Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ordering TV À La Carte

So, in my last two posts, All Foxed Up, or Time(Warn'er) for Cable Neutrality, and then Tell Old Pharaoh to Let My Channels Go! I got into the recent conflicts between cable companies on the one hand, and broadcasters, networks, and other content providers on the other.  And recently I've been seeing spots from Scripps and Comcast on TV, much like the earlier ones from Fox and Time Warner Cable.  As Marshall McLuhan was known to note, breakdowns are opportunities for breakthroughs.  So how about it?

Well, I had an interesting comment on Tell Old Pharaoh to Let My Channels Go! from someone with the handle of Knavish Kevin.  I won't say anything about his choice of nicknames, but in the comment he left, after some remarks on the controversy, he wrote the following:

Instead of this silliness where the cable operators and networks have a legal battle on which tier of programming and cost…. let’s reintroduce market forces into cable. LET THE CONSUMERS PICK!!

TV A La Carte is a consumer-driven movement so we pick our own programming. Not Big Cable. And it doesn’t take much for us to have an alternative… around 1,000 folks in a concentrated area could be enough to have a small operator launch a scrappy, nimble, tech-savvy business. Join the movement!

 Then he provided the following URL, <http://www.tvalacarte.org>, for this TV À La Carte page.  There, you can find the following statement:

In recent conversations with small cable operators and nascent high-tech startups, executives revealed that it could be possible for a new provider to provide high-speed Internet and cable with roughly 1,000 interested customers in a neighborhood. Through the power of social media, we could jumpstart this process by opting-into a program customized to our preferences.
And in the comment KK left on my last post, he concluded:

Instead of waiting for a seismic shift in DC, we can create change through small, collective actions.
Oh, and there's a Twitter profile too:  TVALaCarte 

So, I think this is a great idea, you've got my support KK, and I hope this can succeed, or at least put enough pressure on the industry to force them to provide some reasonable reforms.

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