Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Officer Glenn Britt says not everything on cable is worth watching.
“There are too many networks,” Britt said in an interview at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association annual cable show in Boston.
For years, U.S. cable carriers have provided TV in large chunks, pushing up the average monthly price to about $80 as even the cheapest packages have ballooned to include hundreds of channels. The increase in the number of little-watched channels, which content providers often sell to cable companies only in bundles with more popular networks, is causing cable bills to rise without any customer benefit, Britt said.
“There are a lot of general-interest networks that have lower viewership, and the industry would take cost out of the system if they shut those networks down and offered lower prices to consumers,” he said. “The companies involved would make just as much money as they do now because of the costs.”
Content providers, including Walt Disney Co. (DIS), Viacom Inc. (VIAB), Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA) and AMC Networks Inc., structure deals with cable carriers that bundle many of their networks together. To get AMC, with popular shows such as “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead,” pay-TV companies also need to buy AMC Networks (AMCX)’ IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv.