Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) recent study on cable TV pricing concluded that cable TV subscribers would save from 3 percent to 13 percent on their cable bills in a pick-and-choose pricing system. This is in contrast to their 2004 finding that consumers wouldn't benefit, based on faulty data the agency obtained from the cable industry. The "a la carte" system will replace the bundled services offered by the cable industry. The new system also promises to give more parental control over the amount of violent and racy programming that children are exposed to on TV by customizing packages.
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) does not find it appropriate that Washington would mandate how the industry runs its business. Industry analysts cite First Amendment concerns, saying that diversity voices could be lost if smaller niche networks catering to minorities are forced out of business. Consumers Union forsees a whole new debate on the benefits of letting consumers pick their own channels on cable TV. Telcos have started lobbying eliminating video franchising to speed up their time-to-marketing IPTV services against the cable companies. With the a la carte system, cablecos wide distribution could ebb out.
For more on this development:
- check out this article from CBS News