Cable companies would have you worked up into a fury, basically foaming at the mouth over hikes in broadcasting fees the NFL is instituting. But should you be blaming the NFL, or your TV providers?
Jeff Bercovici of Forbes.com says all the wrangling over NFL broadcasting rights and the ensuing campaign by TV companies calling it “a tax on every American household” can be confusing to the average consumer when it comes to placing blame. One thing they should know, he says, is that cable companies aren’t in your corner.
The money distributors shell out for a channel like ESPN would be better for customers to take on, when compared with the prices they already have to pay for channels they don’t want, just to get ESPN.
When cable CEOs say “We don’t think it’s right to charge people $8.50 a month for ESPN,” what they really mean is “We don’t think we can get away with charging people $8.50 a month for ESPN while still charging them 20 or 30 cents a pop for 400 other channels they couldn’t even identify under torture, because if their cable bills go through the roof we know they’ll just cancel cable altogether and get all their TV from Hulu, Netflix and YouTube.”
Cable companies might be close to allowing customers to pick and choose which channels they get and are actually charged for, but if that happens, it’s because they feel like they’re forced to do so., says Bercovici, instead of out of any actual care for customers.