What I'd Do With More Cable Choices

Cablevision seems to welcome the notion of a la carte pricing, which would be great. I'm not naive enough to believe that pricing for basic packages wouldn't be completely upended, but let's look at what I pay Cablevision every month: My cable bill runs roughly $210/month. Sometimes more if someone in the family goes nuts with On Demand movies. I get all these services:

  • Basic cable, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, Encore and The Movie Channel
  • Three regular IO boxes and a fourth with a DVR in it (in the basement)
  • Optimum Online
  • Optimum Voice (I use it when working from home)

At least $100 of the total cost per month comes from television viewing - more if I get On Demand movies. Of this cost, a good deal comes from all the premium channels I'm getting.

Not for nothing, but these premium channels are pretty much useless to me. On weeknights, I get home after 9 PM and I might watch an hour of TV tops before I go to bed. Most of the time, I end up watching some crappy movie I've already seen 100 times before. There are movies I'd love to see, but they never start at the times I like. I'd like to pull the DVR out of the basement. (That might be an interim solution. I've been trying to catch the start of "The Aviator" but haven't been able to.)

If I could, though, I'd kill many channels on basic and premium. I'd get rid of:

  • All the premium movie channels, save for basic HBO. (I'd replace them with HBO On Demand, Cinemax on Demand, etc.)
  • All the Spanish-language channels
  • LOGO
  • Oxygen
  • ShopNBC
  • Shop At Home
  • VH1 Soul
  • The Hallmark Channel (sappy, sappy, sappy)
  • Sundance Channel (useless, useless, useless)
  • The Independent Film Channel
  • E!
  • Hollywood.com TV
  • Broadway.com TV
  • etc., etc., etc.

My point is, there are probably only a handful of broadcast channels I'd need - mostly to remind me of what the On Demand services have to offer. The rest of my TV viewing would be On Demand.

Somehow, I doubt that Cablevision could give me what I want for less money, even though I'd cut a ton of channels from basic and premium cable.