Tuesday, January 10, 2006

re: The Great Cable TV Debate

[I think I wrote too much in the response area earlier and it never published...the window froze...so here are my thoughts....]

I don't know....being the TV junkie that I am, I like the fact that I have a bundled basic package with the option to add any of the premium channels at an extra cost. Yes, there are a lot of unnecessary channels -- most of which I don't watch -- but on the other hand, there are many channels that I've discovered because they're there and I stumbled upon them while channel surfing. They're the ones that I normally don't watch but every so often they'll have a show or a movie I'm interested in, like We or National Geographic or Spike (and now there's the new Sleuth TV that airs the old Knight Rider; hours of Hoffy!!)

Concern #1: I have about 20 or so favorite channels. How much, on an ala carte basis, is TimeWarner going to charge me? If they're ripping me off now, is it going to cost me a gazillion dollars to just have those channels? Is Congress going to step in and set a pricing guideline to 'protect' me from getting ripped off? Oh, I just love the sound of that.

Concern #2: I have a roommate. So, on an ala carte basis, we're going to have to sit down and figure out who wants what channels and that can lead to stupid arguments like, "Well, I would kill myself before paying for the Fox News Channel, so if you want that, you're going to have to pay for it." And then I'd come back with, "Well, I'm not paying for VH1, MTV and Sundance Channel, so you pay for that." Heaven forbid one of gets caught watching someone else's channel.

I understand parents with young children don't want to pay for smut, but there are other ways to prevent kids from watching certain channels....and, let's face it, when we were kids we all had friends whose houses you knew you could go to to watch the stuff you weren't allowed to at your home, so who's kidding who.

At the end of the day, this America -- land of excess, where we have more channels than we know what to do with and waste most of what we're paying for. That's what we do, that's what makes us great. Do we want to sit there, like in England, with ABC1, ABC2, ABC3, ABC4? Bo-ring....(and far more smutty than most of what we've got on tv)

The better solution is some good, healthy competition. No government intervention or regulation. Look at the mess that was made of the telecoms.....

At least here in Manhattan, some people have a choice of TimeWarner or RCN. Most people don't have that and that's why Cablevision, Comcast, TimeWarner, etc., etc., can rip you off. Government shouldn't be involved. All government should do is mandate that all markets are open and let the consumer decide which service he wants. Let the cable companies compete by offering packages or ala carte options, or both, and let the consumer decide which company will provide him with the service he wants. This is America. Let the consumer decide what's best for him, not the cable companies and certainly not the government.

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