Response to Suddenlink

Anonymous commenting notwithstanding, here was my response to Suddenlink.

Thank you for the information. I realize deregulation may cause some
needed discussions about what channels you have to carry versus what
channels customers actually want. I don't know how that applies to HD
versions of network channels if the affiliate is actually offering it.

If you send anything to the marketing department, send this: I'd
gladly drop half of the channels offered just to be able to watch
Heroes in HD. If anyone within your company has any power to push the
idea of a la carte programming, I'd be much happier, as I'm sure would
a lot of people.

Also, just a tip from someone who used to work in cable customer
service, next time you cut and paste pre written responses, at least
change the font so they all look the same. The answer I got looks
like it was written by a committee.

Thanks again for the info and I look forward to a continued successful

I only know enough about cable programming to know that I need to research it more. I know that deregulation hasn't worked as expected, it hasn't promoted competition and it hasn't kept media giants from creating monopolies and it seems that a new bill is introduced each year to address a lot of these nearly 12 year old issues.

That's not to say you don't have a choice. You can not watch TV (probably the best choice) or you can get a satellite dish which basically gives you the exact same channels as cable, or 150 channels you don't watch. For around $70 a month, I end up watching reruns of sitcoms, kids shows and network TV. I don't have any premium channels or sports packages. I watch hockey when it's on and football. I don't know what Ms. A watches other than The Office and Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy.

I'd be willing to drop all the channels they offered, pay the same price, but only get 20 stations, if it meant I could pick. I can understand their position, they have to offer slots for all channels, but they can only carry them if it's marginally profitable to them, which seems like a Catch 22. But here's my eternal question: Is anyone watching the BYU channel? How many more people are watching Fine Living than NBC? Does the Style network really have more viewers than Comedy Central?

But it's all about politics. Even with the Family and Consumer Choice Act proposal, it's less about what consumers want and what nanny-state organizations don't want people to see. The PTC wants a la carte, not because they think paying for Oxygen network is a waste of money, but because they don't want to see Janet Jackson's nipples. Smaller channels are worried that a la carte programming will drive advertisers and subscribers away, to which I say, if no one wants your product, the market has spoken.

It can't be easy to regulate decency and deliverable media. I don't envy the job lawmakers have. I also don't really have a position either way on even if it should be regulated. How much do we need the FCC to be involved? Is this a state or federal issue? If I don't mind the implied violence on Law & Order, does that mean you have to watch it? If you are opposed to it, does it mean I can't? Television is an odd animal. It was easy when all you had to do was buy the set, now you pay for programming but you end up getting more than you wanted and in some cases you pay a lot for it but still don't get what you want. Imagine going to the grocery store and buying $1000 worth of groceries of which you'll only use 10% and they may not have any eggs or milk. Imagine going to buy a DVD of a classic movie and paying $200 to get maybe the first hour of it, but also 10 more movies written by the same people that you may or may not like. Imagine going to a restaurant and paying $500 up front for a dinner in which they bring you enough food you could eat for a month but you couldn't take any of it home with you and they don't have any water to drink.

There are undoubtedly bigger things to worry about, which makes topics like this seem so shallow. I can't understand why offering people what they want is a big deal while on the other side of the wire someone is trying to make a living creating content and they feel like they aren't getting a fare shake in the market place. But just because your product is offered, doesn't mean it HAS to be included with the product I ACTUALLY want.

Does it?

No comments: