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Thread: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

  1. #16
    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    As long as I get the "Girls Gone Wild" info commercials, I'm happy.

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  3. #17
    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    I agree RBA, but Tony Little and John Basedow must die! Along with BowFlex and Alex Trabeck!
    The Sox traded Bullfrog the only player they've got for Shottenhoffen. Four-eyes Shottenhoffen a utility infielder. They've got a whole team of utility infielders.

  4. #18
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD
    The cable industry has a point though. Think of all the possible combinations the customers could pick if they can mix and match 200 channels. That's going to add cost.

    Let's face it, if the average customer pays $X for their package, don't you think the customized package is also going to average out to $X? The cable companies aren't going to take a revenue hit.

    What's going to happen is that the popular stations will get priced very high, while the less popular stations will get discontinued. (Do you think the cable company will bother to carry the low revenue choices? probably not) I'm not sure that's the best thing for the consumer.
    What if I'm not the average customer? Sure the folks who can't live without 20 channels are probably going to get charged the same. But what about people who might opt for a few channels affordably or nothing at all? Shouldn't the cable companies look to pick up something from them? Virtually nobody I know has cable anymore because the the price is too high for something you shouldn't be consuming in the first place.

    And I don't know if they will discontinue unpopular channels or not. I frankly don't know how much it costs them to keep them as an option. But that argument strikes me as decidedly un-American. Why should the Polka Channel be kept on the air by ESPN's coattails.
    Last edited by Rojo; 11-30-2005 at 02:28 AM.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  5. #19
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    Just warning you all. Since most of us here are sports fans, we'll all end up on the high end of the cable pricing because ESPN and Fox Sports Nets charge premiums for their channels. If you settle for just the ESPN channel and Fox Sports Net, I wouldn't be suprise if your cable bill is the same, if not more.

  6. #20
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    The end result would be that a lot of channels would be going away. This proposal is unlikely to save consumers money, except in rare cases.

    Is it a good idea? Hard to say without seeing how it would work in practice.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

  7. #21
    Member SandyD's Avatar
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    "Mommmy, mommy, pleeeaasse can we get the "lastest craze" channel? Johnny has it."

    What if one spouse likes movies, and another likes sports? Could make your bill go way up. Or cause fights over who gets what channels to fit within your budget.

  8. #22
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    The technology exists to do pay per view.

    So instead of charging a flat monthly fee for unlimited access, what about offering a pay-as-you-go cable consumption plan? Charge me a base amount for unlimited access to the public network affiliates & pbs. If I don't watch any other channels, don't charge me anything else. If I do watch an hour of a basketball game on ESPN or a movie on Turner South, then charge me an hourly rate.

  9. #23
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...ck=1&cset=true

    Televangelists on Unusual Side in Indecency Debate
    By Jube Shiver Jr.
    Times Staff Writer

    November 29, 2005

    WASHINGTON Trying to preserve their electronic pulpits, the nation's religious broadcasters find themselves in the unusual position of fighting an effort by anti-indecency groups to thwart channels offering racy programming.

    The issue involves a debate over whether cable companies should continue offering subscribers mainstream and niche channels in bundles, or let them buy what they want on an a la carte basis.

    Consumer groups are pushing to let people choose their channels rather than pay for ones they don't watch. One Federal Communications Commission study showed people on average regularly watch only 17 of the more than 100 cable channels they typically receive.

    But what started largely as a consumer issue has now morphed into a larger controversy involving whether cable operators should be required to continue exposing subscribers to niche channels, including religious ones, that people might not order on their own.

    "We don't just want to preach to the choir; we want to reach the unchurched," said Paul Crouch Jr. of Trinity Broadcast Network in Santa Ana. "The bottom line is that we want to be everywhere on cable."

    The controversy is expected to come to a head today when media executives, televangelists, government regulators and consumer activists gather for Open Forum on Decency, held by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).

    Lawmakers and advocacy groups have seized on the a la carte system as a way to give cable TV subscribers more flexibility to drop channels with adult fare, citing such programs as the plastic surgery drama "Nip/Tuck" on FX that regularly features sex and gore.

    "A la carte is a solution that will immediately address the issue of indecency on cable," said Tim Winters, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Parents Television Council.

    The debate has created unusual bedfellows: religious broadcasters that want to keep getting their messages out, and free-speech advocates who are fearful that the unbundling of cable channels is being used by anti-indecency advocates as a tool against provocative shows. It also pits televangelists against their usual allies in trying to clean up language and sex on TV and radio.

    Christian broadcasters, including such big names as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, worry that changing the current system will cut into viewership. If that puts them on the opposite side of where they usually stand in the indecency debate, Crouch said, "so be it."

    But Winters contends that religious broadcasters oppose more cable choice because they "are very fearful of losing any market share."

    To preserve viewership, big religious broadcasters such as Trinity, which owns 33 TV stations, and Daystar, operator of stations in San Francisco and 44 other U.S. cities, are pushing the government to expand regulations requiring that cable operators carry local, over-the-air channels such as theirs.

    That has put them at odds with other religious programmers that don't own TV stations, such as INSP and Gospel Music Channel. They fear their shows will be crowded out by channels that cable operators have to carry.

    "I don't think the answer to indecency is necessarily more religious programming," said Gospel Music President Charles Humbard, son of televangelist pioneer Rex Humbard. "The answer is for people who know better to correct what's going on by extending broadcasting indecency rules to cable."

    Cable TV has emerged as a major indecency battleground. Because programs aren't transmitted into homes over public airwaves, operators are exempt from regulations involving sex and language. They also are shielded from the pressures of the FCC, which exercises clout over broadcasters by regulating station licenses.

