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Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:30 AM

Time to push again for "a la cart" Cable TV -- FOX gets higher license fee than others

According to the Pew Research Center’s Project For Excellence in Journalism’s The State of the News Media 2012 report, viewership for all cable news was up 1% in daytime and 1% in primetime. CNN saw their ratings rise by 16%. Despite the loss of Keith Olbermann, MSNBC’s prime time audience grew by 3%. The network’s daytime audience was up 20%. The ratings surge at CNN was a temporary blip caused by the tsunami in Japan and the Arab Spring. Without breaking news, CNN sinks to third place.

Fox News continues to lose viewers, but remains highly profitable. How can a network lose viewers, but increase profits? The answer is that Fox News demands the highest licensing fee from carriers in all of cable news. All subscribers pay an additional seventy eight cents a month to have Fox News carried on their system. This was an 11% increase in 2011 and one of the main reasons why Fox News can lose viewers, but set a record for profits.

Even if you never watch Fox News, as long as it is carried by your cable or satellite system, you are still adding to Rupert Murdoch’s fortune. If people really want to stop Fox News, they need to be pushing Congress to pass a la cart legislation that will allow viewers to pick and choose the networks that they want to pay for instead of being forced to subsidize channels that they can’t stand.
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There are only 1.9 million daily Fox News viewers, but Fox News is available in 102 million homes. This means that 100 million American households are subsidizing the right wing hate of Fox News. If the American people ever wake up and realize that they are paying for a network that many of them disagree with, and demand to be given the ability to financially support only the channels that they watch, the future of Fox News will be in doubt.


http://www.politicususa.com/fox-news-ratings-drop-2012.html

A great article that lays out the economics of cable TV and some details that I never knew. Hit the 4 paragraph limit here but it isall worth a read IMHO. Stats on how many people are shutting off cable in favor of getting TV through the internet. And the 'Fox trying to be Romney but their audience wants Santorum' line is right on the mark. Americans absolutely should be able to pick their own cable line up.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:37 AM

1. I am glad someone remembers this.

 

A la cart got crushed by the cable industry. I thought it was actually going to be a law. Silly me

Young adults getting their first apartments are increasingly opting not to get cable TV. That use to be where they got a lot of their growth.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:45 AM

3. Such an option would kill the public broadcasting stations

and that used to be a legitimate gripe, but with YouTube, Vimeo, Ustream, etc., I think it's much less of a risk than it was when the topic was last seriously discussed.

I pay... too goddamned much.... for my package, which includes internet, TV, and phone. I have a smartphone now, and want to get rid of my landline, and am being told my bill will go UP if I cancel the phone because it's part of a package.

I work for USPS and regularly see ads from my cable company going to "new" subscribers (yet I get the ads too, kind of a slap-in-face-by-mail, I guess) offering my exact package for a year... at a third of the price.

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ABOUT

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Response to Occulus (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:55 AM

6. I am going through the same.

 

I kept a landline for an emergency. During Hurricane Sandy the phone did not work because the cable company only has an 8 hour backup. I would not save by dropping the phone off my package and no one wants to install a traditional landline now.

During the hurricane we relied on texting, transistor radios, and one person had a portable digital TV. We had already thrown out our old portable analog TV. Cable was useless and when I called for my nine days of credit the woman behaved like she was giving me a gift.

Yes, those ADS are a slap in the face. Sometimes I pick up the phone and yell that after more than 20 years I want a discount too. Then they throw me a lousy 5 bucks

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Response to lalalu (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:49 AM

4. the cable providers are doing everything they can to try and stop this trend

I pay an up charge for my internet because I have no landline phone and no cable TV. But even with that I am paying $40 / month versus about $70 for cable TV.

NY1 is a channel which is bundled in with Time Warner cable in NYC and they cut off video on the website for about a month recently. The website would prompt you to enter your cable account and if you didn't do it then you could not view videos from NY1 via the internet. Not sure if it was Sandy or if they just abandoned this policy because you can once again get NY1 videos via the internet. I love NY1's "In the papers" segment because they will read you great clips from all the NYC newspapers -- I put it on in the morning while I am doing other things and it provides a great overview without having to sit still.

http://www.ny1.com/content/features/172298/in-the-papers-11-14-12?ap=1&MP4

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:03 AM

8. Thanks and this is interesting.

 

At one time they tried doing the same with Newchannel12 which carries New Jersey news. You had to enter your cable account and it had nothing to do with a storm. They also dropped this and I think it was an experiment to see if they could shake some more pennies out of our pockets.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:43 AM

2. This is one of those things

I would like the idea of ala carte pricing for cable channels.

But if you think about it, it would basically make all channels subscription channels.

There is a flip side to this. I am paying to support fox news even though I never watch it, and other channels that I never watch for that matter.

But other people are paying to support channels I watch that they never watch. Fox watchers are paying for msnbc and current tv. People without kids are paying for disney jr. People who never watch sports are paying for espn. And so on.

If we went to all channels by subscription, then the channels would have to raise their subscription prices to make up the difference.

So you might end up paying the same or more as a consumer just to get the channels you watch.

I don't think the current system is perfect but I'm not sure that would be either - it will feel nice to only pay for what you watch but I don't know if it would be in the best monetary interest of consumers and would probably be the death of some lesser channels.

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Response to d_r (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:50 AM

5. There are other shows on major networks that would suffer

We'd lose Warehouse 13 on SyFy. Hell, SyFy would become the wrestling channel.

I don't watch all that much television any more anyway. I'm a gamer, and games are getting better and better as the years go by. Bioshock Infinite might well have as good a story as any feature film when it's released, for example. I'll be putting that one on preorder next week because 1) it looks just unbelievably fabulous and 2) Elizabeth looks to be one of the best-conceived female characters ever, and there aren't enough of those...

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Response to Occulus (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 09:59 AM

7. Many gamers are turning off cable.

 

When my son recently got his apartment he only got internet access. When he has time to relax he can spend that time playing games, has Xbox Live, NetFlix and can watch things on his computer. He does not miss cable at all.

Cable will have to change or go the way of the VCR.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:17 AM

10. Through Zune on XBox and iTunes with an IPad,

You can subscribe to just about any program the networks offer. When DISH dropped AMC over the summer, I was able to get "Breaking Bad" over XBOX through Zune. Also got "Damages," "Boss" and "Game of Thrones" which are not available in my cable package.

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Response to d_r (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:51 AM

12. Fox, Disney, NBC (Xfinity) are all massive money making corps. This isn't community service. nt

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Response to d_r (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:26 AM

15. I don't think it needs to be completely ala carte, maybe x number of channels u pick

to make up a 'basic package'. What is so unfair here and I believe most places, you can't get any package that doesn't include Fox. Even the most basic. MSNBC is not in the basic package, you have to pay more to be able to get it. And you still get and pay for Fox!

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:14 AM

9. I sure wish they had a la carte. I am seriously considering pulling the plug entirely. I am so fed

up with the garbage being propagated on the airwaves

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Response to still_one (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:47 AM

11. Much of what is on cable TV is now available through the internet

Major network shows, TDS, Colbert and movies are all free on HULU

http://www.hulu.com/

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:03 AM

14. What about Current?

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Response to still_one (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:30 PM

16. I think only their website offers clips

Can't find any streaming or mirror sites

http://current.com/video/

They are probably trying to get on as many cable systems as possible and offering streaming would undercut that.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:52 AM

13. The only thing keeping me in cable in sports. God help them when I can get HD Wings games online. nt

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