A La Carte Lawsuit Will Proceed

riffjim4069

riffjim4069

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Federal Judge Says Attorneys Raise Real Issues That Should Be Heard

A federal judge in Los Angeles has refused to dismiss a potential class action lawsuit challenging the lack of a la carte programming offerings by video distributors and programmers.

Judge Christina Snyder, in a June 25 ruling, decided that the cable operators, direct-broadcast satellite companies and studios that were sued had not proved their arguments. Those companies alleged that the lawsuit, filed on antitrust grounds, did not adequately demonstrate that consumers were injured by the business practices of the defendants. In written and oral arguments on June 16, they also questioned the standing of the consumers to sue.

The ruling came in a December 2007 lawsuit, filed by consumers in four states on behalf of subscribers nationally. It was filed against NBC Universal Inc., Viacom Inc., The Walt Disney Co., Fox Entertainment Group, and Time Warner Inc. Distributors named in the suit are Comcast Corp., Coxcom Inc., The DirecTV Group Inc., Echostar Satellite LLC., Charter Communications and Cablevision Systems Corp.

The suit alleges the contracts between the programmers and distributors harm consumers because they force consumers to buy programming that they don't want or watch. Bundling programming causes consumers to overpay for their video options, according to the suit.

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dmendenjr

dmendenjr

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Hopefully, if they loose the suit.. they will leave the option of either the service providers pre-arranged package - OR - the over priced a la carte scheme that would likey be devised.

Would there be any reason to believe that the cable and sat companies would offer ANY channel, by itself for less than a $1 a channel with sports and movie channels easily approaching $3-$5 a channel. Then add on a $1 surcharge for HD channels bc of the extra bandwidth the use...

Mind you, I would be all for an a la carte system, but do you really trust CoNcast, TWC, e* and d* them to make it affordable (esp if they are forced to offer it).
 
stevenl

stevenl

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Jan 2, 2006
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its not there job to make it affordable. They are a business, there job is to make money. You want to know why your cable bill is so high? The truck I drive I spend over 100$ every 2 days to fill it up. Thats roughly 500$ a week. thats 2 thousand a month. (we haven't even included my salary which far exceeds that) We have over 40 of these trucks, The vans cost roughly 80$ to fill up and thats 2-3 times a week as well. There are over 400 of them! Your 100$ a month you spend on cable does not even cover the cost to run my truck for a week.

Cable TV and Sat TV is a bargain. Compared to all other forms of entertainment.

Ala Carte will take that Bargain and throw in out the window.
 
dmendenjr

dmendenjr

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Feb 24, 2008
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its not there job to make it affordable. (SNIP)

Cable TV and Sat TV is a bargain. Compared to all other forms of entertainment.

Ala Carte will take that Bargain and throw in out the window.

That was what I was trying to get at. Most people looking for a la carte programming believe if they cut out the channels they don't want; it would make for a cheaper bill. The "affordable" quip I made was more about people thinking a la carte will bring 'em $15 cable bills for a customized line up. I won't mind seeing a la carte, it is always good to offer as many choices as possible, as long as it doesn't adversly affect current package pricing.

Sadly, if they are FORCED into offering a la carte programming; I think we will see programming pricing increase dramatically. (not keeping them at the affordable level they are at now)
 
S

Smith P.

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Oct 4, 2003
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They should stop the practice to include not-procured expenses into our bills and then a-la-carte will be real. Who need so many trucks when customer service at bottom level ?
 
stevenl

stevenl

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Jan 2, 2006
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Like what you want a break down of gas, truck repair, truck replace etc in your bill? Instead of including it all together?

I am sure the cable companies would enjoy that, because then they could of raised there "gas" expense in relation to the price of fuel. Gas has gone up over 100% in less then 4 years time. But cable rates have gone up less then 20% in the same time.
 
stevenl

stevenl

SatelliteGuys Master
Jan 2, 2006
10,839
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Disney World
That was what I was trying to get at. Most people looking for a la carte programming believe if they cut out the channels they don't want; it would make for a cheaper bill. The "affordable" quip I made was more about people thinking a la carte will bring 'em $15 cable bills for a customized line up. I won't mind seeing a la carte, it is always good to offer as many choices as possible, as long as it doesn't adversly affect current package pricing.

Sadly, if they are FORCED into offering a la carte programming; I think we will see programming pricing increase dramatically. (not keeping them at the affordable level they are at now)

Even if Ala Carte were to come about, The minimum just to have cable would be 15-20$ and that would be just the "service" fee to be hooked up to cover operating and plant repair fees etc. Then you would add to that each channel. So I guess if you only wanted 5 channels you could get your bill to 20-30 a month... But then you only have 5 channels to choose from. For that same 30-40 now you can get 80 channels. give or take.

Just look at "basic" or "life line" cable which usally is around 20$/month and includes 10-20 channels depending on the company. That 20$ mainly all goes to cover operating expenses, not the channel fees because lifeline/basic usally only includes "local" channels and a few other channels that are dirt cheap. The cable does not pay for the locals (well some areas they are starting to but thats a different debate, at least in Orlando BHN fought the local CBS station and shut down there attempt to exploit consumers)

So anyway the point is that lowest price cable giving you basicaclly free channels, is around 20$ and those are channels that you didnt pick. If you pick ESPN as one, expect a 3$ charge.
 

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