U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-02-2014, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
Reputation: 471

Advertisements

How come their packages are either $15 or $119, with nothing in between? I watch maybe a dozen channels and the rest of them are junk. With today's technology, they should be able to do a la carte ... Anybody have any feelings on this?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-02-2014, 06:04 PM
 
3,050 posts, read 2,751,079 times
Reputation: 3959
I absolutely agree. I wasn't even going to get cable when I moved here, and just needed the Internet. They gave me a deal in which the internet + cable was cheaper than just getting cable. That's cool, I guess, but I really only care about one show that is on hiatus until October.

Of course now I'm watching all kinds of crap just because I can, yet some of the "normal" channels I would watch (if I could), I have to pay extra for (which I won't). Meanwhile I get a bunch of channels I couldn't care less about.

I've been saying for years that cable companies should do an a la carte package of some type. I'm sure there's some kind of reason why they can't, but it's so frustrating.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2014, 08:30 PM
 
434 posts, read 1,152,778 times
Reputation: 278
Cable companies can't offer a-la-carte channels because content companies force (or at least make it highly desirable for) cable companies to bundle their channels to consumers.

For example, ABC negotiates with Comcast to carry all their channels, including ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney XD, ABC Family, A&E, the History Channel, etc. etc. etc. The negotiation often requires cable companies to carry the crappy channels no one wants in order to get the highly desirable channels. Further, there are often requirements for the specific pricing tier on which each channel must run (with the "basic" tier being the most highly desirable spot for any channel because that increases potential ad revenue on that channel).

So (and I'm just making this up as one potential scenario to illustrate the point), if Comcast wants to offer ESPN at your pricing tier, their contract with ABC might require them to include ABC Family and History Channel on that same pricing tier. It's this bundling approach from the content provider to the cable company that ties channels together, and then that's passed along to the consumer.

(An alternate approach would be, for example, for Comcast to refuse to buy ABC Family. *Maybe* ABC would still sell them ESPN, but it would probably be at a much higher rate then what Comcast pays for ESPN as part of a bundle of channels. It's a business decision.)

Content providers have huge leverage here. Is this bundling an anti-trust issue? Some have argued it is, but none of those lawsuits have been successful changing this pretty standard business practice. In fact, Cablevision sued Viacom (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, etc. etc.) just last year. Cablevision Sues Viacom for Bundling Channels - WSJ.com

Content providers (specifically, Bloomberg) recently won a lawsuit against cable companies (specifically, Comcast) allowing them leverage to dictate *which channel number* their content appears on (in addition to negotiating specific pricing tiers for individual channels). http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/28/bu...-tv-peers.html
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2014, 07:08 AM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,966,926 times
Reputation: 420
There are probably reasons why in some cases they "can't" unbundle channels, due to negotiations with content providers, but they also don't WANT to allow you to pick an choose stations, because it will result in less money for them. Cable companies have very little competition. Comcast's only legitimate competition is Verizon FIOS, and they do the same thing. They want you to pay $200 a month, and couldn't get away with it unless they provide you with 100 channels that you don't want.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2014, 04:30 PM
 
3,050 posts, read 2,751,079 times
Reputation: 3959
Yeah, I get your point, and it makes sense. It's still annoying though.

It's really my own fault for wanting to watch The Walking Dead at my apartment instead of just going to Milk Boy or The Dive Bar to watch it. I wanted to break the television habit and I didn't!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-04-2014, 08:12 AM
 
756 posts, read 1,922,245 times
Reputation: 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyViaBoston View Post

Content providers (specifically, Bloomberg) recently won a lawsuit against cable companies (specifically, Comcast) allowing them leverage to dictate *which channel number* their content appears on (in addition to negotiating specific pricing tiers for individual channels). http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/28/bu...-tv-peers.html
Bloomberg won that only because Comcast bought out NBC, including CNBC, which Bloomberg competes against. It wasn't necessarily the power of content providers in general. Comcast is a huge content provider and cable company itself.

The government plays a very minor role as an advocate to consumers when it comes to pay TV and internet. It will likely approve the Comcast TW Cable merger unfettered.

While pay TV is somewhat a luxury, internet shouldn't be IMO. Internet access is very essential for the employment market (i.e. try applying for any decent wage supporting job without internet access). It shouldn't be in the hands of an oligopoly where access is very expensive. In areas without Fios, Comcast can charge $70/mo. or whatever it wants for internet only access. That results in huge profits for their bottom line at the expense of the consumer base, including the dwindling middle class.