    Nonetheless, FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin has urged cable operators to voluntarily rein in racy shows, or risk having Congress do it. Indeed, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is seeking support for a bill that would force the cable industry to offer a "family friendly" tier of programming.

    But cable companies and major media companies have been fighting government efforts to regulate programming.

    "It's not fair to handicap us with these requirements because we want to be free to give consumers what the marketplace wants," said David Grabert, a spokesman for cable operator Cox Communications Inc.

    Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp., seeking FCC approval of their $17.6-billion acquisition of ailing cable company Adelphia Communications Corp., are balking at the government's indecency concerns.

    The two companies reportedly have convinced the agency that it doesn't have the authority to require them to offer a family-friendly tier of programming as a condition of approving the deal.

    The FCC nonetheless will seek public comment next month on a proposal that would require the cable industry to offer a la carte programming.

    Preston Padden, executive vice president of government relations for Walt Disney Co., predicts that if such a proposal is enacted, viewers stand to lose.

    "Consumers likely would pay more, and get less," Padden said.

    *

    (BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

    Watching cable

    Cable, which has far fewer viewers than network television does, has become a battleground over indecency.

    Average number of prime-time viewers for top cable and broadcast networks

    (In millions)

    TNT: 2.6

    USA: 2.3

    Disney: 2.1

    Nick at Night: 1.9

    Fox News: 1.8

    ESPN: 1.7

    Lifetime: 1.7

    CBS: 13.4

    ABC: 10.9

    NBC: 9.4

  10. #24
    Member NJReds's Avatar
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    How about just letting multiple Cable Companies compete in the same area.

    People can choose between Sprint, Verizon, MCI for phone service...

    We should be able to have the same ability to choose cable service. I never understood why cable's allowed to have a monopoly. At least that's the way it is in NJ.

  11. #25
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    And I don't know if they will discontinue unpopular channels or not. I frankly don't know how much it costs them to keep them as an option. But that argument strikes me as decidedly un-American. Why should the Polka Channel be kept on the air by ESPN's coattails.
    When ESPN first started out, it was the functional equivalent of the Polka Channel. There's a reason why all the stuff they show on "Cheap Seats" looks so bad -- ESPN didn't have the budget or clout to buy any major programming and were relegated to showing things like the World Putt Putt championships or NFL Celebrity Bowling tournaments. The closest thing you got to major sports was the USFL.

    Comedy Central was much the same way -- some nights you could sit through entire programming blocks watching nothing but stand up comedy (Stand Up, Stand Up, The A-List, London Underground, etc.). For a while, the only first-run programming they did OTHER than stand up acts was Mystery Science Theater 3000 (an amazing show, to be show). They didn't even hit 50% of cable providers until AFTER South Park debuted back in the late-90s.

    If offered to me, as a cable subscriber, with the programming lineups they originally had (and not knowing their future) -- I wouldn't have paid a dime for either channel, and I really don't think I'd be alone.

    The pattern is repeated over and over again -- Cartoon Network started off as just a dumping ground for old Hannah Barbera properties in the Turner libarries -- now it's Adult Swim package, featuring original programming like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law, and The Boondocks is one of the highest rated cable blocks. The Sci-Fi channel was nothing but B-Movies, now their Sci-Fi Friday features some amazing first run shows, like the new Battlestar Galactica, in my opinion the most well-written show on cable television. Wouldn't have paid a dime for the programming on all of these channels when they first came out either. Heck even the Food Network, a premise that probably should never have worked, provided me hours of enjoyment when they brought Iron Chef over from Japan.

    That's the kind of stifling of new ideas that would occur, likely, in a system like this. New channels would have difficulty gaining traction and convincing people to subscribe. Channels that otherwise might develop into great programming blocks once they got their foot in the door are now cut off at the waist because they can't attract a large enough subscriber base to initially make any ad revenue. Then, what'll end up happening is either no new cable development (unlikely), or the cable system will just start adding these channels in for free and creating the same system we have today: programming packages where you buy key channels and get a lot of others riding along with them.

    This is Congress at it's finest: regulating a problem that doens't exist and over-exercising federal power to try and make it look like they're fighting the good fight, when in reality all they're doing is wasting everyone's time.
    Last edited by Caveat Emperor; 11-30-2005 at 03:35 PM.
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  12. #26
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    I have a hard time believing this ala carte menu of cable channels would cost me less money.

    Cable companies would figure out the angles and weasel a few more bucks out of me.

    And open competition sounds good in theory. But we have "open" competition for electrical power and 99% go with CG+E.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  13. #27
    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    Totally Agree with Caveat. FX has gone from NASCAR and BMovies, to highly rated especially the block of NipTuck/Rescue Me/Shield. NASCAR will always draw, but you can only have so much. The Food Network is similar it started off with programs like the Fat Ladies. Now much of it is a cross between cooking and a fantastic tour de Americana.

    If I could dump the stations that I don't watch all the shopping channels, Lifetime, the religious channels, MTV, and the financial channels would go. Odds are that save MTV, most other people would dump the same channels.
    The Sox traded Bullfrog the only player they've got for Shottenhoffen. Four-eyes Shottenhoffen a utility infielder. They've got a whole team of utility infielders.

  14. #28
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    I'll dump MTV in a heartbeat.

  15. #29
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamCasey
    It would kill public broadcasting.
    so what's the downside?
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

  16. #30
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    Re: FCC Considers Letting Us Pay for Only the Cable Channels We Want

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    The closest thing you got to major sports was the USFL.
    ... I thought Australian Rules Football and Squash were pretty big.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand


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