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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.
 
2013-05-11 01:18:18 PM  

randomjsa: Repealing ObamaCare would be a great boon for the economy


How would drastically altering the health care system yet again as people already start to settle into Obamacare be good for the economy?

Be specific.
 
2013-05-11 01:19:47 PM  

Notabunny: Yup. I don't know how many channels we have. 300 or so, I guess. I think we generally watch 3, or maybe 4.


I guess TV just bores me. I mean why sit there and watch something when you can do that and a ton of other shiat on the internet? I mean I can watch How It's Made or NCIS for hours but nothing else holds my attention like that not even movies. The older I get it seems the more ADD like I get....ooooh a butterfly!
/Still mad TW in my area doesn't have AMC
//Gonna call them again before the premiere of Breaking Bad like I did last year.
 
2013-05-11 01:23:14 PM  
Dammit so Much!

I wish McCain had never heard of Sarah "Pull out at the last minute" Palin.

If he can pull this off he will increase his awesome factor X10
 
2013-05-11 01:29:00 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...


I wonder, though, if the options available will shrink. We don't watch any of the sports channels. I do like to watch quirky little shows that turn up on channels I ignore most of the time. Why do those shows play on that type of channel? Because that channel can call a show a hit with ratings that would kill a show on a bigger station.

Don't get me wrong. I like the idea of ala carte. I am sick of paying the extremely high cost of networks like ESPN and all of its various iterations. I do wonder, though, how this is going to shake out. Experience says "In a way that will bring in the most money for my cable operator while providing the least satisfying options for me."
 
2013-05-11 01:29:22 PM  

randomjsa: 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.


Ya know what? Next year due to the ACA I will probably be able to get the medical help I need. What's your solution to the health care issue besides "hurrr hurr Obama bad,liberals bad,fark you got mine go die from something easily treatable"?
 
2013-05-11 01:43:34 PM  
Please keep in mind that the last time they tried to do this (early 2000's), the cable companies agreed with them.


To the tune of around $45 per channel, as the lesser watched channels help offset the licensing fees for the larger networks.
 
2013-05-11 01:56:52 PM  
ESPN and other sports channels are the most expensive ones to the cable companies.  They are also the channel I NEVER watch.  (I occasionally watch football on the broadcast channels)  I'd love to not have to pay for sports channels.
 
2013-05-11 01:59:52 PM  
I haven't had cable TV for a couple years now. I don't even have an antenna connected to my television. I get by with my Roku, Plex, XBMC, Netflix, Amazon, and other sources. I don't watch many broadcast network shows, and the ones I do watch I can get from the network websites for free the next day, usually without many ads.  A decent VPN makes foreign shows accessible via their websites, too.

HOWEVER, if they ever do allow 100% a la carte programming (and it doesn't come with a ridiculously high "base fee" or equally obnoxious "HD fee" or cable box lease, I'd go for the following:

ABC - Sometimes worth watching. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. requires me to consider it.
NBC - Might get a good show some day.
CBS - My future stepson might want to watch a holiday cartoon on it.
FOX - The next Fringe or X-Files may be around the corner.
UPN - You never know... Some day their shows might not suck.
CW - I never watch this, but if they throw it in with a locals package, I'll take it.
PBS/PBC Create/etc. - Gotta have public TV if you have the others. Good stuff sometimes.

AMC - Good track record for original shows. TWD is worth the price, I think.
HBO - The same as AMC, but without ads. GoT is a must-have.
Cartoon Network - Mainly for Adult Swim, because I have to have Venture Bros.
Disney XD - Simply because they're putting all their Marvel animated stuff on here.
CNN - Yeah, they suck, but the alternatives are MSNBC  and FOX News, and I really don't like either of them.
CSPAN - Rarely needed, but sometimes it's good to know I have access to it.
Nickelodeon / Teen Nick - Again, the kid will want it, and there are some fun shows on there.
Disney - Decent variety, the kid will want it, and sometimes they'll pop on a good movie.
Comedy Central - A couple years ago I got bored with it, but I guess it would be okay to keep around.

Give me those channels for under $20 a month total, and you've got a deal. I'll even accept that HBO might require more since it's a premium channel, so I'd consider those channels minus HBO for around $18, and then add $10 a month for HBO. I won't pay more than $2 a month to lease a cable box, though, and in 2013 they'd damned well better not be charging a fee for HD access. If anything, they should be charging a fee to people who WON'T switch to HD.

If they can't make those kinds of deals, then to hell with it. I get a better package and all that content for less than that through the Internet and other means. Between my VPN, my Netflix sub, and various individual purchases of shows, I'm still only spending about $24 a month on all my shows, movies, music and entertainment. Why would I spend more and settle for less?

If you're tech-savvy, you don't need to deal with cable TV bundles at all.
 
