For those of you who watch a lot of cable television, this news should be of interest to you. Somebody in congress has come up with a bill that would prevent cable companies from making it mandatory for customers to buy cable channels in bundles. In other words, the idea of the bill is to allow customers to buy only the channels they want.
At first glance, this seems like a great idea, doesn’t it? I mean, how cool would it be to buy only the channels you really use, so you can get rid of festering crap like MTV, BET, Fox News, CNBC, MSNBC, CSPAN, PAX, Lifetime, Oxygen, and other channels like this, and only pay for the good ones.
Who wouldn’t like to see less Disney and Nickelodeon channels? Wouldn’t it be great to see smaller numbers of political news channels? Or not so many “golden oldies” TV channels – I’m really getting sick of channels calling the Cosby Show, Golden Girls, and the Jeffersons as classics.
However, I smell a rat. When bundled, each channel probably costs an average of 50 cents (or something like that). However, unbundled, some stations may jack up their costs – like ESPN and the Comedy Channel (two channels I love). I can see this ending up in us having to pay more for the TV we want to see. The cable companies probably secretly love this.
Additionally, channels that still provide us with creative and thought-provoking television may be left for dead, and will simply go away. Channels like the History Channel, Bravo, A&E, Discovery Channel (and channels of this ilk) will probably become a thing of the past. The few channels that are left over will probably be bought out by super-corporations, who will market to the lowest common denominators – ensuring that we HAVE to watch thought-siphoning programming like Fear Factor, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Yes Dear forever.