March 3, 2006
Disney Channel urges you to oppose any legislative or regulatory
effort to create a la carte cable or satellite programming regulation.
Disney Channel is the premier destination for childrens' and family
viewing and has a unique perspective on the issue of "a la carte"
programming. Disney Channel was launched as an a la carte service, but
was unable to develop successfully until it migrated to being carried
by cable and satellite on the expanded basic tier of programming. As
described in detail below, Disney Channel's actual experience
transforming from an a la carte channel to expanded basic confirms
that the expanded basic bundle is the most pro-consumer model.
*Disney Channel's Oripinal Launch as an A La Carte Channel Was
Unsuccessful.* Disney Channel originally launched in 1983 as an a la
carte service. During this time, Disney Channel's availability was
limited to only those kids and families who could afford to pay the
additional $10 to $16 monthly fee. Notwithstanding even the strength
of the Disney brand, penetration hovered on average in the 9-10%
range. Limited availability was not the only problem. Like all other a
la carte services, Disney Channel had to contend with high subscriber
turnover, also known as churn, which typically ran approximately 5% to
6.5% per month, or roughly 60% to 78% per year. This meant that, in
order simply to maintain the prior year's distribution, Disney Channel
had to replace 60% to 78% of the subscribers with which it began in
any given year. This also increased operating expenses for the
operators that carried Disney Channel. Accordingly, when Disney
Channel was a premium service, its resources were focused on
telemarketing, subscriber acquisition programs (such as free previews
of the service supported by direct-mail advertising, bill inserts, and
consumer premiums), and retention programs like the production and
distribution of Disney Channel Magazine, all in an effort to
counteract churn and to grow subscribers on a transaction by
*Disney Channel's Experiments with Programming Tiers Also Were
Unsuccessful.* During the late 1980s, Disney Channel attempted to
combat the effects of churn by experimenting with a variety of pricing
and packaging models. During this time, Disney Channel was offered in
a hybrid fashion in that on some cable systems it was available on an
a la carte service, on others it was part of a premium package or part
of tiers, and on others it was on expanded basic. Aggressive marketing
of Disney Channel as part of a package of premium services with HBO
and Showtime showed some gains; however, these gains proved to be
short-lived. When Disney Channel was offered either as part of a new
product tier or a tier with three to four cable networks for between
$3.95 and $5.95 per month, there was initial success. However, after
an initial increase, penetration began to drop. Even at their peak,
these tiers reached only 40% penetration and then only for a brief
period. These strategies continued to require heavy investment in
marketing and retention programs, which, in turn, unavoidably diverted
funds from programming. From 1990 through 1997, Disney Channel
invested on average approximately 10% of its total revenue from sales
each year on telemarketing, subscriber acquisition programs, and
retention programs. By the late 1990s, it became clear that the hybrid
approach was inefficient and too costly to sustain long-term.
*Disney Channel's Migration to Expanded Basic Succeeded and Resulted
in Higher Oualitv and More Diverse Programming.* By the end of 2000,
Disney Channel was offered only as an expanded basic service. After
Disney Channel's transition from a la carte to expanded basic,
telemarketing, subscriber acquisition, and retention costs were de
minimis, and Disney Channel could thus spend more of its total
revenues on diverse, quality programming for kids and families. Disney
Channel's average yearly programming expenses increased by over 57%
from the period 1990 - 1997 to the period 2000 - 2006. Furthermore,
Disney Channel's average yearly original programming expenses
increased by over 140% from the period 1990 - 1997 to the period 2000
- 2003. This investment in programming has resonated with Disney
Channel's audience in the form of higher ratings as Disney Channel has
tripled its ratings for kids 6-1 1 since it was an a la carte service
in 1995. (snip)
Based on the experience and history of Disney Channel, it is clear
that Disney Channel's move from a la carte to expanded basic resulted
in a far more robust network that is more reflective of the growing
and diverse audience it serves. If Disney Channel were mandated to
return to its a la carte beginnings, it could be forced to retreat
from its current position as a leader in high quality and trusted, kid
and family television programming that is responsive to and
representative of its audience. Disney Channel urges you to oppose any
proposals for government regulation of a la carte programming options.
Disney Channel Worldwide
Greedy bastards at Disney.
EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Evil! Where's that
SaveDisney.com site when you need it??!!
