As cable packages have ballooned in both volume and price over the years, a growing segment of consumers has demanded options for unbundled, choose-your-own-channels cable. So far, those cries have gone largely unheard, except for a few streaming, internet-based options. However, it seems the à la carte option has a growing fan base clamoring to be heard: small cable companies themselves. [More]
a la carte cable
It’s been almost two and a half years since we last checked in with our northern neighbors in Canada about how their nationwide implementation of à la carte cable is going. Today is when the real test of unbundled TV begins: cable companies will be required to offer basic plans for $25 as of today, and even more radical unbundling will happen by the end of 2016. [More]
ESPN is by far the most expensive channel on any American’s basic cable lineup and its position as the sole place to watch certain high-profile content like Monday Night Football has given it a reputation as being essential. But a new report claims that if people had to pick and choose the stations they would want on a customized slate of cable channels, ESPN comes in far from the top. [More]
Sony’s PlayStation Vue streaming pay-TV service launched earlier this year in three markets and while it offers up competition for traditional cable and satellite providers, the bundles weren’t that different from what we’ve been getting for decades. Tonight, the company announced vague plans to offer more customizable pay-TV options through Vue starting later this year. [More]
While some still hold out hope for the pipe dream of a true a la carte pay-TV option where the customer only pays for the channels they want (but at a price that isn’t outrageous), pressure from new streaming services appears to be nudging at least one major cable provider to offer a more flexible plan to subscribers. [More]
Over the New Year’s holiday, a tantalizing rumor spread across the interwebs. Intel is preparing a new set-top box to compete with the relatively unsuccessful Google TV and the relatively successful Apple TV. Yawn: what’s so interesting about that? Word was that their ultimate goal was to make à la carte cable a reality. That’s a utopian concept of sorts where consumers choose and pay for only the channels they’re interested in. Could Intel make it a reality? No, probably not, because the content providers stand in their way. You know, the companies that make big bucks selling their channels to cable providers, who in turn charge to beam them into the homes of people who didn’t want them in the first place. [More]
Today’s media consumers are so picky. They’ve come to resist the idea that they must pay hundreds of dollars every year to receive three hundred cable channels when they only watch maybe five of them. A recent government regulatory board decision means that consumers will have more choice over which specific channels they subscribe to and pay for in the near future. The bad news: It’s the Canadian government.
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.