis channel, NASA channel, SOAP Network, etc.

        All said though, I really don't mind a lot, with one caveat: The survivors would concentrate on either the lowest common denominator (booo!) or on producing the best damned content available. OTOH, from a parenting perspective, it returns power to Mom and Dad ("Dear teenage kid: if you want to watch that channel here, it'll cost you $n per month, so I suggest you go get a job.")

      • by peragrin (659227)

        Dufy channel doesn't do mega shark vs Jurassic croc any more. That is too hardcore.

        Now all you get is wrestling. At least it is on a fatansy land channel.

        Serious SYFY hasn't had anything good on in 6 months

        • by jamstar7 (694492)
          ... except Lost Girl and Sanctuary.

          Dunno why, but I was never able to get into Being Human. Lost Girl rocks hard, though. Figures they'd buy it from a Canadian network. Keep up the good work up there, guys!!
    • Re:Dur (Score:4, Interesting)

      by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:57PM (#39600479) Journal

      To me, it's a tricky call.

      I'm one of those weird people who pays for lots of channels--I have a bunch of the tiers and movie channels and the whole bit. So I got home last night, made a sandwich, and started scanning the channels. Ended up watching a neat program on the Titanic sinking on the Smithsonian channel, which is a channel that I probably wouldn't have ordered a la carte. Sometimes I find old and fun programs being shown--Trio used to show Laugh-In reruns--on networks that I probably wouldn't normally order a la carte.

      The sad thing about a la carte is that the smaller "channels" would probably go out of business. You'd end up with a bunch of the "branded" channels--Comedy Central, SyFy, ESPN--doing very well and channels like CurrentTV, Bravo, Smithsonian, and Sundance going out of business.

      On the other hand, I can understand the desire to not have to pay for programming that you don't watch--especially considering that cable companies tend to group these things for maximum profit and not necessarily because they make sense. My personal favorite was when my cable provider decided to move Game Show Network into the "obscure sports tier" next to Bow Hunting, Fishing, and Camping. Huwha!? About six months later, they decided that was ridiculous and put it back.

      I look at it as a "taxes" type of thing. Yeah, I end up paying for channels that you watch and you end up paying for channels that I watch.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>Nobody actually WANTS to pay for all those shopping, religious nut, cable access bullshit channels.

      I used to have limited cable for $7/month. It came with all the locals and the shopping channels, plus CSPAN. Reason: All those channels were either free or dirt cheap (locals are usually 1 cent each). It's not until you get to the "real" channels like TNT or CNN that they charge ~50 cents to the cable company, so they are only available in more pricey tiers.

  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mewsenews (251487) on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:30PM (#39599319) Homepage

    Why are the popular channels subsidizing poor-performing specialty channels? What's the logic in that? Why is the cable company carrying a channel that's not profitable?

    Their argument rings so damn hollow it's ridiculous.

    • Because the cable company owns the channel. And because the cable company takes the fee's "charged" by each channel, doubles them, then tells the CRTC, this is how much we have to charge, any less and we'll go out of business.

      Channel Bundling is the television version of CD's in the music business. You make BOATLOADS more profit by selling 9 crappy songs with the one song the customer actually wants.

      • by millette (56354)

        BOATLOADS more profit? Why not save money and record a single hit song, then?

      • by ArhcAngel (247594)
        This!

        And forced bundling agreements from content providers. Let's say you are Disney and all the pay TV companies are wanting to add your staple channels (Disney Channel, ABC, ESPN) to their lineup. You know they NEED those channels to be competitive in the market so you see an opportunity to up-sell some of your less popular properties. [wikipedia.org] You insist that if the paytv company wants ESPN they must purchase the ESPN bundle and put all ESPN networks on their lowest tier offering. The paytv company objects but
        • by soundguy (415780)

          ABC is a broadcast network and falls under "must carry" for all cable providers in the US (don't know if Canada has must-carry rules). They can't withhold it. I'd be extremely happy if I could opt out of subsidizing sports though, and I have no interest in the disney channels either. I've heard that ESPN charges the cablecos something like $25 per subscriber for their bundle. Fuck them. There are more than enough sports junkies in the world to foot the bill for pro sports programming without forcing it down

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      What's the logic in that? Why is the cable company carrying a channel that's not profitable?

