Content is King
Where does my cable company get all those channels?
They come from a thriving ecosystem that’s made up of creative talents, businesspeople, engineers and entrepreneurs, all united in a mission to deliver great entertainment, news and documentary television. As cable’s capacity for delivering television channels has increased, inventive people have come up with lots of new ideas for television channels devoted to everything from cooking to science fiction. Your cable company decides which channels to deliver based on a reading of the most promising and appealing channels from a list that now easily numbers in the hundreds.
Where does the money go?
Every time you pay your bill for your cable television and video services, a significant portion of the amount flows back to the originators of these same channels. Your cable payments help support a thriving community of television networks that reinvest their earnings in new television shows, improved presentation technologies like HDTV, and inventive ways to offer programs. On Demand is a good example.
Why is cable the ‘go-to’ medium for creative types?
Television directors, producers and creative developers like to make original programs for cable because cable offers more creative range and possibility. With millions of viewers and hundreds of channels, cable couples creative freedom with an entrepreneurial sensibility that encourages investment and risk-taking. The result is that cable has emerged as the medium of choice for the most talented and creative producers in the business. And that the most talked-about, admired shows in television today are on cable.
Why do some cable channels include commercials, and others don’t?
It’s because the business approaches for cable channels vary. Most cable channels depend on advertisements as an important source of income. It’s common for many of these channels to earn roughly half of their total revenue from advertising. Without this income stream, the channels would be unable to pay for the cost of their programs and business operations. Other channels purposely are commercial-free. These “premium” channels, like HBO, Showtime and Starz, are funded entirely by monthly subscriber payments.
Why are channels grouped together in the packages that I pay for?
Bundling channels in large groups is the most efficient way to provide the widest range of choice to the largest number of customers. Grouping channels together allows cable companies to present an impressive variety of choices to households, individuals and families. It’s similar to the way a newspaper offers multiple sections (sports, news, weather, comics) in a single edition, or the way a shopping mall organizes lots of specialty shops in a shared setting. Doing so allows customers to have access to a broader array of choices by taking advantage of scale.
Why am I seeing some cable channels and programs available online?
For many viewers, watching television over the Internet – on PCs, tablets and connected video devices – is an enjoyable addition to watching the traditional way – on the TV set. Cable companies are working with cable TV networks to make a growing amount of television available to their customers over these enticing platforms. In many cases, the ability to watch cable programs online is a free enhancement to an existing cable TV subscription.