Cuban Warns: 'Everybody Loses' With A La Carte Cable (1 Viewer)


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Stand against retrans!!!
Supporting Founder
Apr 18, 2005
DeKalb County, AL
New York - Ever since Thomas Jefferson's "Revolution of 1800," separating government and marketplace seems like a catalyst for prosperity.

But some think the Federal Communications Commission missed that history lesson.

On Tuesday, FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin was quoted by The Associated Press as voicing "legitimate concerns" over the feasibility of new programming tiers proposed by cable TV providers.

Cable firms cobbled together so-called family friendly channel tiers in the wake of Martin's autumn remonstrance. He'd urged cable execs to work harder to address some parents' concerns about questionable TV content.

In December, Chief Executive Brian Roberts' Comcast (nasdaq: CMCSA - news - people ) and the cable arm of Time Warner (nyse: TWX - news - people ) launched their family tiers, featuring largely G-rated content.

But certain critics, including the Concerned Women for America, said the new bundles were flawed. One example: Comcast's family tier doesn't include The Walt Disney Co.'s (nyse: DIS - news - people ) ESPN. Which means if subscribers want to treat their kids to incinerating NASCAR racetrack crashes and blood-splashing boxing matches, they'll have to upgrade their subscriptions.

Instead, what the FCC--and the CWA, for that matter--prefers is a la carte pricing.

Speaking to journalists at the cable industry's annual trade show in Atlanta, Martin repeated the call for pick-and-choose offerings--despite many who've warned that a la carte models could drive up prices and kill smaller channels. And that's apparently not marketplace Darwinism: many cable execs say the smaller fry are needed, like moderately popular dishes in a restaurant, to offer a richer product choice.

Several industry execs at the trade show spoke out. "If a la carte happens, everybody loses," billionaire HDNet Chairman Mark Cuban warned.

Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt opined that a la carte is "the wrong way to sell programming. Most TV shows don't sell on their own."


SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Apr 7, 2004
SatelliteGuystonfieldville, U.S.A.
Not true Mr. Cuban...just the programmers will lose this one. The folks will be paying for programming they actually want and not subsidizing a lot of "fluff" that had no right wasting valuable airtime and RF. Mr. Cuban, owner of HDNET and a Dallas sports team, has a huge vested financial interest in the outcome of this debate and has zero credibility in this matter. Perhaps I'll take him seriously should he drop the HDNETs from the "premium" channel category, drop his sports ticket prices by 2/3rd so a working class family of four can afford to attend one of his sporting venues, and stop paying grown men millions to chase a freakin' basketball and spawn little bastards. Again, take Mr. Cuban's for what it's worth...biased misinformation.

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