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Re: RE: Arbitrends for Boston Up

<<On Sat, 26 May 2001 17:08:16 -0400, "Mark Laurence" <mlaurence@mindspring.com> said:

> Since the channels are contracted to be basic cable, we never have
> any opportunity to say "cancel my ESPN, it's not worth it anymore."

If I may play devil's advocate for a moment....

The argument that you'll hear from cable companies is this:

- Advertising revenue is more important than subscription revenue to
most cable channels (premium services excepted).

- Since most cable channels get negligible or unmeasurable ratings,
advertising rates depend mostly on the size of the potential audience,
rather than the size of the actual audience.

- The more households receive a service, the cheaper it becomes to

- Thus, our descramblers don't permit blacking out channels except
where required by law, so that Joe Couch Potato has to flip through
all the channels on our system to find the one he thinks he wants.

- And for the same reasons, we force you to pay for services you don't

- Because if we did not do so, then all services would be much more
expensive, and you would probably have to pay more to get only the
ones you want a la carte.

- And if all you care about are the broadcast channels, Federal law
requires that we provide them unbundled, even though we would rather

(What this argument overlooks is the extent to which the cable
companies and channel distributors are the same companies.  It is good
to see that AT&T is finally spinning off Liberty Media, even if it
does still leave them with a significant equity stake in Time Warner