31 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for March 20, 2013
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Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 23:26:30 -0500 From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Verizon's Latest Plan For Cable Fees Could Lower Your Cable Bill -- Eventually Message-ID: <51493A76.firstname.lastname@example.org> Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net wrote: > Verizon's Latest Plan For Cable Fees Could Lower Your Cable Bill -- Eventually > > By Alexis Kleinman > > What if, instead of paying for all of the hundreds of channels that > your cable provider offers when you sign up, you could choose exactly > which ones you want? That's definitely a dream of most cable > subscribers, riled by ever-high fees. And while Verizon isn't ready to > start offering a-la-carte channels, a new plan of theirs, reported in > The Wall Street Journal, could take us one step closer to making that > dream a reality. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/18/verizon-cable-fees_n_2901271.html Good luck with that. I worked in the retail end of CATV industry for 25 years and I've been writing about it for another dozen years since I retired. "The dream of most cable subscribers" is also the dream of many CATV retailers. Retailers are companies that sell video services to end consumers; e.g., franchised cable TV companies, non-franchised "private cable" companies, telephone companies (Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-Verse), and satellite TV companies (DirecTV and Dish Network). Programmers are companies that produce video programming and provide it to retailers. Programmers fall into three categories: - Television broadcast stations. - PEG (Public Access, Educational Access, Government Access) channels. - Non-broadcast channels. In any discussion of a-la-carte, the programmers hold the winning hand: - Broadcast station licensees have a legal right to force retailers to carry their signals on the basic tier. - Broadcast licensees have federally-mandated geographic markets ("Designated Market Area" or DMA). In any other industry, this arrangement would be called a "geographic monopoly." In the upside-down world of television broadcasting, it's called "consumer protection." - CATV franchising authorities have a legal right to force retailers to carry PEG channels on the basic tier. - Any programmer that owns non-broadcast programming and a broadcast station licensee has a legal right to force retailers to carry the non-broadcast programming on the basic tier as a condition for granting retransmission consent for the broadcast signal. As I've noted before in this space, if Verizon or any other retailer wants to offer programming a-la-carte, it has to start by getting Congress to repeal the grotesquely misnamed "Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992" and companion legislation governing satellite retailers. All that said, I have some doubt that a-la-carte would actually lower retail prices anyway. My narrative about that is at: http://theoldcatvequipmentmuseum.org/320/321/index.html Neal McLain
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 01:25:50 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Verizon, Cablevision emerge as unlikely allies Message-ID: <20130320052550.GA4366@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Verizon, Cablevision emerge as unlikely allies of cable-TV customers fed up with bundling By Cecilia Kang, Published: March 19 Cable viewers have long complained about paying ever-higher bills for hundreds of channels they don't want to watch. Now, in a twist, some cable companies are beginning to agree. Verizon and Cablevision are publicly pressing media companies that own the programming to stop pushing them to distribute unwanted channels and instead offer cable bundles based on what viewers actually watch. If successful, the efforts could lead to cheaper options for consumers and a sea-change in how the television industry has done business - and protected its profits - for more than two decades. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/verizon-cablevision-emerge-as-unlikely-allies-of-cable-customers-fed-up-with-bundling/2013/03/19/11fe0dac-900d-11e2-9cfd-36d6c9b5d7ad_story.html -or- http://goo.gl/4CYVE -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly) Sometimes I feel as cold as steel Broken like I'm never 'gonna heal - Lady Antebellum
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