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(C|Net)   John McCain pushes to end cable bundling, says anyone that wants certain channels should just go up on the roof and adjust the antenna like he does   (news.cnet.com) divider line 114
    More: Spiffy, John McCain, senate commerce committee, cable operators, Google's YouTube, product bundling  
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1496 clicks; posted to Politics » on 11 May 2013 at 11:18 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-11 08:50:55 AM  
I, for one, am proud to see the Republicans focusing on jobs. Just like they promised us.
 
2013-05-11 08:57:13 AM  
threepeat - but a funny headline nonetheless.
 
2013-05-11 09:23:04 AM  
I'm OK with all of this
 
2013-05-11 09:27:16 AM  
I would love a la carte options.  I have access to probably over 800 channels, including music channels...lets see here...let's see what I do not watch - about 50-100 are various shopping networks (I am not an insomniac or old), probably about a third to half are foreign language channels (I only speak English), probably about 20-30+ are sports related (I do not watch sports)...and a majority of the remaining are other crap that I never turn to.

I only watch about...25 channels on a "regular basis"...and I occasionally flip through the music channels, but even at that, I only hop on about 5-8 of those...I mean, I've got Pandora which already knows what I like to listen to...

I know I am not alone here...
 
2013-05-11 10:14:52 AM  

Endive Wombat: I would love a la carte options.  I have access to probably over 800 channels, including music channels...lets see here...let's see what I do not watch - about 50-100 are various shopping networks (I am not an insomniac or old), probably about a third to half are foreign language channels (I only speak English), probably about 20-30+ are sports related (I do not watch sports)...and a majority of the remaining are other crap that I never turn to.

I only watch about...25 channels on a "regular basis"...and I occasionally flip through the music channels, but even at that, I only hop on about 5-8 of those...I mean, I've got Pandora which already knows what I like to listen to...

I know I am not alone here...


Nope. You're not alone.

I just moved into a new place and got set up with cable.  The cheapest TV package was $50.  I told them to go screw themselves and just to the internet connection.

If they offered me a chance to pick and choose the channels I wanted for say ... $1 a month each, I'd probably take them up on a few.
 
2013-05-11 10:16:36 AM  

Endive Wombat: I would love a la carte options.  I have access to probably over 800 channels, including music channels...lets see here...let's see what I do not watch - about 50-100 are various shopping networks (I am not an insomniac or old), probably about a third to half are foreign language channels (I only speak English), probably about 20-30+ are sports related (I do not watch sports)...and a majority of the remaining are other crap that I never turn to.

I only watch about...25 channels on a "regular basis"...and I occasionally flip through the music channels, but even at that, I only hop on about 5-8 of those...I mean, I've got Pandora which already knows what I like to listen to...

I know I am not alone here...


OMG.... you think you are actually PAYING for those shopping and religious channels?   No, those are just thrown on their for free basically.... the shopping channels don't need to be paid because they make their money on people actually buying stuff, and the religious channels don't get enough viewership to force an operator a fee.

Two things you are paying for.....

1. The "popular" channels (which, yes, obviously include sports and those spanish channels).... and what has been said ad naseum in these threads.... the cable / satellite companies get those channels for (other than ESPN and a handful of more expensive channels) around 40 cents to a dollar per subscriber, because they are bought "in bulk", ie, for all of their 5-10 million (or more) subscribers.   If they were only buying for customers on an "ala carte" basis, those channels would charge 5-10x that per subscriber, depending on how many subscribers want a channel.  The channels are not going to lose 80% of their revenue going to "ala carte" pricing, they'll make it up by jacking up the per subscriber rate.... which will get passed to the consumer.   You'll end up getting only the 8-10 channels "you want" for basically the same price you are paying for

2. The thing you are REALLY overpaying for that raises your bill.... equipment.   The fact that 3rd parties can't sell you a compatible box for $50-100 and you have to "rent" a box from the company for anywhere from $5-20/month for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th TV or for DVR/HD level box is what is really killing your bill.  If guys like McCain really want to lower your cable bill, you'd attack that end of the bill.
 
2013-05-11 10:17:57 AM  

Karac: If they offered me a chance to pick and choose the channels I wanted for say ... $1 a month each, I'd probably take them up on a few.


And if that expensive restaurant with really good steaks would only sell them to me for, oh, say, $3.... I'd eat their 3 days a week.
 
2013-05-11 10:24:56 AM  
I like what McCain is doing here, but I don't see how a la carte is going to necessarily lower your bill.The cable companies costs are not going to change that much. They still need maintenance crews, customer service people, capital expenses, real estate, and all the rest. I mean do you want 20 channels for $60/month or 200 channels for $60/month. Maybe there is a minor cost reduction for ESPN, etc? I just don't see much room for big savings.
 
