Would Ala CArt really be so bad? + Broadcast Basic..

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Shredder

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 2, 2006
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I've been wondering something. Out of the 700+ Digital Cable channels now, how many do you really watch regularly?

Myself, 2-13 are a must. HBO Digital, GameShow Network, Weather Channel, Discovery HD, LEarning Channel, Travel Channel., Cartoon Network, and TV Land...that's about it and I'd be happy :). IF I could pay $5's for broadcast basic, and $2 for every other channel, I'd be happy :).

As far as other channels not succeeding...well...if the channel sucks, why keep it around? The system is less clogged without it. Plus, there is always web streaming to do.... and with people paying for the channels, maybe TV Adds would decrease a tiny fraction...

Also, speaking of wich..If I get Broadcast basic, then sign up for DVR and IO Basic at 9.99, would that get me the Gameshow Network as part of the package along with tyhe other channels they list?

Thanks!
Viva Ala Carte' :)
 
J

jonsnow

Member
Apr 23, 2006
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If they introduced a new low cost a basic cable package, with say, the top ten most watched channels, and one priced as cheap as the family pack then there would be no need for la carte. That would be 2 dollars a channel, with 50 percent profit for dish since each channel costs an average of 1 dollars each in the at packages, so the whole loss in profits argument makes no sense unless they are spending it all on healthcare and pension benefits.
 
cablewithaview

cablewithaview

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Apr 18, 2005
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If you want to pay more for less, that's your deal. I feel setting up channels in categories allows all channels new and old a fair shake in that regards. People seem to forget that the channels they watch today, they may never even known about if they were an a la carte item then. So I see more reason to either leave it as is or to split into categories. there is so much cost into breaking it down between programmers, providers and the viewers, cost alone would be higher then what it would be worth.
 
riffjim4069

riffjim4069

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Apr 7, 2004
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You'll pay a little less, but not a whole lot less...maybe 15%. I'm not sure we'll ever see true a la carte, but we will certainly see additional service providers and programming [package] choices. Personally, I'm tired of funding all those loser channels that few watch...let their viewers pay a premium to watch obscure programming and reruns of Gilligan's Island, Love Boat, etc. IMO if they can't support themselves via advertising and subscriber revenue then they don't need to be on the air. I would love to save $5 a month just so more than half of the useless "cable favorites" would go off the air and save everyone much needed bandwidth. Some may disagree, but many will side with my opinion.

Cable franchise reform is providing customers with choice-->choice will bring about more programming choices-->programming choice means a la carte options.
 
L

liquidnw

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Jul 6, 2005
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NY
One thing you guys might not know is cv view of al la carte isn't offering you just the channels you want. They want the government to force the broadcasters to sell channels individially to cable companies. If that happens they want to sell smaller packages but not sell them individually to you. So yeah you might save a little but you won't neccessarilly have the specific choice of what channels you want and have significantlly less channels. People who support al la carte always say if a channel can't support them selve then it should go away. We will see if they still feel that way when its there favorite channels that go by the wayside.
 
riffjim4069

riffjim4069

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liquidnw said:
People who support al la carte always say if a channel can't support them selve then it should go away. We will see if they still feel that way when its there favorite channels that go by the wayside.
I have no problem with this...good content will always find a place to be aired and the rest of the crap will be flushed. I love the VOOM channels, but if they can't make it without being subsidized (aka packaged) by Rainbow's other channels (WE, AMC, IFC, etc.), then adios!
 
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liquidnw

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Jul 6, 2005
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NY
riffjim4069 said:
I have no problem with this...good content will always find a place to be aired and the rest of the crap will be flushed. I love the VOOM channels, but if they can't make it without being subsidized (aka packaged) by Rainbow's other channels (WE, AMC, IFC, etc.), then adios!

Well once again what you think of as "good content" alot of people might think really sucks. Speaking of voom you talking of channels thats not yet offered by cv, it will be completely different if people startt losing channels they already have and love. I.E. how pissed will Scifi fans be if they can't watch Battle star galactica or Stargate? Personally I prefer the current system where I can get more channels for less per channel as opossed to paying 2 bucks a month for individual channels and end up with less. Al la carte can only help the people who really only want 5-10 channels on top of broadcast basic. When you start going higher it really doesn't make sense save 5 bucks a month to get half the number of channels.
 
riffjim4069

riffjim4069

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liquidnw said:
Well once again what you think of as "good content" alot of people might think really sucks. Speaking of voom you talking of channels thats not yet offered by cv, it will be completely different if people startt losing channels they already have and love. I.E. how pissed will Scifi fans be if they can't watch Battle star galactica or Stargate? Personally I prefer the current system where I can get more channels for less per channel as opossed to paying 2 bucks a month for individual channels and end up with less. Al la carte can only help the people who really only want 5-10 channels on top of broadcast basic. When you start going higher it really doesn't make sense save 5 bucks a month to get half the number of channels.
You are proving my point; if people think the content I enjoy sucks, then they shouldn't be forced to pay for it ~OR~ at least have an option to remove it from their programming package. Personally, if I had an option to strip any channels/programming with anything starting with the words Sci-Fi and Star then I would quickly do so...and if I saved a dime in the process all the better. I shouldn't have to pay for their Sci-Fi and they shouldn't have to pay for my VOOM, chess channel, or whatever.

People should certainly be allowed to subscribe to bundled programming packages---it makes perfect sense for many to do so since it will most likely be a better value...for them. However, folks should also be allowed more flexibility in selecting their programming bundles...to include being offered al a carte programming options. Additionally, the programming packs should be bundled in some sort of logical order and offer the customer the ability to customize their lineup. For example: most cable and satellite companies include one or more channels of ESPN in their basic, expanded, and digital cable packages. What if you don't like sports? You are basically paying $$$ for the ESPNs when you won't ever watch them. What kind of choices are these? Likewise, what if you just watch Sports and Fox News....well, you must typically subscribe to the premium tier cable and satellite programmings packages just so you can have all your national and regional sports channels, and FNC. I supposed as a small benefit the customer will now have access to 200+ channels of useless (to them) entertainment he or she will never watch...but I'll bet this individual would gladly welcome having al a carte options.

