Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cable companies want media to aggregate their channels more efficiently

Cable companies are pressuring media companies to package their channels into bundles that represent what consumers really want, as a way of offering lower prices, according to a story in the Washington Post today by Cecilia Kang, link here
The concept seems important to me because major networks need to provide ways to cover regular programming when it is preempted in some locations by breaking news, especially sudden presidential news conferences or severe weather warnings. 

For example, in Washington DC NBC has a regular hi-def channel (211 in Arlingtopn on Comcast) and is supposed to use 208 as a backup, but often does not use it, meaning the episodes of some shows are missed entirely in some areas (although they can usually be found online the next day).  Networks should set up backup channels on cable that can always carry scheduled programming , and include them in cable packages.

The availability of many programs online is undermining the older business model for cable.  (I'm watching Sunday night's "Revenge" right now as I write this. Nolan is irresistible!)  
For my own reference as much as anyone’s, here’s the Comcast lineup

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