72% Surveyed Want Ala Carte, 54% Don't Want Espn, 47% Don't Want News Channels

Discussion in 'Cable & Video' started by Jon, May 9, 2015.

  1. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    A vast majority of Americans would prefer to assemble their own pay TV channels rather than subscribe to packages that include dozens or hundreds of networks, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found in a challenge to traditional television distribution.

    Seventy-seven percent of U.S. adults said they would like "a la carte pricing" which would allow consumers to pick their own channels. Only 23 percent said they would prefer bundles. (For a graphic see reut.rs/1H4mLdK).

    Media companies and distributors that provide satellite, broadband and cable services are struggling to find ways to keep viewers from ditching traditional subscriptions and attract a younger generation, which sees less need for a cable subscription and watches on computers and mobile devices.

    "I pay for a lot of channels that are not of interest to me," said poll respondent Charles Bourque, 63, who lives in Manchester, New Hampshire.

    He does not want the Russian and Spanish networks that he gets as a Comcast subscriber, paying north of $200 a month. He does not speak either language.

    Verizon tested the waters for a product offering more customization last month when it rolled out a Custom TV plan with 36 fixed channels and the choice of adding small bundles related to sports, children or news. That was seen as a step toward a la carte.

    Twenty-First Century Fox and Comcast's NBC Universal both said the offer violates the terms of their contracts that allow Verizon to carry their programming.

    Walt Disney's ESPN took the same stance and launched a lawsuit against Verizon, claiming the distributor breached the terms of their deal.

    A Verizon spokeswoman declined to share details on subscriber numbers and the type of users signing up for FiOS Custom TV, which is aimed at millennials and cord cutters. She said that the Reuters/Ipsos poll results validated the rationale for launching Custom TV.

    ESPN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The survey found few willing to pay more than about $10 per channel. The poll found 40 percent would pay up to $10 a month for sports network ESPN, while 46 percent are willing to do the same with news networks such as CNN, MSNBC or Fox News.

    The percentage of people who will pay up to $30 a month for either ESPN or news networks was 4 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

    A 54 percent majority do not want ESPN, while 47 percent said they do not want cable news networks.

    Americans prefer picking TV channels to buying bundles: Reuters/Ipsos| Reuters
  2. memebag

    memebag Top Brass, ADVP

    They are in for a rude awakening when their a la carte bill is higher than their current bill.
  3. MadisonRadio1

    MadisonRadio1 MadisonRadio

    We're trapped.
    blueneon36 and semipenguin like this.
  4. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

    I'm with him.

    [​IMG]
  5. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    I don't expect it to be a lot lower, as it is right now I pay Netflix ($8.99 a month), HBO NOW ($14.99 a month) Amazon Instant (what amounts to $8.25 a month) and figuring they charge the top end when it's out, Apple Streaming ($40 a month), and Showtime will have their over the top service like HBO NOW by the end of the year, figure that's gonna cost $15 a month. All of which comes out to about $87.23 a month, not including pay-per-views and season passes on iTunes (Big Bang Theory is the only one so far, but there could be more). But even that's still lower than the $200 I was paying for a lot of channels I wasn't watching, and I don't pay DVR fees, HD fees, and other hidden charges they might want to sneak in to the bill.
  6. kryptonite

    kryptonite Well-Known Member


    But did your $200 also include internet? What about phone, either mobile, home or both?

    Keep in mind that the $200 also includes various bundle deals which they're less likely to give out, the fewer services you have.

    Let's see about those 54% that don't want ESPN. I bet a lot will still find a stream either legitimate or otherwise. What a lot of them are saying is: "I don't want to pay for ESPN when I may only watch it 10-12 hours per month to watch 1-2 teams and occasional SportsCenter highlights."
    blyons200 likes this.
  7. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    $200 for all that. $76 for just internet. With the various services (Netflix, etc) costing $73. Math says that's still cheaper.
  8. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

  9. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    blueneon36 likes this.
  10. Wolf

    Wolf The Lone Wolf

    If it included all of their network channels, commercial free and every single game from each major sports league, then yes.

    But technically hell no! I hardly watch ESPN, I can't stand listening to some of their communicators, because they are mostly biased to certain teams.
    MadisonRadio1 likes this.
  11. HecticArt

    HecticArt Administrator

    I've got friends that would for sure.
    It's not for me though.
  12. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

  13. MadisonRadio1

    MadisonRadio1 MadisonRadio

    I probably would if it's like this and I didn't have to pay for other channels we don't watch.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
    Wolf likes this.
  14. IndustrialH

    IndustrialH "Who turned the volume down?"

