On the Funding of Television

Context: a local Comcast rep came to talk to us as we’re one of the “switchers.”

Dear M,

Thanks for stopping by our house to talk to us about Comcast. As you know, we did have some rather legendary service issues, but that’s not ultimately what led us to leave the fold, it was merely the catalyst.

In short, the entire process of billing for cable television is broken. Without the ability to not subsidize channels like Fox News or shows like 19 Kids and Counting (when did The Learning Channel become so craptastic?), there’s no way I’d come back to cable.

And yes, I really do want to pay show-by-show, not just pay for a shotgun lineup of channels. Now, the shows we actually watch are able to get direct dollars from us, and if more people chose that approach, maybe there’d be better-quality shows produced. Or not. Regardless, what we like is now more directly correlated to what we pay for. What we dislike, we are not paying for.

Also, except for the broadcast channels, I’m able to watch shows with no ads. Imagine that. I’m paying about the same amount of money over time (less, actually) and fewer ads. I’ve never been clear on why I paid a cable company for non-broadcast channels that have advertising.

So, there it is. Sure, we don’t have as many channels as we had before, and downloads aren’t instantaneous, so it’s not a perfect system. It is, however, a better one.