      So they can truthfully brag "We have 100 channels!" thereby getting a whole lot more customers from the half of the population that have 2 digit IQs. The rest uf us shrug and cancel our cable subscriptions.

      They could get me back by charging two bucks a month for each channel I selected, but they'd only be getting maybe ten bucks a month from me.

    • What's the logic in that? Why is the cable company carrying a channel that's not profitable?

      Because the 3 companies that own all the channels bundle them together and make cable companies pay for all of them.

      The important thing is, inherent in the setup of these big media companies, they do not believe that you have any right to choose for yourself what you pay for and what you watch. It's the media executives' and marketing teams' jobs to decide what you should watch, and then create a situation where you're forced into it on whatever terms they think are appropriate. They mostly trying to "fo

    • >Why are the popular channels subsidizing poor-performing specialty channels? What's the logic in that?

      It's almost ... [shocked-face] SOCIALISM!

      From CAPITALISTS!

      Of course, as the Banks have ably demonstarated, corporate socialism [privatised reward, socialised risk] is more than acceptable.

    • Why bundle (Score:5, Insightful)

      by swm (171547) * <swmcd@world.std.com> on Friday April 06, 2012 @03:10PM (#39600661) Homepage

      It isn't evil; it's just bundling, and there is a reason for it.
      Simple example (from the newspaper days)

      Alice values the fashion section at $0.20 and the sports section at $0.10.
      Bob values the sports section at $0.20 and the fashion section at $0.10.

      If the publisher prices both sections at $0.10, he sells 4 sections and makes $0.40.
      If the publisher prices both sections at $0.20, he sells 2 sections and makes $0.40.
      But if the publisher bundles the two sections together and prices the bundle at $0.30, he sells 2 bundles and makes $0.60.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Corporations like NBC, ABC, FOX bundle all their channels together. They know channels like Bravo, Toon, or Fox Movies would not sell, but other channels like USA, Disney, or FX are popular. They tell the cable companies, "If you want USA then you have to buy *all* our NBC channels. CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, Syfy, and so on."

      ABC/Disney and FOX does the same with their plethora of channels. Basically they are blackmailing the cable companies to buy all ~10 of their channels in a single bundle, even those that

    • by Shotgun (30919)

      The real answer is that you're not the customer. You're the product.

      If there were not commercials, your question would be answerable. The fact that you're subscription cost makes only a small part of the channel's revenue, means that they're getting the money from elsewhere. If the channel can only show 1/10th the subscribers the ad rates will fall.

      When things are working, but don't make sense, check your premises.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:32PM (#39599337)
    Forget ala-carte channels, much less bundling of channels. The future isn't even in ala-carte series, but rather ala-carte episodes. It is insanely competitive, but with unicast now feasible (and catching on rapidly, e.g. netflix), it cannot be otherwise.
    • We're close...it's AppleTV on the above-board pay side. You want a show, you watch it, they charge you. Because of the overhead, though, you are paying a great deal more per show than a typical household would consume. Even at $1 an episode, you start racking up the bill pretty fast. Even if you only watch weekly content, and watch just two shows each, a family of 4 is going to find themselves with a $32/month bill, plus the cost of bandwidth (currently $19-$59/mo in the 250GB cap flavor). Throw in Netflix

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Daily Show and Colbert are available free online, or were last I checked. I have no cable and I only spend $20/month with netflix plus a couple bucks here and there on Amazon. I also have prime. Including my 25/25 FIOS plan I cannot spend more than $70/month even my worst months on this stuff. I don't include internet cost when I normally look at this stuff as I would have that even if I had cable.

