The other day, surfing the net, I went to a site, that had an High Definition upgrade offer at Time Warner Cable. Since I am a TW subscriber for Cable, High Speed Internet, and Phone service, I clicked the link. After all, its been less than a month that my HD TV has been hooked up.
Let me cut to the chase- the offer said that current TW cable subscribers could get a free HD DVR set-top box, and 3 months of HD Premium Tier ( 3 channels- big deal). So I called Customer Service, and they told me they didn't have the offer, so I sent them to the web site, and the first CSR gave me the offer, plus a year's free Showtime. Not bad eh. When I turned on my set, I didn't have the Premium HD channels, so I called again, and was told, I was given six months of Showtime, and for the free 3 months, I would have to take the ad into the TW Cable Store. That's BS but I did it.
Suffice it to say- I walked out with my year of Showtime, and 3 months of Premium HD....but it got me thinking and that's dangerous.
25 years ago I was on a community committe for Valley Cable (which evolved after a few owners to Time Warner), and asked "Why don't we pay only for what we watch?" The leader of the group- didn't have an answer then, so I will ask it now. "Why don't we pay for only what we watch on cable"
I have over 1200 channels available to me, about 350 I am "subscribed" to either thru my cable package or premium tiers. But I, like you, only have two eyes, and can't split my time between watching multiple programs.
The utility companies, both electric and gas, only charge us for what we use- So why can't the cable companies. Give us a basic tier of local channels for a fair price, then if I want to watch VS, or Sleuth, or Hallmark, or Discovery Space....then charge me a minimum price- like $.05 per hour, that's seems fair to me. All those nickels will add up. As I see it now. I am paying for, and wasting alot of cable channels because their programs don't interest me. And if you subscribe to cable, or satellite TV, you are also in the same boat. Isn't it time to relook at how cable subscribers are charged by these monopolistic franchise like Time-Warner and Comcast? They have the technology...if they are going to limit the downloading for heavy users of the Internet, then they can account electronically for each home's program usage on the cable box. In this recession, one would think that a business may want to change- because the attrition rate has to be high, with families giving up cable because of finances.
So I pose this question today " When are we going to be charged for what we watch on cable, instead of being charged for what we don't watch?"
The question has been in me for some time, and I throw it out to you who have read this far?
PS ....and while I am in this frame of mind, why can't the cable companies make a Universal remote that we don't have to keep switching back and forth between TV and cable. What is with that????