Last edited by avg12; 04-04-2014 at 08:22 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2014, 03:55 PM
 
10,344 posts, read 10,824,961 times
Reputation: 5571
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarbonCountyLiving View Post
I absolutely agree. I wasn't even going to get cable when I moved here, and just needed the Internet. They gave me a deal in which the internet + cable was cheaper than just getting cable. That's cool, I guess, but I really only care about one show that is on hiatus until October.
They want the equipment in your house. There is always the possibility that you will make an impulse purchase of Pay per View movie or some other high profit item that will make up the loss for them. I have noticed that it may not cost more the first year, but you will pay a little bit more in 2nd and 3rd year, and probably a lot more in the 4th year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarbonCountyLiving View Post
I've been saying for years that cable companies should do an a la carte package of some type. I'm sure there's some kind of reason why they can't, but it's so frustrating.
There is a certain amount of ala-carte in tiering packages. Back in the 1970's there was only basic cable and premier commercial services like HBO and Cinemax. Now there is some tiering.

But with modern equipment they can deliver unlimited number of channels. So there is no business reason why having fewer channels will keep your costs down. For instance ESPN went from $4 to $7 per household in just a few years. Large percentage increases in TBS, TNT, and USA also went into effect. Now you have possibly a hundred channels that cost between 1 penny and 20 cents. If you eliminate dozens of them that you never watch, that money could be made up in one round of price increases from the major channels.

But business always copies success. With Netflix one of the hottest stocks on the market, there MUST be competitors. The cost of equipment to project digital media onto a TV screen is also dropping like a rock.

Hallmark Spirit Clips (start at $3) and World Wrestling Entertainment Network ($10) and Warner Archive ($5) along with Netflix and other channels, people will soon be able to piece together an ala-carte collection via digital media that satisfies most people in the house.

Also, think about the economics of advertising. A 30 second commercial on The Big Bang Theory costs $317,000 this year. For every dollar the advertiser spends he knows 57 people will watch his commercial, and based on statistical sampling many of those people are the age, sex, and income level that the advertiser likes. If all digital accounts are individual, most people will answer detailed questionnaires for the chance to win prizes. Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy time in a show, the advertising could order up 4 million black women who are obsessed with hair products (or any other demographic). Their advertisement could be inserted into the viewing stream of this demographic into a variety of shows, until the count is met.


But above all, the content is controlled. The production companies are going to find a way to get paid.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2014, 08:21 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
Reputation: 4755
Because (for all intents and purposes) monopoly. And pobably collusion on top of that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 10:51 AM
 
154 posts, read 278,215 times
Reputation: 135
The problem is that "we the customers" are not represented in any of these deals. As far as control, we should be at the top of the food chain, not the bottom.

The deals between Comcast and ABC, for example, involve advertising. I, as a customer, did not agree to being shown advertising. (I know that sounds crazy, bare with me) But that's between Comcast and ABC. Yet I have to suffer through it. The customer is getting screwed by the service providers (verizon / comcast) on the front end and then getting screwed again on the back end by the content providers. CBS does not allow fast forwarding on on-demand content, that's BS. Comcast has to Listen to CBS or suffer the consequences and we just have to go along for the ride at their mercy.

Still don't understand how one company can legally be a service provider and a content provider. Comcast Sports Net as an example is Comcast and as such does not allow / make available all it's content to Verizon. So for Fios customers, and Philadelphia Union fans, we're screwed. We either can't watch the Union game or have to watch it in standard definition while we're paying hundreds of dollars for a digital HD package. Again, we have no say in this at all but are the ones paying the high prices for the service. And it doesn't matter who the service provider is because they all do it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 11:53 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,235,627 times
Reputation: 4755
Quote:
Originally Posted by Padugan View Post
The problem is that "we the customers" are not represented in any of these deals. As far as control, we should be at the top of the food chain, not the bottom.

The deals between Comcast and ABC, for example, involve advertising. I, as a customer, did not agree to being shown advertising. (I know that sounds crazy, bare with me) But that's between Comcast and ABC. Yet I have to suffer through it. The customer is getting screwed by the service providers (verizon / comcast) on the front end and then getting screwed again on the back end by the content providers. CBS does not allow fast forwarding on on-demand content, that's BS. Comcast has to Listen to CBS or suffer the consequences and we just have to go along for the ride at their mercy.

Still don't understand how one company can legally be a service provider and a content provider. Comcast Sports Net as an example is Comcast and as such does not allow / make available all it's content to Verizon. So for Fios customers, and Philadelphia Union fans, we're screwed. We either can't watch the Union game or have to watch it in standard definition while we're paying hundreds of dollars for a digital HD package. Again, we have no say in this at all but are the ones paying the high prices for the service. And it doesn't matter who the service provider is because they all do it.
Advertising doesn't bother me. That's how the networks make their money. The inflexibility of Comcast's plans, which particularly shaft the cell-in-place-of-landline demographic (no I don't need a home phone; I also don't see why I only save $10 a month by sticking to cable and internet) infuriate me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Philadelphia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top