Skip to main content

FCC Says Argument for A La Carte is Proven

Multichannel News reports that parents should have the right to buy only those cable channels they deem appropriate for their families in an a la carte selection process that would promote consumer choice and competition among pay TV distributors, a Federal Communications Commission official said.

�Why should you have to pay for channels that you are blocking?� FCC chief economist Leslie Marx said. "The FCC has looked into the issue of providing consumers with more choice and has found that a la carte and other means for increasing consumer choice could benefit consumers.�

Marx said that the a la carte sale of cable networks is a market reality in several mature economies around the globe, and the results are proven. In Hong Kong, for example, she said, the introduction of a la carte in recent years by one cable company has forced the second cable company to respond competitively by slashing tier prices. Hong Kong consumers who go a la carte pay 50 percent less than those who buy programming tiers.

�All programming competes in the free market, and diverse programming selections have remained,� Marx added. �There is every reason to believe that a la carte offerings would be equally, if not more, successful here in the United States.� At least twice, Marx suggested that �the FCC� has endorsed cable a la carte. In fact, the agency under Martin issued a report in February saying that a la carte could lower cable bills under certain scenarios, but the report was not endorsed by an FCC majority.

Marx, a PhD economist on leave from Duke University�s Fuqua School of Business, joined the FCC last August. Her unvarnished support for a la carte went well beyond Martin�s personal observations on the subject, which are usually tied to parental empowerment over cable channels that include indecent content.

In her comments, Marx took strong issue with the U.S. cable industry�s tradition of selling dozens of channels in tiers and requiring parents to rely on digital set-top boxes to interdict programming they don�t want their children to view. �The FCC agrees that parental choice and control is critically important, but to really give parents the choice and control they need, allow them to purchase only those channels they regard as appropriate for their families,� Marx said. �Allow consumer choice to be the factor that regulates programming content in the cable industry.�

�If you want to empower parents, really empower them, if you want to enable them to avoid watching television that they don�t want, then allow them to choose the channel that they want to watch and not pay for the channels that they don�t want to watch,� she added.

Popular posts from this blog

Open Banking Usage to Grow by 470 Percent

The Open Banking business model has been advantageous for Third-Party Providers (TPPs), helping them to extend their offerings into other areas of financial services with new capabilities. Open Banking is also advantageous for traditional banking institutions, despite the perceived loss of custodianship over their data, by providing greater accessibility to more bank services. Furthermore, Open Banking can help serve Mobile Internet providers that are able to leverage it to create tailored services according to customers’ preferences and/or economic limitations. Open Banking Market Development Since traditional banking services are made more convenient by TPPs via greater data access, customers can proactively manage their finances and shape the development of new financial offerings. This is particularly noticeable in the realm of Digital Payments, where retail merchants and customers transact through eCommerce, which has the greatest number of use cases for Open Banking. These includ

Why Instant Issuance Payment Cards Evolved

The global financial services sector continues to grow as more progressive organizations seek to gain a meaningful competitive advantage from their digital transformation initiatives. Across the globe, many regions are seeing a significant rise in 'instant issuance' activity from a physical and digital perspective, from both traditional and emerging innovative banking institutions. Digital Payments Market Development Customers increasingly demand instant access to banking services, with physical instant issuance enabling them to leave their branch equipped with a ready-to-go payment card. According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, the market for instantly issued physical payment cards will increase from 243.2 million shipments in 2022 to a forecast of 471.1 million in 2027. "Critically, instant issuance of payment cards is no longer limited to the physical," said Sam Gazeley, industry analyst at ABI Research . Indeed, the growing digitization of p

Global Digital Business and IT Consulting Outlook

Across the globe, CEOs and their leadership teams continue to seek information and guidance about planned Digital Transformation initiatives and the most effective enterprise organization change management practices. Worldwide IT and Business Services revenue will grow from $1.13 trillion in 2022 to $1.2 trillion in 2023 -- that's a 5.7 percent year-over-year growth, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). The mid-term to long-term outlook for the market has also increased -- the five-year CAGR is forecast at 5.2 percent, compared to the previous 4.9 percent. Digital Sevices & Consulting Market Development IDC has raised the growth projection despite a weak economic outlook, because of vendor performances across 2022, growth indicators from adjacent markets, increased government funding, and inflation impacts. The actual 2022 market growth was 6.7 percent (in constant currency), which was 87 basis points higher than forecast last year, alth