Comcast and its Expanded Basic lineup

Fardreamer

DTVUSA Member
#1
We have been subscribing to Comcast and all the other cable companies which preceded it in our neighborhood (Dynamic Cablevision, MediaOne, AT&T Cable) and I have noticed that over the passage of time the company that owns the franchise for our area almost always does the same thing, which is start a lineup which includes (among the usual cats and dogs and the expected local channels) Turner Classic Movies, Wings (which was a spinoff of the Discovery Channel), and other good networks.

Eventually, though, TCM almost always gets removed from the Basic/Expanded Basic lineup and is replaced by some bizarre foreign language local channel or is moved to a more expensive lineup.

Why does this happen, and am I the only Comcast customer who finds this vexing?
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#2
I think you're seeing just a coincidence.

Generally, channel movements reflect the trade-off between available/allocated analog and digital bandwidth, ups and downs of channel popularity and the extent to which certain channels drive subscriber purchasing behaviors, as well as perturbations caused directly by new contracts with the broadcasters and the conditions therein.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#3
Actually Comcast wants everyone subscribing to a higher tier and they are pretty much doing everything they can to get us there.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#4
Every responsible business is working to best serve the overriding interests of its owners. Heck, otherwise, I assure you that my retirement savings would be completely invested in cash investments instead of a good amount of it being in mutual funds. The objective of any for-profit corporation must necessarily be to find the best mix of product/service offerings and corresponding prices, best from the perspective of their owners, because every dollar of expense must always compete with every other possible way that dollar can be used.

Remember that we start from limited basic. That is the only service that the cable company must provide, and the price for that is strictly regulated, sometimes so much that it is offered at a loss. Everything offered other than that is a deliberate and voluntary decision on the part of the service provider. In other words, we subscribers don't have any right whatsoever to expect that any specific cable network will be on any specific tier of service. The placement of channels onto tiers is absolutely and entirely up to the network and the service provider.

We subscribers have the ultimate power: If we don't like the offering, we can do without it.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#5
Most folks end up just going along; that's how our world is, but not everything is done the way the public want them. It's who has the power (boy, could I make this political, but nope, not gonna). There's a difference between offering a basic service, luring people in, and then actively doing everything you can to drive them out of basic into something more lucrative. Can they do it? Yes. Is it ethical and morally right? Heck, no.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#6
Most folks end up just going along; that's how our world is, but not everything is done the way the public want them.
There is no such thing as "the way the public want them". The public is made up of hundreds of millions of people, each of whom have their own objectives, and indeed many people hold within themselves diametrically-oppositional objectives. As such, the way things are done is a reflection of a fair balance between of these opposing interests.

Is it ethical and morally right? Heck, no.
That's what you say your personal opinion is, but what I've found, when I've been in a situation to be able to "look under the covers", is that most people who make such claims are themselves fostering the exact opposite of what they claim that they feel is "ethical and morally" wrong. They fabricate all manner of rationalizations for why they are "forced" to do so -- what most of them seem to be incapable of doing is admitting that they are not really being honest with themselves about what they want. The truth is that generally human beings want, in all cases, "the best of both worlds": They want the best offense and the best defense. They want the best pitcher and the home-run king. They want their sweet rolls to have no calories. This is human nature, and it is safe to assume that it is the general case. If you want a good indicator: Just look for when people blame others for the situation they themselves find themselves in, instead of taking personal responsibility.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#7
Nope. I know Comcast is doing things designed to get people to do what they want and they really don't care about a segment of their customers who aren't interested. I've talked with people high up in their chain, so it's my opinion and it's based in part on numerous conversations over the past few years when they began to ramp up this conversion process.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#8
I know Comcast is doing things designed to get people to do what they want and they really don't care about a segment of their customers who aren't interested.
That's true of every service provider, for every service in our economy: They are supposed to focus on the customers who represent the best opportunities. Anything else would be irresponsible.
 
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