2013-05-11 02:07:09 PM  
this would be nice. I'm sure lack of customers will kill a few channels but you know, free market, etc.

/it would also be nice if this coupled with listening to customers got tlc and history channel back into their appropriate educational programming rather than thw bs they run now like jersey shore and ice road truckers.
 
2013-05-11 02:08:17 PM  

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

what with your legitimate effort of using 2 other limited sources.....


I like how the assumption is that Netflix is the only platform for entertainment. Steam, Amazon Prime, used movie/game places, brick and mortar places, flea markets, Youtube, over the air broadcast signal, and radio don't exist in my universe.
 
2013-05-11 02:12:23 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: 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.


There's my biggest benefit to not giving a shiat about sports: I probably save myself a lot of money because I don't need to be able to watch live games all the time.

Think about it: You're paying ridiculous fees to watch people throw balls and stuff. You could watch that for free in the local playground, or cheaper in lesser league venues, but for some reason it's more compelling when millionaires are doing it and the shows are padded by lots of beer and car commercials.

That is not worth $80 a month to me. That's not even worth $10 a month to me. I don't understand how people haven't decided that televised sports are entirely boring by now.
 
2013-05-11 02:14:12 PM  

Zeno-25: 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.


I have tried, but Comcast bundles their internet and their basic television package in such a way that if we cancel the TV service, our internet bill will go up to higher than the TV/internet service combined.

\haven't reconnected the cable TV in a few months
 
2013-05-11 02:14:44 PM  

ZeroCorpse: HOWEVER, if they ever do allow 100% a la carte programming (and it doesn't come with a ridiculously high "base fee" or equally obnoxious "HD fee" or cable box lease, I'd go for the following:

ABC - Sometimes worth watching. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. requires me to consider it.
NBC - Might get a good show some day.
CBS - My future stepson might want to watch a holiday cartoon on it.
FOX - The next Fringe or X-Files may be around the corner.
UPN - You never know... Some day their shows might not suck.
CW - I never watch this, but if they throw it in with a locals package, I'll take it.
PBS/PBC Create/etc. - Gotta have public TV if you have the others. Good stuff sometimes.


maybe I'm missing something due to recent changes to where these channels are no longer broadcast OTA(?), but wouldn't these channels exist even without cable?
 
2013-05-11 02:15:44 PM  

FeedTheCollapse: ZeroCorpse: HOWEVER, if they ever do allow 100% a la carte programming (and it doesn't come with a ridiculously high "base fee" or equally obnoxious "HD fee" or cable box lease, I'd go for the following:

ABC - Sometimes worth watching. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. requires me to consider it.
NBC - Might get a good show some day.
CBS - My future stepson might want to watch a holiday cartoon on it.
FOX - The next Fringe or X-Files may be around the corner.
UPN - You never know... Some day their shows might not suck.
CW - I never watch this, but if they throw it in with a locals package, I'll take it.
PBS/PBC Create/etc. - Gotta have public TV if you have the others. Good stuff sometimes.

maybe I'm missing something due to recent changes to where these channels are no longer broadcast OTA(?), but wouldn't these channels exist even without cable?


Even considering that, UPN hasn't existed since 2006.
 
2013-05-11 02:22:28 PM  

ZeroCorpse: Think about it: You're paying ridiculous fees to watch people throw balls and stuff. You could watch that for free in the local playground, or cheaper in lesser league venues, but for some reason it's more compelling when millionaires are doing it and the shows are padded by lots of beer and car commercials.


That's like saying it's ridiculous to pay for a Broadway play when I can watch my 6 year old nephew act out his videogames.
 
2013-05-11 02:24:47 PM  

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

what with your legitimate effort of using 2 other limited sources.....

I like how the assumption is that Netflix is the only platform for entertainment. Steam, Amazon Prime, used movie/game places, brick and mortar places, flea markets, Youtube, over the air broadcast signal, and radio don't exist in my universe.


Navi-X covers everything pretty nicely. You can get it on PLEX or XBMC (or Boxee if you're still using that). It scrapes everything out there. All the TV networks. Private lists from users. 1Channel. Porn. Foreign TV. Even dubious sources if that's your bag.

It doesn't cost a dime. Works sporadically sometimes, but for free you can't complain. If you go to the website and set up your account you can open even more lists and access the adult content, as well as making favorites lists that work across platforms.

As for what you said, currently, I use the following:

Netflix
Amazon
Crackle
Vudu
Hulu (not Plus. I get standard Hulu via Plex or direct on my HTPC)
Dozens of lesser-known channels on Roku (Western, Martial Arts, Cult movies, Classics, etc.)
Navi-X
Plex channels (ABC, CBS, Daily Show, South Park Studios, etc. Lots to choose from.)
and if all else fails there's always a "back alley" way to find it.
 
