First Efforts by Congress to "Unbundle" Cable

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by zachlegomaniac, May 12, 2013.

  1. zachlegomaniac, May 12, 2013
    Last edited: May 12, 2013

    zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a

    zachlegomaniac

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    #1
    Has anyone else heard about McCain's proposed legislation regarding cable bundling and local sports blackouts (I think it has been covered by most news organizations now....google your favorite:))? It would be great if it were the first step in an a la carte based system for tube viewers.

    http://business.time.com/2013/05/10/john-mccain-wants-to-lower-your-cable-bill/

    EDIT: I posted this in community because most of the news articles written were in the business or entertainment sections as it relates largely to those topics. The media hasn't made it a "political" issue (yet), although we all know that's hard to avoid nowadays.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #2
    It's not often that I think congress should step in on things like this, but with the behavior of every cable provider out there, this time I make exception. I would love an al la carte option here.
     
  3. zachlegomaniac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    zachlegomaniac

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    #3
    I feel the same way. I also felt that way when both parties moved unilaterally to get the volume down on commercials. I guess the annoyances of marketing in television and cable providers are something we can ALL agree on. :D
     
  4. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #4
    Too little too late. "Television" is in the process of shifting towards online consumption. I would have loved a la carte cable 10 years ago (conditional on sane pricing), but these days what little TV I watch is all streamed online.
     
  5. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #5
    Given how much of a shill McCain has been since 2006 or so this just makes me wonder who has lobbied him for this massive market disruption? We used to hand power to the telecoms as often as possible (we being politicians) in building up their regional monopolies. Knowing that McCain doesn't have a single principled bone in his body left....what exactly is going on here?:confused:

    Amazon?
    Netflix?
    Apple?
    The company with the micro-antennas?
     
  6. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #6
    Good for McCain. Saw this a few days ago. It's a long shot, but it's a start. Hopefully the citizens show him support and other politicians will get involved. If the companies wont change themselves, maybe the government can force them.
     
  7. zachlegomaniac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    zachlegomaniac

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    #7
    The bill also makes provision for local sports blackouts (MLB and NHL on ATV for me), which is of great interest to me as someone who relies on Internet for TV. I think if you read some of the many articles you will see the move largely incorporates streaming content legally online as well.
     
  8. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #8
    As much as I would absolutely love to see this. mcCain is about to see first hand how powerful the Cable TV lobby is. The biggest reason: How much they lobbied against net neutrality, when a good number of Congress was for it, as well as the people. I believe that battle is still being fought, but we're coming up short.

    This will again come down to corporations and their rights as a business vs. the people. And we know how well that turned out (Citizens United).

    BL.
     
  9. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #9
    Ahh, I can appreciate that many will be happy to see sports broadcasting reformed.
     
  10. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #10
    Count me as one of the many!
     
  11. zachlegomaniac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    zachlegomaniac

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    #11
    Yeah. It sucks to not be able to watch a Sox game even if I shell out $130 to stream every other game in the nation. I know many people who just get it illegally through feeds, but this would allow someone like me to do it the right way.

    I would also like to subscribe to and watch a channel such as HBO without having to buy into an entire package.
     
  12. chambord macrumors member

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    #12
    As great at this idea seems, it won't make a difference. There's no way these companies are going to change and let you just pay a few bucks for the channels you want. Sure, I'd love to paybfornlike 5-10 channels max, but there's just no way. The obvious popular channels will just be super expensive, and the crappy channels that are always bundled will be super cheap. Every few months my cable bill creeps up in price because of stupid crap and taxes and fees. I seriously don't see it coming down. Sadly.
     
  13. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #13
    And this is where my interest comes in. Currently, the only channel in the US not in a local area that airs Australian Rules football is FS+ on the HD tier. I'd not only have to subscribe to the entire HD service but also the entire Fox Sports HD package just to get the only channel that interests me 26 weeks out of the year (and that doesn't include preseason).

    If McCain does pull this off, color me shocked.

    BL.
     
  14. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #14
    Hardly. There are millions upon millions of Americans who do not get any television content via the Interent. Think of the senior citizens who only watch TV all day everyday and don't own a computer. My parents for example, in their early 60's live in the rural country where high-speed Internet isn't available and they only have satellite TV.