2013-05-11 10:31:05 AM  

dletter: Karac: If they offered me a chance to pick and choose the channels I wanted for say ... $1 a month each, I'd probably take them up on a few.

And if that expensive restaurant with really good steaks would only sell them to me for, oh, say, $3.... I'd eat their 3 days a week.


You can pick and choose which night you want to eat their steaks.  They don't lock you into a 2-year contract that charges you whether they serve you up a filet mignon or a tapeworm infestest steak tartar.
 
2013-05-11 10:50:18 AM  
Netflix for entertainment, 'net for news (without the professional opinion spewers), and torrent anything I can't find legitimately.
 
2013-05-11 11:23:00 AM  

Karac: Endive Wombat: I would love a la carte options.  I have access to probably over 800 channels, including music channels...lets see here...let's see what I do not watch - about 50-100 are various shopping networks (I am not an insomniac or old), probably about a third to half are foreign language channels (I only speak English), probably about 20-30+ are sports related (I do not watch sports)...and a majority of the remaining are other crap that I never turn to.

I only watch about...25 channels on a "regular basis"...and I occasionally flip through the music channels, but even at that, I only hop on about 5-8 of those...I mean, I've got Pandora which already knows what I like to listen to...

I know I am not alone here...

Nope. You're not alone.

I just moved into a new place and got set up with cable.  The cheapest TV package was $50.  I told them to go screw themselves and just to the internet connection.

If they offered me a chance to pick and choose the channels I wanted for say ... $1 a month each, I'd probably take them up on a few.


The problem is that $1/month is about what they charge the cable companies to get into 110 million homes (most are actually about $.30-$.60/month but some are in that dollar range).  Once you cut their user base back from 110 million to 10-20 million, they're going to have to up their carriage fee 5-10 times to make up for the cost.  So now channels are going to be $3-6/month (up to $20 or $30 for ESPN).  It may not seem like it, but for the vast majority of people, bundling channels will save money.
 
2013-05-11 11:29:34 AM  

Girl From The North Country: I, for one, am proud to see the Republicans focusing on jobs. Just like they promised us.


There's a reason they keep trying to repeal ObamaCare you know but as for the article I've never quite figured out why cable companies didn't do this on their own but now that they are forced to do it you can be sure they will find the most obnoxious way possible.
 
2013-05-11 11:30:04 AM  
John McCain pushes to end cable bundling, says anyone that wants certain channels should just go up on the roof and adjust the antenna like he does in those houses which have roofs and when the servants aren't unavailable recovering from falls.

Big dish satellite had this years ago. Still they managed to put together "packages" also. It's more like a restaurant with a four page menu vs a restaurant with a 20 page menu. The price may be higher or lower, and that favorite restaurant may go out of business because they misunderestimated their customers.
 
2013-05-11 11:30:35 AM  
Lol.

ITT: Losers who still own TV's
 
2013-05-11 11:31:48 AM  
Why do Republican keep meddling in the affairs of private business? McCain's bill pretty much turns these cable companies into state run media. If he forces them to control what they sell and how they sell it, how is this not a government take over of the cable companies?
 
2013-05-11 11:37:57 AM  
Looks like the cable lobby was late in paying its bill.
 
2013-05-11 11:40:02 AM  
If this method of pricing were popular or successful, Morrison's would still be in business.
 
2013-05-11 11:40:20 AM  

dletter: Endive Wombat: I would love a la carte options.  I have access to probably over 800 channels, including music channels...lets see here...let's see what I do not watch - about 50-100 are various shopping networks (I am not an insomniac or old), probably about a third to half are foreign language channels (I only speak English), probably about 20-30+ are sports related (I do not watch sports)...and a majority of the remaining are other crap that I never turn to.

I only watch about...25 channels on a "regular basis"...and I occasionally flip through the music channels, but even at that, I only hop on about 5-8 of those...I mean, I've got Pandora which already knows what I like to listen to...

I know I am not alone here...

OMG.... you think you are actually PAYING for those shopping and religious channels?   No, those are just thrown on their for free basically.... the shopping channels don't need to be paid because they make their money on people actually buying stuff, and the religious channels don't get enough viewership to force an operator a fee.

Two things you are paying for.....

