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[ NNSquad ] Re: Why Apple Can't Kill Cable

I agree that a la carte is a nonstarter. But let's remember that you can
still have packages without have "cable" per se. Comcast is already talking
about taking their business model over IP.

Sure you are able to purchase individual episodes on Amazon for $1.99 or get
a some on Hulu with commercials. But that model doesn't begin to approach
the economics of scale that drive today's industry. As you (Lauren) note,
bundling does give us channels that might not be viable on their own. This
is similar to the problem newspapers face the parts (the individual stories)
are not the same as the whole.

So let's not confuse our agendas. It's one thing to object to having to buy
services from the company that owns a particular pipe. It's another to
complain about the economics of bundles.

After all, what restaurant will give you 75% off your meal because you only
use one seat at a table for four?

   [ Actually, digital cable is of course already (MPEG) TCP/IP.  The
     question is which "artificial" channel on the cable or DSL you're
     watching.  Are you tuned to the ISP's own offerings that don't
     count against bandwidth/usage caps and are exempt from other
     limitations?  Or are you trying to watch programming from the
     "outside" where all of these limitations apply, but that have to
     (in most cases) come through the same physical circuit under
     generally unilateral and arbitrary control of the same ISP?

     I fail to see how this kind of situation can be fairly handled
     across the spectrum of ISP subscribers without some form of
     ISP regulatory apparatus.

       -- Lauren Weinstein
          NNSquad Moderator ]

-----Original Message-----
From: nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org
[mailto:nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org] On Behalf Of
Lauren Weinstein
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 12:20
To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Why Apple Can't Kill Cable



Why Apple Can't Kill Cable


http://bit.ly/5ZAIbq  (Hollywood Reporter)


I'll note again here the discomfort I feel whenever I see loud

proclamations about the "evils" of cable channel bundling.  Clearly

there needs to be more subscriber flexibility in this area, but I

can't eliminate my concern that a total "a la carte" system would

undermine the funding and availability of many fine speciality

channels (e.g. History International, Science, channels dedicated to

Russian and Africa, etc.) in favor of a nearly limitless palette of

lucrative sports and premium movie channels.  Many of the lesser

watched channels probably could not survive without subsidization

related to the mass audience favorites.


I've noticed a significant expansion recently in speciality channels

on TWC since they got Switched Digital Video (SDV) "more or less"

working.  I'll bet that some of them only have a relative handful of

viewers at any given time -- but many are still well worth watching.

That diversity is to my mind a good thing.



NNSquad Moderator