Thursday, June 28, 2012

Would Consumers Drop Their Cable Provider If They Didn't Carry Certain Networks

What if you found out that some of your networks were no longer to be carried on your current channel line-up? What if you were also told that as a good customer, you would immediately see a drop in the cost of your cable bill, say $10 a month, and a commitment to lowering your cable bill by only bringing you a smaller but more favorable line-up of linear networks?  Would you immediately call another platform provider that overbuilds your community? Would you yell and scream but ultimately do nothing with your current cable operator? Or would you thank them for finally getting that rates need to come down in order to keep their customers happy?

Well the test case could be just around the corner.  According to Multichannel, both Dish Network and AT&T U-verse could decide that rather than keep negotiating a lesser license fee increase that they will simply drop all the AMC Networks from their respective line-ups after June 30.  That could mean no AMC, no WE TV, no IFC, and no Sundance Channel.  For AT&T, it is about the license fee increases being proposed for the networks; For Dish, the issue is more than price, it is about the bitter relationship with its former parent company, Cablevision, and their VOOM business.

Could AMC Networks become the test case that cable operators will use to determine what channels they must carry on basic that may affect carrier switching or total cord cutting?  Are these operators willing to take the risk or will it end up like all other negotiations where eventually a deal is hammered out and the networks remain on the air?  AT&T may ultimately find a financial solution but I believe that Dish could just test a scenario of doing without.

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