2013-05-11 02:34:00 PM  
Why would anyone who doesn't watch sports have cable?  Netflix + Hulu + Amazon = cheaper than any basic cable package, with the same and additional content, no ads (except Hulu), watch on your own damn schedule.

/seriously, why?  Is it that important to see The Walking Dead as it airs?
 
2013-05-11 02:46:28 PM  

Mrtraveler01: FeedTheCollapse: ZeroCorpse: HOWEVER, if they ever do allow 100% a la carte programming (and it doesn't come with a ridiculously high "base fee" or equally obnoxious "HD fee" or cable box lease, I'd go for the following:

ABC - Sometimes worth watching. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. requires me to consider it.
NBC - Might get a good show some day.
CBS - My future stepson might want to watch a holiday cartoon on it.
FOX - The next Fringe or X-Files may be around the corner.
UPN - You never know... Some day their shows might not suck.
CW - I never watch this, but if they throw it in with a locals package, I'll take it.
PBS/PBC Create/etc. - Gotta have public TV if you have the others. Good stuff sometimes.

maybe I'm missing something due to recent changes to where these channels are no longer broadcast OTA(?), but wouldn't these channels exist even without cable?

Even considering that, UPN hasn't existed since 2006.


Well, that tells you how long it has been since I watched broadcast or cable television!

As for the earlier question, yes those are all OTA channels, but I live in an apartment in an area where the signal sucks. It bounces around the area, and I don't get all of the local channels very reliably. It doesn't help that my place is half underground, too. I might consider mounting a better antenna in my little space outside, but that's a pain in the ass and I don't care enough to put the effort toward it.

So the reason I'd pay for a cheap local package is because I wouldn't have to mess with running an antenna outdoors and positioning it  just right.
 
2013-05-11 02:47:20 PM  

AliceBToklasLives: Why would anyone who doesn't watch sports have cable?  Netflix + Hulu + Amazon = cheaper than any basic cable package, with the same and additional content, no ads (except Hulu), watch on your own damn schedule.

/seriously, why?  Is it that important to see The Walking Dead as it airs?


Considering how many ads are on a typical episode, I'm of the mind that it's better to watch it  after it airs.
 
2013-05-11 02:55:03 PM  
I use Netflix and an off the air antenna hooked up to a TV tuner to record stuff on my compy. Oh yeah, Pirate Bay works too. They need to put their programming online and let commercial revenue pay for it. Until they can meet my needs, I'll just work around things. Most programming is reality shows and reruns anyways.
 
2013-05-11 03:00:12 PM  

thurstonxhowell: ZeroCorpse: Think about it: You're paying ridiculous fees to watch people throw balls and stuff. You could watch that for free in the local playground, or cheaper in lesser league venues, but for some reason it's more compelling when millionaires are doing it and the shows are padded by lots of beer and car commercials.

That's like saying it's ridiculous to pay for a Broadway play when I can watch my 6 year old nephew act out his videogames.


Don't  even try to compare playing sports with writing, acting, and theatrical arts. You MIGHT be able to compare sports to reality TV shows (no plot, random jerks being overpaid to do something mundane) but not to a play that has a coherent story, music, dialogue, costuming, effects, varying degrees of acting talent, and so on.

Pro Wrestling is more like a play than real sports, I'll grant. It's basically Greek theater in the round. But a football game doesn't require a script to be written, dialogue to be delivered, emotions to be portrayed, different costumes for each individual, or music to fit the story. All it requires is that a bunch of brutes try to get the ball from here to there using a limited playbook of moves. And it's like that every time.

Sports is basically watching guys doing manual labor in a directed manner. The only difference between watching a football game and watching a team of guys dig a ditch is that the ditch diggers aren't wearing tights or paid as well. They're still just using physical labor to get to the goal, from one side to the other, and they end up just as dirty and sweaty at the end. Some of them might have some real skills with the shovel, but in the end, there's only so much you can do to make the task any less boring.

"BAM! Jones really got that load of dirt high in the air, and Ramirez follows up with a wicked left-handed shovel spin. The ditchdiggers are really moving tonight!"

Real exciting stuff. This is why ESPN 2 can show ridiculous crap like toughman competitions and cross-training competitions and call them sports-- Because sports is just competitive manual labor.
 
2013-05-11 03:00:36 PM  

ZeroCorpse: So the reason I'd pay for a cheap local package is because I wouldn't have to mess with running an antenna outdoors and positioning it  just right.


I believe cable companies are required to offer an OTA-only package (part of the original deal to dig up everyone's neighborhood).  I had one when I lived in a small town nowhere near any TV stations.  $9.95 a month.  They don't advertise these packages, but if you're pushy you can get 'em.
 
2013-05-11 03:13:29 PM  

randomjsa: 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.


I apologized for my ignorance, but how would repealing ObamaCare create jobs? I'm not being snarky or sarcastic. I just don't recall hearing this argument before and don't understand the line of reasoning.
 
