Dolan: Don't Put All Your Channels in One Basket

Cablevision Chairman Charles Dolan continues to argue against the traditional industry line on à la carte.

And the issue isn't pleasing the FCC or lowering cable bills, he suggests, but survival in a world where the competition is providing increasing choice and flexibility.

When asked to look into cable future--for B&C's 75th anniversary edition--Dolan said that "not giving the customer more opportunity to choose" was the TV business "at its worst."

"We really need to catch up with the grocery store in this regard and stop requiring customers who want nothing more than a dozen eggs to also buy a pound of cheese. Customers should be able to buy what they want, as part of a package or independent of a package. In the end, they will be more satisfied and better customers."

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association argues that à la carte models will result in higher per-channel prices and less choice as smaller networks lose the support of their more popular brethren, somewhat like the shuttering of stores in a mall when the anchor tenants move to standalone digs.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.