1. The "popular" channels (which, yes, obviously include sports and those spanish channels).... and what has been said ad naseum in these threads.... the cable / satellite companies get those channels for (other than ESPN and a handful of more expensive channels) around 40 cents to a dollar per subscriber, because they are bought "in bulk", ie, for all of their 5-10 million (or more) subscribers.   If they were only buying for customers on an "ala carte" basis, those channels would charge 5-10x that per subscriber, depending on how many subscribers want a channel.  The channels are not going to lose 80% of their revenue going to "ala carte" pricing, they'll make it up by jacking up the per subscriber rate.... which will get passed to the consumer.   You'll end up getting only the 8-10 channels "you want" for basically the same price you are paying for

2. The thing you are REALLY ove ...


Your equipment fees are high to offset the costs from another end. Same as your reason 1.
 
2013-05-11 11:44:54 AM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: and torrent anything I can't find legitimately.


what with your legitimate effort of using 2 other limited sources.....
 
2013-05-11 11:48:01 AM  

dletter: 1. The "popular" channels (which, yes, obviously include sports and those spanish channels).... and what has been said ad naseum in these threads.... the cable / satellite companies get those channels for (other than ESPN and a handful of more expensive channels) around 40 cents to a dollar per subscriber, because they are bought "in bulk", ie, for all of their 5-10 million (or more) subscribers. If they were only buying for customers on an "ala carte" basis, those channels would charge 5-10x that per subscriber, depending on how many subscribers want a channel. The channels are not going to lose 80% of their revenue going to "ala carte" pricing, they'll make it up by jacking up the per subscriber rate.... which will get passed to the consumer. You'll end up getting only the 8-10 channels "you want" for basically the same price you are paying for


Don't forget these media groups own more than 1 channel.

For example, Disney owns both ESPN and Disney Channel. Comcast pays for both channels in a bundle deal with Disney. Which means that if you want ESPN, you're going to have to pay for Disney Channel whether you want it or not.

They will never allow their channels to be bought one by one because that gets rid of their leverage when they want to negotiate carriage for a new channel.
 
2013-05-11 11:54:29 AM  
Isn't outlawing a particular business model exactly the kind of meddling with the free market that Republicans are supposed to hate?
 
2013-05-11 11:55:48 AM  
People, just bite the bullet and cancel your cable/satellite subscriptions. I switched to Roku a few months ago and I havent watched better TV in years. Pirate Bay fills in the gaps. Most stuff on television these days is just garbage and propaganda anyway, and I sure as hell aren't going to pay 80 bucks a month for that.
 
2013-05-11 11:57:41 AM  

WhoopAssWayne: I like what McCain is doing here, but I don't see how a la carte is going to necessarily lower your bill.The cable companies costs are not going to change that much. They still need maintenance crews, customer service people, capital expenses, real estate, and all the rest. I mean do you want 20 channels for $60/month or 200 channels for $60/month. Maybe there is a minor cost reduction for ESPN, etc? I just don't see much room for big savings.


A lot of broadcasting companies require that cable companies buy multiple channels, whether they are wanted or not. If customers just buy ESPN, they don't have to take Disney Channel. They can take USA and SyFy and dump NBC's Esquire Channel. 

On the whole, it move leverage toward cable/satellite companies and customers. The cost is that cable channels will have to work harder to get viewers, which will mean more dumb shows for the masses as channels struggle to survive. That will probably kill the middlebrow stuff and mean more 'reality' stars
 
2013-05-11 11:58:16 AM  
The best thing for everyone would be to burn our TV's. Shred the computers. Crush your phone.

Seriously. We spend $200+ a month to be connected to the world through digital devices that disconnect us from reality. That being said, my phone is fully charged so now I will go out to buy books that will be sold through my Amazon account.
 
2013-05-11 11:59:05 AM  
Cable companies raising their basic "lifeline" fees in 3..... 2....

Seriously, get ready for your overall rate to go up.
 
2013-05-11 11:59:20 AM  
I gotta be honest, even if I didn't pay $8 for cable (thanks to working for the company), I probably would still have it because the networks don't stream every sporting event online yet.
 
2013-05-11 11:59:23 AM  

dletter: 2. The thing you are REALLY overpaying for that raises your bill.... equipment.   The fact that 3rd parties can't sell you a compatible box for $50-100 and you have to "rent" a box from the company for anywhere from $5-20/month for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th TV or for DVR/HD level box is what is really killing your bill.  If guys like McCain really want to lower your cable bill, you'd attack that end of the bill.


HWAAA?

You can buy a cable modem at any big box computer store for like $30. Only chumps rent cable modems.

And you can rent cablecards for third-party dvrs (like tivos) or roll-you-own pcs for $1/mo generally if you don't want to use the cable company's dvr.

That $5/per TV charge isn't to pay for equipment (back in the day you had to BUY outright the boxes for directv, for example).

It's simply just a fark-you because-we-can fee.

