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February 19, 2009

Gouged by TV fees

The story “Penny-pinchers are cutting the cord” (2/16, FYI) should be a big wake-up to cable and satellite TV providers. More than likely they will go after the networks to somehow make it impossible for end users to be able to get TV for free.

I remember why cable came into being in the first place — so we could pay not to have commercials. What a joke that is now, as we pay a ridiculous premium to watch TV and get more ads than we ever have.

So once again here we are, the paying consumer, getting the gouge as the cable and satellite companies have gone to contracts and ridiculous disconnection fees. Read the fine print.

Kathy Peterson
Prairie Village



I'm with Pub 17 on this one. I haven't watched TV in years, and that includes network "free" TV. All it does is massage advertising into your brain and rot your intellect.

I own one 13 inch set that I watch DVDs and videos on. And yet, I live and breathe. LOL

Pub 17

mike d--
I once hung out with a friend in the country for a few days who had the most amazing satellite dish reception on the planet. After three days, I found myself returning to raw feed from a stationary camera on a hill in Brasilia covering a fire several stories up in a multi-story government building.
There CANNOT BE enough channels.

mike d

I want to know exactly how many channels I will have to get before I can quit saying "there's nothing on tv".

Pub 17

This time I watched it with the aid and assistance of imdb. Remembet Leo, played by Eric daRe? Check out this guy's daddy is. And I'll come out of the closet right now: I want to bear Kimmy Robertson's children, triplets, no block, screaming in pain...


Who / what was BOB?


Twin Peaks??????

From the guy who criticizes MGB owners? ;-)


Pub that was a really good pice there, seriously. People should utilize their resources. Of course at the same time, many will complain that if they do not get the 21Mb download speed for free, they are victims. Everything should be subsidized by those that earn for those that don't.

Pub 17

Here's a quick fix for cable woes--I dropped out entirely five years ago, when Time-Warner failed on FIVE promised times to show up to install service.

1. Put a nice antenna on your house.
2. Sign up for Netflix. A DVD player is, like, $39.
3. If you've got a few extra bucks, get Netflix' device to stream movies to your TV.
4. Acquaint yourselves with the incredible video libraries at the local library systems. KCK, in particular, has a mind-bogglingly good DVD collection. Remember, you can get reciprocal library cards from every local library system.

Think of your TV as a monitor for your DVD player. Think of all the wonderful movies from the past century you haven't watched. Think of all the TV series you can now watch straight through: we recently went through Twin Peaks start-to-finish, and it really, really does beat watching last year's first-run movies on cable.



The cable companies are very clever about how they package the channels, aren't they? When we moved here two years ago and were forced to go with satellite (only game in town in our area), we learned that of all things, the Fox Soccer channel was only available if we added yet ANOTHER upgrade to our package. We already had all the premium channels we wanted, but were forced to pay even more for channels we didn't want, just to get my husband's beloved soccer channel.

I would like to know what county office has oversight over the communications companies. We have had great service from the Kansas Corporation Commission, which is a watchdog for the utility companies, but I don't know if there is a similar organization that we can talk to about TV/phone/internet issues. Anyone?


Wait until you have to have something fixed with AT&T, you will be charged UNION rates.
Maybe Obama will pass a Cable And Satellite Television Stabilization Bill, allowing for those that choose not to pay their cable/satellite bills to be subsidized by those of us that simply pay for what we use and agree to. Entertainment is not an entitlement.


I have a friend on the west coast that illustrates the problem cable has. He's too cheap to subscribe to cable and relies on web sites such as Hulu.com and others to watch shows. And the Star had an article in FYI last week about "cutting the cable." This year, Time Warner's response to layoffs, a declining number of subscribers, and more competition from AT&T U-verse was to raise rates in Jan. My response to that was to delete Starz. But AT&T pisses me off because they place HBO in the U400 tier, the most expensive. What happened to efforts to allow subscribers to choose subscription channels individually?


"More than likely they will go after the networks to somehow make it impossible for end users to be able to get TV for free."

Never going to happen. There will always be free over-the-air content available as long as advertisers are willing to support it. The same goes for free internet content. As long as their are advertising dollars to be made, the "concerns" of the cable company will take a back seat.

And just as sure as there will always be free TV programming in some form, there will always be those that want the "good stuff" on their big screen. If I were Time Warner, I would be most concerned about the proliferation of cheaper alternatives for high-speed internet access (which is a HUGE money-maker for them), and the advent of internet-based devices that can be used on your TV.


Remember when the cable companies promised to let us customize our cable packages? Someday (they said) they'd have the technology. Someday consumers would be able to choose the National Geographic channel and eliminate the Home Shopping Network. We would only pay for channels we wanted ...



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