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Old 10-14-2013, 09:53 AM   #1
bradleys
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Canadian government: 'We want to unbundle television channels'

The problem with this aproach is that it could cost you more money for fewer channels. On the other side of the coin, I would love to get rid of all the sports channels and reduce my bill.

I NEVER watch sports and they are the most expensive channels in the line-up.


http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/14/4...ision-channels
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:42 AM   #2
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Why stop at channels? Why not unbundle individual programs? Make everything VOD, get rid of the network/broadcast/channel model. It is the Century of the FruitBat! Get with the times!
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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It is the Century of the FruitBat?

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Why stop at channels? Why not unbundle individual programs? Make everything VOD, get rid of the network/broadcast/channel model. It is the Century of the FruitBat! Get with the times!
Then I would have to pay attention to what my kids are buying, set-up and monitor some kind of budget... ugghhh, that would be painful.

Individuals think they will get content cheaper if TV were unbundled, but that really isn't going the be the case. I suspect you would find a la cart pricing to be extremely expensive once you build a package of content you really want.

The stuff you do not watch adds pennies to your bill, the popular stuff you do watch is what costs you!

About the only ones that "might" save money on unbundled packages, would be those of us that watch no sports at all. Currently the sports programming is the most expensive component of the bundled package.

However, loosing those of us that do not watch sports would raise the price even more for those that do... I am actually okay with that!
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:57 PM   #4
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That's not the only problem. It is very likely that marginal channels will disappear entirely if unbundled. I doubt your bill will drop any, though. Hardly an improvement with regard to programming breadth.
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:28 PM   #5
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Ehhhh.... I doubt it will lower the cost enough to actually make a big difference.
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:21 PM   #6
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Why stop at channels? Why not unbundle individual programs? Make everything VOD, get rid of the network/broadcast/channel model. It is the Century of the FruitBat! Get with the times!
Check your calendar. We're in the Century of the Anchovy now.
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:52 PM   #7
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the only reason I can see Harper's Conservative government doing this is to pay back some deep-pockets companies like Rogers and Bell. If all the smaller companies have to go it alone without packaging, they'll likely either fold or have to accept cheap buy-out offers from the big guys.
If Stephen Harper is behind it, it's not for the good of the people, it's to repay someone he is in debt to....pretty much
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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Individuals think they will get content cheaper if TV were unbundled, but that really isn't going the be the case. I suspect you would find a la cart pricing to be extremely expensive once you build a package of content you really want.
You can use amazon or other services now to get shows a la carte, and yes it will cost you much more than just subscribing to cable, unless you have a short list of shows you want to watch and don't care about anything else.
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:10 PM   #9
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The current system of "buying" shows for $3/episode is way to expensive. They need a system like Netflix or Hulu where you pay a flat monthly fee and can watch anything you want. The only problem with that is there are so many content providers to deal with I'm not sure if they could ever pull something like that off.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:25 AM   #10
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Canadian TV channels have generallly prepared for this day. If you observe, a lot of good shows have now spread themselves throughout the channel networks, so if you want to watch your usual programming, you'll have to buy huge chunks of channels now. So you end up saving nothing because you need to buy History and H2 and all the other channels, Discovery and all those other networks at the same time.

The other change is the loss of specialization - remember when History used to show historical dramas and documentaries? Now they're doing all sorts of reality TV. Why? Because instead of being able to specialize and appeal as better TV, they now have to cater and aim for the lowest common denominator. Need to stick in some idiotic mind-numbing reality show about people slapping each other so the channel can get enough viewers so air that one WWII documentary that their core audience wanted to watch.

It's how the channels have adapted their programming for the a la carte world. Hell, it's the only reason why Discovery would show Sharknado during Shark Week. Well, next year they're going to have Sharknado 1-7 airing just because the public liked it or whatever. Or go with any reality show now that has to add "drama" and "conflict" (like Pawn Stars, Deadliest Catch, etc) - stuff to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Buying per program sounds appealing, but I wonder if it will degrade all programming to the point where it's basically all unwatchable because every show is trying to build as big an audience as possible to get as much money as possible.

