A LA CARTE CABLE WOULD HELP CONSUMERS, NETWORKS.Byline: Gene Kimmelman
AFTER years of suffering through staggering cable TV rate hikes and being force-fed packages of expensive, distasteful programming that most of us don't want or watch, the time has come for Americans to have choice in their cable programming. Unfortunately, the cable industry - which has increased rates at almost three times the pace of inflation - prefers to scare us with horror stories horror story
Story intended to elicit a strong feeling of fear. Such tales are of ancient origin and form a substantial part of folk literature. They may feature supernatural elements such as ghosts, witches, or vampires or address more realistic psychological fears. designed to perpetuate per·pet·u·ate
tr.v. per·pet·u·at·ed, per·pet·u·at·ing, per·pet·u·ates
1. To cause to continue indefinitely; make perpetual.
2. spiraling bills rather than give customers another way to buy cable programming.
Consumers Union, the nonprofit A corporation or an association that conducts business for the benefit of the general public without shareholders and without a profit motive.
Nonprofits are also called not-for-profit corporations. Nonprofit corporations are created according to state law. , independent publisher of Consumer Reports, supports giving cable customers the ``a la carte'' option, which allows them to pick and pay only for the channels they want, in addition to choosing channel packages now offered. A la carte would not be the only way consumers could buy cable, as the industry would like us to think, but rather a new method not currently allowed.
We believe by expanding choice - not contracting it - everyone will benefit. As customers choose between buying individual channels or packages, cable companies will ultimately lower prices and offer more themed packages (sports, family or music programming) to meet consumers' desires.
The a la carte option also could lead to real savings for those who now watch just a few channels on the expanded basic tier but are forced to buy the entire package. At an estimated cost of $1 to $2 a channel, paying for individual channels is a legitimate low-cost alternative to what currently exists - a choice between expensive and more-expensive channel bundles. And it works, as consumers in Canada who have a la carte have discovered.
Unfortunately, when the Federal Communications Commission Federal Communications Commission (FCC), independent executive agency of the U.S. government established in 1934 to regulate interstate and foreign communications in the public interest. recently examined a la carte, it did so using the industry's faulty argument that it would be mandatory, requiring everyone to purchase digital cable boxes. If the FCC (1) (Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC, www.fcc.gov) The U.S. government agency that regulates interstate and international communications including wire, cable, radio, TV and satellite. The FCC was created under the U.S. had looked at adding the a la carte option for existing digital subscribers, it would have found that consumers could choose well over a dozen channels and still save money over what they pay now.
Cable a la carte also could pave PAVE Cardiology A clinical trial–Post AV Node Ablation Evaluation the way for more diverse cable programming. The reality is that today's cable marketplace is dominated by a handful of major media companies that offer very few minority- or women-owned networks and programming. If you take a close look at the few examples of ``diverse'' cable networks the industry cites, you'll find the major media conglomerates - Comcast cable has a substantial ownership interest in TV One; Time-Warner in the Oxygen network.
When independent, minority programmers try to get on cable platforms, they often are stymied by these big conglomerates. Earlier this year, the Rev. Glenn Plummer, the African-American CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of the Christian TV Network, testified before Congress that Comcast demanded a stake in his company in order to air his network. When he refused, he effectively gave up the chance to reach millions of Comcast subscribers.
We support the a la carte option precisely because it will loosen the vise grip media conglomerates now have over whether independent and minority-owned programming makes it onto the expanded basic tier. A la carte could give independent and diverse programmers the cable audiences they currently can't reach, as customers could directly buy these new channels at low cost, and programmers could remain truly independent, not beholden be·hold·en
Owing something, such as gratitude, to another; indebted.
[Middle English biholden, past participle of biholden, to observe; see behold. to corporate interests.
The truth is the a la carte option will improve the odds of minority- and women-owned networks being carried on cable, while helping consumers get control over their skyrocketing cable bills. It's time It's Time was a successful political campaign run by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under Gough Whitlam at the 1972 election in Australia. Campaigning on the perceived need for change after 23 years of conservative (Liberal Party of Australia) government, Labor put forward a to stop the scare tactics For the political strategy, see Tactical politics
Scare Tactics is a reality show on the Sci-Fi Channel which began airing April 2003. It last aired on January 1, 2006. It is produced by Hallock & Healey Entertainment. In Canada, it is broadcast on Razer. and give consumers cable choice.