It's because they KNOW soooo many people would dump this crappy cable
channel if they could get it a la carte. In fact, it once WAS like
that, but those slippery cocksuckers at Walt Disney Company weaseled
their way on to non-paytv status cable/satellite tiers.
"Ooh, a marathon of 'The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody'? Now THERE'S
stellar programming!" Fat Sprouse twins, Dylan and Cole.
It reads as if they're saying: they were unsuccessful at $10-$16
per month a la carte but are successful at being one of a group
peddled for $5 per month. Thus, one would have to wonder why
they'd not think themselves as: a) marketable and b) as a
promotional high point for any provider offering them at $2 per
month a la carte?
Or did I somehow misread that their conclusion is actually that
they can not sustain business at any price, if the marketplace
gets to choose.
>It reads as if they're saying: they were unsuccessful at $10-$16
>per month a la carte but are successful at being one of a group
>peddled for $5 per month. Thus, one would have to wonder why
>they'd not think themselves as: a) marketable and b) as a
>promotional high point for any provider offering them at $2 per
>month a la carte?
>Or did I somehow misread that their conclusion is actually that
>they can not sustain business at any price, if the marketplace
>gets to choose.
It means that Ala Carte is a collective bargaining tool that promotes
the "union" of basic cable channels to the viewers. Most people will
get far more channels THAT they want (as directly opposed to THAN they
want) *much* cheaper than if they'd subscribed to even a single
channel on a premium basis.
You want Skiffy on ala carte? You'll pay $20 a month or more for it
in adjusted dollars via ala carte. You want Fixed Noise, MSNBC or
CNN, ESPN, Bravo, USA, Comedy Central, G4, FX -- same thing.
I'm going to shout this in all caps because you deserve it:
THERE WOULD BE NO FUCKING THING AS A $2.00 A MONTH CHANNEL UNDER ALA
CARTE BECAUSE BY DEFINITION IT DESTROYS THE CONCEPT OF BASIC CABLE.
For the reasons that Disney channel explains in the letter. ALL
current basic cable channels would be spending 1000% of the money in a
*failed* attempt to keep even around 60% of their viewership at all
You don't like that you have basic cable channels that you don't want
in your bundle just to subscribe to the one channel that you do want
Boo fucking hoo. You're in the insignificant minority. Stop making a
public nuisance of yourself and learn how to use your fucking V-Chip
to block the channels that you don't want. You'll still be getting a
substantial discount on the channels that you do watch.
And regardless of what a person says when they say that they only
watch "one" basic cable channel, the truth of the matter is that
they're always lying and really only emphasizing the one favorite that
they have among the several or even dozens of channels that they do
OTOH, if you really do watch only one basic cable channel, then shut
the fuck up and cancel your cable or satellite subscription and watch
the one or two local channels that your antennae can get. Then you
can sink all the money you saved into DVDs. There. Prickish problem
So let go of your delusion that ala carte would make cable cheaper for
anyone but you few crazy
LORELAI: I am so done with plans. I am never, ever making one again.
It never works. I spend the day obsessing over why it didn't work
and what I could've done differently. I'm analyzing all my shortcomings
when all I really need to be doing is vowing to never, ever make a plan
ever again, which I'm doing now, having once again been the innocent
victim of my own stupid plans. God, I need some coffee.
> Disney Channel's actual experience
> transforming from an a la carte channel to expanded basic confirms
> that the expanded basic bundle is the most pro-consumer model.
And certainly the most pro-Disney model.
DVDs for sale: http://unique-dvd.com
165 Banned Cartoons, The Unknown War, Centennial Miniseries,
Holocaust, Pearl, Amerika, Space, George Washington, Anzacs,
Marco Polo, Captains and the Kings, Peter the Great, Noble House,
(1) That's outrageous. Local communities that *already have* a la
carte charge a flat rate of $10-15 plus $1-2 per channel. $1-2. Not
(2) Even at your outrageously high pricepoint, I would still save
money. That's the point most anti a la carte people don't seem to
get - most of us WOULD save money, because we only watch 2 or 3 main
channels, and the rest is ignored.
Saving money is the name of the game.
(3) If I lived in one those communities with a la carte, here's how
much I would be spending:
$12 - local channels (first 15 on the dial)
$ 2 - SciFi
$ 2 - USA
$16 - that's it!
And that's the worst case scenario. Only $16 + tax is how much a la
carte would cost me, and I'd have 17 channels on my set. A far sight
better than $60 for sixty channels I never watch.
