“I shouldn’t have to pay for channels I don’t watch,” is a common complaint amongst today’s consumers. In fact, some consumers have ditched their cable providers for this very reason, instead opting to go the over-the-top (OTT) route. While cable TV customers have begged and pleaded for à la carte TV pricing—the notion of paying only for what you watch—for years now, are non-traditional pay-TV providers joining the brigade as well? The answer is “maybe.”
Verizon recently revealed in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that it wants to start paying content providers only for the channels viewers are watching on its FiOS TV service. “This is a conceptual approach and we are making providers aware of it as we meet with them in the course of business,” a Verizon spokesperson told Mashable.
Currently, media companies bundle the channels they sell to pay-TV providers, forcing them to carry channels they don’t particularly want. An à la carte TV pricing model, however, would allow pay-TV providers to only pay for the channels they want. If this becomes a reality, will consumers reap the same benefits? According to Denson, Verizon’s chief programming negotiator, not likely as the shift would only “stabilize retail prices for consumers.”
Recently, the Canadian government announced that it will require cable and satellite TV service providers to offer à la carte TV pricing to allow its citizens to pick and pay for the specific television channels that they want. However, several analysts say that this will not likely happen in the U.S. for some time.