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Saturday, December 03, 2005


Conservative groups push à la carte cable menus

At least 2 companies break rank, express support for options

WASHINGTON -- Conservative groups love the idea of letting television viewers pay for only the channels they want on cable and are happy it's back on the table in Washington, where lawmakers and regulators are fed up with raunchy television.  -- Boston Globe

In a few milliseconds I thought of a dozen reasons why I like the idea, and why I think it's bad.  Of all the reasons to promte it, however, eliminating "raunchy" television is the least worthy.  Raunchy by whose standards? 

Once, in the way way ago, the wife and I were in the kitchen getting dinner ready, the kids watching television, when we noticed that the saccharine dialog of the Brady Bunch was replaced with "Holy shit, you have great tits."  Solution?  We dropped Showtime on the spot.  We also had the option, without the benefit of any built in chip technology, to erase channels from  our television's channel rotation.  So, if you don't like filth, block it out, or this works nicely. 

One of the upsides to the à la carte  idea, and there are many, is the early demise of the Algore channel Current.  Not that I object to him airing whatever the hell it is he airs, but because the failure of his cable venture will surely touch off another round of insane Algore rants that just amuse the hell out of me. 

By the bye, I really don't have an opinion, other than it needs to be a market decision, and government needs to get the hell out of the way.  It's government, for example, that forces me to pay $5 a month to receive local broadcast television on satellite, and limits me to only Baltimore's channels, when cable subscribers get both Washington, and Baltimore, at no additional cost.  That's what happens when those idiots (I don't use the term loosely) in congress get involved.
| E-MAIL Real King of France at 12/03/2005 10:57:00 AM PERMLINK (4) | HOME


"I did not vote for Obama but he is remarkable. In less than three weeks in office he has collected more than $150,000 in back taxes."
Gayle Miller
Right now and for the past several years, I have watched no TV. None. Nadda, except during football season. It's a toilet. However the show I do miss is Brit's hour on Fox. To get Fox, I have to get 30 or 40 or whatever other channels and it costs around $45-50/month. Something like that, both Dish and cable. Eff that, not that 50 bucks a month is going to make a difference but I guess it's the point. Now an ala carte serving of just Fox, maybe throw in MSNBC and CNN for $20-25/month, I'm there.

I learned this at a seminar I attended about advertising on TV. The advertising guys said that most people don't watch TV to be entertained, they watch TV to recover from the their day at work. Thus people are zoned out especially during commercials. When you are zoned out, you are not that particular what you watch.

That is why pay-per-view programming has not worked. People are not willing to pay for programming when they are in a recovery mode. It stands to reason that people would purchase a lot fewer channels under a per channel cost plan. The cable companies know this and that is why they only offer packages.

I doubt that it would save us money. The cable companies would raise the per-channel cost so our cable bill would remain the same.

A la carte seems to me like it MIGHT raise rates for a lot of people, unless they did it as "buy the ten channel package (you select which ten), 20 channel, 30 channel, etc."

I mention this because my cable company (Adelphia of Virginia) does offer a few foriegn language stations as 'a la carte' choices... but they charge ten dollars a station per month. If I just wanted seven stations at that rate, I'd be paying more then what I pay for the hundreds of stations I do get now under the 'group plans.'

On the surface, I like the idea. Who wants to pay for crap they don't watch, right? But check out the controversary it's stirring up on the left--
Now them's fightin' words...

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