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A la carte

Some consumers only want to buy a select 10 to15 channels instead of paying for the entire 70+ channel package offered by their cable, satellite or telephone company. Unfortunately, most companies that own those channels don’t allow television distributors, like Time Warner Cable, to sell most channels on an “a la carte” basis.  At Time […]

Some consumers only want to buy a select 10 to15 channels instead of paying for the entire 70+ channel package offered by their cable, satellite or telephone company.

Unfortunately, most companies that own those channels don’t allow television distributors, like Time Warner Cable, to sell most channels on an “a la carte” basis.  At Time Warner Cable, we do sell certain premium channels on an a la carte basis, like HBO and Showtime.

Why won’t programming companies allow video distributors to sell their channels a la carte? It’s largely about economics.  For the most part, TV networks — both broadcast TV and cable TV networks — make the majority of their money from advertising.  The more households that receive a channel, the more advertising dollars the channel can make. When a channel is no longer viewed by enough households, it may no longer make enough advertising money to survive.  

At Time Warner Cable, we’re not sure that a la carte is the ultimate solution for all networks, but we continue to work on developing more flexible packaging options so our consumers don’t have to continue to bear the dramatically rising costs of delivering all genres of cable programming to all of our customers. 

Our TV Essentials package is a good example: it includes a special selection of news and general entertainment channels at a lower cost.

For other points of view about the economics of a la carte programming, read more here:

And to learn more about what Time Warner Cable does to keep down the cost of programming packages, click here.