Zogby Poll: U.S. Majority Rules for A la Carte TV

Pollster Zogby Interactive said a survey of cable subscribers found 52% would prefer to buy only the channels they want, while 35% prefer the current bulk package system.

But while 82% in the poll said cable TV is too expensive, only 39% believe an a la carte system would save them money. Zogby said 37% believe an a la carte regime would be more expensive for them.

Zogby said 71% of respondents don’t like paying for channels they don’t watch.

The survey, released Oct. 23, bolsters the view of Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin, who has tried to implement a la carte channel sales.

While programmers say niche networks wouldn’t get seen under an a la carte regime, that wasn’t worrisome to the cable subscribers Zogby said it polled: 52% said that wasn’t a big concern. But Zogby said 42% were concerned that less-popular networks would be lost under an a la carte regime.

Zogby said it did an online survey of 3,254 adult cable subscribers nationwide from Sept. 25-27, 2007, a survey with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percentage points.

Kent Gibbons

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Nexttv.com. Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.