• Time Warner Cable Boss Supports Cable Choice

    by  • September 4, 2013 • Cable Choice • 4 Comments

    For decades, the vast conglomerates that control the entertainment industry force cable companies to buy “bundles” of channels – which in turn forces pay-TV subscribers to purchase hundreds of channels they don’t want. The situation has gotten so bad, even owners of major cable companies are protesting it.

    As reported by the Los Angeles Times, at this year’s annual Cable Show (an assemblage of leaders in the cable industry), Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt told his fellow cable bosses that today’s cable “bundles” are too expensive – particularly for lower-income households, such as recent college grads or those who are out of work. Commenting on Senator John McCain’s Television Consumer Freedom Act (which would mandate an ala carte approach, rather than the current “bundling”), Britt said, “I think it’s what consumers want, so we’re going to have to do that…People are starting to pay attention to the fact that the multichannel TV package is starting to get too expensive.” And during TWC’s recent clash with CBS, Britt reiterated that his company would be willing to carry CBS “on an a la carte basis [which] would allow customers to decide for themselves how much value they ascribe” to various networks. 

    That fact that even the head of a major cable company says that cable prices are too high and that “bundling” functions unfairly absolutely eviscerates the entertainment industry’s argument that the “free market” is already being served.



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    4 Responses to Time Warner Cable Boss Supports Cable Choice

    1. Robert Finkel
      September 8, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Yes, cable channel bundling is an economic issue for many people, but it’s also a matter of freedom of choice. Why should I be required to buy something I don’t want to get something I do?

    2. Karl Lundberg
      September 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Really starting to get anxious to get cable choice. During the CBS disagreement, I decided it would be better to choose whether each individual wanted it. I would have left if off our choice, even though there are a couple of things we watch. We have both cable and satellite, and will be choosing soon to drop one of them. I do not like paying for things like the filth that came over Comedy Central earlier this weekend in the Tony someone roast (never heard of him or the participants!), and we all paid for it. Get it fixed soon. I like John McCain’s proposal.

    3. G
      September 6, 2013 at 4:25 am

      I totally agree with Mr. Britt. For the past few years I have said we pay for far more channels than we care to watch–particularly those that contain violence, filth, sex and more. We are senior citizens on a fixed income and the prices are too high for what we pay. We have considered dropping DirecTV because of this but then we would be left without a few channels that have good programming.

    4. Barbara Armstrong
      September 6, 2013 at 3:54 am

      I totally support CHOICE TV. I want to be able to choose what comes into my home via TV. It’s not just the college grads and people who are out of work who can’t afford these expensive rates. You need to include the blue collar workers who live pay check to pay check and the elderly. The sooner you can provide CHOICE the sooner you will see an increase in subscribers. I’m thinking about dropping my cable because of the expense of it. I could save $100 a month and that could be better spent somewhere else.

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