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Guest Message by DevFuse

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'No compelling need for cable a la carte'


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3 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 05:00 PM

New FCC Commissioner says he "doesn't see a compelling
need for cable operators to sell a la carte programming".


The newest member of the Federal Communications Commission, Robert McDowell,
appears to be preparing himself for a turbulent period at the agency. The commissioner
said today that should he be needed to break a FCC deadlock on the AT&T/BellSouth
deal that he could quickly get up to speed on the review. Although McDowell gave few
clues as to how he feels about the proposal, saying the "transaction is not that different
from two we saw last year, and I hope my colleagues would proceed along a similar path."

McDowell also told attendees of an investor conference in New York City that he didn't
see a compelling need for cable operators to sell a la carte programming - a divergence
from FCC Chair Kevin Martin's stance that embraces the idea.

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#2 OFFLINE   Mike D-CO5

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 06:35 PM

Which means more higher cable /satellite bills for the future.

#3 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 08:00 PM

Sorry, but you've got it wrong, Mike.

Who do you think is ultimately going to bear the massive cost of implementing and operating an
unbelieveably complex a la carte channel system? It would dramatically raise equivalent per
channel costs, and worse, substantially increase overall rates for all subscribers across the board.

Personally, I don't want to bear the added cost so that you can pick and choose just the channels
you want, and frankly I don't think you and other 'a la carters' could afford to share the cost among
yourselves, nor would you want to.

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#4 OFFLINE   FTA Michael

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 11:54 PM

As the voice of moderation, I must point out that we haven't even decided on the form of a la carte (bundles, tiers, every individual channel, reverse, others?), so it's difficult to make sweeping predictions on what would result from mandated a la carte.

Nick, I agree that cable a la carte is incompatible with its current requirement to deliver core channels through an analog signal, and cable is what McDowell was talking about. OTOH, the satellite providers already have the system in place for a truly unbelievable range of permutations. Each satellite receiver can qualify for dozens of different packages, including locals and internationals. Yet the satellite system tells each receiver exactly when to black out a given sporting event on a particular channel. It's pretty amazing when you think about it that way.
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