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« Publishers speak | Main | Pot o' gold »

Nov 29, 2005


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Hmmm, The Big Three and PBS, I guess. Just habit. Perhaps the Little Three, too, for Charmed.

Then, all the major cable news shows, that is, C-Span1 & 2. Maybe CNN and MSNBC during "interesting times". The Big Three and PBS, I guess.

All nature/discovery/health channels.

Sci-fi channel. OF COURSE!

Cartoon Network, Nick and Disney for kids.

A few good movie channels.

That's it. No sports. No religion. No crime. No shopping. No Fox. No E!

Don Moore

More than likely MUST CARRY will keep the religious broadcasters on basic cable; but when you look at the pricing wars that go on with the industry it is amazing. Just three years ago Hearst-Argyle was threatening to pull WXII and it other stations from Time Warner unless they provided better terms for Lifetime.

A la carte is not what you thing is is because the big media companies will ultimately force you to take certain channels to get the ones you really want.

When you look at who owns what channels or holds interest in channels, it is very unlikely that you will truely get what you want at a rate that is reasonable. A few years ago, Turner actually charged cable companies a higher rate if they refused to carry all of the Turner channels.

As for the religious guys - look skyward! Many religious broadcasters have set up satellite networks and are selling home satellite systems similar to DirecTV and DISH that receive the multiple free TV channels over satellite.

Ed Cone

Note, though, that the religious broadcasters want to stay on cable in order to reach not just the faithful but the "unchurched" -- they want federal regulation to help them proselytize.

Joe Killian

I just get the major networks at home for about $10 a month.

If I had my druthers I'd just have those, CNN, Comedy Central and MAYBE Bravo.

Of course legions of people have solved this problem by downloading anything and everything they like a la carte using Bittorrent - where everything is cheap, fast, high quality and up maybe 20 minutes after it's been on television. Even the premium network offerings.

Or so I've been told...


Unbundle, unbundle, unbundle. Unbundle everything. Unbundle all the false economies.

We get DirectTV (because of the NFL package) and it offers a pay-per-view menu. And it makes me wonder: Why can't I buy access to a channel that's not in my package just for a night? Why can't I unlock History International for a one-time fee just because it's got a documentary that I want to watch?

And people say, yes, but in that case, why not pay the monthly fee for that add-on bundle? You'll get more and save yourself money in the long run! But I doubt it. The fact of the matter is, we don't watch enough TV to justify adding entire channels, much less packages of channels.

The middle ground between bundled and unbundled might be a "meat and three" plan. Pick five from Column A, five from Column B and five from Column C for $30 a month. Double your channel choices for an extra $5 a month... and so on. But if you let people customize their bundles, you kick the competition's ass. Who wouldn't prefer the 20 channels they actually care about to the current system, where five of the channels that would interest you are in another package, but you've got another 80 channels of crap you'd never watch, even if you were hung over?

You could do that and still offer a pay-per-view option for the rest.

Jennie Hunt

We just have the basics. We cut back for fiscal reasons as well as the fact that after children, we didn't have the time to watch every documentary on cable anymore. Also, I didn't want our daughter getting to MTV or something else by mistake -- our antique tv doesn't have a v chip.

I like what we have. If we could drop the shopping and preaching and pick up CNN and maybe the history channel, I'd be so happy.

I appreciate PBS a lot more anymore. The American Experience is one of the most well produced shows ever, and it puts the History Channel to shame for the most part. They even made Tupperware interesting!

Joe Killian

The History Channel needs little help with shame.

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