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Should cable TV be offered a la carte?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Most cable TV subscribers are going to be hit with yet another outsized rate increase for 2006. Oh, yes...the cable company says they've "added value" by increasing the number of channels bundled into your package. Like you're really missing out by not having access to the Monkey Channel and Algebra Network for your evening's entertainment.

There are proposals floating around to force the cable companies to offer "a la carte" cable television. In other words, you sign up for only the channels you want, and you only pay for those channels and nothing else. Proponents say that this would reduce cable TV bills and be more fair because you only pay for what you want. Opponents say it would lead to less diversity and cause many small, unprofitable channels to disappear because they're subsidized by the more popular channels.
What is your opinion? Should cable TV be offered "a la carte?"
post #2 of 28
Sky here in the U.K are already starting to offer a limited A la carte system. Ive not looked ino the costs as we just have a package.

WOW there's a Monkey channel and an Algebra one Must look out for them

In answer to your question yes it should be offered.
post #3 of 28
I would love ala carte as I only watch about 15 channels ... but they are all on different tiers so our bill is huge ..
post #4 of 28
Yeah it's fustrating how they do that - putting the good channels into different packages. But that's how they make their money.
Oh for the good old days when we moved into our apartment and the cable was still running. Naughty us, we neglected to inform the cable company that we could get it for free. : Then one day we came home to a blue screen. You get used to so many channels it's really hard to live without them!
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster
Like you're really missing out by not having access to the Monkey Channel and Algebra Network for your evening's entertainment.
But I like monkeys and math!

We have to pay for the 9 crappy base channels we get including a huge compulsory charge for two community channels that just show garbage.

I think they need to at least give people some power to pick and choose. We get advertisments where we get other channels for a month free to introduce and entice people to pay for them. I like that idea, because I can see what i don't want and what I do(but cant afford)
post #6 of 28
I don't have cable, I have satellite. But what really bothers me is, they increase the price of this pay tv and at night, there is nothing to watch except a lot of garbage infomercials. When I was a kid, cable TV meant a lot of commercial free TV, but not any more. Yes, I feel you should be able to pick and choose and pay for what you watch. Maybe charge you a certain price for each channel. I mean, they try to make an excuse for the increase, more variety more channles, but really, how much TV can you really watch? As for the monkey channel, we have that already. Isn't that show called, American Idol I would rather watch a bunch of monkeys any day than that show
post #7 of 28
I don't have cable anymore for the reason that it is too expensive for our budget. We do have cable internet, but we use it more than we watch TV, so bye bye cable!

I deffinately understand how the smaller channels feel about this. So couldn't they make packages different? We really don't have 'packages' here. And they strongly discourage you from purchasing the channel 1-30 package. It would be nice if you could purchase a very small basic package where it included some of thoes smaller channels, but then all the other channels are available individually.
post #8 of 28
A la carte cable?

BRING IT ON!!!
post #9 of 28
Yes I watch mostly the same channels anyway, but I saw this really cool show on some obscure channel that I usually pass by. It was about Can-can dancers in the late 1800's- early 1900's France. Really interesting, and something I would have missed if I didn't have that channel. But I could do without the NASCAR network and the Soccer Channel and stuff like that.
post #10 of 28
Yes! We have a cable package, and there are channels we've literally never tuned into. It's a waste of money having them.
post #11 of 28
If not for the History Channel, A&E, Discovery, TVLand and MSNBC, I'd have nothing to watch. The only thing that I watch the network affiliates for is my local news.

A la carte would work well for me.
post #12 of 28
I would love to pick and choose the channels I want. It just makes more sense to do it that way. Then everyone can be happy.
post #13 of 28
I wish Dish Network did that. There's only 2 or 3 channels extra in the package we get that we actually want, but a bunch of ones we never use--like CD music channels.
post #14 of 28
Its sooo eerie to read this....cause I was just saying to John the other day that they should offer "a la carte" cable......spooky....

I watch maybe like 5 stations....yet we pay nearly 80$ a month...thats bunk!
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoochNNoodles
I don't have cable anymore for the reason that it is too expensive for our budget. We do have cable internet, but we use it more than we watch TV, so bye bye cable!

I deffinately understand how the smaller channels feel about this. So couldn't they make packages different? We really don't have 'packages' here. And they strongly discourage you from purchasing the channel 1-30 package. It would be nice if you could purchase a very small basic package where it included some of thoes smaller channels, but then all the other channels are available individually.
I just cancelled cable this weekend. (Went to the smallest package they have for just the local channels and WGN.) I watched exactly one channel in addition to the local channels so bye, bye cable for me too. I have held onto my interent access though, I am searching for a new provider though.

It would be wonderful if they would just charge for the channels you want. But then they'd loose all that wonderful money.
post #16 of 28
A la Carte - that would be great! I wouldn't even mind if the pick & choose menu required x amount from each catagory. That way the cable company would more likely be able to afford to do it.

I have basic satellite and prefer it to cable. I still get stuck with channels I don't like, but they just took away some music channels and gave us 67 channels of satellite radio! I love that!

A year after we had satellite, we got our choice of a free DVD player or 4 months of premium channels for free. I chose the premium channels and didn't even need to remember to cancel it after the 4 months. There was no catch!
post #17 of 28
I have a 13-inch TV set and I basically use it to play DVDs and videotapes. That's it. The last time I turned it on to use as a TV was on election night. LOL

TV is irrelevant and sucks brain cells out of your skull. Get your news from the 'net and the newspapers. Get your entertainment from books and the odd movie now and then. Just say NO to the idiot box!
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vibiana
I have a 13-inch TV set and I basically use it to play DVDs and videotapes. That's it. The last time I turned it on to use as a TV was on election night. LOL

TV is irrelevant and sucks brain cells out of your skull. Get your news from the 'net and the newspapers. Get your entertainment from books and the odd movie now and then. Just say NO to the idiot box!
Theres a lot of truth in what you say, but there are some good shows too. I just love the food network.
post #19 of 28
LOL if all the cable we got was food network, TLC, Discovery, and Cartoon Network, I'd be satisfied. If I could then get a couple of interesting channels instead of the standard mindless drivel then I'd so be there
post #20 of 28
We have never suscribed to cable for that reason. However mom and dad have it and I love watching HGTV!!! I would consider getting cable if I could alacart my preferences!!
post #21 of 28
I SO wish our cable was pick-and-choose the channels. But of course, then they wouldn't make as much money out of us, would they??

This time of year the quest for the almighty dollar just tends to make me madder than usual, sorry...
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vibiana
TV is irrelevant and sucks brain cells out of your skull.
Lol my Dad would love you....hehehe
post #23 of 28
you see, I don't think that they would make less money. (but then again, I am in marketing, so we always see how to make more money)

what they should do is offer packages like...

Package A
25 Tier 1 Channels (standard cable IE Spike, Food TV)
5 Tier 2 Channels (AMC,TMC, Fine Living, ETC)
1 Tier 3 channel (HBO, Cinemax, SHOWtime, IFL)
$40 for service +$10 per extra box

Package B
35 Tier 1 Channels
5 Tier 2 Channels
1 Tier 3 Family of channels.
$50 for service +$10 per additional box

Or even to offer something similar where you have to buy entire families of stations, IE If you want TLC, you get Discovery and other channels from the same company. (HGTV, Food Network, and Animal Planet are all Scripps network, for example.)
post #24 of 28
My Cable company already offers a la carte (although we decided against it because HE wanted so many different channels that he might watch once a month that he chose the everything package and they do not give bundle discounts on a la carte so we actually save money and don't have to argue over the channels we choose)

This is what our provider offers as far as a la carte:

Pick 1 (1 channel)........................................ $2.49**

Pick 5 (5 channels)....................................... $6.99**

Pick 10 (10 channels)................................... $9.99**

Pick 15 (15 channels)................................... $12.99**

Pick 20 (20 channels)................................... $14.99**

Pick 30 (30 channels)................................... $19.99**

* All A LA CARTE services require subcription to Classic Cable ($24.99 per month) and to Digital Classic (Monthly price is $2.99, including 40 Digital Music Stations, the Interactive Program Guide, Access to Video On Demand).
** Taxes not included. Installation fees may apply. Digital Cable Receiver is not included.

The package we have is $69 for all channels including box rental and gets us a discount on the phone and internet bill as part of the bundle
post #25 of 28
Would`nt that be grand?
Linda
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
If my cable company offered a plan like icklemiss21's I could get by with the Pick10 plan, costing me, oh, about $88 a month including internet, taxes, and fees, as compared to about $100 a month for the basic and standard packages plus internet, taxes, and fees that I'm now paying. Not much of a savings, but I'd do it, just from the standpoint of not paying for something I never use. Frankly, I think they could do even better than that. They're still welshing on a true a la carte plan if you still have to take some basic package.
post #27 of 28
True, and its the basic package that are the channels I never watch!

Thats Canadian dollars too - not sure how it would work down there - but seen as you seem to be paying more anyway it would probably be similar and ignore the exchange rate

If Matt would admit that he doesn't NEED half the channels he thinks he needs we could save a bit by a la carte as my channels are in different packages - but he will never give up on the algebra channel and the blue screen channel and the whatever else is useless channel
post #28 of 28
When I get into my own house, I'm going with the bundle: basic cable, Internet and digital telephone for $109.00 per month. Of course, I'll still just watch local news, old movies and the History Channel. I can get a DVR, through the cable company, too. If I can figure out how to program it, I'll get to start watching Jeopardy! again.
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