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Thoughts on the De-Bundling Lawsuits.

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by SayWhat?, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    Lots of stories all over the web about the carriers piling on to a new lawsuit against Viacom over bundling. I haven't seen a full list of the 14 channels supposedly in dispute, but of the ones I've seen listed, this could be a problem.

    It seems the carriers don't want to carry the 'lesser' channels at all, rather than breaking them out of packages and offering them to those that do want them. For example, I'd gladly give up VH1 and all the MTVs if I could have VH1Classics which they seem to want to drop.

    Not sure which way this suit will go, but I don't see it good for we the viewers either way based on what I'm reading.
     
  2. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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  3. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    I see the issue in terms of my views on Disney/ESPN/ABC. But my guess is that Cablevision decided to take on Viacom because, as mentioned in this LA Times article, "...Viacom is seen by distributors as being the most aggressive programmer when it comes to bundling." I also think they chose it because Viacom does not own any O&O local broadcast stations. It always seemed odd to me that the Redstone family which owns Viacom split CBS and Showtime off as a separate entity.

    I personally don't like bundling in the context of packages as they are now offered by all carriers. Assuming we can't a la carte, my preference would be a variation on a la carte where each of the content corporations could create their own offerings to sell through the carriers in the same way we buy HBO, Showtime, and Starz.

    Let the satellite and cable companies charges us a service fee like an ISP and rent or sell us hardware. Then the content companies would have to compete for our money.
     
  4. lwilli201

    lwilli201 Hall Of Fame

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  5. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    My problem with this suit is that it seems like one site wants to force everything whether we want it or not, and the other side wants to limit what we get based on what they think is worthwhile.

    Neither side seems to be concerned with our opinions
     
  6. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Its an oligarchy, not a democracy. Were it a democracy, we could all choose exactly which channels we want to subscribe to, and which not to. Or even which shows, which then becomes the VOD/PPV model. Democracy is not a right here, or even a privilege. It is what it is.

    A la carte sounds like a wonderful idea on the surface, but the end result is we would all be paying the same price for less channels, which would decimate the video entertainment industry in the same way Napster and iTunes have decimated radio and the music industry. It would also disenfranchise new flavors of this entertainment medium from ever having a chance to emerge, and limit the range of media available to the viewers which would keep their horizons hide-bound. That is the exact opposite of "flourish".

    Channels like Flix and Sundance subsidize TMC and Showtime, and there are examples for NBCU, Viacom, FOX, Time-Warner, and many others. Those channels would just curl up and die without all of the FX's and Comedy Central's to protect them. But susidization is often a good thing; it keeps universities from becoming nothing more than commercial products beholden to the will of consumers, and it allows a company like DTV to give us high-tech DVRs at costs much less than the prohibitive cost we would be paying without subsidization. Without it, your DVR would cost you about $900. So would your phone. Dumbing down that cost is possible, but only at the price of removing features and reliability.

    Maybe it doesn't matter to those who don't watch these lesser channels anyway, but that raises the cost of the channels you do watch which wipes out any savings to the consumer, and puts lots and lots of folks in my industry out of work (so yes, I have a personal investment in how this plays out). I don't like the idea of being forced to take a package deal for 150 channels when I only watch about 15 of them any more than anyone else does, but the reality of realizing a la carte would decimate the status quo and gain us really nothing at a crippling loss to the industry, which means less choices in the end for all of us.

    What we have is not a perfect system, but it works, and tinkering with it can only make things worse for everybody.
     

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