What You Pay For Cable TV - The Breakdown

I thought this would make for some pretty interesting discussion

Here’s the article

And here is the breakdown by channel of subscriber fees per channel

Here are the top five

[li]ESPN/ESPN HD — $4.08[/li][li]FOX Sports Net – $2.37 [/li][li]TNT--------------- $0.99[/li][li]Disney Channel- - $0.88[/li][li]NFL Network------ $0.75[/li][/ul]

So what do you think, pretty resonable? I know the subject of cable ala carte comes up, of course it’d cost more if channels were ala carte but at least it gives you an idea of what you’re paying for, for channels you sledom or never watch

I didn’t read the links. Is this also the cost for satellite users?

Seems reasonable to me. Downright cheap, even.

I would happily delete the top two from my line-up if I could. Never watch them at all.

I have satellite instead of cable, and would also be interested if the same breakdown applies there. It says sports channels account for 49% of cable fees - since my interest in sports is nonexistent, I’d love to be able to drop them for an equivalent reduction in my bill. And I’m sure there are enough other channels I would willingly do without to cut my bill in half.

I find it extremely depressing that so much of my cable bill goes to fund the sports channels, which I do not watch, to the extent of having removed them from my channel list. If you go by the linked chart, the monthly total for the channels that I do watch is only $4.28.

AuntiePam, the issue is that according to that list, the average channel cost is .20/month, with many channels costing less. The highest priced channel I watch is TNT at .99, and it only costs so much because it has sports contracts. My must-see channels are Comedy Central (at .14), Bravo (at .19), and A&E (at .25). Compared to those rates, paying several dollars for sports channels that I will never see doesn’t seem reasonable to me.

Came to the same realization years ago. Might have kept the cable if they’d have offered a lower cost “non-sports/non-Disney” option. But I unplugged the umbillical cord. Yeah, I missed it when friends were discussing B. Galactica…

But I sure don’t miss the cost.

Yeah, a la carte cable would be awesome. Too bad that it will probably never be offered due to it simply being a bad financial move for the cable companies. The people who don’t already subscribe to cable and would add channels (i.e. me) will not make up the revenue that would be lost by others who already pay the full subscription dropping channels.

Sure they would, as outlined in the linked articles. For example, only 25% of subscribers watch ESPN, so ESPN would cost 4x as much to keep the revenue stream intact. ($16.32 just for ESPN!)

Similarly, if only 10% of subscribers watch TNT or USA, those channels would cost 10x as much. ($9.90 and $5.50) And for novelties like G4 and the Science Channel, if we’re generous and say 2% of subscribers watch them, they’d cost 50x as much. ($4 and $3)

Something doesn’t make sense with that list.
At least here in Las Vegas with Cox Cable, you have to pay an extra tier premium to get IFC and Sundance, and it is a hell of a lot more than the pennies on that list.
Plus, it does piss me off to know I am paying a lot for sports channels that I never, ever watch.

You’re not, though. If you took out all the sports channels and paid for the rest a la carte, your bill would be much higher. Adding in the sports channels lowers your monthly bill. Think of the difference as the fee you charge the cable company to allow all those yucky sports into your home.

You’re right that a ala carte channel listing wouldn’t be available at those prices, but you’re making the assumption that every channel is valuable to him except the sports channels. Maybe he’d only actually pay for a third of them, in which case, even with the price increases, he would almost certainly save overall. It’s hard to say exactly because you’d need to know how many other people were willing to subscribe to a channel before you could estimate costs. You’re assuming that he keeps 98% of his channels, but that everyone else just picks a few (like the assumption that only 10% watch TNT, only 2% watch g4, etc) which is the worst case scenario, which leads you to the apparent conclusion that having them charge you for everything instead of a smaller portion of what you want is doing you a favor.

And you’re assuming people would pay that? As it is everyone who pays for cable is subsidizing their sports fetish. Now although die-hard sports fans (who have jobs) surely would, there are a lot of other people who are interested in sports but wouldn’t be able to afford the huge rate hikes.

What huge rate hike? People who have a “sports fetish” watch lots and lots and lots of sports. If their a la carte selection is nothing but sports channels, and we calculate that everything that’s 1 (including TNT's .99) is a 25% share, everything under 1 is a 20% share and everything less than .25 is a 10% share, the top 15 sports channels add up to a $55.81 bill.

ESPN $4.08
FOX Sports $2.37
TNT $0.99
NFL Network $0.75
ESPN2 $0.54
TBS $0.49
Big Ten $0.36
NHL $0.35
VERSUS $0.26
Golf $0.25
MLB $0.24
SPEED $0.20
ESPN Class $0.18
CBS College $0.19
ESPNews $0.17
One thing this list doesn’t show is how much it’s worth having a reliable feed of local network channels being piped into my home.

I dislike DirectTv’s Premium offer.

They have 5 channels that aren’t included in the basic package. DIY, History Int, Planet Green and a couple more.

$5 a month extra just to get those channels. :mad: I really love History Int and DIY. So the assholes are getting an extra $60 a year from me. Hope they shove it where the sun don’t shine. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m very proud to say that I’ve never watched a pay per view movie on DirectTV. I refuse to piss my money away on that crap. I don’t have any premium channels like HBO or Showtime either.

And what if they want more than just sports channels? They are going to be paying a hell of a lot more than that for the service they’re already getting for say, $50 a month now.

The conclusion here seems to be that if we had fewer services, we’d pay more money collectively. How does that work? Let’s say we go to ala carte and everyone’s bill goes up - where does that money go? So the channels end up with more money now? Why? We’d probably reach some sort of equilibrium where everyone was making roughly the same amount of money as a whole, but perhaps indiivdual channels that couldn’t justify their ratings vs cost would fail. People who didn’t watch that many channels would see their bills go down and people who wanted most/all channels would see it go up.

It’s silly to act like the cable companies are doing us a favor by forcing us to purchase a large number of their products that we’re not interested in.

You can purchase a la carte Television for 'big dish" satellite. A price list can be seen here - http://www.skyvision.com/programming/alacarte.html

edit - wrong thread

I have to buy a sports tier in order to get the frakking Game Show Network.

Ditto my parents. My little brother is a freshman in high school, and just loooooooves GSN. One day his beloved GSN is gone and he threw a fit. Turns out they had to buy a sports tier to keep it. Utterly useless. It’s insane that anyone should financially support the habits of others - ESPN? I never watch ESPN.