Remember, more audience is more money, so everyone's going to go for the biggest crowd to get the most money. Earning money "the hard way" through good stories is much more risky (think Breaking Bad style). And when everyone is seeking money, you cannot expect good programming. (Hell, PBS may be the only channel left that's willing to give quality programming purely because it's not all about money?)
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:04 PM   #11
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Canadian TV channels have generallly prepared for this day. If you observe, a lot of good shows have now spread themselves throughout the channel networks, so if you want to watch your usual programming, you'll have to buy huge chunks of channels now. So you end up saving nothing because you need to buy History and H2 and all the other channels, Discovery and all those other networks at the same time.

The other change is the loss of specialization - remember when History used to show historical dramas and documentaries? Now they're doing all sorts of reality TV. Why? Because instead of being able to specialize and appeal as better TV, they now have to cater and aim for the lowest common denominator. Need to stick in some idiotic mind-numbing reality show about people slapping each other so the channel can get enough viewers so air that one WWII documentary that their core audience wanted to watch.

It's how the channels have adapted their programming for the a la carte world. Hell, it's the only reason why Discovery would show Sharknado during Shark Week. Well, next year they're going to have Sharknado 1-7 airing just because the public liked it or whatever. Or go with any reality show now that has to add "drama" and "conflict" (like Pawn Stars, Deadliest Catch, etc) - stuff to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Buying per program sounds appealing, but I wonder if it will degrade all programming to the point where it's basically all unwatchable because every show is trying to build as big an audience as possible to get as much money as possible.

Remember, more audience is more money, so everyone's going to go for the biggest crowd to get the most money. Earning money "the hard way" through good stories is much more risky (think Breaking Bad style). And when everyone is seeking money, you cannot expect good programming. (Hell, PBS may be the only channel left that's willing to give quality programming purely because it's not all about money?)
Although I agree with you, one must understand that different people have different definitions as to what is a quality program.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:25 PM   #12
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The problem with this aproach is that it could cost you more money for fewer channels.
I didn't RTFA, but I would GLADLY pay the *same* amount of money I pay now *for the specific channels I care about*. (Essentially the same ones I turn off in "Channels I receive" even though I DO receive them, or ones I never actually watch any shows on..)

I *want* there to be some survival of the fittest among channels. Make the ESPN fans actually pay what it really costs. (I watch poker shows, and a VERY few other shows on ESPN. I would probably grumble, but do the price comparison over paying individually for WSOP for example, while turning off ESPN generally.) Yes, I know this would probably end up with more Kardashian shows on, but it also might mean more premium channels with HBO quality shows on.

(I would gladly pay *per episode* if it ended up the same price or even slightly more than cable now, if I could get it all without commercials.. But not at the RIDICULOUS prices the various services charge per episode now.)
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:22 PM   #13
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The problem with this aproach is that it could cost you more money for fewer channels. On the other side of the coin, I would love to get rid of all the sports channels and reduce my bill.

I NEVER watch sports and they are the most expensive channels in the line-up.


http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/14/4...ision-channels
'Could' cost you more money?

What program, from any govt, that promised lower cost, more choice, etc., actually has?
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:31 AM   #14
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'Could' cost you more money?

What program, from any govt, that promised lower cost, more choice, etc., actually has?
Breaking up AT&T seemed to have worked out OK.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:47 AM   #15
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Breaking up AT&T seemed to have worked out OK.
it did? I thought ClearChannel owned everything since that ruling, and that has nearly ruined radio and journalism in general
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:23 AM   #16
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Breaking up AT&T seemed to have worked out OK.
Based on what evidence?
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:22 AM   #17
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Based on what evidence?
You no longer have to rent your house phone?
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:41 AM   #18
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it did? I thought ClearChannel owned everything since that ruling, and that has nearly ruined radio and journalism in general
I'm not sure what this is about; I was talking about the 1980s breakup of The Phone Company. (Obviously, in the current mobile market most of the benefits of that are now irrelevant.)
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:04 PM   #19
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it did? I thought ClearChannel owned everything since that ruling, and that has nearly ruined radio and journalism in general
Those are two different things.

