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  1. #1

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    Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/busines...arte_0136.html

    Basically, a content provider -- some very good, some very mediocre -- and the content packager (who controls the a la carte prices) get together to fund a study to their mutual advantage: Disney gets to force lower-quality cable networks onto cable companies, who then force the consumer to pay for them via network packages. And the cable compnies don't have to change their pricing structure (that might involve a lot of work and a lot of pricing changes until equilibrium is established).

    My take: yes, it's possible that some will pay more and some will pay less. That's not important, because people will pay what they want to and/or can afford to pay for TV entertainment.

    More important (IMO) is that everyone should have more CHOICE in the matter of which networks to buy and watch.

    No, I'm not concerned with some tiny cable network trying to gather market share. Most are backed by huge entertainment companies anyway. Am I supposed to be concerned that Oxygen goes out of business? (I don't think it will.) No. Oprah will be fine. The good programs on otherwise unwatched channels will be sold to channels that have more viewers. Worse ones will be traded down.

    Just my opinion. I could be wrong.
    I'd like my city council to force this on the local cable operator.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  2. #2

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    I'm mixed. On one hand, I appreciate that there's all kinds of niche channels running so many programs and movies, if I want to see some show in reruns or something now, chances are there's some sub-network carrying it.

    On the other hand, some carriers really work these package deals to your disadvantage. We have History International packaged into a Sports package just to get people disinterested in sports to buy it.

  3. #3

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    I'm impressed/fascinated/glad that someone else caught this story and posted this. I think both views are accurate. Bundling channels together probably is less expensive, but I agree with sediment, give me the CHOICE. If I want to by the bundled package and have the ability to surf thru 100 niche channels let me choose that. But if I don't want all of those niche channels, let me choose not to have them and just pick the 9 or 10 I really want, even if it's a bit more expensive.

    The irony is that Disney is probably in the best position to compete in an "a la carte" cable environment. Disney Channel is enormously popular (today) and ESPN is the most powerful brand in all of cable broadcasting. In fact, if you're not ESPN, you should be very afraid of not being bundled with ESPN because chances are nobody is going to want to watch you by yourself. The only Disney network that would really lose here is ABC Family, because it genuinely stinks. But if they got creative, perhaps you could offer "mini-bundles". An all ESPN bundle would have ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News and ESPN Classic. A Disney Family bundle would have Disney Channel, ToonDisney and ABC Family. Then you could have an A&E/History Channel package that just has that stuff.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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  4. #4

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    We have History International packaged into a Sports package just to get people disinterested in sports to buy it.
    That's to trap the people disinterested in History International, not the people disinterested in sports.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
    --John Lasseter


  5. #5

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    Well, it's got History International, Biography Channel, and maybe one other similar station on a package with around ten sports channels.

  6. #6

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    And I suppose you spend time eating out at HistoryZone restaurants, watch alot of A&E content on your cell phone, stuff like that?
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
    --John Lasseter


  7. #7

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    they did a piece on this on the local news station adn with their priceing strategy my bill would be sky high. I don't have cable, I have satelite and we get 180 channels plus hbo, starz, and local channel package for about 97 a month. if i were to buy the channels I wanted on a monthly basis, it would cost me well into the 250-300 range. oh and dont forget that disney also owns soapnet. and it's a very popular channel in my neighborhood.

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    Quote Originally Posted by Doopey1
    And I suppose you spend time eating out at HistoryZone restaurants, watch alot of A&E content on your cell phone, stuff like that?
    CTM. Very good.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  9. #9

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    Quote Originally Posted by Cmash95
    they did a piece on this on the local news station adn with their priceing strategy my bill would be sky high. I don't have cable, I have satelite and we get 180 channels plus hbo, starz, and local channel package for about 97 a month. if i were to buy the channels I wanted on a monthly basis, it would cost me well into the 250-300 range. oh and dont forget that disney also owns soapnet. and it's a very popular channel in my neighborhood.
    I believe the point is: would you actually purchase all those channels? Or, in the interest of your financial accounts, drop those channels that you only watch infrequently?

    Heck, I'd like to have TV go one step further and charge me by the minute (a very small fee er minute, mind you) that my TV is on, and allocate the fees to the channels I'm watching. And if one channel costs more, then I'm notified via ticker at the bottom of the screen.
    As if everything I watched were pay-per-view. Start at a penny per minute.
    The added effect of this would be that people wouldn't watch as much. Maybe read some free books from the library. Maybe kids would go outside and play.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  10. #10

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment
    I believe the point is: would you actually purchase all those channels? Or, in the interest of your financial accounts, drop those channels that you only watch infrequently?

    Heck, I'd like to have TV go one step further and charge me by the minute (a very small fee er minute, mind you) that my TV is on, and allocate the fees to the channels I'm watching. And if one channel costs more, then I'm notified via ticker at the bottom of the screen.
    As if everything I watched were pay-per-view. Start at a penny per minute.
    The added effect of this would be that people wouldn't watch as much. Maybe read some free books from the library. Maybe kids would go outside and play.
    Considering the government has mandated a switchover to digital broadcasting, I would say that basic cable should be turned over to municipalities.

    A download system will be distributing content soon far better than what cable could deliver... theoretically it is why A la Carte system doesn't work, because single program distribution is more conveniant for customers and more profitable for companies... But what you need is a general system where people are exposed to the content...
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  11. #11

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    Quote Originally Posted by cellarhound
    But what you need is a general system where people are exposed to the content...
    Like a network of interconnected portals? Say, like an "Internet"? I should go trademark that word...
    As soon as a critical mass of content is available online, it might be possible to get rid of cable altogether. Of course, having cable is a good way to get this content.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  12. #12

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment
    Like a network of interconnected portals? Say, like an "Internet"? I should go trademark that word...
    As soon as a critical mass of content is available online, it might be possible to get rid of cable altogether. Of course, having cable is a good way to get this content.
    The think about cable is, and I don't mean this in any bad way, that it is essencially turning into an alternative high speed data transmission portal...

    So you have your phone (twisted pair portal) and cable (coax portal) - there are a few wireless portals now as well - but I really don't trust them for security reasons - but if the military could make it work I don't see why it couldn't be fixed...

    But essencially they are all delivering the same content at vertually the same speed...
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  13. #13

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    Why not just leave the companies alone?

  14. #14

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    Quote Originally Posted by cellarhound
    The think about cable is, and I don't mean this in any bad way, that it is essencially turning into an alternative high speed data transmission portal...

    So you have your phone (twisted pair portal) and cable (coax portal) - there are a few wireless portals now as well - but I really don't trust them for security reasons - but if the military could make it work I don't see why it couldn't be fixed...

    But essencially they are all delivering the same content at vertually the same speed...
    And don't forget about satellite and fiber optics. But I think you are exactly right, they're are all just different ways of delivering data to consumers. Unfortunately, each format is regulated differently and hopefully Congress and the FCC will move to allow more parity/neutrality between the different platforms.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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  15. #15

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    Re: Disney and cable companies rebut a la carte study

    Quote Originally Posted by Doopey1
    And I suppose you spend time eating out at HistoryZone restaurants, watch alot of A&E content on your cell phone, stuff like that?
    Hey!

    I wanna go eat at HistoryZone!!!
    -Tim

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