TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Information wants to be free

Re: Information wants to be free

Neal McLain (
Sat, 28 Jan 2006 07:15:53 -0600 wrote:

> Let me note the failed promise of cable television. That was
> another "wave of the future" that would revolutionalize our
> lives. Gee, so now I can watch young buff bodies on MTV living
> together. That has some entertainment value, admittedly, but is
> that an "information revolution"? Nope.

> Let's also remember the skyrocketing cost of cable television.
> We're now paying DOUBLE for it. We pay to subscribe for the content,
> but then the shows almost all have a great many commercials. Indeed,
> most have more commercials than traditional commercial TV which
> comes through for free (though that has more commercials now, too.)
> Some cable channels have five minutes of commercials for every five
> minutes of content. We have "Modern Marvels" on the History Channel,
> which has some educational merit, until a closer look is that it's
> essentially a propaganda piece for the industries its covering. A
> report on buses, for example, mostly focused on the wonderful work
> of one particular school bus builder. When the stuff comes through
> at high speed, will we be getting quality or just more commercials?

So how would you offer History Channel if you were in charge?

Would you offer History Channel as premium cable service, with no
commercials (like HBO and Showtime), for an extra $10.00 or so on top
of the basic-cable charge? If so, do you think enough people would
subscribe to it sustain it financially?

Or would you buy a nationwide network of TV stations and offer History
Channel as a 100%-advertising-supported channel with no subscriber
charge? If so, do you think enough advertisers would buy airtime to
sustain it financially?

Neal McLain

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