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 Monday, 05 December 2005
Monday, 05 December 2005 13:34:04 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) ( )

OK, these guys are just missing the point.


Apparently the FCC has decided that the best way to curb complaints about content on cable TV is to push for an a la carte channel scheme.


Now this is a great idea, but not for the reasons they tout.


A la carte channel selection would be awesome! That way I wouldn’t have to pay for 90% of the channels I get and could just pay for the few I actually use (Cartoon Network, SciFi, etc). It would simplify my life.


Better yet would be a la carte programs so I could just subscribe to the shows I want. Screw the channels entirely – who cares. There are only a handful of programs we Tivo, and that’s all we watch. Why should I pay for that hugely massive amount of other programming we just ignore anyway?


But as I see it, the FCC is barking up the wrong tree with the content complaints. For two reasons.


First, the content I have trouble with isn’t on the other channels. It is in the commercials for programs at other times or on other channels. Broadcasters put highly objectionable content into commercials that air during the programs we watch as a family. The program we’re watching is fine by us, but some of the programs being advertised are not, and the commercials expose our kids to the worst of those shows!


We don’t have a problem with crap being aired on other channels or at other times. We use the parental lockouts on the Tivo, and we Tivo the stuff to be watched anyway. No one in our family actually watches live TV (except for Vikings football games).


Second, there’s certainly a group of people complaining about content to get rid of that content entirely. It isn’t really that they are worried about their kids seeing the content, because they could do what we do.


No. Their problem is that they don’t want anyone seeing that content. They want to censor what’s broadcast. And allowing those people to not subscribe to channels won’t shut them up. They’ll subscribe anyway, just so they can complain. They are motivated by a broader agenda to control other people’s lives, and something like this won’t mollify them in the slightest.


So sure, I’d love a la carte channels if it saved me money. Even more, I’d love a la carte programs – kind of like Tivo today, but without having to pay for the other 99% of the crap that’s broadcast out there.


But until the FCC controls the commercials it won’t solve any content issues for me. And in any case it won’t solve the content issues for those driven by narrow ideology and a desire to control everyone else.

Comments [1] | | # 
Tuesday, 06 December 2005 11:04:12 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Of course the vast majority of Bittorent downloads have the programs without the objectionable commercials... ;-)
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