The AT&T breakup was an anti-monopoly move, while the broadcast outlet ownership rules relaxation was more like a pro-monopoly thing.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:35 PM   #20
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yes, but you have to admit the momentum to relax media ownership regulations pretty much got a green light because of how people responded to the AT&T breakup...it's convoluted, but it was the start of a bad thing. People thought, "oh, the government has done us a real solid..keep going"
Which they did, of course, on multiple levels.
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:29 AM   #21
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yes, but you have to admit the momentum to relax media ownership regulations pretty much got a green light because of how people responded to the AT&T breakup...it's convoluted, but it was the start of a bad thing. People thought, "oh, the government has done us a real solid..keep going"
Which they did, of course, on multiple levels.
The first was a court-ordered response, 8 years later, to a Justice Department antitrust suit.

The relaxation of broadcast ownership restrictions was instigated by Congress.
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:11 PM   #22
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The problem with this aproach is that it could cost you more money for fewer channels. On the other side of the coin, I would love to get rid of all the sports channels and reduce my bill.

I NEVER watch sports and they are the most expensive channels in the line-up.


http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/14/4...ision-channels
I'm exactly the opposite. I'm OTA only, but would gladly pay for only the sports channels if I could.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:55 PM   #23
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Breaking up AT&T seemed to have worked out OK.
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Based on what evidence?
not too long ago, every at&t residential customer paid 25˘ each minute for long distance. only big companies could afford wats service.

sure, technology and market demand forced price changes too, but sprint and mci phone cards started the trend. at&t milked that long distance cash cow until it died.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:06 PM   #24
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That's not the only problem. It is very likely that marginal channels will disappear entirely if unbundled.
Isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work? Successful companies survive, the losers eventually fold up shop or are bought out.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:26 PM   #25
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Isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work? Successful companies survive, the losers eventually fold up shop or are bought out.
Or get massive amounts of taxpayer bailout money to keep their executives in private jets like GM.
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:25 PM   #26
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Isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work? Successful companies survive, the losers eventually fold up shop or are bought out.
What exactly is capitalist about government regulations forbidding certain types of carriage contracts?
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:34 PM   #27
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You guys seem to think ESPN etc costs so much money and if we stopped bundling then we each would have to pay a small fortune for our ESPN.

The truth is, ESPN *has* so much money because of bundling, which allows them to overpay for sports programming to buy it away from networks. The glut of money available to these networks drives up the prices the owners can sell coverage of the events for.

If you made people pay individually for sports channels, you'd see the prices drop in to massive decline, reducing revenues for networks and schools along the way. Because no one is paying 10 dollars a month for the Big 10 channel. At least, not enough people to keep it going. But TW can stick it on your cable lineup, raise prices by 3 per subscriber, and no one even notices and some number of people love it and TW therefore loves it.

So, don't blame me, the sports fan, for the prices you pay for cable TV. Blame bundling. Our prices would not be that high if you split our channels out from yours.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:28 PM   #28
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What exactly is capitalist about government regulations forbidding certain types of carriage contracts?
That's not the question we're looking for. We're talking about channels that would fold if tv became "unbundled".
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:28 PM   #29
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Or get massive amounts of taxpayer bailout money to keep their executives in private jets like GM.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:25 AM   #30
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That's not the question we're looking for. We're talking about channels that would fold if tv became "unbundled".
The smaller networks. The larger networks with a huge catalog of shows people watch will survive - the weaker channels will just get more of those hit shows (so you watch Mythbusters on one channel, Deadliest Catch on another, etc. etc. etc, so to watch your favorite Discovery shows, you've now had to purchase all 5 or 6 channels. Ditto History).

Then again, the major telecommunications companies own the channels anyways, so all that's going to happen is everyone's rates go up - internet, TV, phone, etc. (And internet rates go up the fastest). Yes, in Canada, the telecommunications companies have gone vertical and own the entire stack -the channels, the distribution networks and the final mile. Between Rogers, Bell, Telus and Shaw, that's pretty much the entirety of Canadian TV.

There are a few smaller independent channels, but those are generally already OTA.

In the end, it's really just a distraction created by the Harper Government (our PM renamed the Government of Canada) to try to draw attention away from various scandals. He already shut down the government for a month to hope it would blow over. By the time it actually gets around to being passed, the big guys would've contributed significant money to the CRTC to ensure it's watered down as heck.

If anyone asks in the US - keep the content producers (channels and stations) away from the big distribution networks. Otherwise you're not going to get much if it turns out 99% of your channels are coming from the likes of Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T and other telecommunications firms.
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