Friday, December 2, 2005 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Go Carte

The WSJ reports that Cablevision has come out in favor of letting consumers purchase channels individually. Cablevision's Charles Dolan is quoted as saying the "opportunity to purchase programming on an a la carte basis would be in the best interests of consumers." And: "We do not believe in the long term that selling programming a la carte will be detrimental to either programmers or cable operators."

If Cablevision wants to offer a la carte on a voluntary basis, then more power to it. It would be useful to have a market test. What's stopping Cablevision from going ahead and doing it if it believes this would be in the "best interests of consumers"?

Maybe what Cablevision is really saying, though, is that, in the "best interests of consumers", it thinks the FCC should mandate a la carte. Or maybe Cablevision is saying that it feels a lot of heat from the FCC and it might as well get on board because, as the saying goes, "it has a lot of matters before the FCC." Or maybe it is merely saying--thinking--that if the FCC mandates a la carte for all multichannel video providers, for one reason or another, it will fare better than its competitors. So bring on the regulation!

I'm not sure what Cablevision is really saying. But if it wants to voluntarily offer a la carte because it believes consumers will respond positively and will be better off, then let's hope it quickly goes right ahead and puts its money know what.

posted by Randolph May @ 2:58 PM |