I have DSL and it is subdivided according to what "slice" of the
internet I use. $15 gets me 250 kbps. $20 gets me 750 kbps. $35
gets me 2000 kbps. I use the cheapest rate because that's all I
need. Others might choose the highest rate.... it's variable.
That's how Cable TV should be setup... variable tiers based upon what
you desire. Not just an "all of nothing" deal. $60 or nothing is
Really old stuff you quoted.
If Ala Carte were feasible, you would have an offering by now.
Ala Carte is not going to provide you with $5 per month
Speaking for yourself, of course.
As for me, I presently pay > $130/mo to TW. For that I get all
digital shows, a mere handful of HDTV stations, all premium
channels, and access to on-demand for everything they offer. I
also have a pair of HDVRs, and - obviously - internet access. I
find it desirable to also use OTA for those HDTV channels
available there which are not carried by TW.
I have way more internet bandwidth than I use, even at their
minimum speed offering. During the summer TV off-season, the
HDVRs sit virtually idle as there is virtually nothing to record
and NetFlix becomes an essential part of video entertainment
here (for an added cost). All together, and I'm guessing at
this, my at-home a/v/i cost is between 1/2 and more than $1 per
hour. (BTW: a/v/i means audio, video, internet) The variation
is because of summer viewing and usage hours vs. other seasons,
heaviest being in winter.
Ideally, I'd love to pay for what I watch and how I use the
internet. I don't know exactly what the fee should be, I'd be
happy to have some way of providing ALL my in-home a/v/i
entertainment for about $100 per month which includes those
things I find typically interesting (and yes, I could block all
unused channels but it's unnecessary here, I don't surf).
Metering my usage would be similar to degree-day accounting. We
estimate my annual usage and divide by 12 for the monthly fee.
If I go under or over or drop out of the plan, there will be an
adjustment at prearranged prices.
Pay-per-view would still be a reasonable offering, for those who
simply can't wait to watch on TV what they couldn't wait to line
up for at the box-office.
Does this imply that there should be no other plan for
subscribers to adopt? No! But I believe that many would adopt
this sort of plan, if it could be mated to their budget.
Needless to say, some shows or channels would cease to exist, if
everyone adopted a pay-only-for-what-you-watch plan. This would
be bad how? As an incentive to content providers, better
programming will encourage subscribers to over-run their agreed
plans, making more money available to both carriers and
Allocation of fees to content providers isn't really problematic
in this computer age - the formulae might be hard to hash out at
the conference tables, but implementation would be a snap. And,
I presume that some users' subscription fees would rise while
others would possibly shrink. That's what metered usage does.
We're not unused to metered expenses.
Well, if the shows end-up looking as poor as the Babylon 5 Lost Tales
DVD (and yet still cost over $10)..... no thanks. I like commercials
because they let me get free entertainment.
I don't want to change the current content supported by commercials.
I just want the option to "switch off" channels that carry crap like
Lifetime, Bravo, CNN, FoxNews, MTV, VH1, Oxygen, and so on.
> HBO is a great example. I would certainly pay Viacom the $8 directly
> to get the shows without having to send Comcast another $50. That $8
> is probably $4 more than they get from Comcast.
The FCC ought to make a rule - subscribers can get *just* HBO, plus a
nominal service fee to support comcast.
That's how my Baltimore Gas & Electric account works. I pay BGE $10
for the maintenance of the lines. Some other company supplies the
natural gas at a dramatically cheaper rate. (So basically I get two
separate bills for two separate companies, but tracked under the same
account.) Long Distance phone service operates the same.
You shouldn't be forced to buy all 60 basic channels just to get 1 HBO
> If Viacom used that model for the other "cable only" channels they
> would be making serious bucks. I would rather send Viacom $30 or $40 a
> month for all of their shows on demand than to send Comcast the money
> and wait for them to come on interspersed between 15 minutes an hour
> of commercials.
Still relevant to now. The letter still reflects Disney's mindset
toward a la carte.
> Disney is against it 'cause their channel is almost all crap
> now and nobody would want it.
That, and Disney is one of the most egregious companies when it comes
to bundling. The cable company can't buy just Disney Channel (popular
with the kids and kids' parents)..... they are also forced to buy
ESPN, ABCfamily, Toon Disney, SoapNet, and A&E.
Disney knows if people could "drop" channels, their Toon Disney, A&E,
and Soapnet channels would instantly die as people quickly move to
remove that crap from their bills. Disney wants to force these dumb
channels onto the public.