/would get rid of the tv portion of my fios package, but it's cheaper to keep tv & phone than go internet only
 
2013-05-11 12:00:23 PM  

DubyaHater: Lol.

ITT: Losers who still own TV's


Nothing wrong with TVs. Mine happens to be attached to a raspberry pi with xbmc and a DVD player that does Netflix. Not giving any money to cable or sat but I still watch what I want.

Cheers
 
2013-05-11 12:00:36 PM  
1) Wow, this from a republican? What about laissez faire herp de dur?

2) fireden.net
 
2013-05-11 12:00:50 PM  
Meh, I just use streaming now.
 
2013-05-11 12:03:19 PM  
Hey subby,

Old people used to use a thing called a "rotor" to turn their antenna. No going on the roof was ever needed.

These farking kids of today.
 
2013-05-11 12:08:13 PM  
nbcoutofbounds.files.wordpress.com

Old man yells at television.

/link is borked
 
2013-05-11 12:09:17 PM  
If only they would offer a package stripped of ESPN, TNT, and TBS for those of us who don't care about sports, Law and Order, and old comedy reruns I would be happy.    Even just dropping ESPN/other sports channels from the basic lineup would be a windfall.

But what really needs to happen is truth in pricing by including all fees and equipment into advertised prices.  If a company advertises $39.99 per month with "free HD + DVR for up to four rooms!" then that should include all equipment required to actually get the image onto your four screens and you should be able to pay $39.99 (+local sales tax) per month for the service.  It is some BS to have them tell you the "free HD+dvr" is only free HD+DVR "service" and you need to rent the equipment from them for $20 per month per DVR with a digital outlet charge of $1.50 per month per TV (and even per tuner on dual-tuner DVRs).

I don't begrudge them for charging the end prices they do.  I do hate that they go about it in a way that would make most used car salesmen say "hold on a second now..."
 
2013-05-11 12:12:15 PM  

Endive Wombat: I would love a la carte options.  I have access to probably over 800 channels, including music channels...lets see here...let's see what I do not watch - about 50-100 are various shopping networks (I am not an insomniac or old), probably about a third to half are foreign language channels (I only speak English), probably about 20-30+ are sports related (I do not watch sports)...and a majority of the remaining are other crap that I never turn to.

I only watch about...25 channels on a "regular basis"...and I occasionally flip through the music channels, but even at that, I only hop on about 5-8 of those...I mean, I've got Pandora which already knows what I like to listen to...

I know I am not alone here...


No, there's a whole crowd who agree with you. I've never gone beyond "basic" because I have no use for a dozen sports channels in order to get the couple of specialized channels I really would like to have. I watch maybe 4-5 channels regularly. If I could pick anything, and pay only for those, it would be 8-10.
 
2013-05-11 12:14:52 PM  

WhoopAssWayne: I like what McCain is doing here, but I don't see how a la carte is going to necessarily lower your bill.The cable companies costs are not going to change that much. They still need maintenance crews, customer service people, capital expenses, real estate, and all the rest. I mean do you want 20 channels for $60/month or 200 channels for $60/month. Maybe there is a minor cost reduction for ESPN, etc? I just don't see much room for big savings.


Customer service? Maintenance? Your cable company offers those? Wow!
 
2013-05-11 12:24:08 PM  
img194.imageshack.us
 
2013-05-11 12:27:38 PM  

Endive Wombat: about 50-100 are various shopping networks


I don't know for sure how this works on the backend, but I'd bet that neither you nor your cable company are paying for those.
 
2013-05-11 12:29:27 PM  
This is actually about Cable companies not wanting to have to buy bundles from the content providers.

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-03-19/business/37845665_1_ca bl e-companies-cable-firms-cablevision-and-other-cable
 
2013-05-11 12:30:20 PM  
I'm guessing the only thing really keeping cable tv alive is... live sporting events. If I were a cable operator, I'd be spending a LOT of money to build more stadiums and invent more big, splashy competitive events worthy of airtime.
 
2013-05-11 12:39:02 PM  

wildcardjack: The best thing for everyone would be to burn our TV's. Shred the computers. Crush your phone.


While we're at it we might as well burn all the books too amirite?
 
2013-05-11 12:42:58 PM  
Cable TV is so 20th century!
 
2013-05-11 12:50:42 PM  
If they went with à la carte  programming, the only channel I'd probably get would be HBO.  All of the ad supported pay channels went to crap a long time ago.  I remember when I used to have DirecTV and I'd look at the channel guide in the mornings, only to see "paid programming" for over half the channels.  Even when there was real content, they'd ruin it by slotting in too many commercials.  So you either need to rent a DVR from your provider or get a CableCard compatible HTPC and hope that they don't enable the copyright flag for everything.  TBS can DIAF for having promos running at the bottom of the screen during a show.