2013-05-11 03:24:44 PM  
(Grandpa Simpson voice - jabbing with walking cane)

"What's this?  He can afford to have an TV antenna on the roof?  These Republicans - they have all the money!"

/ambles over to adjust the rabbit ears on top of the Motorola
 
2013-05-11 03:27:04 PM  
You have to love the lunacy of the cable business model.  Commercial sponsors pay networks to have tv shows made so as many people as possible will have a reason to watch their commercials, networks charge cable providers money to air their shows, and cable companies charge even more to subscribers for the privilege of watching shows have already been paid for and marked up twice, both middlemen shrinking the audience for the advertisers.
 
2013-05-11 03:30:30 PM  
Now he has nothing to say about Benghazi after destroying Susan Rice who now we know was just reading the talking points Hussein and Hillary handed to her, so now it's time to stick his nose into local state matters.
 
2013-05-11 03:39:00 PM  

Granny_Panties: 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?


It's difficult at this point in the game to feel sorry for the cable companies. It's like being sorry for a rabid pit bull shot by a rogue cop.
 
2013-05-11 04:00:55 PM  
I have had  la carte  for about a year now:

1 - Over the Air for locals, network shows.

2 - Netflix for movies, tv reruns

3 - Itunes for 1st run "cable" shows.

Dropped by TV bill by 2/3rds.  I dont know why more people are not doing this.  I dont watch sports, so that seems to be the biggest reason why people stay with cable.
 
2013-05-11 04:04:49 PM  
Sports keeps me woefully and horribly tethered to cable. It sucks but it is what it is.

Otherwise, it'd be all Netflix all the time. I haven't bumped up to Hulu Plus, as there are very few shows I watch religiously enough to care, but I've strongly considered it.
 
2013-05-11 04:08:37 PM  
John McCain wants to ban zip-ties? The fiend!

www.guineapigcages.com
 
2013-05-11 04:12:33 PM  

macadamnut: [oi26.tinypic.com image 425x512]

"Rich guys always want what's best for everyone!"


Is Obama not rich?

How did you feel about Kerry in 2004?
 
2013-05-11 04:14:17 PM  

Alphakronik: Please keep in mind that the last time they tried to do this (early 2000's), the cable companies agreed with them.


To the tune of around $45 per channel, as the lesser watched channels help offset the licensing fees for the larger networks.


Bingo.  People thinking that this will result in cheaper bills are out of their minds.
 
2013-05-11 04:20:20 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...


Nope, pretty much sums me up as well... I don't care that there ARE foreign language channels and a billion shopping channels, I just personally don't need them. I only watch NFL, nd I only watch Steelers games, plus the SuperBowl , and the occasional playoff game. I can get all of these, minus a game or two that is on ESPN, on regular programming, or I can choose to pay extra for Sunday Ticket. I don't need the other sports channels, and I would love not to pay for them.

I like that getting HBO gets me a variety of HBO channels, but I still probably only watch stuff from around 20 channels like you mention. I like having the music channels there when I want them, but I don't need the 4 million other channels of crap.

Of course, you get the pro-bundlers who insist that our cable bills will skyrocket if we go a la carte, because the bundled channels pay for x% of the lower cable bill, but they always conveniently forget that 4 companies own something like 80% of the media networks out there.

On a side note, I am also annoyed that when I get my cable shut off because I fell behind, all the farking shopping channels are still available. That shows just how much money they make off of those, you can get 'em for free...

/BTW, you forgot all of the Jesus channels out there, the only thing that is close to the number of shopping channels.
 
2013-05-11 04:48:39 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: You have to love the lunacy of the cable business model.  Commercial sponsors pay networks to have tv shows made so as many people as possible will have a reason to watch their commercials, networks charge cable providers money to air their shows, and cable companies charge even more to subscribers for the privilege of watching shows have already been paid for and marked up twice, both middlemen shrinking the audience for the advertisers.


Think of it this way.  Sure, the networks could try to sell their content to individual consumers, but let's face it, consumers are finicky.  They're liable to cancel their subscription on a whim or when you cancel their favorite show.  And they're certainly not going to sign the 5-10 year contracts that the cable companies will.  On the other hand, by using the cable companies as the distributor, they can sell their product to 15 or 20 buyers and they'll be made available in 110 million homes.  They also don't have to set up their own distribution and payment network, since the cable company takes care of all that too.  The best part, is that by getting into 110 million homes instead of just a few million, they can charge a lower price.  Or rather those nasty middlemen, the cable companies, will use their leverage of viewership to keep the price down.  That way they charge $1 to 100 million people instead of trying to charge 10 million people $10 each.

