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'No compelling need for cable a la carte'

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Nick, Dec 5, 2006.

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  1. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    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.
  2. Mike D-CO5

    Mike D-CO5 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 11, 2003
    Which means more higher cable /satellite bills for the future.
  3. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    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.
  4. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

    Jul 21, 2002
    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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