Netflix, Redbox and Blockbuster FTW.  I'd get Hulu Plus if they nixed the ads.
 
2013-05-11 12:54:52 PM  
It's stupid we still have "cable" companies around at all.  These companies should be offering nothing more than a fat, dumb pipe to the internet (and phone network until we FINALLY take the last step or two to merge it fully with the internet.)

Want to watch CBS?  It should be streaming on CBS.com.  Want to watch the local Oklahoma City affiliate? Then head your browser or smart TV to KWTV.com  Do you think your streaming video is good enough to get people to pay for it?  OK then-- just throw your stream behind a paywall and charge whatever the market will bear.

Eventually we will be getting away from the whole idea of "channels" and just care about "shows" except maybe for news.  Nobody sits down to watch an hour of CBS.  They sit down to watch the show they're interested in.  Most people don't give a rat's ass what network a particular show they like is on so long as they have access and can find it.   That's why Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are so popular.
 
2013-05-11 12:59:57 PM  
I have a ton of channels to choose from and a dvr yet I still only watch like 3 channels,Science channel/Cloo/Adult Swim.
 
2013-05-11 01:00:11 PM  

randomjsa: Girl From The North Country: I, for one, am proud to see the Republicans focusing on jobs. Just like they promised us.

There's a reason they keep trying to repeal ObamaCare you know but as for the article I've never quite figured out why cable companies didn't do this on their own but now that they are forced to do it you can be sure they will find the most obnoxious way possible.


I have to ask: The Republicans want to repeal ObamaCare in order to create jobs?
 
2013-05-11 01:02:15 PM  

A Terrible Human: I have a ton of channels to choose from and a dvr yet I still only watch like 3 channels,Science channel/Cloo/Adult Swim.


Yup. I don't know how many channels we have. 300 or so, I guess. I think we generally watch 3, or maybe 4.
 
2013-05-11 01:08:25 PM  

taxandspend: rugman11: Karac: Endive Wombat: I would love a la carte options.  I have access to probably over 800 channels, including music channels...lets see here...let's see what I do not watch - about 50-100 are various shopping networks (I am not an insomniac or old), probably about a third to half are foreign language channels (I only speak English), probably about 20-30+ are sports related (I do not watch sports)...and a majority of the remaining are other crap that I never turn to.

I only watch about...25 channels on a "regular basis"...and I occasionally flip through the music channels, but even at that, I only hop on about 5-8 of those...I mean, I've got Pandora which already knows what I like to listen to...

I know I am not alone here...

Nope. You're not alone.

I just moved into a new place and got set up with cable.  The cheapest TV package was $50.  I told them to go screw themselves and just to the internet connection.

If they offered me a chance to pick and choose the channels I wanted for say ... $1 a month each, I'd probably take them up on a few.

The problem is that $1/month is about what they charge the cable companies to get into 110 million homes (most are actually about $.30-$.60/month but some are in that dollar range).  Once you cut their user base back from 110 million to 10-20 million, they're going to have to up their carriage fee 5-10 times to make up for the cost.  So now channels are going to be $3-6/month (up to $20 or $30 for ESPN).  It may not seem like it, but for the vast majority of people, bundling channels will save money.

Imagine the dilemma Fox News viewers would face. They currently charge about about $4 per subscriber for ~110 million homes even though they're only watched regularly by about 5 million of those. So it's estimated they make roughly $440 million just from subscribers under the current system. If they were to try and keep that same income rate for the 5 million regular viewers, they'd have to charge $88 per subscriber ...


Only ESPN gets anything close to $4 per subscriber.  Fox News is closer to $1.25.
 
2013-05-11 01:10:31 PM  
oi26.tinypic.com

"Rich guys always want what's best for everyone!"
 
2013-05-11 01:11:49 PM  

dletter: And if that expensive restaurant with really good steaks would only sell them to me for, oh, say, $3.... I'd eat their 3 days a week.


If they're selling you a really good steak for $3, you're gonna hafta eat their something.
 
2013-05-11 01:16:50 PM  

Notabunny: I have to ask: The Republicans want to repeal ObamaCare in order to create jobs?


There is no single thing the Republicans could do that would help the economy and job creation than the repeal of ObamaCare. I haven't seen the claim that the Republicans want to 'wreck the economy and blame it on Obama' for awhile but back when liberals insisted on that fairy tale I was amused. Repealing ObamaCare would be a great boon for the economy, and Obama being the worm that he is, would gladly take credit for it.
 
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