film / tv / streaming / politics / web / celeb/ industry / video / love / lists / think pieces / misc / about / cbr
film / tv / politics / web / celeb

September 12, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | September 12, 2008 |

273761pUwt_w.jpgOver the past few years, there’s been a slowly-building movement to have the cable companies (those evil Time Warners and Comcasts of the country) get rid of their big bundled cable packages and move to an a la carte menu. This would allow folks to say “I’ll take some Comedy Central with a side of FX and AMC, but you can send that Home & Garden shit back to the chef, please.” And, more likely than not, this would equal lower cable bills. Which is a good thing.

Except, maybe it’s not. First of all, your cable bills will be lower in the short term, but not necessarily in the long term, because you’re sitll going to have all the taxes and fees and bullshit, and the cable companies will surely find new ways to bilk us. That’s how they do. But more importantly, without bundled packaging, I think you’d see a lot of channels puff up and vanish. Sure, I rarely watch TLC or CSPAN or Logo. But I’m glad that they’re there and available. And the channels that don’t get massive pickups won’t like surive that long in an a la carte world. Is it a bit of a communist approach? So be it then, call me TV Lenin!

Anyway, I was thinking on this because the MPAA just sent a letter to the FCC, who are the ones likely to step in to force cable channels to move away from bundling if anyone were to do so, and kindly said, “uhm, don’t.” The MPAA says that the FCC doesn’t have the legal authority to do so, which I think is probably right (the FCC has no authority over cable — you hear me FCC, you have no authoritah!). Of course, the MPAA has a vested interest in bundled packaging because of all the channels showing movies, many of which may not survive in an a la carte world. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with them on this point anyways.

And for that, dear lord, please forgive me. I promise to never side with the MPAA again….

Well, as Long As I Can Still Get Spice / Seth Freilich

Industry | September 12, 2008 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

Roger Ebert Rolls with the Punches

Crash The Television Show

The Pajiba Store


Privacy Policy