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The Ugly Numbers Behind Unbundled Cable TV

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Greenenergyassessors, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Greenenergyassessors

    Greenenergyassessors New Member

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    The Ugly Numbers Behind Unbundled Cable TV - Businessweek!


    If you’re a cable TV subscriber who grumbles about paying for dozens of channels your family never watches, a media analyst has a message: That cable bundle carries all sorts of unseen benefits.
    In a report that attempts to quantify the costs of an à la carte pricing for cable television, Needham & Co.’s Laura Martin estimates that $45 billion of TV advertising would be at risk under such a change, along with 1.4 million jobs, $20 billion in taxes paid by such cable operators as Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), and $117 billion in market capitalization. And maybe you wouldn’t miss the Christian-themed Smile of a Child channel or Jewelry Television, but if you love any of those niche networks you could almost certainly kiss them goodbye for lack of financial support.
    The notion of “unbundling” cable television packages and allowing consumers to choose only those channels they want has long tantalized frustrated subscribers, who pay about $720 per year in the U.S. for an average of 180 channels. The average viewer watches somewhere from 16 to 20 of those, according to Needham, and the gap infuriates millions as they write monthly checks to cable companies.
     
  2. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    And they are right!

    Ya can't depend on unbundling cable services to make it more affordable. Ya gotta cut cable. Period! Then you will see extraneous channels die out as our capitalist system was meant to be. It is a socialist idea to bundle undermarketable channels that have no redeeming value whatsoever to the average subscriber. Why are they still there???

    I am a capitalist. But I ain't stupid. I want marketable content. I don't want my cable subscription to cater to unmarketable content no matter what bleeding heart programs get sacrificed. But I will always give to such causes that appear in the advertising arena aside from my programing schedule.

    Am I crazy...

    Carl
     
  3. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    Don't you think there is a place for content that you find on PBS? I agree with you regarding the bundling. I also worry that the pure capitalist approach leads to endless reality shows, music that has a one year life, the end of support for our most talented artists, etc ...

    I don't think the government is the answer but I do think that pure capitalism, which doesn't really exist anywhere, is a terrible system. It's a bit of the law of the jungle with no regard for human values.

    philip
     
  4. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    I believe in controlled capitalism. Plain & simple. Many folks think that restrictions and regulations go against market interests. I do not. PBS is supported by viewers via donations. This makes sense. On any channel listing the most popular channels will be chosen by viewers. Govt channels & info channels should get a free ride. But really, why shouldn't viewers have the choice about which shows they want? It is pay TV after all. Providers can regulate how an ala carte menu would work to provide fairness and a workable system. But it is up to the networks to make their content worthwhile to their viewers.

    But all this is just pipe dream fodder as it will never happen...

    Carl
     
  5. mrspock

    mrspock Active Member

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    If their main source of income is from ad revenue, then they can just include those channels for free in the package.
     
  6. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    Well controlled capitalism can mean anything from a socialist system through the current US system. It's all a function of how much control.

    PBS receives around 20% of its funding from the government and was founded by the government. It's not just a viewer supported organization though they play a large role.

    The networks are in it to make money for their shareholders and will stoop to anything to do so which is why the intellectual level of programming has reached the point where even hamsters are bored.

    I am not saying that viewers shouldn't have a say in what they get. After all they have managed to bring us such wonders as UFC fighting, Survivor, endless reality shows, etc ... The system is broken and it's not just a bundling issue. I'm pretty sure a show broadcasting fights between lions and humans would do quite well, especially if it were a winner take all.

    philip
     
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  7. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    Good points, Philip

    All businesses seem to be using sneaky tricks to make money these days. The entertainment industry is no different. I'm not sure the average viewer wants these reality shows. What I think happens is that one show, say, Jerry Springer, takes off and is a huge success. Not because the content is great but because it is unique and raw at the time. All of a sudden producers go on a talk show rampage trying to repeat that one time success. Look at all the movies that follow after a box office hit. How many reincarnations of Freddy Krueger can any audience stand?

    The reality show is great for the networks. No actors to pay. No scripts. Low budget. The common citizen get their 15 minutes of fame. I worried that I would miss cable. But then I thought about how often I found myself just changing channels from commercial to commercial. Or from trash to worse.

    Now I have ala carte programming. It's called Netflix & Amazon Instant Video w/a dash of YouTube.

    Lol!

    Carl
     
  8. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    It's doubtful that the consumer protests against "bundling" and demands for ala carte would even be an issue if cable subscription prices were reasonable. The way it is, the cable companies have been price gouging for decades; they could probably charge half the current price and still be making profits hand over fist.

    As a balance for the cable companies,' what amounts to monopolies within each local area, local governments are supposed to be regulating cable prices. They don't do it. The local governments are in bed with the cable companies. Cable companies do whatever they want to do without restriction.

    It's really an absurd system, where the -cable companies/content providers- have not only rip-off subscription pricing but also massive advertising within their content.

    Federal legislation of "cable reform" of price controls and opening up the internet for greatly eased contend-provider stranglehold on indefinite copyrights of second and third run content presentation is the ony way to correct this. And that will never happen in the current, political climate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  9. zim2dive

    zim2dive Active Member

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    The studies which say prices would go up (even tho you are choosing to receive fewer channels) are probably funded by the media conglomerates who don't want alacarte (ie. Disney/ABC/ESPN)...

    the entire sports business model would collapse (ie. ESPN counting on getting $$ from *EVERY* cable subscriber since they force their way to the basic tier.. and then using that pyramid scheme to bid up the prices for broadcasting the bowl games, NFL, etc, which in turn is used to fund the crazy increasing sports salaries)...

    And/or hey, offer some bundles, but if I want to buy "basic" let me as least add 1-2 channels from the "mid" tier for $1-2/each vs. being forced to buy the whole mid-tier at a $10-$15/mo cost delta.
     

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