Picking the cable channel you want
Report: FCC is expected to back 'a la carte' pricing in the industry, instead of bundled channels.
November 29, 2005: 5:59 AM EST
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Communications Commission is expected to suggest that cable companies could best serve their customers by allowing them to subscribe to individual channels instead of packages of several stations, the Wall Street Journal
The newspaper said that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is expected to announce Tuesday that the commission will soon revise the conclusion it reached in the report it issued last year on "a la carte" pricing in the cable industry.
Citing an FCC official familiar with the revised report, the Journal
said the report will conclude that buying individual channels could be cheaper for consumers than bundles and that themed tiers of channels could be economically feasible.
Last year's FCC report on the subject found that most U.S. households would face higher television bills if they only paid for the channels they wanted to watch.
The commission said then that increased costs for marketing and
equipment would force up monthly bills by 14 percent to 30 percent for most cable or satellite TV customers even if they only paid for a handful of stations.
Customer advocates have said a pay-per-channel approach would keep cost increases in check by making programmers and providers more accountable to viewers.