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The Cable Industry's a La Carte Bait and Switch 447

jfruhlinger writes "For years, cable operators have insisted that a la carte pricing, in which users could chose the channels they want, would undermine the both their own business models and the existence of important but less-watched channels currently wrapped into bundles. That's why it was surprising to hear that major cable companies are privately working towards offering a la carte pricing. But when you look at the details, it seems more like a bait and switch: those lesser channels (which pay cable companies for their place on the dial) will still be bundled with the local stations cable companies are required to provide, whereas pricey sports channels (which cable companies have to pay for) will become HBO-like premium services."

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