Unless the contract specified a service level agreement for speed,
So the marketing for something is allowed to directly contradict the contract? That sounds like false advertising.
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That isn't a choice so yes they are in fact barred from doing it. Just because you and I want it doesn't mean they can afford to do it.
Just because the market wants it and would pay for it doesn't mean it would be profitable.
They presume it won't be, so they don't try it. I worked for a cable company once. I ran the numbers. It worked to make money a la carte.
The problem was "everyone else is doing it the package way" so risk was avoided. It is profitable to provide channels a la carte. It's just confusing to the cable companies, if not the customers. But I imagine most customers wouldn't mind or get confused by "order the base package, and check all the optional channels you want". Also, Starz and others ran "free weekend" promotions every few years. The cable company could open everything up and let people see what the other choices are.
Of course, as the guy that oversaw the build of the delivery of content, and not the buying of content or marketing side, nobody listened. But the numbers were sound. Unless the people who said what they' pay for a la carte channels were lying.
The real reason it would never work is that consumers are dumb. Would you pay $30 for your favorite 30 channels, where you spend 99%+ of your watching time, when you could get 200 channels for $50? Sure, you've never watched 150 of them, and another 20 had a show on it that you watched that was on one of the remaining 30 channels, but is being re run. But you "need" 200+ channels.
Are they contractually banned from it? I said no. What do you say?
" The carriers suspect it would be a poor model," I said yes. What did you say?
Got it. You win for the most disagreeable agreement of the day.
If Comcast, Verizon, AT&T want ESPN they must carry ALL ESPN channels. It's one of the main reasons we can't get A La Carte programming.
The *only* reason we don't have a la carte pricing is that the carriers refuse to provide it. The carrier may be required to "buy" ESPN 2-54 if a subscriber has ESPN 1, but I've never seen where the subscriber must "pay" for ESPN 2-54. They could still be a la carted with the prices proportional to the cost. The carriers suspect it would be a poor model, but nobody actually knows, they just refuse to try.