  • I think the a la carte model is fine. I have been unplugged since 2007 (take that Anonymous Coward), and I have used a mac mini and a boxee box as my entertainment devices. I like the on-demand aspect. However, I do watch less TV because once I have finished the program I set out to watch I turn it off. I do not get sucked into the shiny program that comes on next.
    • by tibit (1762298)

      If it only were a shiny "program" that would come next. It's often shiny only because it's a polished turd :(

  • There might be an avenue for continuing income in the future for providers that offer ala carte programming in the future. I've avoided getting cable or satellite, specifically because my needs are handled by OTA programming (news and sports) and Netflix (most of the rest of the shows I watch). I'd love it if I had the option to pay for just a few channels without duplicating the access I already have available to me, and the cable company would get subscription money out of me that they aren't currently pu
  • da fuq? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:35PM (#39599371)

    ...a market shake-out, causing many specialty services to exit, would ensue.

    The raisin de etre for cable tv is specialty service. All that non-sense about buying 'packages' is a way for the company to extort more money from customers.The channels have to put advertising in place to support themselves; They do not get that subscription money, and they wouldn't under a 'pick and choose' model anymore than they do now. But what it would do is force cable companies to disclose which assets are valuable and which are not, meaning those channels could then dictate terms to the cable companies, instead of the other way around; It would be an accurate way of figuring out how many people actually watch your channel, rather than relying on 3rd party services to provide that information.

    So no. It wouldn't result in a market 'shakeout'.... and if it did, that's capitalism in action. Don't you support capitalism, oh great Cable TV executive with your very fancy hat? What you're really saying is your profits would be lower because you'd have to be honest about the numbers, rather than being able to use (achem) creative accounting.

    • by dskoll (99328)

      The raisin de etre

      That's just sour grapes.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      So no. It wouldn't result in a market 'shakeout'.... and if it did, that's capitalism in action.

      Capitalists no longer support capitalism. They support anything that makes them more money. Witness: US bank bailouts. Today's capitalists are for socialism, as long as they're the ones getting the government money.

  • by Dakiraun (1633747) <{dakiraun} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:40PM (#39599441) Homepage

    It's been around 10 or 11 years now since I stopped watching TV. The ridiculous monthly costs combined with the facts that 2/3 of the channels are uninteresting and those that are are filled with up to 40% commercial time, I just thought to myself one day "Why am I paying for this?"

    Since canceling my cable, I chose to watch shows that I was interested in by on-line streaming or by just getting the DVDs, and that's worked out great so far. The added perk is that I'm not exposed to ANY commercials at all. The big Telco's have got to come to the realization sooner or later that embracing the more modern ways of media distribution is a lot more profitable and beneficial than constantly opposing them. They seem to forget that it is the consumer than "wants" the shows, and their job to deliver what the consumer wants, not what they think the consumer wants.

    If they don't step into the 21st century soon, more and more folks are just going to do what I did and stop giving them any money at all. Personally... I think it was one of the best things I've ever done; I haven't a clue where I'd find time to sit in front of a TV nowadays.

    • My brother mentioned the other day that he opted for a $2000/yr raise just by ditching cable.

      If more people would put their satellite and cable subscriptions in a yearly cost light, they might be more inclined to drop them and go with free over the air HDTV and streaming.
    • This. I do the same thing, I get my al la carte online. I save myself a ton of money and I'm not inclined to channel hop just incase something could be on. I'm more productive as a result. These companies should follow the first rule of business; give the customer what they want!

  • ...and someone with a monopoly shouldn't be allowed to force those wanting to buy the monopoly product to also buy other, lesser products. Obviously the law for pay TV doesn't work that way right now, but morally I think it should.

    This should of course be within reason, assuming legislators can craft laws with reason. For cable-style channels, allowing a-la-carte selection by channel makes sense. Letting consumers choose by the television show on a given channel may not even by technically feasible. On

  • ...here.

    BCE, whose Bell owns 30 specialty networks

    Who wants to bed all 30 of those networks are struggling because no one with a sane mind wants to watch them?

    • by Tridus (79566)

      Oh, they do just fine when they're bundled together with TSN.

      The fact is that most specialty channels don't care how many people watch them. They get more of their revenue from subscription fees (being in a package that people take) then they do from advertising to actual eyeballs. Why do you think so many of them just have the same few cheap shows on constant reruns?

  • If you want me as a customer, you will implement à la carte service.

    If you don't, I will continue to use streaming video and iTunes.

    This is non-negotiable.

