E-Commerce Times Talkback
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Forcing consumers to buy prepackaged tiers of bundled TV channels is a violation of trade and anti-trust laws, contends a lawsuit filed in the federal court against media companies and cable/satellite TV providers. The complaint, filed by Los Angeles lawyers Maxwell Blecher and David Kesselman on behalf of nine plaintiffs, names broadcasters Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Echostar Satellite and Cablevision. It also names programmers NBC Universal, Viacom, Walt Disney, Fox Entertainment and Time Warner.
In Oct 2007 I found out by accident what many are just now finding out... the cable industry (Comcast is my local provider) has designed a strategy that will create windfall profits only paralleled by the gas companies.
What I found out that October was that the lower channel (1-99) were going to trimmed to only a few channels.
The reason? So that every single TV would need a $5 to $8 converter box to get the "enhanced" service.
My response was immediate. I wrote an email to all my friends and included my local Congressman and Senator. The silence was deafening EXCEPT from Comcast. I received a call from a very nice women from the corporate office and to make a long story short confirmed the plan. Not a single newspaper or consumer advocate cared.
So aside from a TERRIBLE remote, slow responding cable box, price increases (3x last year alone?) lets just do the simple math... maybe you'll begin to see (and do something about)just how you're about to see a BIG % increase in your cable bills :
One Possible EXAMPLE:
$10 Cost to manufacture (non-hi def) cable box
$8 MONTHLY RENTAL FEE OF THAT BOX
3 AVERAGE NUMBER OF TELEVISION PER HOUSEHOLD
23,000,000 Comcast cable customers
multiplied by $24 PER MONTH - EVERY MONTH
$552,000,000 MONTHLY WINDFALL TO Cable tv!
$6.5 BILLION A YEAR
If I could afford it I might buy their stock.
Oh well - already learned my lesson there - the little guy takes the risk and loses, the big guy gets rich and walks away.