Elephants Square Off on A La Carte Cable

Finally, a cable company has screamed Enough to a media conglomerate bundling puny never-watched cable channels with its popular channels.  Cablevision, no saint BTW, has sued Viacom over being compelled to carry channels you’ve never heard of, with their costs being passed on to the consumer, in order to keep carrying Viacom’s popular channels like Nick.  We’ll see if this is a negotiating tactic or not, and whether there’s a quick settlement.  But if it goes to trial, it threatens the entire business model of the cable channel owners in bundling unpopular channels with their popular ones in order to get more prime real estate on the cable companies’ menu, and also threatens to do what the FCC has been unable or unwilling to do: break up this cozy oligopoly that causes cable bills to spiral ever higher far faster than the rate of inflation.