>Now that internet distribution of content is possible some studios
>might skip the whole concept of commercial TV and just let you get the
>shows you want without commercials.
>HBO is a great example. I would certainly pay Viacom the $8 directly
>to get the shows without having to send Comcast another $50. That $8
>is probably $4 more than they get from Comcast.
>If Viacom used that model for the other "cable only" channels they
>would be making serious bucks. I would rather send Viacom $30 or $40 a
>month for all of their shows on demand than to send Comcast the money
>and wait for them to come on interspersed between 15 minutes an hour
Some background about why you are yet again, flat-out wrong.
1) Back when Disney Channel was a premium channel, HBO was the same
price (about $15-16 in NON-adjusted dollars, which would be more like
2) HBO, while owned at the time by Warner, was not accompanied by the
numerous bundled basic channels that Time Warner has now, including
TBS, TNT and so on. Likewise for CBS Paramount which owns Showtime
and now owns MTV Networks, Spike, etc. And the same with NBC
Universal, which now owns MSNBC, USA, Skiffy, Bravo and numerous other
networks. Same as with Fox with FX, FXM, Fixed Noise, Fox Sports and
3) All of these premium bundles that we have even NOW, HBO and
Showtime's premium bundles, not to mention the bundles of other
premium networks, EVEN with all of their various basic cable bundles,
STILL have to periodically do free weekends to entice new subscribers
and do special offers like a $25 rebate that I sure as hell won't be
using from my Weeds s2 DVD (not because I don't like Weeds -- Me
lurves it -- but there's no way I'm going to pay a LOT more just to
subscribe for X number of months to Showtime just to get Weeds (and
even Dexter). Showtime's costs even now don't justify it, neither
does HBO's with just Entourage that I'm interested in.
4) Although HBO's gouging on DVDs for its one-hour shows *almost*
makes subscribing to the HBO bundle worth it, the losses that Time
Warner would take from the lack of bundling of its basic cable
channels would result, IMO, not in HBO's prices adjust up to the
$30-$40 price range it would probably be now in without the basic
cable channels increasing the company's revenue, I think that it would
likely result in HBO costing *more* than just the $30-$40 price range
given that when HBO was only around $15-16 per month, it *wasn't*
producing or showing original movies, miniseries or television series.
Unless you want to count the laughably under-budgeted "1st and 10."
5) As I stated in my previous post, even if HBO is a viewer's favorite
cable channel, the likelihood is so immense that the common viewer
does NOT take after you that you've created your own straw man. The
majority of viewers watch several basic cable channels that they
wouldn't be able to afford in any sort of combination in the ala carte
non-plan that you whiners keep arguing for. Viewers watch one or more
of the news channels, Skiffy, FX, TNT, TBS (or they wouldn't be able
to afford the Friends and Seinfeld reruns), Spike, USA, Bravo, A&E,
ABC Family (with original hits Kyle XY, Greek and popular reruns like
Gilmore Girls and Smallville) and the immensely popular ESPN. Even in
non-adjusted dollars, when basic cable channels cost $16 per channel,
they wouldn't survive, even with commercials.
Ain't gonna happen. Cable/sat viewers watch enough channels to pay
for the bundling, Just block the channels that you don't want and
imagine that you're paying only for the ones that you want and shut
the fuck up.
Run away, little boy. Even if you were an emperor you'd be wearing no
clothes, but you're not even that.
Metered usage didn't even work when AOL used it when it was still
actively an ISP -- that's why their most popular subscription package
was and still is the unlimited monthly access plan. Metered usage for
any sort of broadband (I'm still on dial-up, btw) will follow the
trend that ISP followed and cell phone plans are in the process of
following and *end* when the number of users reach such a critical
mass that they say, "Enough of this unreadable metered bullshit. If
you don't give me something that simple to follow -- broadband, cell,
all access, all the time, flat fee -- then I'm going to the provider
Dude, you're so naiive that you're totally oblivious to the phrase
"pennywise and pound foolish." There's a point in the marketplace
where price and demand meet and that's in bundling and flat fees, not
in metering and ala carte. If you don't understand that, go back and
read your Econ 101 books and refresh yourself on supply versus demand.
The vast majority of people get the supply that they want for the
price that they want and get a lot more channels than that in order to
make the situation profitable for the supplier.