    While you're right that some of it is shifting towards Internet consumption, I beg to differ in that we have a long way to go before that shift is even remotely significant. With my parents living 5 miles from a major international freeway where they unable to get high-speed Internet access because the cost-to-profit ratio to the cable providers is too high, you can count on it being a very long time indeed. Until rural America is largely on broadband, that shift isn't going to come soon.
     
  15. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #15
    I'd be interested to see if the big networks like Viacom and NBC Universal (err...Comcast) and others fight this, because right now they're subsidizing the smaller networks. If pricing went ala carte, many people are still going to pay for ESPN, TBS, TNT, Comedy Central, etc. It's the small channels that won't get any buyers. As it stands right now, the only reason I have cable is for about a dozen of the major networks, yet I'm stuck paying for dozens of religious channels, home shopping networks and Faux News which I will never, ever watch.
     
  16. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #16
    I don't disagree with you at all. My post was really a personal reflection, although I hardly phrased it that way. :)

    Whereas I may be a relative early adopter to a new mode for media, there was a time that I would have felt that these efforts would directly affect me. I think my overall feeling though is that the rate at which people are transitioning to the internet for media consumption has started its acceleration and will only compound quickly from here on.

    I guess my true observation is on the nature of a reactive versus a proactive action. In the face of inevitable change, a proactive action will stem the tide to greater effect, which is presumably what this legislation is designed to do. This feels like a reactive action.
     
  17. rocknblogger macrumors 68020

    rocknblogger

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    #17
    I've said this before and I'll say it again. Ala carte pricing will be cost prohibitive. The cable companies don't want to give up the current model of bundles. I can see pricing being $10 to $20 per channel and $30 to $40 for premium channels like HBO and Showtime. The end result will be that it will cost you more than it does now.
     
  18. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #18
    I disagree. They will price themselves right out of viewers. Let supply and demand work how it is supposed to work. Let the market determine the channels' value, not a closed door agreement between content producers and providers.
     
  19. KaraH macrumors 6502

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    #19
    One problem with ala carte pricing on cable is the really popular channels would always be carried and the less popular ones would not, which might not be in the common interest. There is usually more of a demand for entertainment than education, but that does not help society at large. For example, there would always be a demand for any channel that showed NASCAR. Less so for anything on PBS. Some people want sports channels, fine, but do we really need 1000 of them and nothing of anything else?

    I would love ala carte if it were not for this little problem. I would take BBC america, the discover and science channels, a few other cable channels, then round it out with nbs/abc/cbs/pbs.
     
  20. ace198 macrumors regular

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    #20
    Don't see how this would help consumers unless you only want a channel or two. Even then, maybe not.
     
  21. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #21
    ESPN charges on average of $7-10 per month per subscriber. If we went ala carte, ESPN would have to either up their price even higher to make up the difference or learn to cut back on their spending. They are already double dipping, carriage fee, advertising fee. They are not hurting for cash. The QVC's of the world actually pay the cable company to broadcast. They make their money from selling stuff, they don't need subscriber fees.
     
  22. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #22
    For the mega-corps like Viacom they most likely own many of the smaller channels and sell them in bundles with their bigger/more popular channels to cable and sat companies. If the law forces cable/sat companies to sell ala carte to consumers I think it will also have to force media companies to sell ala carte to cable/sat providers. If not, we would certainly see prices for sought after channels go through the roof because the cable/sat providers will have to cover the costs of the channels they are forced to buy but no consumer wants to subscribe to.
     
  23. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #23
    A la carte cable/sat television sounds wonderful, but I'm not convinced yet that it can be done in a way that will actually be affordable for the general consumer.
     
  24. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #24
    This is the beginning of real change in cable TV. It won't happen overnight but we're moving in that direction. Look at all the networks that offer apps/websites to watch content on demand. ABC/Disney is rolling out a new app to watch their shows live and on demand, that's a huge step forward.

    Cable companies have been steadily losing subscribers for about 2 years now. It's the reason they are scrambling to offer additional services (free public wifi, apps to watch TV, control your DVR)

     
  25. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #25
    Word is that ESPN is in need of some quick cash to pay for their huge new Digital Center, Cutting jobs is one step. I imagine they would fight ala-carte hard as they need that added cash.

    http://deadspin.com/ex-espner-did-network-cut-300-400-jobs-to-pay-for-spor-509311401
    Amazing that a company that rakes in billions is having trouble.
     

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