We all pay a lot of money for channels - even if you get the minimum I bet there are channels you just don't watch... Today Verizon announced it was dropping MAv (and a few others) and in the forums only one guy so far cares - but AMC - stop the clock - thats a different story.
If the cable companies offered a pay per channel option they would have a much better bargaining chip with stations and vice versa - this model lowers cost for everyone - however the little stations will end up going under -
Just something to think about - maybe one of these companies will be brave and try out this model with consumers in a pilot program -
There is no "controversy" here. The contract is up and the AMC networks want more money. They go public with the negotiations, which happen every couple years, so they can put pressure on Verizon when everyone panics that they are going to lose their "stories", as my great grandmother called her soaps.
Ala carte is never going to happen...how many times have you come across a show channel surfing and discovered a gem? AMC was known as the "channel that used to show old movies but now shows newer movies with commericials" for a long time. They tried Mad Men, and enough people happened upon it or got it by word of mouth to make it a success. How many people would have tuned in if their friends said, "There's this great show you'd love, but you have to pay $5 extra a month and the rest of the channel is crap." Because it wasn't Ala Carte we got Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, etc. If it had been ala carte, the channel would probably be a distant memory.
There is nothing "brave" about offering ala cart. The cable/satellite providers don't want it, it's a logistical nightmare. Imagine the bills they'd have to produce...the tech necessary to turn on single channels in every household. What's the minimum time you have to have a channel? Do they bill by the month? The day? The hour? The content providers don't want it, because many would drop like flies and they'd lose all their ad revenue.
You think NBC Universal only negotiates for NBC's broadcast channel? No, they throw in Syfy, USA, Chiller, Cloo, NBC Sports, etc, etc.. What cable company is going to work to get Cloo? But if you make it so you can't get NBC unless you take Cloo, suddenly Cloo is a part of your line-up.
Listen, I was with Directv when we lost the viacom networks for a while. Yeah, it was a pain, and yes everyone was threatening to leave for another provider. And in a couple weeks, the contract got signed and and all was forgotten.
A little secret...Verizon doesn't want to drop the channels, and AMC doesn't want to pull them. Even if they go dark for a short time, they'll be back. Everyone threatens to leave when this stuff happens, but probably 2 % actually do. We all just have to stay calm and let the lawyers that bill more an hour than I make in a week earn their money for a while.
for the sake of rebuttal -
there is a controversy - whether you call it a controversy or not is semantics - when I called Verizon today the fist thing it says is "if you are calling about AMC press 1" .... thats pretty controversial I think -
I do not channel surf - I did back in 1985 when there were 30 channels - but not today - so i dont find any gems - I see what other people are watching from hearing about them on the radio , at work , out with friends, etc... My point is if I buy a house with gas and oil hookups from the same vendor - they dont make me pay for both - i pick what which one i want - I don't have to pay for something I do not use - thr cable companies and networks make the consumer pay for things they do not want - I don't care who is to blame - the consumer is the one who suffers -
of course cable providers dont want a la carte - its harder I am sure and probably less lucrative - your bill argument is light though - its all managed by computer systems as is the tech behind it - they do pay per view for every household today with out a whole lot of issues . Just becasue something is hard - does not make it the wrong thing to do - your argument is pro cable and pro network - not pro consumer ...
I am glad you can sit back and do nothing - I will probably do the same - that we agree on - but the current model created by cable and network companies is not good for the consumer its only good for their wallets - not yours or mine....
If it had been ala carte, the channel would probably be a distant memory.
Also, if the channel had been a la carte, the original shows people love never would have existed because not enough people would have purchased the channel in the first place in order to fund them. Not to mention each channel would cost $20 because they would have a tiny fraction of the subscribers they do now.
... if I buy a house with gas and oil hookups from the same vendor - they dont make me pay for both ... cable companies and networks make the consumer pay for things they do not want ... the current model created by cable and network companies is not good for the consumer its only good for their wallets - not yours or mine....
Actually you do pay for "both" if your home has multiple utility hookups (or they would not exist). Utility companies amortize their investments over their entire customer base, although specific investment recovery charges are not necessarily presented to customers on a line-item basis.
When it comes to cable costs, I don't find it surprising that pricing models favor the provider. What would be surprising is if it were otherwise under our regulatory system. Just ask a certain a former FCC commissioner, the son of a rather well known four star general and ex US Secretary of State, what he thinks about this question. You can reach him at his new job: president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Cable_%26_Telecommunications_Association).
Perhaps my saying it wasn't a controversy is a bit strong...what I probably should have said is this is a "manufactured controversy". This is a negotiation...that the AMC networks chose to attempt to enflame the public is a tatic, pure and simple.
I submit, however, that I am not being pro network and provider or anti-consumer, but merely saying how the system is set up and how it will work without major, major changes. Content providers and networks are there to make money...period. I agree completely that because something is hard doesn't mean it shouldn't be done...but the truth is, setting up the system would be expensive, and the creation of that system would not recoup the money put into it. It would in fact cause a loss. There is no incentive to do that. Scream as we might, most people will still pay to see Honey Boo Boo from somebody.
I wish things were different. I look at the BBC model and marvel...they have everything from Downton Abbey to Dr. Who to reality shows that are still broadcast OVER THE AIR to satisfy any taste, and still can produce a whole channel of high quality RADIO DRAMA (BBC4). But I don't see the publicly funded radio and tv model coming here...what we have is controversial every election, when somebody targets and somebody defends PBS. So we're stuck with the for profit model...and we're too addicted to the product to really swear off and boycott enough to make the content providers change to keep their profits. I cite SyFy as an example...a channel based on science fiction that doesn't show science fiction anymore...just reality shows and wrestling, with I beleive only 3 scripted shows still running. As much as I used to love the channel, I hardly watch it at all anymore, and yet it's still making huge profits for NBC Universal. I wish it weren't true, but for every person that claims they would leave FIOS if AMC goes, there are 3 who would just change the channel to watch Duck Dynasty and 2 that can't change because their area only offers one or two choices, or have an expensive committment. (I admit I pulled those numbers out of thin air, but I suspect they are very close to the truth).
PBWeng wrote:. I cite SyFy as an example...a channel based on science fiction that doesn't show science fiction anymore...just reality shows and wrestling, with I beleive only 3 scripted shows still running. As much as I used to love the channel, I hardly watch it at all anymore, and yet it's still making huge profits for NBC Universal.
Yeah, I stopped watching SyFy also...not just because they don't program any science-fiction...but because even the few scripted shows they have are generic garbage. I'm astounded that anyone still enjoys any of their programs. If any of the SyFy shows were on NBC, they'd have been cancelled after just a few episodes.