    Rarely watch sport on telly - prefer to wander around listening - don't seem to miss much - if I do - highlights are somewhere on the Internet. Only have Netflix at my place and my girlfriend has what my son calls "The Pointless Package" ( she only watches two channels PBS and Knowledge Network) - maybe we are modern Luddites.

    [​IMG]
    semipenguin likes this.
  15. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    It wasn't just ESPN for me that got me to quit cable, it was the fees, and the overpriced packages for channels I rarely watch. I have Netflix, Amazon, HBO and might look at Showtime next, plus the one or two iTunes season passes I purchase. All that about $50-60 a month. Nothing I don't want.
  16. kryptonite

    kryptonite Well-Known Member


    How would it be commercial-free? Black screens instead of commercials? Straight-up "raw feeds" from the production trucks? They'd have to put some sort of movement on the screen so people would know their internet signals weren't buffering...just curious as to how you'd see this working. Maybe a commercial before the stream started with a feedback system so you only get commercials of interest.

    If it was ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, ESPNU, and ESPN Deportes all in HD plus ESPN Classic and ESPN3/WatchESPN, that might get some subscribers. It would absolutely have to be all those channels.

    Selling channels a la carte wouldn't work, as those channels are grouped in with other channels (Disney sells all the Disney channels with all the ESPN channels as a package and similar with other channel owners such as Viacom, Turner, News Corp, etc.) "You want ESPN? Then you have to carry Disney XD, Longhorn Network, SEC Network and Disney Jr...and you have to have those channels on these certain tiers and at the asked-for price.) Like it or not, the ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU/ESPN News combo is probably the most popular group of channels on TV and they know it too. A provider without those four would probably not survive.

    Selling shows a la carte would be the much better option and that's what we're seeing with Netflix, AppleTV, etc.
    blyons200 and semipenguin like this.
  17. Wolf

    Wolf The Lone Wolf

    I'm could careless on how ESPN figures that out. All I made is a suggestion, which I know it will never happen. But it would be nice, plus I hardly watch that channel.

    My main channels are the basic networks, FX, Spike, TNT, TBS, USA and similar other channels to those I mention. The only internet channel I pay for is the WWE network for $9.99 a month, which commercial free beside the commercials the WWE created for themselves.

    I know I could survive by not watching any of those channels you mention, so if I had to pay for a la carte to the channels I mention, I would be saving tons of money every month.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  18. kryptonite

    kryptonite Well-Known Member


    I think they're slowly getting away from it, but most major cable operators should still have a package consisting of approximately 70-75 channels, of which those you list should all be included.

    Where they hose customers is two-fold: Equipment, of which a DVR could easily be $20 and sports. Heck, you could probably homebrew your own DVR and just have the basic HD box. Want two or three DVRs? All of a sudden that could be over $50 after taxes.

    The sports, as already said, is the expensive part of TV programming.

    The other problem is that the cable providers tend to give out the "really sweet deals" for new customers or customers threatening to cancel. If someone is willing to do a bit of work, they could get a $200 package down to $120 or so. And yeah, it all depends what someone watches, how much they watch, and if they're willing to pay a bit more for one box. In about 96-98 (right before digital cable started), a typical bill in my neighborhood was about $95. It was about $45 for 72ish channels, about $35 or $40 for 6.0 Mbps (later 7) internet and $6 or $7 for the box...throw in the usual taxes and fees. A customer could also pay a little more, about $3, for a channel guide magazine.

    Since then, I discovered how willing the retentions department is to bend over backwards, at least in my case. If you get a certain package, maybe they'll take $35 off your TV bill and $20 off your internet, plus include a DVR or whatever in your package. That $180 bill could be $120 or $130 after retention discounts.

    --In other words, a retentions discount *now* when compared to regular price about 20 years ago and things haven't changed drastically, maybe $30 or so per month.

    Personally, I couldn't live without ESPN, ESPN2, BTN and probably 1-2 movie channel packs. (ESPN News, U and Classic I could do without, but that's the problem when things are bundled.)

    For me, I see someone with their Apple TV for some shows, an acquired HBO/Cinemax login for other shows, an Amazon Fire Stick for other shows and Netflix for other stuff... For me, that's just too much. I like the convenience of having it all in one box.
    blyons200 likes this.
  19. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    Apple TV and Roku have all that, especially Roku. My only two issues with Roku is the number of channels that I wouldn't watch (a lot like cable, although Apple is going the same direction with the App Store on Apple TV 4). To this date, I have Netflix, HBO, Showtime and possibly getting Hulu if these no ad rumors are true on the Apple TV box, and have Amazon through AirPlay or on the Visio TV (although the interface sucks to the point that I'd rather AirPlay it). All that around $50, no sports and other crap I'd never watch.
  20. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

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