If you answer yes to that question, then you are not alone. For years now, many subscribers have been very unhappy about the “bundled pricing” strategy of cable providers — whereby they must pay for channels in which they have no interest. These subscribers would much rather have “a la carte pricing” — whereby they pay only for the channels they want.

New research indicates just how widespread discontent about cable TV pricing really is. So, what should be done about it?

As Paul Bond writes for Hollywood Reporter:

“A la carte television programming is a popular concept among consumers who presume they’d save money by ditching channels they don’t watch, but given that only 38 percent would be willing to pay more than $3 per channel each month, it’s not likely the idea will catch on with TV providers who aren’t inclined to stray from bundling. Not at that price.”

“A new study out today from PricewaterhouseCoopers says that 44 percent of consumers would like a total a la carte system and that 73 percent of consumers would prefer a la carte or at least more customization of packages than is currently offered. Only 14 percent are satisfied with the status quo.”

Click on the image to read more.



10 Replies to “Fed Up with Your Cable TV Provider?”

  1. Maybe it is because my parents have always dealt with the cable because I had no idea that all these companies do this “bundling” thing. Now that I start thinking about it, there are at least 100 channels on the home TV that none of us have ever watched before. So is this considered money lost? Since we are paying for this bundle but not even using all of it simply because we are not interested in those channels. It would be interesting to ask my parents whether they would want to stick to the bundle or try to get just the channels they want. If it were my choice, I’d definitely agree with 73% of people who want some type of customization offer. Because I wouldn’t want to overpay for my cable package, which is what I think a lot of people, including my parents, are doing.

  2. It’s interesting that, although people want a change, very few people would actually pay for a la carte programming. I wonder how much these bundle packages cost because a pretty large number of people wouldn’t pay more than a dollar monthly to watch a channel that they want. I also don’t understand why it would cost more to pick 10 individual channels than to get 100 channels, 90 of which you never watch. I think marketers in this field know that people love television, so they have been able to get away with providing bad service, but with increased competition from online providers like Hulu and Netflix, it will be interesting to see how things change.

  3. I’m not surprised that consumers are fed up with bundle prices, I could think of several TV channels that I have never spent at least five minutes watching and I know I’m not alone in this. So why would one want to pay for channels that they are not even viewing, it seems to be a waste of money and quite frankly almost as if we are being cheated by the cable providers. Cable providers also like to note that with certain packages one gets so many channels to appeal to the consumer but in reality the consumer won’t be watching half of those TV channels. I feel that “a la carte pricing” would be a great option for consumers to have and by applying this it could benefit the cable companies as well since more people would want to buy from a company that offers such an option.

  4. I believe we should only pay for the tv channels we want. It is a rip off to society the amount of money cable companies make us pay when in reality we only watch half of what we pay for, if even that much. I believe the tv channels team up with the cable companies and pay them to be included in the packages and pay them money to do so.

  5. I agree with this article because I think I would prefer a cheaper a la carte cable provider. Recently, I don’t really even watch TV anymore because Netflix has the programs I want to watch automatically. Also it even recommends shows that are similiar to a person’s preferences. I think it would be interesting to see Netflix emerge as a cable provider because it is so much more user friendly.

  6. I wish a la carte TV programming existed. I don’t need 300 sports channels. Nor do I need a channel running twice a few hundred channels later. The PST version of a channel? Completely unnecessary. I’d love to be able to customize or pick/choose. Maybe someone should come up with an attractive marketing plan for this and make it happen.

  7. “Cutting the cord” with the bulk of cable TV programming has become an increasingly popular trend amongst households in recent years, especially due to the proliferation of high-speed internet access and mobile computing technologies. As much as an a-la-carte system would be more desirable for most consumers now, I do not foresee it coming to pass. Cable TV companies make the bulk of their profits for bringing programming of all kinds to their user base, so to provide users with a customizable number of specific combinations and permutations of different TV channels would be an incredibly complex task organizationally, and would ultimately prove to be less profitable to offer such a service. For example, companies would need to build new systems that allow customers to select their desired TV channels, ensure customers do not have access to basic programming they do not pay for, all while they would be reducing sales revenue by not charging consumers for the full amount of cable programming they do now. Boiling it all down, the idea is an entirely unprofitable business venture for cable TV companies.

    My theory is that costs for bundled TV-Internet-Phone packages will drive away hordes of customers in the coming five years, and we will see a proliferation of television programming delivered wirelessly via the internet. Already, providers such as NBC, FOX, ABC, and CBS all offer their full Fall Primetime TV lineup for free, available for streaming directly from their websites LIVE or the day after broadcast. Companies that offer TV-Internet-Phone bundles will begin phasing out TV-Phone aspects of their packages, as we shift to a culture consuming more on-the-go from the internet and on our mobile phones, rather than with our stationary TV or landlines at home.

  8. Cable providers have a smart tactic. They know they will have customers who will buy whatever they sell because many people want cable. So the providers choose to sell bundles rather than letting their customers customize their channels for a lower price. Bundling may be presented as a ‘great deal’ because the cable provider is selling you many channels for a set price; however, bundling is actually a sneaky way for the company to take your money, regardless of your satisfaction of channels your receiving. Even though 73% of customers would rather choose their own channels, or customize, cable providers will most likely keep selling bundle packages because customers continue to buy them regardless.

  9. I think that the a la carte system should only be an option in a contract. I do not think that going completely a la carte is a good idea. People say that that is what they’d prefer, but that is only because they are paying a high price now. It is just like that old saying goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone.” Once these channels are taken away, people will have another reason to complain. I think keeping these channels is important. Even though some people may not watch certain stations, I think the fact that you have so many options to choose from is ideal. If you only watch 4 channels, then some may say they only want to pay for those 4. However, when there isn’t anything on those channels, what will they watch? And how do you think that these people found out that they don’t watch certain things on other channels? It is because those “few channels” that they do watch didn’t have anything on that interested them, so they scanned the rest of their options to see what they liked. I think a la carte television is not as great as it sounds on paper.

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