Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cable Bundles the Truth

The thought comes to mind that if the cable industry had to rely on direct subsciption for it's gutter level programming, that type of programming would simply die off. There just aren't enough morons capable of earning the money to pay for it. But by forcing all cable customers to foot the bill for all types of programming by insisting on selling "the package", despite your wishes to the contrary, your consumer dollars are funding the very garbage you try to avoid. Well thanks to an FCC study, it appears that clean air is on the way!

It seems that the flawed data which stated that it would not be cost effective to let consumers choose their own programing was delivered by the research firm of Booz, Allen and Hamilton. It now is becoming suspect (to me, at least) that after enough Booz, and Allen a daze work, a Hamilton or two (or three!) got palmed. But, I suppose that after you've been telling the "budling" story long enough, bundling quality truth with the trashy truth is just second nature.

"Get cable now for only $12 a month!*
*for the first 3 months. A charge of more than you'd willingly pay is foisted on you after that time."

Which calls to mind an interesting affair with the local cable provider on Long Island back in the 80's. The company is called Cablevision and the story involved a town called Huntington. One of the largest communities in Suffolk County, it was a key to the financial security of Cablevision back in those days (Gads! I sound like I'm old or something!). So it was important to the company to have access to the hundreds of thousands of households in Huntington. Well the Town Council knew that too. They also knew that they didn't much like the programing or the ever-increasing price of it on Long Island either, sooooo..... they simply told the cable company that they either cut their prices from $22 a month (cheap, by today's standards) to $10 a month or they couldn't run any cable within the town limits... which, geographically, would be a disaster for Cablevision, as Huntington is large and in the center of the island. To go around the proscribed limits would have eradicated any profit from doing so. After the necessary court challenges, the town prevailed. (Hooray for solidarity!)
Well, guess what happened: If you were lucky/wise enough to live in Huntington, you paid half of what everyone else on Long Island paid. When the Consumer, Justice and Wisdom have coffee together, good things happen. It's just too bad that they don't have a Starbucks in every town on Long Island... and everwhere else, for that matter.

So it just goes to show you, you can be "mad as hell and you don't have to take it any more!" - Study: A la carte cable would be cheaper

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