Tag Archives: a la carte

Canada Begins Phasing In Government-Mandated À La Carte Cable Today

Today is when the real test of unbundled TV begins: cable companies will be required to offer basic plans for $25 as of today, and even more radical unbundling will happen by the end of 2016. – Laura Northrup, Consumerist

Forget Cable: You’ll Be Streaming Live TV in the Near Future

A growing number of options for streaming video is bad news for traditional pay-TV companies. [CEO Les Moonves,CBS] seems convinced that streaming and a la carte are the future of television. Both CBS and Showtime, which CBS owns, have a la carte streaming options, which include the archives of both networks. And he believes a deal with Apple is probable for the future, and all the major networks are reportedly in talks with Apple as well. Cable operators may need to push for slimmer bundles — as some already have — and the rights to stream content over the Internet both in and out of the home to compete with live streaming from major tech companies or rogue networks like CBS. – Adam Levy, The Motley Fool

Sony To Become First Company To Offer A La Carte TV Service With The PlayStation Vue

Sadly, only a select few stations will be available to pick individually at launch. When this service launches next month, only Machinima, Showtime and Fox Soccer Channel will be offered a la carte. Hopefully some of the service’s other stations like CBS, Fox and Comedy Central will soon be available. – Matt Burns, TechCrunch

Nickelodeon breaks out of cable’s cage, preps standalone streaming service

This new business model is promising for those who have been craving TV packages that are more customized. But one must wonder if the better option would be to partner up with a Netflix or Hulu or Amazon and let these guys take care of the on demand needs. Sure, the more a la carte options customers have, the better. But at some point, those costs will add up and customers will come full circle, looking once again for a one-stop-shop solution that’s tailored to them, and offers exactly the channels they want. Surely, the industry can meet somewhere in the middle. – Christine Persaud, Digital Trends 
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Streaming Options Grow But Cable Still Looms Large

As these new offerings illustrate, un-bundling – the holy grail for cord-cutters who’d rather pay for channels a la carte – isn’t likely to become widespread. HBO is one of very few networks with both the viewer demand to make a standalone offering compelling for large numbers of consumers and the deep pockets to provide the necessary customer service and billing infrastructure such a move requires. Channel bundling is largely dictated by the content providers themselves. It’s no coincidence that Sling TV’s lineup includes not just ESPN, but the Disney Channel and ABC Family. They’re all owned by Walt Disney Company. which almost certainly made the inclusion of the latter two networks a requirement for allowing Sling TV to carry ESPN. – Amadou Diallo, Forbes
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Curation kills: Why Netflix is just as doomed as cable in the long run

So what happens once the luster of new-fangled cable alternatives wears off? The near future might be à la carte channels and services, but the long-term future is à la carte everything. As in, choose your own shows. That’s the only end game that makes any sense. Why stop at unbundled channels if each channel still contains loads of content you feel like you’re paying for but don’t watch? Why subscribe to multiple streaming services if more than half of each service is duplicate titles? What are channels if not branded bundles of entertainment? In the future, only the strongest brands will survive. – Eric Buchman, Digital Trends

The golden age of cord-cutting is upon us. Don’t let scare tactics tell you otherwise

What you’re witnessing is the first few cracks in the mighty cable paywall […] Naysayers would have you believe otherwise. They actually think that big, bloated cable bundles are a great deal, and that dismantling them leaves us in no better shape than before. But that only makes sense in a world where people are constantly glued to their televisions. Times change, one size doesn’t fit all, and the fearmongers will be proven wrong. […] The problem is that this system promotes excess and bloat. When the NFL asks ESPN for more money to carry Monday Night Football, that cost gets passed onto the cable company, which passes it onto you. To jack up costs even more, a network with lots of channels, like Viacom, may only sell them to the cable company as a package deal, thus encouraging them to add more. Meanwhile, the cable company, trying to protect its profits, hikes its rates, invents new fees, and makes subscribers pay the company’s excise taxes. Suddenly, your cable bill is far outpacing the rate of inflation, even as your viewing habits stay the same. […] Predictably, the arrival of new streaming options has provoked plenty of fearmongers and cable apologists—people who want to scare you into thinking we’re on a bad path. Be careful what you wish for, they say, because a la carte is going to be a lot more expensive than buying a big fat cable bundle. – Jared Newman,TechHive

None of your favorite shows would have existed in an a la carte cable world

If people start cutting cords in large enough numbers, it will send cable providers into panic mode. And when major corporations panic, consumers suffer. À la carte programming is a great option in theory, but it’s a terrible thing to force upon people, which could happen in a worst-case scenario. People who still want the simplicity of the traditional cable experience could wind up paying more for less. Likewise, cord cutters could find their options a lot less appealing when the networks and studios producing their favorite shows have to drastically cut costs (thanks to a noticeable drop-off in subscriber revenue). – Eric Buchman,Digital Trends
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Expert says streaming services could change TV

Devices like Apple TV and Roku let consumers stream programming on their TV, computer, phone or tablet at a cheaper price than cable. According to International Business Times, the average cable bill for a household was $64.41, a 131 percent increase from 1998. HBO and CBS are looking to offer consumers a cheaper, a la carte option with their own stand-alone digital streaming service, with CBS charging 5.99 a month. HBO has not released how much it will charge. […] According to Forrester Research, 40 percent of adults prefer streaming programming on their TV through services like Roku and Apple TV. – LaMar Holliday,WANE-TV NewsChannel 15 
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Cutting the Cord

One of the biggest complaints of consumers is paying for hundreds of channels on cable, but watching only a few. Advocates of TV reform have called for a la carte channel packages for years. A recent study by Nielsen reported that the average U.S. home receives 189 cable channels. And how many of those do they actually watch? Only 17 (that’s less than 9%). In addition, The Guardian survey revealed that only 3% of cord cutters would consider going back to cable if providers began offering a la carte pricing. The lack of a la carte is obviously only part of a much larger discontent. – Curt Robbins,Middle Class Tech Blog
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