So, in the end, distribution is made much easier for the network while the price the network charges is lower for the consumer.  Now, obviously, if you only ever watch two or three channels, then bundling isn't going to be a very good deal for you.  But for the average person who watches 20-25 channels, it ends up being cheaper than an a la carte system.
 
2013-05-11 04:51:23 PM  
Remember when deregulating utility monopolies was going to be a huge savings to consumers. Good times.
 
2013-05-11 04:57:48 PM  

Granny_Panties: 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?


10/10
beautiful
 
2013-05-11 05:10:44 PM  
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 makes one of his servants

FTFY
 
2013-05-11 05:14:35 PM  

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 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.


TiVo charges you $15 per month for each DVR, unless you get the lifetime service for $400-$500 extra per DVR.
 
2013-05-11 06:39:18 PM  

Mad_Radhu: TiVo charges you $15 per month for each DVR, unless you get the lifetime service for $400-$500 extra per DVR.


You need a cable card for that Tivo to work.  Guess where you get that from.
 
2013-05-11 07:25:40 PM  

Cpl.D: Mad_Radhu: TiVo charges you $15 per month for each DVR, unless you get the lifetime service for $400-$500 extra per DVR.

You need a cable card for that Tivo to work.  Guess where you get that from.


Of course you need the card for Tivo to work over cable (Comcast actually provided my two for free), but what I'm saying is that you don't save that much on equipment rentals because you are you to pay Tivo for the subscription monthly, unless you get a lifetime subscription that takes something like 4-5 years to pay off. Tivo gives you a much nicer DVR experience than those crappy Moto boxes Comcast supplies, but you're kidding yourself if you think it saves you more than a few bucks a month.
 
2013-05-11 07:54:41 PM  

ZeroCorpse: ABC - Sometimes worth watching. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. requires me to consider it.
NBC - Might get a good show some day.
CBS - My future stepson might want to watch a holiday cartoon on it.
FOX - The next Fringe or X-Files may be around the corner.
UPN - You never know... Some day their shows might not suck.
CW - I never watch this, but if they throw it in with a locals package, I'll take it.
PBS/PBC Create/etc. - Gotta have public TV if you have the others. Good stuff sometimes.


You can get all of these free, in HD, with an antenna.

Hell, As long as your TV has a digital tuner, your cable company probably broadcasts them free too. Just plug your TV into the wire.
 
2013-05-11 08:17:11 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: Netflix for entertainment, 'net for news (without the professional opinion spewers), and torrent anything I can't find legitimately.


Yup.
 
2013-05-11 08:23:18 PM  
He just wants that one channel with Matlock reruns
 
2013-05-11 08:40:46 PM  

Mad_Radhu: TiVo charges you $15 per month for each DVR, unless you get the lifetime service for $400-$500 extra per DVR.


Plus the cost of the box.

Then again, I choose to pay that because it's a far superior UI and has way more capabilities than the standard DVRs you get from the cable company.

/premiere with lifetime service, still pay $140 for phone/net/cable + HD channels (no premium channels)
 
2013-05-11 09:33:47 PM  
I'm about to drop my Dish subscription.
Roku with netflix, amazon prime and perhaps hulu plus

This will slash my tv bill.

I'm already paying for netflix and amazon prime, so the only "new" expense is hulu plus and any "season passes" for the shows I want to make sure I see.

Even if I go nuts on season passes, it'll still be about 50% of what I'm paying now.
 
2013-05-11 10:27:53 PM  

enry: Mad_Radhu: TiVo charges you $15 per month for each DVR, unless you get the lifetime service for $400-$500 extra per DVR.

Plus the cost of the box.

Then again, I choose to pay that because it's a far superior UI and has way more capabilities than the standard DVRs you get from the cable company.

/premiere with lifetime service, still pay $140 for phone/net/cable + HD channels (no premium channels)


I somehow managed to get hooked up on a really good Comcast promo, so I'm paying $144 per month for cable/net/phone plus HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax. I'm using a Premiere 4 for the quad tuner action because my wife has enough TV on her list that two tuners just don't cut it some nights.
 
2013-05-11 10:46:00 PM  
John McCain Fixes the Cable?

Worst. Porno. EVAH!

*shudders at the thought*
 
2013-05-11 11:57:03 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: You have to love the lunacy of the cable business model.  Commercial sponsors pay networks to have tv shows made so as many people as possible will have a reason to watch their commercials, networks charge cable providers money to air their shows, and cable companies charge even more to subscribers for the privilege of watching shows have already been paid for and marked up twice, both middlemen shrinking the audience for the advertisers.


...and then they gripe how nobody is watching TV anymore these days...
 
2013-05-12 02:53:17 AM  

rugman11: BraveNewCheneyWorld: You have to love the lunacy of the cable business model.  Commercial sponsors pay networks to have tv shows made so as many people as possible will have a reason to watch their commercials, networks charge cable providers money to air their shows, and cable companies charge even more to subscribers for the privilege of watching shows have already been paid for and marked up twice, both middlemen shrinking the audience for the advertisers.

Think of it this way.  Sure, the networks could try to sell their content to individual consumers, but let's face it, consumers are finicky.  They're liable to cancel their subscription on a whim or when you cancel their favorite show.  And they're certainly not going to sign the 5-10 year contracts that the cable companies will.  On the other hand, by using the cable companies as the distributor, they can sell their product to 15 or 20 buyers and they'll be made available in 110 million homes.  They also don't have to set up their own distribution and payment network, since the cable company takes care of all that too.  The best part, is that by getting into 110 million homes instead of just a few million, they can charge a lower price.  Or rather those nasty middlemen, the cable companies, will use their leverage of viewership to keep the price down.  That way they charge $1 to 100 million people instead of trying to charge 10 million people $10 each.

So, in the end, distribution is made much easier for the network while the price the network charges is lower for the consumer.  Now, obviously, if you only ever watch two or three channels, then bundling isn't going to be a very good deal for you.  But for the average person who watches 20-25 channels, it ends up being cheaper than an a la carte system.


What they are doing is eliminating competition - and without competition there is no control on pricing.

To use a familiar comparison - it is like all restaurants switch to the buffet system and prices are high, but you get what you want. So if you just want a burger and fries for $10 you are out of luck. Everybody pays $30 for dinner and you can have your burger, or tastier food.

The distorted method of distributing content is monopolistic and anti-competitive - that is why the government will be needed to dismantle it. The only benefit to our overpriced system is that there are a lot of channels with minimal interest and sports providers can write their own check. The more content providers a business has, the more they can demand for all of them because they will force bundling on the cable/sat companies.

My solution - cable/dish companies sell the basic/lifeline package and they can charge 5-10 for cable boxes. That is their entire direct income stream. It is good money, but not piles of it - and they will lose the headache of having to deal with the content providers.
The content providers will sell their products through the cable company. Those products are either their channels -or potentially even just the shows. For example - you could buy 'The Walking Dead' from AMC. Your cable box could only tune AMC when 'The Walking Dead' is on. Obviously you could buy AMC a la carte too. Also, AMC Networks might bundle their channels together at a discount - so you could get AMC, Sundance, IFC, and WE TV at one price.

What makes this so ideal is that the market will set the price. A channel with a hot show might be able to bump their price up a bit, while many channels will quickly drop in price to FREE.

Why Free? Because advertisers won't pay them jack diddly if the channel is priced too high to attract enough viewers to be worth their time. This is key.

The end result will be that marginal channels will fail because they are not built on an economically sound foundation. They have only brought money in because there are some 'casual' watchers and they have been bundled with more desirable channels. So yeah, the Golf channel is going bye bye. This will also put the sports channels in the pickle. They won't be able to leech off of the considerable fees that everyone has been paying when 2/3 of the viewers are no longer paying. Sure, ESPN can ask a bit more for their content - probably as high as $20/mo. But push it any higher and people will start doing without. This in turn will reduce the outlandish fees that broadcasters have been paying professional sports - so that means less money supporting them. That means athletes won't be able to make so much money.

I like this idea more and more.
 
2013-05-12 02:59:28 AM  

Jacobin: He just wants that one channel with Matlock reruns


Central Arizona has three retro networks: MeTV, ThisTV and BounceTV.  If you have a clear line to Tucson, you also get CoziTV and AntennaTV.  Only thing we're missing is RetroTV.  The silver hairs do quite well w/o needing cable.

/Matlock airs on OTV channel 3-1
//see McCain as more of a Perry Mason sort of guy... that's on 7-2
 
2013-05-12 05:48:12 AM  

Dinjiin: Jacobin: He just wants that one channel with Matlock reruns

Central Arizona has three retro networks: MeTV, ThisTV and BounceTV.  If you have a clear line to Tucson, you also get CoziTV and AntennaTV.  Only thing we're missing is RetroTV.  The silver hairs do quite well w/o needing cable.

/Matlock airs on OTV channel 3-1
//see McCain as more of a Perry Mason sort of guy... that's on 7-2


Do they get Lawrence Welk? Oldsters love them some Lawrence Welk.

And Championship Bowling.
 
2013-05-12 09:14:07 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Dinjiin: Jacobin: He just wants that one channel with Matlock reruns

Central Arizona has three retro networks: MeTV, ThisTV and BounceTV.  If you have a clear line to Tucson, you also get CoziTV and AntennaTV.  Only thing we're missing is RetroTV.  The silver hairs do quite well w/o needing cable.

/Matlock airs on OTV channel 3-1
//see McCain as more of a Perry Mason sort of guy... that's on 7-2

Do they get Lawrence Welk? Oldsters love them some Lawrence Welk.

And Championship Bowling.


