Thursday, December 01, 2005

A La Carte Cable, One Helluva Blessing

Rarely does the FCC actually DO something to peak the interest of the public which supposedly own the nation's airwaves but the decision to push cable operators to offer channel choices on an a la carte basis is the brightest thing the commission has done in my lifetime.

With this announcement, I might overlook the fact that in 1996, with the Telecommunications Act, the FCC allowed companies such as Infinity and Clear Channel to become behemoths which force us to choose between JACK-FM and the latest 50 Cent or Ashlee Simpson single.

Let's examine the obvious. When is the last time you actually sat down and watched an hour of 'Trinity Broadcasting Network' on your cable service? Don't remember, neither do I. In fact, I watch, like millions of others in a recent survey, 15 or so cable channels on a semi-regular basis. Sure, I still watch the networks but I sure wouldn't miss PAX or I-Independent, whichever name it's carrying this week.

Among the numerous cable offerings I receive, I might actually watch a couple minutes of VH-1 & MTV, gotta have some Comedy Central with a three-minute smattering of E!. I can't leave out Cartoon Network simply for its 'Adult Swim' and TBS has to stick around. I'll watch ABC Family for reruns of 'Whose Line...' and maybe even CMT for a dose of Daisy Dukes (minus Jessica Simpson). TLC and HGTV are frequented in our household but Lifetime, forget about it.

I could easily scrap the bountiful serving of news and religious channels along with any home shopping offerings. Hell, I'll even scrap ESPN, ESPN2 & FOX Sports Net North.

That leaves me with
CMT
VH-1
MTV
E!
Comedy Central
Cartoon Network
Nickelodeon (Spongebob & Fresh Prince!)
TLC
HGTV
A&E
TBS
ABC Family
as my likely keepers.

If money allows, I'll keep
SciFi
AMC
but these are only possibilities.

Damn, I grew up with five channels in rural Minnesota. But heaven shined down on us when the local FOX station came on the air and granted us a sixth choice -- in 1998!

Maybe I'll just stick with the networks, we'd both be better off for it and a helluva lot more productive.

1 comment:

SlimAdam said...

me and the roommates have been saying this ever since we had to actually pay for cable ourselves. what the hell do i need lifetime for anyway?