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Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Rob, Jul 28, 2010.
This is the email I got from Time Warner Cable this morning. The only reason I still get these is that I get my internet through them. My provider is D, so I'm not too worried.
Your Cable Video Dollar
You may have heard that Time Warner Cable and Disney - the corporate owner of ABC, ESPN and the Disney cable channels - are in the middle of contract negotiations and Disney is demanding a huge increase in the fees we pay for their programming. To learn more about these negotiations and how TV works today, please visit RollOverOrGetTough.com.
Where Does Your Video Dollar Go?Did you know that nearly 40% of your cable video dollar already goes to programmers like Disney? We have to pay these programmers to bring you the shows you love to watch. If we "roll over" to their demands, it could drive up costs for you. So we have decided to "get tough" and try to hold the line on TV prices.
At Time Warner Cable, we're working to reach a fair agreement that will keep Disney from driving up the cost of cable. But if you're thinking of changing companies - think again. The service provider you switch to - whether it's a phone, cable or satellite company - will eventually face the same demands for fee increases from Disney/ABC/ESPN or another big TV network. Switching isn't the answer. In today's economy, consumers need to stand up and speak out.
For updates, visit RollOverOrGetTough.com. Don't let Disney drive up the price of cable television.
Didn't TWC have a contract dispute with someone else in the last year? If I remember correctly they got the deal done last minute right before those channels went dark.
Yes, they did. Time Warner Cable had a dispute with FOX during December 2009. I saw the commercials on MyNetwork TV during that period, but I have D* so I didn't worry too much about it. However, they did reach an agreement on Dec. 31st.
Isn't the expiration date of the contract right around when College/Monday Night Football season starts? Fancy that...
Funny how the quality of television has gone down (think reality TeeVee), yet the price keeps going up. How much further do prices have to go up before people start canceling?
If congress were to come up with and pass a bill that would allow cable and satellite suscribers to suscribe only to the channels they want instead of the packages offered the prices would come down. But then congress is the opposite of progress!
Congress already allows cable and satellite subscribers to subscribe to only the channels they want. The only exception being that for cable all packages must include local channels and public service channels and for satellite all packages must include public service channels and a subscription to locals includes all available locals in your market.
It is the cable and satellite industries that won't let you subscribe to just the channels you want.
I beg to differ. I remember reading some months ago that congress was considering what I stated. You are correct when stating it's the providers who only offer packages.
You misstated what you want. You don't want Congress to allow cable and satellite subscribers to subscribe to only the channels they want. You want Congress to force cable and satellite companies to allow subscribers to subscribe to only the channels they want. There is a difference.
If Congress was preventing cable and satellite subscribers from subscribing to only the channels they want, removing that prohibition would be government getting out of meddling in private business. But what you want is just asking the government to meddle in private affairs.
Quote: The Washington Post...by Frank Ahrens, Washington Post Staff Writer...Thursday 20 May 2004...FCC Asked To Examine A la Carte Cable TV...Lawmakers Seek Feasibility
That's not a quote ... it is a reference to a headline. And it is dated.
I stated that I read the article a few months ago. I never said it was written a few months ago. Bottom line, if given a choice between packages or Al la Carte which way do you think suscribers would go? I think the scales would be tipped in favor of Al la Carte.
Part of the reason that we don't get a la carte is channel providers bundle their channels, then force the cable/satellite provider to agree to provide all bundled channels together, rather than a la carte. Disney is doing it right now with TWC. They are bundling KABC and all the ESPN channels.
Part of the problem is retransmission consent for OTA stations. That should be eliminated in favor of "must carry" for all local stations. That wouldn't solve the problem, but it would be a step in the right direction.
Congress probably should not force a rigid solution to the a la carte problem, but, at the same time, I think it is appropriate for Congress to adjust the market rules, thus making a la carte more likely.
I think overall, most folks would stay with a package. You know as well as I do that the cable companies won't do anything to loose money. If they have to offer channels a la carte, they'll price individual channels in such a way that it will still be cheaper to subscribe to a package.
When the average viewer finds out that it will cost them just as much to get 20 channels as a package of 120 channels, they'll choose the package even if they don't watch most of them. after all, when it comes to most consumers "bigger is better".
Of course, I'm talking about the "average" veiwer and not most of the folks who come to boards like this.
Mini "theme packages" might work but I expect there will always be a need for a base package to cover the root cost of maintaining a customer. a la carte just adds that root cost to every channel/package. Bigger packages allows that root cost to be spread out.
The satellite/cable companies could charge a service fee that covers the root cost. This is a fee that covers having a service hookup, and all local OTA stations, but no others. Eliminate retransmission consent and require all locals to be carried on a "must carry" basis. Then allow the customer to pick what additional channels he/she wants, if any, on an a la carte basis, paying market price for each channel. If congress mandated market structuring such as what I have described, the free market would operate, within parameters set up by congress.
Prices for some customers will go up, prices for other customers will go down, and probably some little-viewed channels will go away. But that is market forces dictating that outcome, not the government, not the cable/satellite companies, not the programmers.
Allowing/forcing channels to be made available separately isn't the same thing as forcing equivalent pricing for unbundled channels.
You are exactly right. This is what I have been advocating. Require each channel to be available individually, at market price. Then the free market will decide where we go. Congress sets the rules, which is its proper function, then the market determines the outcome, which is its proper function.
I have a hard time calling a market with the government interference you're proposing "free".
Market forces are what created the system we have now. You're trying to override those market forces and IMPOSE your own forces on the market.
Please, don't try to propose heavy government intervention and call it a free market.