'A la carte cable TV' could finally be on the horizon

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  • StillGridlocked Bristol, RI
    Sept. 15, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    I watch 14 channels plus Starz/Encore but Cox charges me over $100 for that. There is so much garbage on there it's unbelievable.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 7:22 p.m.

    WisCoug & RedshirtMIT are both right.

    In my case, I only watch 12 to 15 channels yet pay for the whole shebang.

    I'd gladly trade E!, shopnbc, NBATV, qvc, Lifetime, hallmark, & the Religion channels for say the Big10 network, all the Showtimes, and both USA's (east & west) as well as Both TNT's.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 6:52 p.m.

    Over the air local channels, netflix and hulu streaming, plus the networks usually stream their last four shows. You can still watch AMC and SYFY etc on line. For $16 you can have it all. (except the sports packages) however the NBA streams league pass.

    Dish, Direct, Cable are losing people every day. They need this to survive.

  • Trust Logic Brigham City, UT, 00
    Sept. 12, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    This is a great example of someone trying to do a good thing in a very bad way. I have wanted a la carte tv for a long time! But, having the Federal Government mandate it is a bad idea. We need someone who can find a marketing strategy that will allow it in the free market. Until then, we still have a choice, bundle or find some different form of entertainment!

  • TiCon2 Cedar City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 12:17 p.m.


  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 12, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    I don't see why this would have to cost any more than current bundles.

    I could see a base fee to cover the cost of the cable/sattelite provider's expenses, then a fee for each chanel. Right now for each subscriber the cable/sattelite provider pays a set fee to each chanel in the package. If you break up that package, you could save all sorts of money.

    Some chanels will become more expensive as they get fewer subscribers. Some will dissappear all together once they no longer have enough people buying their programming.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    I liked the idea of a "family package" initially until I saw that one such package assumed that all men wanted to exclusively watch sports and violent movies, and all women wanted to watch sleazy soap operas and insipid movies.

    It's too stereotypical and caricature-like and at heart fundamentally false. Many women "come from Mars" and there are Venutian men in plenty; the fact is that all of us are stuck on a planet smack in the middle of those other two, regardless of gender. Get it?

    There is no suitable alternative to a la carte programming. We already can eliminate unwanted channels from the menus of cable and satellite companies, and simplify / separate and de-clutter them from the channels we never use - but we still have to pay for them all. Often people bought a more expensive package for one channel not included in a cheaper band.

    This is not a time that most people can afford to do that. It is a time, though, that cable and satellite companies desperately want to attract new customers and hold onto old ones. Let them know how you feel - politely of course.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    @WisCoug has hit the mark. PayTV packages are bundled for cost reasons. While it may be cheap to buy the Military Channel a la carte buying ESPN channels that way might just break the bank. And you're leaving it up to the channel to decide then what is paid by the consumer. And I guarantee that the cost the consumer pays will be much more than the cost the cable/dish provider pays. 12 channels a la carte will most likly cost more than the bundled price.

    All this legislation will do is cause the cost of bundles to climb.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    @WisCoug - Your concern is valid, but would you rather pay for 12-15 channels that you'd actually watch, or have access to 250 channels, 70% of which you'll probably never even watch? By adopting an a-la-carte model, you could pay to have a few premium channels, that would include sports programming and you wouldn't have to upgrade to a "plus" package just to get the additional 10-15 channels that you actually wanted in the first place... My guess is that providers will still offer package deals, but for those who want quality over quantity will now have an option too.

  • WisCoug VERONA, WI
    Sept. 12, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    I worry that when 250+ channels for $55-$75/month changes to 12-15 channels for the same price, people will be wishing there had been a different kind of reform in this area. The fact is, the costs remain relatively low by packaging higher-demand channels with lower-demand channels and I think this proposed change could have some unintended negative impacts on the cost of cable/satellite television.

    Don't get me wrong, I certainly wish there was more flexibility when it comes to selecting providers and getting the channels you want (and eliminating the ones you don't), but I am not sure this is the best way.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Why did it take so long to at least start talking about this. What consume would not want to choose their own programs? I switched to another provider from Comcast because everything was bundled.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Best bet is still free digital tv.

  • Tad TOOELE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    As is often the case, Congress is acting a day late and a dollar short. Consumers are now opting for Internet streaming services where they can pick specific series or individual programs a la carte and on demand. The market is finding a way to fill the demand, as it always does. Issues such as these do little more than raise new questions about the balance between intellectual property rights and the rights of consumers to be protected from monopolies and trusts, and their demand for information and content.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 6:13 a.m.

    What will have most effect on getting control over you television programming is the cancellation of subscriptions to cable and satellite companies where subscribers give, as their reason for terminating, the lack of choice, or the inclusion of unwanted and offensive programs, in the current "packaging" system.