At least our PBS station shows Lawrence Welk every week.
 
2013-05-12 10:42:56 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.


I keep getting the hard sell for AT&T uVerse so I tell them I only want the internet and only if I can use my own router.  They say I have to use theirs.  So I say OK, but I'm not paying extra to "rent" their equipment.  They say sure, that's waived if you get the TV, telephone & internet bundle.  I tell them no thanks and hang up.

Then a few weeks later they call again...
 
2013-05-12 11:04:33 AM  

ZeroCorpse: thurstonxhowell: ZeroCorpse: Think about it: You're paying ridiculous fees to watch people throw balls and stuff. You could watch that for free in the local playground, or cheaper in lesser league venues, but for some reason it's more compelling when millionaires are doing it and the shows are padded by lots of beer and car commercials.

That's like saying it's ridiculous to pay for a Broadway play when I can watch my 6 year old nephew act out his videogames.

Don't  even try to compare playing sports with writing, acting, and theatrical arts. You MIGHT be able to compare sports to reality TV shows (no plot, random jerks being overpaid to do something mundane) but not to a play that has a coherent story, music, dialogue, costuming, effects, varying degrees of acting talent, and so on.

Pro Wrestling is more like a play than real sports, I'll grant. It's basically Greek theater in the round. But a football game doesn't require a script to be written, dialogue to be delivered, emotions to be portrayed, different costumes for each individual, or music to fit the story. All it requires is that a bunch of brutes try to get the ball from here to there using a limited playbook of moves. And it's like that every time.

Sports is basically watching guys doing manual labor in a directed manner. The only difference between watching a football game and watching a team of guys dig a ditch is that the ditch diggers aren't wearing tights or paid as well. They're still just using physical labor to get to the goal, from one side to the other, and they end up just as dirty and sweaty at the end. Some of them might have some real skills with the shovel, but in the end, there's only so much you can do to make the task any less boring.

"BAM! Jones really got that load of dirt high in the air, and Ramirez follows up with a wicked left-handed shovel spin. The ditchdiggers are really moving tonight!"

Real exciting stuff. This is why ESPN 2 can show ridiculous crap like toughman competiti ...


You could have saved a lot of time by just explaining that you're an asshole. That's the only thing I'm getting from you, anyway.
 
2013-05-12 11:13:46 AM  

thurstonxhowell: ZeroCorpse: thurstonxhowell: ZeroCorpse: Think about it: You're paying ridiculous fees to watch people throw balls and stuff. You could watch that for free in the local playground, or cheaper in lesser league venues, but for some reason it's more compelling when millionaires are doing it and the shows are padded by lots of beer and car commercials.

That's like saying it's ridiculous to pay for a Broadway play when I can watch my 6 year old nephew act out his videogames.

Don't  even try to compare playing sports with writing, acting, and theatrical arts. You MIGHT be able to compare sports to reality TV shows (no plot, random jerks being overpaid to do something mundane) but not to a play that has a coherent story, music, dialogue, costuming, effects, varying degrees of acting talent, and so on.

Pro Wrestling is more like a play than real sports, I'll grant. It's basically Greek theater in the round. But a football game doesn't require a script to be written, dialogue to be delivered, emotions to be portrayed, different costumes for each individual, or music to fit the story. All it requires is that a bunch of brutes try to get the ball from here to there using a limited playbook of moves. And it's like that every time.

Sports is basically watching guys doing manual labor in a directed manner. The only difference between watching a football game and watching a team of guys dig a ditch is that the ditch diggers aren't wearing tights or paid as well. They're still just using physical labor to get to the goal, from one side to the other, and they end up just as dirty and sweaty at the end. Some of them might have some real skills with the shovel, but in the end, there's only so much you can do to make the task any less boring.

"BAM! Jones really got that load of dirt high in the air, and Ramirez follows up with a wicked left-handed shovel spin. The ditchdiggers are really moving tonight!"

Real exciting stuff. This is why ESPN 2 can show ridiculous crap like toughm ...


I think you just meant to use this....

i.imgur.com
 
2013-05-12 11:30:56 AM  
"Now many home games are blacked out in an effort to encourage fans to go to the stadium"

I wonder what percentage of people who go to see an event at the venue in which it's hosted would not go if the event were broadcast where it can be seen on TV
 
2013-05-12 11:42:21 AM  

Ontos: macadamnut: [oi26.tinypic.com image 425x512]

"Rich guys always want what's best for everyone!"

Is Obama not rich?

How did you feel about Kerry in 2004?



I don't see either of those guys mentioned in TFA.
 
2013-05-12 12:03:52 PM  

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.


---- I say they should offer ALL CHANNELS besides premiums like HBO in a package called PICK 20 for $40.
I'm only interested in TCM, BBC and some others that are in upper tiers and I resent paying extra to get them, only to have a pile of worthless shiat channels accompanying. That's all I need, 20 channels.

