Thursday, December 29, 2011

Complaining about cable

Today's Wall Street Journal has an excellent article about constantly increasing prices for cable TV, and how subscribers can negotiate better deals.

Journal writer Lauren A. E. Schuker says, "Today, the average cable TV subscriber pays about $128 a month . . .  —nearly three times the $48 they paid each month in 2001 . . . . The increase is largely the result of sharply rising costs of programming, particularly sports. The TV networks pass those additional costs onto the operators, which in turn pass them onto consumers. . . . Cable-company executives have said publicly that they're worried rising costs could drive consumers away. . . . Comcast Corp., lost 442,000 video subscribers in the first nine months of this year . . . . Time Warner Cable Inc. lost 319,000 over the same period."

My wife and I have service from Cablevision, which includes a dozen or more sports channels which we never never ever ever watch.

Why should we be forced to subsidize the jocks who do watch, and the compulsive shoppers, and people who understand languages that we don't?

The NHL Network and the Jewelry Channel and TV Chile are NOT necessities like education, police and highways that should to be paid for by all citizens.

We pay for access to hundreds of channels, but we could be very happy with about a dozen.

On the other hand, there are a few channels and programs that we'd like to have, which Cablevision doesn't provide. We'd like to see Keith Olbermann on Current TV, and Law & Order UK on BBC America -- but we can't.  

It's time for all cable providers to offer access to EVERY channel, and to allow subscribers to pay for only the ones they care about.


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