    ...laura

    • by dubbreak (623656)
      The cable company already lost my business cable-wise (to Netflix et al.) and won't get it back until they offer programs a la carte. Shaw cable has partially/fully realized this (as my plan with them is internet only) and is now supplying me with full (non hd) cable free. It has been this way for years now actually (6 months at a time free, then I drop it, then they offer it again). This most recent offer is 12 months of no cost cable plus a bump up in internet service (50Mbps/3Mbps up from 20/0.5) for les
  • No ESPN subsidy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fujisawa Sensei (207127) on Friday April 06, 2012 @01:51PM (#39599577) Journal
    I want a package with I can get things like Discovery, Syfy, and Cartoon Network, without subsidizing ESPN or any sports channel or religion channel..
    • by dbet (1607261)
      ESPN is really one of the problem channels here. They are insanely expensive. Now, they're also insanely popular, but if you don't care about them, you're still paying.

      Stuff like MTV2 and Encore-Western are not very popular at all, but they're also dirt cheap.

      So it's not that unpopular channels will disappear. They're cheap enough that even casual fans might keep them on. It's that expensive channels will see an immediate dip in subscriptions, and they're the biggest ones who need the status quo t
  • If we don't rectally shaft them with barbed implements rather than provide that for which they ask?
  • by geekoid (135745)

    ", arguing the change would have disastrous consequences for programmers,"

    So?

    • "There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be

  • I'm afraid that I own the rights to the following business plan: Produce a crap product and convince some politicians that it must be bundled with more popular wares.

    If the Canadian media companies insist on pursuing this line of business, they'll have to meet my licensing terms.

  • Paying for a channel is still too coarse. I would like to be able to purchase packages of specific shows.

  • Specialty channels in Canada fall into two groups:

    1. The ones that draw subscribers. Think TSN and ones like that, which have content people actually go looking for.
    2. The ones that are run on the cheap and show reruns of a small group of shows over and over again.

    Group #1 would thrive under this model because they could charge more for those channels. If people can subscribe to TSN on its own, TSN can double or triple the price it charges the cable companies. They'll pass it along, and people will pay it b

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Group #2 is obsolete anyways since they mainly comprise really old shows that can be bought on physical disc very cheaply.

      Kill off Group#2 channels and people can BUY the relevant shows and still come out ahead.

  • So you're a content distributor/producer, and you have 3 "name" channels everybody wants and a bunch of low-rated specialty channels that show a ton of re-runs, "marathons" and a small handful of low-rated original niche programs ("Low Carb Househunter Pawn Star Bachelorette Bounty Hunters").

    Of course you bundle everything, requiring cable/satellite providers to take the crap to get the in-demand channels.

    In many cases, the crap channels seem *so* crappy you wonder how they even cover the overhead of techni

  • by LordNicholas (2174126) on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:12PM (#39599883)

    I work for a major cable network- here's a hopefully better explanation of why we've stuck with the bundling model.

    A cable channel gets its revenue from two main sources- cable subscription fees from the cable provider (~70%) and ad revenue (~30%).

    Let's assume we have a cable channel that is currently bundled, and in 100% of households with TVs, with revenue of $100 million a year. We're getting $70 million from cable subscriptions, and $30 million from ad revenue.

    Now let's say we switch to a-la carte, but 100% of households still want to subscribe at a price that leaves us revenue-neutral. The cable channel says "great! we're still getting $70 million from subscriptions and $30 million from ad revenue. Everybody wins."

    But, let's say only 50% of households would be willing to subscribe, but they're willing to pay double the price because they love the channel. We're still making $70 million from subscription fees. However, we're now only in 50% of households, which means we're much less attractive to advertisers. We're not going to keep making $30 million from ad revenue, because advertisers often need a "critical mass" of households reached in order to make a deal. This isn't a linear relationship- 50% of households doesn't mean 50% of ad revenue, it could mean 0% because we don't have the scale to make an ad deal worthwhile for the advertiser.

    So now we've only got $70-85 million a year, which means we have less money to spend on programming. Program quality suffers as a result, and so the next year maybe only 25% of households are willing to subscribe. We're now in a downward spiral.