Oh, come on, there are too many Ian J. Balls in the world for that to
be even anything even remotely resembling the truth. 8^p
Honestly, Ani, I'm surprised I have to tell you these things! ;)
Rob (and others) believe in "Welfare for poor cable channels". He
believes if a channel like SoapNet can't stand alone, by itself, then
it should be subsidized with free monetary handouts to keep it alive
(through forcing homeowners to buy it, even though said homeowners
don't want it).
Me, I'd rather see the channel die the death it deserves - survival of
the fittest & death to the weakest.
Holy shit. That's $1600 a year! (faints)
> I have way more internet bandwidth than I use, even at their
> minimum speed offering. During the summer TV off-season, the
> HDVRs sit virtually idle as there is virtually nothing.....
> Ideally, I'd love to pay for what I watch and how I use
> the internet. .... Metering my usage
> would be similar to degree-day accounting. We
> estimate my annual usage and divide by 12 for the monthly fee.
> If I go under or over or drop out of the plan, there will
> be an adjustment at prearranged prices.
Alternatively: You could unsubscribe from channels during the summer,
and then resubscribe during the fall. Thus saving money. With modern
digital technology, it would be extremely easy to implement that "on/
> Does this imply that there should be no other plan for
> subscribers to adopt? No! But I believe that many would adopt
> this sort of plan, if it could be mated to their budget.
> Needless to say, some shows or channels would cease to exist, if
> everyone adopted a pay-only-for-what-you-watch plan.
Not everyone would do that. (Just as not everyone who downloads, if
blocked, would run-out and buy the CDs. That's a falsehood
perpetrated by the RIAA/MPAA.) Many, many people would continue
buying the "bundled" deal.
> We're not unused to metered expenses.
No. It strikes me as EXTREMELY odd that people except metered usage
- cellphones (some plans)
- natural gas
- gasoline/diesel for our cars
And yet when someone suggests having metered usage for cable tv, or
tiered plans (like cellphone services), everyone has a fit. It is
only logical that if all other services have metered and/or tiered
subscriptions, that Cable TV should have it too.
Why should cable be the only sole exception?
I can't think of a good reason.
My bill would drop to around $17 a month with a la carte and/or tiered
Homeowners? How about those who rent a living space?
The cable companies are never going to agree to, or let themselves be
forced into, any scheme that results in less revenue for them.
Ultimately, most people will end up paying more, maybe a lot more, for a
The conflict going on now between cable operators and and the Big Ten
DiwreckTv offers it as a part of their package.
Comcast, for example, says "no" because the Big Ten Network wants it on the
expanded basic tier and Comcast wants to put it into a sports tier for an
additional $5 per month. Comcast says it is looking out for the consumer.
Oh yeah, Comcast? Well, then, why don't you just take the likes of ESPN,
Speed, Golf and the like and put those into your sports tier and lower the
price of your expanded basic?
I see a trend here. Disney owns ESPN and they want to force their agenda by
demanding how they should be distributed. I say "forget them". They are
shooting themselves in the foot. And, yes, the Soap Channel, another Disney
piece of junk can go with it as well.
"SFTVratings" <SFTVrati...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>SFTVratings <SFTVrati...@yahoo.com> wrote in message:
>> gfretw...@aol.com wrote:
>>> On Thu, 06 Sep 2007 14:28:39 -0500, Rob Jensen
>>>> Run away, little boy. Even if you were an emperor you'd
>>>> be wearing no clothes, but you're not even that.
>>> no doubt works for a cable company
>> Rob (and others) believe in "Welfare for poor cable channels". He
>> believes if a channel like SoapNet can't stand alone, by itself, then
>> it should be subsidized with free monetary handouts to keep it alive
>> (through forcing homeowners to buy it, even though said homeowners
>> don't want it).
>> Me, I'd rather see the channel die the death it deserves - survival of
>> the fittest & death to the weakest.
>The cable companies are never going to agree to, or let themselves be
>forced into, any scheme that results in less revenue for them.
>Ultimately, most people will end up paying more, maybe a lot more, for a
Troy doesn't understand Economics 101 and even then, he doesn't
understand that his buying habits aren't the buying habits of the rest
of the country. If it were up to him, DiVX (the original DVD rental
plan) would have worked just because it was metered rental that
simultaneously and badly attempted to be an unnecessary
copy-protection plan. Consumers said, "Fuck that shit." and DiVX died
a fast death, leaving a only a name for a video software to
appropriate with deliberate irony.
