Cable Bill Too High? TWC feels your pain


Staff member
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.
Read More: Unwanted Cable Channels Bloat Customer Bills, CEO Says - Bloomberg

While most cable packages have 100+ channels most people only watch about 14-16 on any regular basis. And yet, the unwatched channels contribute significantly to the cost of the package. The other thing being that in recent years the "watched" channels, such as ESPN, have been price gouging. The average cost for the cable company to supply ESPN is around $5 a month per subscriber. In many ways cable companies are caught in the middle between consumers who want more value and content providers who simply want more money. Of course, the one thing that would force the cable industry to change is if significant numbers of people would simply cut the cord and start using the superior picture quality of free over the air TV.
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, Blogger: Orry's Orations
I watch a lot of channels, but some of them are seasonal so to speak (like a season of just one or two programs). The problem is what would happen to some of these interesting shows if those channels who carry them went away. Do we have too many channels? Probably. I think it's funny to have 200 channels and still think, "There's nothing on." However, it is often true. The ala cart option could be too pricey and more expensive to those of us who do like to watch many channels.