In re: A la carte cable pricing

I just read an interesting blog post on Clever WoT (a law student blog) concerning a la carte cable pricing (something cable companies/channels say will be horrible for consumers as the price will rise, a la carte pricing by the way would be that consumers would pay per channel they WANTED rather than being pinned into broad categories) I really like the idea to some degree as probably half the channels I get (I have a basic, non digital cable lineup) I would never watch (any kids channel, lifetime channel among others) Apparently Disney claims they wouldn't get enough subscribers to exist as a channel then, which of course would seem to be the market telling them NO.

HBO and other a la carte channels have shown that the model can work in limited roles at least and that such 'demand' modeling will force them to create better programming (many will argue, myself included that HBO produces some of the best programming, but I don't get it as a channel, however I am essentially utilizing alternative distribution method of watching Curb your enthusiasm and entourage on netflix DVDs, so they are getting revenue from me, only that i am usually a few seasons behind on these)

Lastly, since I am not sure if I am adding much to his blog post which I recommend you read, I saw an interesting response to an editorial about this in some newspaper a while back, where the editorial advocated for the a la carte system and the cable company argued that the paper didn't offer such a package (i.e. only to subscribe to the sports section). Well this is of course an interesting idea, but it would seem to me that with the newspaper there are some differences, you are only subscribing to one content provider, and you could argue that you already get it (I subscribe to a few papers, all delivered by one delivery provider (who you could say is the cable company?) and I am not forced to get the Columbus Dispatch, the NYTimes, Financial Times, WSJ, Cleveland Plain Dealer, etc. All papers they do deliver, instead I do get to pick and choose. Further if a paper were to print different versions for home delivery (i.e. the sports section only person) I would imagine the cost would go up significantly in the print version, but an online version this would seem to work. Again, with cable it would seem that due to the technology that exists it wouldn't cost more to change the content to the house as people have digital boxes that can be adjusted on the fly from the central cable computer. So anyway, enough rambling on this, I am going to head up to Cleveland for a few days and I want to get on the road before the traffic starts to pick up.

Further reading on a la carte:


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