100% true. A la carte will only happen if imposed from above (by
government), since cable won't voluntarily allow people the option to
buy, for example, a $20 a month minimal bundle.
Facts not in evidence. I took ECON101 and got an A thank you very
> If it were up to him, DiVX would have worked
Strawman argument. I never stated any such thing, nor did I think
DIVX was a good idea (it's almost always cheaper to buy once, then
rent multiple times).
1) A la carte would happen *IF* enough consumers cancelled
their cable tv as a protest...no need for gov't force to
2) Why SHOULD a luxury service voluntarily change their
profitable business model?
3) Why SHOULD the gov't force a luxury service to change
their profitable business model?
Has Western Civilization become "too civilized" to
defend itself from extinction?
For the same reason why the government breaks-up other monopolies,
like AT&T or the CD Cartel (1990s) or Microsoft (which was supposed to
be broken-up but got a last-minute reprieve). Monopolies don't allow
the market to work properly, hence why Antitrust Laws exists.
In cases where competition would be difficult (like supplying
electricity), monopolies are regulated by the government to protect
the consumer from paying outrageous prices. Likewise Cable TV (a
natural monopoly) should be regulated and required to provide lower-
> As soon as the world figures out they can get their content via
> the internet cable companies will not have a monopoly anymore.
As long as people keep getting sued, people will be afraid to use the
internet to download their favorite shows.
>>100% true. A la carte will only happen if imposed from above (by
>>government), since cable won't voluntarily allow people the option
>>to buy, for example, a $20 a month minimal bundle.
>1) A la carte would happen *IF* enough consumers cancelled
> their cable tv as a protest...no need for gov't force to
> be involved!
Won't happen. Most consumers like what they get.
>2) Why SHOULD a luxury service voluntarily change their
> profitable business model?
Especially when most consumers, except for cranks like Troy who push
for ala carte against their own best interests, are satisfied with it.
>3) Why SHOULD the gov't force a luxury service to change
> their profitable business model?
Exactly. Moreover, the FCC should relax censorship issues (language,
content, etc.) for ALL of the channels since pay-television is an
opt-in service, not a public trust that's free over the airwaves. For
instance, Damages's S-Bombs shouldn't have beene bleeped during the
daytime marathon and Torchwood's F-Bombs shouldn't be bleeped at all.
>As soon as the world figures out they can get their content via the
>internet cable companies will not have a monopoly anymore. They will
>just be selling bandwidth, along with the phone company and maybe even
>the power company.
ala carte will never overtake channel-flipping as a) it's cheaper, b)
it's cheaper, c) it's cheaper, d) it's cheaper and e) it's far less of
a fucking hassle than signing onto and clicking through to whatever
website -- ie: why click-through links and barriers when all you need
to do is flip the up or down button? The more of a hassle access is,
the more likely it will fail (see also: the original DiVX)
>Rob Jensen <Shut...@aol.com> wrote:
>>> 3) Why SHOULD the gov't force a luxury service to change
>>> their profitable business model?
>> Exactly. Moreover, the FCC should relax censorship issues
>> (language, content, etc.) for ALL of the channels since
>> pay-television is an opt-in service, not a public trust
>> that's free over the airwaves. For instance, Damages's
>> S-Bombs shouldn't have beene bleeped during the daytime
>> marathon and Torchwood's F-Bombs shouldn't be bleeped at all.
>You do realize, don't you, that any language edits done by FX
>to DAMAGES during the daytime, and by BBCA to TORCHWOOD are not
>due to their being forced to do so by the FCC or any other
>The FCC has no jurisdiction over cable, even basic cable. Any
>censorship of cable network programming is self-censorship by
>the networks in question.
Because the FCC is trying to gain a foothold against them, so, in
essence, self-censorship created by the mere *threat* of government
censorship is defacto government censorship.
That's not true. If I could snap my fingers & outlaw tv advertising,
the price of products would NOT drop 30% in price. The price would
remain exactly the same.
Not convinced? Consider the UK where BBC-TV is ad-free, and therefore
UK manufacturers have much lower advertising costs (no need to prop-up
the BBC with ads). Are UK products any cheaper than U.S. products?
