Cable Companies to Offer “A La Carte”?By danseitz
This is a switch: cable companies, which for years have insisted on only selling large bundles of channels to consumers, are apparently gearing up to reduce the size of the bundles. Where years of consumer complaints and legal threats couldn’t move them, apparently more and more people ditching their cable as they decide they can live without 5000 channels and still nothing on, thanks, has convinced them that they need to actually offer the consumer some options.
Just not, you know, the options they actually want.
Here’s the main problem: cable companies want to make network selection more a la carte, but that runs contrary to what the networks have built their business models on. It works like this: cable companies pay a fee for each network they stream to a customer. That fee is usually a dollar. If that sounds a bit cheap, remember that there are millions of customers, and that the networks also sell advertising.
But all that depends on bundling; that is, you get the network whether you want it or not. A dirty secret of cable is that a lot of networks would die if it weren’t for bundling; simply put, nobody wants them. But they’re bundled…so they show up anyway.
The ideal situation is that the consumer goes through each channel and chooses whether they want it or not. But that’s not going to happen unless things change drastically. Instead, what’ll happen is that the bundles will be made smaller. Some companies have already been experimenting with this…much to the channel’s dismay.
What does this mean for you, the consumer? Mostly that, in the near future, you’ll have more options to buy channels you want and get rid of channels you don’t, and to do so for a decent cost, which is better than our current option. But it still won’t give the control you want. So…yeah.