/grew up with 13 channels of shiat on the TV to choose from.... choose from.... choose from....
 
2013-05-12 02:42:21 PM  

puddleonfire: 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.

---- I say they should offer ALL CHANNELS besides premiums like HBO in a package called PICK 20 for $40.
I'm only interested in TCM, BBC and some others that are in upper tiers and I resent paying extra to get them, only to have a pile of worthless shiat channels accompanying. That's all I need, 20 channels.

/grew up with 13 channels of shiat on the TV to choose from.... choose from.... choose from....


This I might actually get behind a bit more.... the fact that the companies do "tier" , and do their tiering differently, is a bit of an issue, especially if as you say, there are 2-3 channels you want in the "Top 240", but, otherwise you'd be happy to just pay for the "Top 120" package.
 
2013-05-12 03:25:23 PM  

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: "Now many home games are blacked out in an effort to encourage fans to go to the stadium"

I wonder what percentage of people who go to see an event at the venue in which it's hosted would not go if the event were broadcast where it can be seen on TV


Hence blackout rules. Depends on your degree of rabid fanaticism. If you're talking football, I for one refuse to go to the stadium anymore. The seats suck, the kneeroom is non-existent, the sightlines are horrible, the concession prices are stratospheric (and of course the quality is subterranean), the parking area is bomb-cratered, the traffic in and out is Brobdingnagian, and the on-field product is sub-par.

I'll watch the hell out of it on TV though, so here's to the really rabid ticket holders who generate the sellout and allow me to watch from the comfort of my neighborhood watering hole.

Baseball, however, is meant to be experienced in person. See you at the field.
 
2013-05-12 03:41:56 PM  
madgonad:
What they are doing is eliminating competition - and without competition there is no control on pricing.

There's a ton of competition in television.  Networks and shows compete with each other both for advertising and for carriage fees.  It's just that the consumer isn't the one negotiating the prices.  Think of it like health insurance.  By combining with thousands of other customers, a carrier is able to negotiate lower prices.  Sure, you may end up with a number of services you don't need nor will you ever need, and some people are going to pay more than they would otherwise while others will pay less, but by pooling everybody together the cost for the average person goes down.

My solution - cable/dish companies sell the basic/lifeline package and they can charge 5-10 for cable boxes. That is their entire direct income stream. It is good money, but not piles of it - and they will lose the headache of having to deal with the content providers.
 The content providers will sell their products through the cable company.


I think you're drastically underestimated the fixed costs for a cable company.  I just did a quick check and, for my cable providers cheapest package, the actual cost for the channels is less than $10, for a $35 package.  So the "basic/lifeline package" in your scenario is going to cost $25+ just for access, before any channels.  And the popular channels are going to end up costing more, so you're still looking at $60-100 for anything more than 5 or 10 channels, especially if you want anything popular.

The problem with networks losing that carriage revenue is that they'll need to get that revenue from somewhere else, so they're going to either increase the ad time or decrease the amount of original programming.  One of the reasons a network like AMC can put out relatively low-rated shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad is because they have consistent carriage revenue.  Eliminating that (or decreasing it significantly) will end up sending us back to where cable was twenty years ago: Few channels, no original scripted programming, and lots of reruns.

The end result will be that marginal channels will fail because they are not built on an economically sound foundation. They have only brought money in because there are some 'casual' watchers and they have been bundled with more desirable channels. So yeah, the Golf channel is going bye bye.

So your solution for "fixing" television will result in fewer channels, less original scripted programming, and more advertising?  Sounds awesome.

This will also put the sports channels in the pickle. They won't be able to leech off of the considerable fees that everyone has been paying when 2/3 of the viewers are no longer paying. Sure, ESPN can ask a bit more for their content - probably as high as $20/mo. But push it any higher and people will start doing without. This in turn will reduce the outlandish fees that broadcasters have been paying professional sports - so that means less money supporting them. That means athletes won't be able to make so much money.
I like this idea more and more.


Okay, now you're just trolling.
 
2013-05-12 03:43:53 PM  

WordyGrrl: 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.


It makes sense to have a product that appeals to a large stupid group of people, even more so if it is heavily subsidized by the government.

...but maybe there is a moral alternative.
 
2013-05-12 07:20:42 PM  
Haven't had cable since 2006.  Use Netflix and pay $25/month for MLB.TV, but I mostly watch what the kids watch (PBS).

Miss ESPN and the other sports channels though.
 
2013-05-12 10:03:10 PM  

Slappy McLongstockings: WordyGrrl: 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.

It makes sense to have a product that appeals to a large stupid group of people, even more so if it is heavily subsidized by the government.

...but maybe there is a moral alternative.


Hmm, maybe do something religious/historical? Like Christians vs Lions?
 
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