How is it "against" my self-interest to want to reduce my monthly bill
from $60 to $15-20? (To review:)
$12 - current cost for local-only channels (2-15) in Lancaster PA
$2 - SciFi
$2 - TNT
Those last two are straw-man pricing. (In other words, you made them
up. They can't exist in isolation.) Two bucks is not going to buy you
a channel with original programming, particularly middlin'-expensive
programming such as Sci-Fi's movies and series, and TNT's sports
schedule. I don't think two bucks is going to buy you much of
anything. In fact, there's a strong argument to be made that packaging
channels together keeps individual channel prices down.
But here's a great way for you to save money: Cancel everything but
your local tier. That way, you're free to leave the rest of us alone
with our 200+ channels to pick from.
>Those last two are straw-man pricing. (In other words, you made them
>up. They can't exist in isolation.) Two bucks is not going to buy you
>a channel with original programming, particularly middlin'-expensive
>programming such as Sci-Fi's movies and series, and TNT's sports
>schedule. I don't think two bucks is going to buy you much of
>anything. In fact, there's a strong argument to be made that packaging
>channels together keeps individual channel prices down.
>But here's a great way for you to save money: Cancel everything but
>your local tier. That way, you're free to leave the rest of us alone
>with our 200+ channels to pick from.
Troy thinks such common sense is paralogic. It's like trying to
describe the color red to someone who's been blind since birth.
It is not very realistic that those channels would be available so
cheaply on their own. Still, if they went up to ten bucks or so,
you'd still be ahead of the game.
Do you think the "licence fee" has anything to do with the absence of
TV commercials? The UK government taxes receivers and subsidizes BBC.
>On Wed, 12 Sep 2007 04:56:22 -0700, SFTVratings
>>Not convinced? Consider the UK where BBC-TV is ad-free, and therefore
>>UK manufacturers have much lower advertising costs (no need to prop-up
>>the BBC with ads). Are UK products any cheaper than U.S. products?
>UK has higher taxes, collected from the vendor. That is for their
>"free" health care etc.
>Closer to home I woulf just point to Budwieser vs Busch. Both
>virtually identical to each other, one is advertised, the other not.
>One is $6 a 12 pack, the other up to $9 depending on current
Both are piss. WTF's your point?
Which proves nothing. Act II popcorn is ~$16 a box while Orville
Redenbacher is ~$25 a box. It's the same stuff (made by conagra
foods), just different labels. The name is the difference, not the
You can't compare price points across different labels. You would
have to have the SAME label, across different markets: one market that
uses TV ads, and the second that does not.
Like the U.S. vs UK example:
- Is Bud or Busch priced differently in these two markets? Nope.
I'm I mistaken? I thought the UK had commercial channels, complete with
advertising, in addition to the tax funded BBC. Not to mention
billboards and posters in or on transit facilities.
Advertising is a sales cost, just as surely as the pretty printing on
the package and the salary of the person that convinces the market to
allow space on the shelf to display the product. It's all covered with
revenue that's part of the wholesale price. Of course the retailers do
some advertising on their own, which is paid for with revenue obtained
with the retail level mark up.
False. There are some cable companies that offer a la carte (mandated
by their local communities). They charge $1 per channel. I then
doubled it to assume worst-case. I didn't just "make up prices" as
you accused me of doing.
> But here's a great way for you to save money: Cancel everything but
> your local tier. That way, you're free to leave the rest of us alone
> with our 200+ channels to pick from.
And laugh when I retire at 40 or 45, while you poor slobs are still
paying-off your debt, because you spend your money foolishly.
>On Thu, 20 Sep 2007 08:22:03 -0700, SFTVratings
>>> Audie Murphy's Ghost wrote:
>>> > SFTVratings <SFTVrati...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>> > >
>>> > > How is it "against" my self-interest to want to reduce my monthly bill
>>> > > from $60 to $15-20? (To review:)
>>> > >
>>> > > $12 - current cost for local-only channels (2-15) in Lancaster PA
>>> > > $2 - SciFi
>>> > > $2 - TNT
>>> > > ====
>>> > > $16
>>> > Those last two are straw-man pricing. (you made them up)
>>> False. There are some cable companies that offer a la carte (mandated
>>> by their local communities). They charge $1 per channel. I then
>>> doubled it to assume worst-case. I didn't just "make up prices" as
>>> you accused me of doing.
>This whole argument is based on the thought that the TV/Cable will
>always stay the same. You all ignore the possibility that the internet
>will be a significant outlet for programming.
That's because it is unimportant.
Well *I* think you make a good argument. More-and-more I find myself
downloading videos off the net, rather than cable, which makes me
question, "Why do I even need cable tv anymore?"
