Sure, it sounds good on the surface but like in a restaurant, if you order a la carte, you just end up paying $18 for breakfast in Des Moines.
Cable ala carte may have worked 20 years ago but not now. If you look at the Top 50 cable networks ratings, about 48 of them are owned wholly or partially by Viacom, NBCU, Disney, Fox, Warner, Comcast or Hearst.
What does that mean? ESPN ala carte? $24.99 a month. Why not? There’s no rule that says pricing now (about $2 a channel) gets converted to ala carte pricing – just like at a restaurant. But they’ll be deals. If you agree to take ALL the other ESPN channels, the bundle deal is $17.99. But wait it gets better – if you take Disney & ABC – that’s only another $7.99 a month or you can buy each channel separately for $9.99 a month.
So, two scenarios. We will probably pay $10 more a month to end up with slightly fewer channels or you will pay about $100 to get about 10 cable channels. But the naive still believe they can get the 10 channels they want for $20. Bwhahahaha.
This is EXACTLY what happened the last time government decided to mess with the industry – we ended up with cable re-regulation and what happened – monthly rates dropped a little but if you wanted a cable guide – $10. If the service call was your fault – $35. Wiring insurance? $5 a month, etc, etc … so ultimately we ended up paying essentially the same but anything non TV reception related, we were suddenly paying about 300% more.
I am not defending the cable companies but merely stating what is going to happen in the REAL WORLD. You will not be able to cherry pick 10 channels for $2 a month. You will still get the home shopping channels (As a special thank you, QVC & HSN Free FOREVER!) or the non-English channels that are MUST CARRY local channels.
What will happen is if you want ESPN, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, E!, Bravo, A&E, etc … you will pay around $10 to get each channel or you can pay about $15 to get their 10 “sister” channels. We will be right back where we started but the cable companies will make even more money. Want to make a change – that’s $10 EVERY TIME. To prevent you dropping out after football season, ESPN will sell you a year starting in August for a set fee or it’s $49.99 a month if you sign up in September through December.
Part of the reason the censorsorship groups want this is that they cannot control their own kids and want us to do so and they just think they should speak for us. Just because they don’t want to watch certain channels, they want no one else to … never mind that some people don’t want religious channels or preachers who advocate assasinations – that’s the broad spectrum of America but of course, anything they don’t want – they don’t want for the rest of us.
America is the ONLY country where there are 300+ channels. Let’s not go and ruin that just because some people don’t know how to appreciate other channels. There is literally something interesting, educational, and fun on EVERY channel. You should start watching the other channels and exploring instead of tightly just doing one channel over & over. When you get a newspaper or magazine, you will get articles or sections you do not read – should be getting your money back for those pages you don’t read also? Do you only pay taxes for streets you drive on? How about mail delivery? I’m sure there are states that I’ve never mailed or received a letter from? Is it so bad we in effect subsidize C-Span? I would venture to guess that 95% or more of cable subscribers have never watched it on a regular basis – so if it doesn’t serve my viewing needs, it should serve no ones? Sure, Fox News is an easy target but what about BET? Or Comedy Central – it was a no-nothing network, then it got interesting with SOUTH PARK and ultimately really interesting and even useful with THE DAILY SHOW & COLBERT. How did they get here? Did they burst immediately from the gates? Or was that money in the beginning used to grow the network? So how would networks get from “nothing” to “must have?” The only people who could afford to launch any network would be massive corporations or religious/special interest groups who could afford to give it away free to you for 6 months or a year.
Ala Carte will not work on many levels from the reality of the details (you will pay more for less – mark my words) to it’s just a ploy by censorship mavens to the Bell companies trying to mess with cable companies to messing with the only system and country with 300+ channels.
Do NOT let the FCC or small minded NON-TV watchers make your decisions for you.