Independently owned Tennis Channel has gotten the better of the big bad cable industry --specifically Comcast Corp -- for now.
A judge has ruled that Comcast was wrong in putting Tennis Channel on a pay tier -- at $5 a month extra for consumers -- while similar sports networks Versus and the Golf Channel, both owned by Comcast, got a free ride and better channel positions.
In a world of big and strong media companies -- and the wannabes -- what are we to make of this? A victory for the little guy, from Tennis Channel's viewpoint? Or, as Comcast might say, does this hurt the little guy -- the entertainment consumer still pressed with figuring out how to lower his monthly entertainment consumption costs.
Of course, Comcast might give us a lot of other networks and programming we don't want -- and some would say we shouldn't have to pay for them either. Looking at stuff on a more micro-targeted basis, why should I pay for mixed-martial-arts programming, sugar-induced cake-making shows, religious-themed networks or young techie video game programs I'm not interested in?
Surely, in theory, Comcast could save some spectrum space by not sending those programs and networks into my home. Can we call this some entertainment 'greening'? Don't waste the airwaves. If a consumer isn't using something, put it "standby" mode -- just like other modern digital consumer devices.
Proponents might say that doing this -- in effect, giving us a la carte programming -- would wind up being more wasteful, given the technologies and financial dynamics around cable network/operator deals. Trouble is, not all entertainment consumers are savvy to this -- or believe it, for that matter.
We all love the little guy winning his day in court over the big guy. It makes for great dramatic news stories and conclusions -- just like with most good television. Whatever the end result, if we are serious about what is needed versus the entertainment gluttony we secretly want, everyone should try and make the right decisions.
Then again this is America. Some people get paid more than others -- in theory because they are working hard. Some are just freaking lucky, and others have entertainment clout to step on smaller businesses.
You believe in entertainment capitalism in its fullest, don't you? Okay. But you have to side with some green business attempts to eliminate entertainment waste.
I am sure you notice at home that there are dozens- no hundreds- of cable channels I have to scan past every day and for the most part have never seen anything that interests me. Conversely, there are dozens more that I see interesting programs on, but do not have access to them. That's the problem with a gatekeep the size of Comcast: they make deals the benefit THEM, rather than their customers, and are forced to tier channels to capture as many upsells as possible.
The WORST is that I am already paying for my local channels, but to get them in HD I have to pay another $10 for a digital tier, that includes tens of dozens of channels I can't even receive!
Bastards- give me a la carte, or give me death!
The Pay-TV Providers may soon be forced to offer their channels a la carte. Several Advocacy Groups, including the Parent's Television Council have filed a lawsuit claiming the Pay-TV Industry's practice of "Bundling" TV Channels violates Anti-Trust Laws. Combined with the rate increases (Said to be the biggest ever) that are soon to be thrust upon subscribers and Providers may have a subscriber revolt on their hands.