If you scan through your cable/satellite guide and see diminishing returns from the growing number of channels being made available to viewers, you’re not alone. In fact, the head of a company that makes an awful lot of money by selling customers on all those channel choices says he’s on your side.
“There are too many networks,” declared Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association annual cable show. “There are a lot of general-interest networks that have lower viewership, and the industry would take cost out of the system if they shut those networks down and offered lower prices to consumers… The companies involved would make just as much money as they do now because of the costs.”
This sentiment echoes that of many consumers who long for a TV Utopia in which they only pay for the channels they want to receive, rather than being saddled with dozens or even hundreds of smaller channels that major content providers bundle with their flagship offerings to boost revenue from ads and carriage fees.
According to Bloomberg, Britt said that a la carte cable will only happen if a “courageous” content-side CEO made the bold move to offer their company’s headlining channel without requiring cable providers to buy the bundle of supporting acts.
However, the CEO of AMC — whose channel bundle is about to get kicked to the curb by Dish — counters that, “The growth of the cable TV industry has gone hand in hand with the diversity of networks out there… Certain networks that may have been thought to be niche have, over time, proven to be potent and popular.”