• Where’s the Consumer Demand for THIS?

    by  • May 21, 2013 • Cable Choice • 5 Comments

    How many times have you heard it argued that television content providers are just delivering what audiences want? That since networks are in the business to make money, they would never air content that would drive away viewers, and so if you’re offended by what you see, you must be in the minority.

    If that’s true, I’d love to see the audience tests and market surveys showing that consumers just really, really, really want to watch someone drink their own urine on television.

    Because MTV apparently thinks the demand is there.

    Tonight on “Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life,” viewers will be treated to the spectacle of Ke$ha drinking her own urine.

    But there’s a bigger issue here: why should we have to pay for this kind of garbage just so we can get access to Discovery, Disney, or the Golf channel? It’s outrageous – and it shouldn’t be that way. You wouldn’t expect to have to pay for issues of Esquire, Cosmopolitan, and Sports Illustrated just because you want to pick up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens, would you?

    Consumers deserve choice. We should all have the ability to choose and pay for only the channels we want to watch.

    What the “change the channel” crowd refuses to acknowledge is that the current system represents a market failure, but an a la carte solution would correct the balance and truly bring market forces to bear on programming. With only six companies controlling 90% of the media we consume, CBS/Viacom can afford to sustain short-term losses in advertiser revenue on MTV because they’re still getting their $.30 per subscriber per month, and they’re still bringing in millions of dollars from their other broadcast and cable properties. Under an a la carte system, programs like “Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life” probably wouldn’t last, because there wouldn’t be enough demand to justify keeping it on the air, and Viacom would have a much harder time artificially sustaining it.

    Fortunately, it seems the chorus of voices calling for Cable Choice — from Senator John McCain, to writers at the LA Times and Daily Kos – are growing stronger and impossible to ignore.

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    5 Responses to Where’s the Consumer Demand for THIS?

    1. Wendy R.
      May 21, 2013 at 11:37 am

      Thank you for keeping the caring public informed. I don’t have a TV now, but I know people who do and who have kids!

    2. Bruce Johnson
      May 24, 2013 at 1:59 am

      Indeed, on many nights, the best thing I can find is an old re-run of something from the 50′s, like the Dick Van Dyke show – Rob and Laura Petrie, with their little boy Richie.

    3. Michelle Simon
      May 24, 2013 at 8:51 am

      I cannot wait for the day cable choice goes into effect! We are not required to pay for optional phone services we don’t need, we choose our car insurance coverage, we deserve to NOT pay for CRAP that does NOT improve the quality of life in people. I’m tired of paying for gossip, vindictiveness, rape, violence and stereotypes!

    4. William Hughes
      May 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Ever notice if a show or commercial offends a Minority Group, it will be yanked off the air IMMEDIATELY, but if a show or commercial offends the majority, whoever’s behind the offensive item will claim they have a “Constitutional Right” to air it. HOLY HYPOCRISY BATMAN!

      Pay TV is beginning to reap what they sow. The last few years they have seen the number of subscribers decline. After years of seeing prices do nothing but climb, climb climb while the quality of what they are paying for does nothing but head south, people are getting fed up and have chosen to seek their entertainment and informational needs elsewhere. A house divided against itself cannot stand. I’ve seen legions of businesses, many of which were once household names, follow the death spiral known as raising prices and lowering quality, and go out of business when their customers decided to either:

      1. Find that product at a cheaper price.

      2. Replace that product with something else.

      If the Television Industry keeps going along the path they are now on, one day the entire system will collapse like a house of cards. When this happens, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

    5. Andrew
      May 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      I read recently that an a la carte system would be even more costly than the one we have right now. If this is true, then no, I won’t support it. People like McCain can say no, that’s not true, but he’s a government official, and if there’s one thing government excels at it’s lying.

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