Anyone who has cable television service knows that you cannot just pick and choose what channels you want to receive. People can only subscribe for various packages. That means most viewers end up with many channels that they never watch.
Verizon and Cablevision are now pressing companies that own the programming to stop pushing them to distribute unwanted channels and instead allow them to allow customers an a la carte menu of channels. If successful, the efforts could lead to cheaper options for consumers as they would only have to buy the channels that they know they will watch.
More Americans are switching from cable to Web-based viewing provided by Netflix, Apple and Amazon.com. Today, 5 million households get their television solely from the Internet, up from 2 million in 2007, according to the Nielsen Company. On average, consumers watch five to 10 channels regularly. Meanwhile, cable services send out hundreds of channels and cable bills have tripled in the past decade.
Verizon and Cablevision are correct. People should have the choice and should only have to pay for the channels that they watch. If bundling is not ended, more and more viewers are going to switch to Web-based viewing and the cable companies will lose subscribers.