It really all comes down to choice. The more video providers we have, the more choice of programming packages and al a carte options customers will have, and the more customers will save. Some will win, others will lose. Welcome to a free market society.
 
R

RemyM

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 4, 2006
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Stamford, CT
The problem with a la carte is that every channel would have to charge more per month if only the people who watch them pay for them. Say a channel you like is currently charging CV $0.20 a month for all 3 million subs. Now only 300,000 people want the channel so now it would cost $2.00 a month for that channel to get the same revenue. Even ESPN, the most expensive basic channel, would have to charge more. I think they charge $3.65 per month now. If they lost a third of their subs due to a la carte they would have to charge $5.48 per month to stay whole. So unless you only want about 20 channels, you will see no savings.
 
cablewithaview

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RemyM, you make a good point and seem you understand it's a programmers issue NOT a provider one. some people still do not understand it is up to the programmers, Viacom, Disney or anyone else is not going to lose that type of revenue because "people want's a choice". that is the bottom line and that effects there bottom line and you will pay dearly for your choice. I have said all alone I could go for categories but not a la carte. some people want's say news, educational and sports. They should have a choice in choosing that.
 
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jawilljr

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Jun 3, 2004
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Southaven, MS
RemyM said:
The problem with a la carte is that every channel would have to charge more per month if only the people who watch them pay for them. Say a channel you like is currently charging CV $0.20 a month for all 3 million subs. Now only 300,000 people want the channel so now it would cost $2.00 a month for that channel to get the same revenue. Even ESPN, the most expensive basic channel, would have to charge more. I think they charge $3.65 per month now. If they lost a third of their subs due to a la carte they would have to charge $5.48 per month to stay whole. So unless you only want about 20 channels, you will see no savings.

That goes against supply and demand principles. If they raise prices they will have FEWER customers, which will result in LESS revenue. To attract more customers they will have to LOWER their monthly charge to consumers.

Jerry
 
ronjohn

ronjohn

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Feb 17, 2005
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jawilljr said:
That goes against supply and demand principles. If they raise prices they will have FEWER customers, which will result in LESS revenue. To attract more customers they will have to LOWER their monthly charge to consumers.

Jerry

I think you misunderstand the point. If channels are not bundled together by the content providers(Disney), then each channel WILL have fewer customers regardless of price.

The problem with ala-cart is that the content providers, not the cable/sat service bundle the programming. Disney has: ABC Family, Toon Disney, Disney, and ESPN. Not all people that watch ABC Family watch ESPN and vice-versa. If you force Disney to sell each channel separately, you might pay as much or even more to get ABC Family, Toon Disney, and Disney ala-cart as for the whole bundle today. If you are paying 0.20 for a channel in the bundle, it will cost considerably more that 0.20 ala-cart. I do not have any industry information to know, but I believe that if the bundles are broken up, people will pay basically the same price for far fewer channels.
 
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rcbridge

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Sep 22, 2003
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We have been through this discussion many times, Ala-carte is a great idea in theory but as a business case it is a nightmare to manage, I would love to have it but I don't think we will ever see it!!
 
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jawilljr

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Jun 3, 2004
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Southaven, MS
ronjohn said:
I think you misunderstand the point. If channels are not bundled together by the content providers(Disney), then each channel WILL have fewer customers regardless of price.

The problem with ala-cart is that the content providers, not the cable/sat service bundle the programming. Disney has: ABC Family, Toon Disney, Disney, and ESPN. Not all people that watch ABC Family watch ESPN and vice-versa. If you force Disney to sell each channel separately, you might pay as much or even more to get ABC Family, Toon Disney, and Disney ala-cart as for the whole bundle today. If you are paying 0.20 for a channel in the bundle, it will cost considerably more that 0.20 ala-cart. I do not have any industry information to know, but I believe that if the bundles are broken up, people will pay basically the same price for far fewer channels.

I disagree. Lets say Ala Carte begins tomorow and 30% of the customers drop ESPN (I will) from their line up. That will tell me that they are overcharging for their product. They will have to LOWER their price to attract more customers. If they raise prices too much they will have FEWER customers, which might result in LOWER revenue. That is basic supply and demand principles. In the end they still might have lower revenue... but guess what... I could care less.

Jerry
 
ronjohn

ronjohn

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 17, 2005
788
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jawilljr said:
I disagree. Lets say Ala Carte begins tomorow and 30% of the customers drop ESPN (I will) from their line up. That will tell me that they are overcharging for their product. They will have to LOWER their price to attract more customers. If they raise prices too much they will have FEWER customers, which might result in LOWER revenue. That is basic supply and demand principles. In the end they still might have lower revenue... but guess what... I could care less.

Jerry

I do agree with you that if ESPN raises the price too much, more people will drop them and revenue will lower. However, the 30% you stated will drop ESPN will not pick it up at any price(perhaps some not even for free). The problem with your simple supply and demand argument is: If I give you a 40% discount to buy in bulk, then you decide you do not want bulk, I will not give you a discount any more. The content providers will not give bundled pricing for non-bundled channels.

I would almost guarantee that the content providers if forced will offer channels ala-cart, but at prices that make the bundle more attractive(ie. Toon Disney and Disney for $5 a month or the entire bundle for $4.50 a month). That is the reason I believe that with ala-cart pricing schemes, the customer will be paying basically the same price, but receiving far fewer channels.
 

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