A certain segment of consumers have been clamoring for years for cable distributors to break up the monolithic, 300-channel bundle into a la carte offerings. For those who don’t watch sports, the logic goes, why pay for ESPN? Why pay for TLC if you don’t watch reality TV, or CNN if you don’t give a damn about news?
On May 1st, the NFL is pulling its cable channel from Comcast’s cable line-up over a dispute about the cable company’s sports tier. As the deadline looms larger and larger, the company is taking their case to the people. David L. Cohen, an executive vice president of Comcast Corp, wrote the following opinion piece for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The price of everything in the telecom world has fallen over the past decade, except for cable. Cable is now 77% more expensive than it was ten years ago, an increase that dwarfs the rate of inflation and makes telecom executives salivate. The Times looks with pity on all of us who splay our wallets wide for the industry, and asks if there’s any salvation other than à la carte pricing.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin thought he had the support of the two Democratic commissioners when he went forward with a proposal to invoke powers given to the FCC in the 1984 Cable Communications Act. The 70/70 rule, as it’s called, allows the FCC to adopt any rules necessary to promote a “diversity of information sources,” once 70% of households can receive cable and 70% of them subscribe.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin thinks your cable bill is too high.
The FCC official said Martin testified that an a la carte law was justified because nominal cable rates kept rising and because consumers who tend to watch 15-17 channels still need to buy dozens of channels they don’t want in order to see their favorites.
Didn’t this man run for president in a parallel universe? LAT:
A gaggle of sleazy telecoms have united their individual minds into a gelid hive mind aimed at bringing about an end to flat pricing on the Internet.