The answer in my case is guilt.
I feel guilty about stealing (for example) Sci-Fi Channel programs
without paying for them. Which is why I would want to have a la carte
so I could obtain the Sci-Fi Channel LEGALLY, rather than illegally
>On Sep 23, 12:54 am, gfretw...@aol.com wrote:
>> On Sun, 23 Sep 2007 03:21:29 GMT, David Johnston
>> >>>>gfretw...@aol.com wrote:
>> >>This whole argument is based on the thought that the TV/Cable will
>> >>always stay the same. You all ignore the possibility that the internet
>> >>will be a significant outlet for programming.
>> >That's because it is unimportant.
>> Yeah, I guess this whole internet thing is just a fad.
>Well *I* think you make a good argument. More-and-more I find myself
>downloading videos off the net, rather than cable, which makes me
>question, "Why do I even need cable tv anymore?"
I think you've hit on the reason why "a la carte" is a concept whose
time has come...and gone. The concept of a "channel" is something
whose usefulness to the average cable tv watcher is fading fast.
When the Sci-Fi channel is showing professional wrestling while
"Masters of Science Fiction" shows up on a broadcast network, it's
pretty obvious that channels are just middlemen whose real function is
to segment the audience for the advertisers rather than to help
watchers select content.
>The answer in my case is guilt.
>I feel guilty about stealing (for example) Sci-Fi Channel programs
>without paying for them. Which is why I would want to have a la carte
>so I could obtain the Sci-Fi Channel LEGALLY, rather than illegally
The fact that you are saying "obtain the Sci-Fi Channel" when you
really mean "obtain programs which normally show up on the Sci-Fi
Channel" shows how deeply the obsolete concept of "channels" is
embedded in our minds.
But don't feel too guilty about watching content when and how you
wish. You're just "time shifting" the programs from some time in
the future (when a suitable payment mechanism is devised) to the
BTW, I don't think of current cable tv pricing as being like paying
for many magazines I seldom if ever read. To me it's more like having
to pay to suscribe to the menus of many restaurants in order to be
able to order a meal of my choice delivered to my home. And then when
I'm eating the meal, every twenty minutes or so, a salesman interrupts
my meal to try to sell me something.
Yes true, but there's no LEGAL method that has replaced it yet. Sure
I can download my favorite shows off the net, but I'm basically
stealing. And I don't want to steal. ------ A la carte provides a
legal method for me to obtain Sci-Fi Channel without spending $50 a
month to do it.
The Satellite Radio companies are moving towards a la carte ($6 a
month to get any 20 channels you want), which proves the concept is
valid and technically feasible.
(And before you say SR creates its own programs; not true. SR
operates like cable, purchasing already-prerecorded content from
studios, and then distributing it to the users.)
> But don't feel too guilty about watching content when and how you
> wish. You're just "time shifting" the programs from some time in
> the future (when a suitable payment mechanism is devised) to the
> present. ;)
Uh. Except I'd rather not pay. Ever. I'd rather have commercials.
----- If "the future" is some point where commercials no longer
exist, and I have to pay around $10 an episode to support the show
(like the B5 Lost Tales DVD) (or the SG1 Continuum DVD), then I will
not be participating.
I prefer that commercials be integrated with the show, and thus reduce
my cost per hour to zero (antenna tv) or near-zero (cable).
> On Sep 6, 8:28 am, Justice Gustine <justicegust...@aol.com> wrote:
>> People don't want to go back to metered online services, or
>> just pay for that slice of internet they use - they want it all
> I have DSL and it is subdivided according to what "slice" of the
> internet I use. $15 gets me 250 kbps. $20 gets me 750 kbps. $35
> gets me 2000 kbps. I use the cheapest rate because that's all I
> need. Others might choose the highest rate.... it's variable.
Not a valid comparison. No matter what the speed, you still have access
to the same Internet.
This goes against your better judgement you know. Why are you paying
$15/month for Access to only a few websites and Usenet. There are
millions of websites, and 150,000 or so newsgroups, and your paying for
access to ALL of those when you only visit a few websites and only read a
If I was you, I'd get on the phone with my ISP and tell them they should
offer pay-by-site access @ $0.001 per website or newgroup.
You may have a $0.10 - $0.12 bill a month. Well, plus taxes, probably $6-
How freaking long are you going to go on with this stupid ala carte thing