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AV Rant #251: Umbrage

September 29th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Liz names her first podcast. Note the deplorable lack of innuendo. Oh well, she’s still learning. If you haven’t already, please check out Tom’s Master of Macabre story and vote here. This week, Tom and Liz are still in need of a Netflix segment song but that doesn’t mean they don’t talk about Netflix and their new Dreamworks deal. Clint has an experience on a plane that leads Liz to ask a question about SPL and hearing damage. Liz’s Koss Pro4AA Headphones are back (link to the new model, Liz’s are vintage) which leads to a discussion of listening tests. Tom tackles a few listener questions, rants a bit on Bose and Atlantic Technology, and Liz sends out an Amazon warning that is completely lost on Tom. Will people cutting the cable finally bring about TV a la carte? Tom doesn’t think so. This week’s Soup to Nuts is on how to get the Internet into your HT. Thanks for listening and don’t forget to vote for us at Podcast Alley! To see our (mostly) complete collection of show videos, click here. Download Tom’s FREE ebook Bob Moore: No Hero which is pretty much available everywhere. Friend Tom and Liz on Google+ to join in on one of our hangouts.

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  1. Rob
    October 2nd, 2011 at 03:46 | #1

    What people really want from cable is a lower price. They mistakenly think that if they could eliminate the hundreds of channels that they don’t watch and only pay for the handful of channels that they do watch on an a la carte basis that that would lead to a lower bill. But it wouldn’t.

    Cable and satellite companies don’t buy access to channels on an a la carte basis. The content holders essentially force them to buy packages of channels. You want ESPN? Well you don’t get access to ESPN unless you also buy access to every channel that Disney owns!

    So maybe, as a customer, all you want and watch from Disney are ABC and ESPN. Well too bad. Disney has no interest in letting you watch ABC and ESPN unless you also pay for access to ABC Family, ABC Kids, ABC News, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Lifetime, A&E, History, Biography, and a bunch of other deep cable channels.

    If you were to only pick out ABC and ESPN a la carte, that would cost you MORE than what it costs to get access to ALL of the Disney owned channels. Some cable networks tried to get ESPN without buying access to all of the deep cable Disney owned channels that come with it. Disney wasn’t having it. They were going to charge those cable companies MORE for ONLY getting ESPN than for getting the entire bundle of channels, the price for which also went up, which is why the cable companies wanted to only buy ESPN in the first place!

    You see, Disney sells advertising bundles. As an advertiser, you can pay top dollar to get your ad on ABC or on ESPN, or you can pay a lower fee to get your ad blasted all over a dozen or so other Disney owned channels that only a handful of people care about. But if people or cable companies started buying access to channels a la carte, Disney wouldn’t be able to sell that “bundled” advertising. They’d have to sell ads on each channel individually, and since most of their channels have very few viewers, that would mean lower ad fees, or just cutting channels altogether.

    Disney is just an example. All of the huge content owners work this way. Fox owns a ton of channels, Viacom owns a bunch of channels, NBC-Universal owns a bunch, etc. etc.

    Every time cable companies up their prices, I hear a bunch of people saying how they want a la carte programming. But if they ever got a la carte programming, they’d be screaming bloody murder because now instead of 300 channels for $120, they’d be getting 10 channels for $300! The giant content holders keep rolling out more channels because they want to sell more ads – simple as that. And they won’t sell their one or two channels that are actually highly popular to the cable companies unless the cable companies agree to buy all the crappy, useless channels along with them! The content holders make it so that it costs MORE to get just one or two channels than it does to get 15 or 20.

    So don’t keep saying that you want a la carte. You don’t want a la carte. What you want is a lower price! So say you want a lower price. Cause I highly doubt that you would actually want to pay more for your handful of carefully selected a la carte channels than you’re paying right now for all 500.

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