Cable Companies Considering Smaller, Cheaper TV Packages?

Cable operators and entertainment companies may be in talks to develop new TV packages that offer fewer channels at a lower cost to consumers. Basic cable bills have ballooned in the United States over the years as distributors add more channels, usually negotiated with program makers. Basic cable packages typically have more than 60 channels and are priced close to $80 in some regions.


But with a tough U.S. economy, weak job market and competition for disposable income from telecommunications services like Internet access and mobile phones, cable distributors and program makers realize consumers may look elsewhere for entertainment as a way to save money. Many subscribers are dropping this non-essential service and turning to cheaper, online alternatives like Hulu, Netflix and Xbox Live for their home entertainment.

This trend has, seemingly, not gone unnoticed by those in the media business. Time Warner CEO, Glenn Britt, confirmed that television operators are exploring ways of lowering the consumer’s monthly bill:

It would be a good thing if we could all figure out a way to have one or more smaller packages that would be attractive to people who can’t afford bigger ones, especially if we could do it in a way that the entertainment companies are still able to finance the product


With basic cable in some cities closing in on $80 a month, some Wall Street analysts have warned the cable industry could harm itself by continuing to raise prices well ahead of the rate of inflation.


Collins Stewart analyst Thomas Eagan commented:

I think this is a real concern, but it is also a negotiating stance with programmers to see if they can reduce affiliate fees overall.


This would be great if this "lowering" trend started sooner than later.  Hopefully if this trend goes forward, it expands to include not only less channels but some a la carte features for which consumers for years have been craving.


Speaking personally, I would only need about 20 HD channels and I would be set.


Would you want an a la carte cable service or have you cut the cord already? Let me know in the comments!

Posted via email from Neville's Blog

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