    TL;DR - unbundling has the unfortunate side effect of reducing program quality for specialty channels. Only the cheapest shows (ie, crappy reality shows) or the ones appealing to the lowest common denominator (ie, CBS's entire lineup) might survive in the long-term.

    • by dskoll (99328)

      We're now in a downward spiral

      Welcome to the 21st century. And by the way, I'd be filled with glee to see Rogers in a downward spiral. My sympathy for that company would extend to dancing on its grave.

    • by Tridus (79566)

      Have you actually WATCHED specialty channels lately? They're already cheap reality crap almost all of the time. I feel no compelling need to pay for any of it, and if some channels go under because of it then so be it. The only reason so many specialty channels survive now is due to this form of corporate socialism.

  • arguing the change would have disastrous consequences for their ability to scalp you

    FTFThem.

  • With my antenna and digital TV, I get about 10 channels for free. 90% of the programming is crap.

    But I can pay $60/month and get 100 channels of crap? Oh boy!!!! Sign me up!!!

  • by Tyr07 (2300912) on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:25PM (#39600059)

    They tried to hide the quality of the channel by simply saying its your personal opinion of the channel, not the value of the channel itself.

    So even if you don't like it, imaginary people do. Hence we're giving 28 channels for X amount is a GREAT bargin.
    Even if you only watch two of them, other people watches the OTHER channels...so we're giving you VALUE.

    No. No you're not. You're bundling cheap crap that people don't want in to justify your prices.
    If you tried to charge 30$ for two channels, you'd suddenly seem 'expensive' for what you get.
    So you try to hide that and just don't want to be exposed.
    Tough shit.

    I'd love if I could sell people things and force them to buy other crud, but when it comes to physical objects, can't get away with it as much.

    "Ah, I see you wish to purchase this TV, well, the TV is decent, medium level TV, and I realize the price is for a higher quality TV, but look, you get this cheap
    living room set that no one wants to buy, so you're getting a great deal really."

    No, no I'm not, because I don't need another living room set, and it's worthless, I couldn't sell it if I tried.

  • lot's of carp channels that no one watches drives up cost just as much as people who don't want ESPN but may want HBO or other non sports channels.

    Also there are people who want sports but not all the other crap like disney channels.

  • ESPN is nearing $5+ a sub it should go premium as well disney channel that used to be premium as well.

  • Though Canadians will easily recognize the conflict of interest, the service providers (cable/satellite) are also more or less the media providers (TV channels). For example, Bell Media [wikipedia.org] owns many of the TV channels in the country, while Bell TV [wikipedia.org] is one of two satellite providers; both are owned by BCE (aka Bell Canada).

    "Undoubtedly, a market shake-out, causing many specialty services to exit, would ensue." Great quote; sounds like the satellite company is trying to help save those struggling TV channels. E

  • U-verse is real bad as you need to buy starz and showtime to get MLB network, NBA tv, NASA TV, Investigation Discovery, Planet Green, Discovery Fit & Health, Centric, and others.

  • If the cable companies can prevent a la carte, then I want a law that makes them pay me for the time I spend after watching a show that looked good, but turned to crap before the end.

    (Actually, I canned cable for OTA and Hulu years ago, but hell, I'd pay $100 or even $200 a month if there was a time refund guarantee)
  • So in other words, these guys want people to pay for crap they don't want. I'd LOVE to get cable channels, but only the ones I want. I'd nix most channels and have locals and only 8-10 others. Reality-show channels? 50 news channels? ESPN 1 to 249? Christ. It's like if Wal-Fart decided to tell their customers, "if you come to our store, you have to buy EVERYTHING WE TELL YOU TO, even if you don't want it."

  • sort all the channels into "bands" beginning with "Stuff we have to cover or the FCC/FTC would vivisect us" and then layers of stuff ,expensive stuff, niche stuff ,expensive but niche stuff, stuff thats just Odd but we need channel count and then PPV stuff in each layer.

    as a subscriber you get to pay for channels either by paying X% of a channels "bundle" (to be set at no more than Cost of that pack divided by number of channels in pack times 1.3) or just getting that bundle

    or

    trade channels from other bundl

To do nothing is to be nothing.

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