Thursday, December 01, 2005

Should Cable TV Be A La Carte?

There's a push on in Congress and by the chairman of the FCC to force cable companies to sell their programming on an a la carte basis, instead of as packages of fifty or a hundred channels at a time. Yesterday on my KMOX show, Steve Effros, former president of the cable industry's lobbying association, explained why this is a bad idea that would end up costing you and me more money in the long run. Listen to the conversation here.

Before talking to Steve, I went through the list of channels I get in the Dish Network package we subscribe to. Sure, there are many of them that I never watch, but there were also several that I'd never heard of, including the Good Samaritan Network. I have no idea what that is, but I imagine it shows things like a car crash followed by 11 people coming out of a building to help the victims. Or a woman with a flat tire getting help from a kindly passerby. Or the CEO of a huge corporation protecting the jobs and retirement plans of his employees, even if it means he and the board of directors don't personally gain from it.