Charter CEO Claims Fat Cable Bundles Are Going Nowhere

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Want more proof that cable execs are clueless? Just read this quote from Charter CEO Tom Rutledge about people and their "historic patterns."

Charter CEO Tom Rutledge doesn't think cord cutting poses much of a threat to the traditionally bloated, pricey cable TV bundle. Speaking at the annual Citi 2017 Internet, Media and Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas this week, Rutledge claimed there's "a lot of reasons why the packages, the big rich packages, will stay together, and why people will continue to pursue their historic patterns."
 

J Macker

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*yawn*

Cable-TV free since 2004. He can put whatever the hell he wants in those cable TV bundles. I'm not paying for unnecessary channels.
 

Cyraxx

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Maybe he knows something we don't know? As much as we talk about this stuff online at forums, perhaps your typical stupid American is still subscribed to a bloated $200/month package and still growing?
 

vegeta535

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Maybe he knows something we don't know? As much as we talk about this stuff online at forums, perhaps your typical stupid American is still subscribed to a bloated $200/month package and still growing?
They are. People on these types of forums represent a very small minority.
 

Gigus Fire

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the reason that there are bundles is the following:
a) a few networks own all the channels and they aren't willing to split them

Ex: you want to get espn and not pay for disney? Disney owns both. They won't sell the rights for one without the other.
Ex2: nbc owns 13 channels. You want syfy without bravo? They don't want to do that, it would mean less money for them
 

Cyraxx

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You should hope those stupid Americans don't wise up. Otherwise you will start to see more aggressive caps and increased pricing for your internet service as they try to make up the difference.
Not necessarily. Making the prices higher just drives up the chances of more competition entering the market. Look at Cell Phones, T-Mobile came out fighting against the bigger dogs to help drive down costs in general. Same with the oil industry, the US seized an opportunity and the prices took a nose dive.
 

Slade

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I thank my parents for sticking to those dumb packages for keeping me cable free and my internet more or less affordable...
 

Armenius

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Not necessarily. Making the prices higher just drives up the chances of more competition entering the market. Look at Cell Phones, T-Mobile came out fighting against the bigger dogs to help drive down costs in general. Same with the oil industry, the US seized an opportunity and the prices took a nose dive.
Except the cronyism in this country doesn't allow competition and I don't see that going away in my lifetime.
 

Gigus Fire

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Not necessarily. Making the prices higher just drives up the chances of more competition entering the market. Look at Cell Phones, T-Mobile came out fighting against the bigger dogs to help drive down costs in general. Same with the oil industry, the US seized an opportunity and the prices took a nose dive.
That's only when you don't have a stranglehold on supply.
T-mobile was always in the race for cellular consumers. They just floundered for years. They reinvented themselves as a low cost solution compared to the rest and that's been the difference.
The oil industry had fracking which is a completely different supply. Mainly natural gas, but that's a competitor to oil.

The tv market is very different. You have a handful of companies that own all the rights to all the tv channels. These same companies have been branching off into owning part of the isps. There is very little original content that's professionally made that they don't own.

Exactly how will/can you introduce new content (supply) and supplant their position like cellular or oil?
 

Shotglass01

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Maybe he knows something we don't know? As much as we talk about this stuff online at forums, perhaps your typical stupid American is still subscribed to a bloated $200/month package and still growing?
He does, shareholders.

They are. People on these types of forums represent a very small minority.
And growing. I think it's headed for IPTV regardless of what these CEO's think.
 

Cyraxx

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Except the cronyism in this country doesn't allow competition and I don't see that going away in my lifetime.
That's only when you don't have a stranglehold on supply.
T-mobile was always in the race for cellular consumers. They just floundered for years. They reinvented themselves as a low cost solution compared to the rest and that's been the difference.
The oil industry had fracking which is a completely different supply. Mainly natural gas, but that's a competitor to oil.

The tv market is very different. You have a handful of companies that own all the rights to all the tv channels. These same companies have been branching off into owning part of the isps. There is very little original content that's professionally made that they don't own.

Exactly how will/can you introduce new content (supply) and supplant their position like cellular or oil?
If cable has an overall stranglehold, then how did Netflix come to exist? And you can say it's dependent upon the cable company, but then I have retaliate with how did Verizon Fios and Google Fiber come to exist?
 

Tak Ne

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Did anyone else see that headline and think this guy was admitting big cable packages had no future?
 

Gigus Fire

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If cable has an overall stranglehold, then how did Netflix come to exist? And you can say it's dependent upon the cable company, but then I have retaliate with how did Verizon Fios and Google Fiber come to exist?
cable itself is just a end provider for the content. The content owners are the ones who own the channels. We're talking about breaking up the packages into individual or a la carte channele selections.
Netflix, hulu, directv now, sling, etc are competitors to cable. Instead of using dedicated lines (coax) to feed the content, they're using the internet. That's not the topic of conversation here.

Cable itself doesn't own the content, they just negotiate prices and bundles with the content owners. They then offer bundles to the end user.
It's not like they wouldn't want to offer a la carte programming to the end user (they would probably get more subscriptions if they did), it's that they can't due to the contracts that the have that stipulate they must (ex) bundle espn with the disney channel.
 

Armenius

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If cable has an overall stranglehold, then how did Netflix come to exist? And you can say it's dependent upon the cable company, but then I have retaliate with how did Verizon Fios and Google Fiber come to exist?
Netflix was strangled by the cable companies until they played ball with them. FIOS came about from a government grant and Verizon failed to deliver on its promises. They deployed it in a few cities and pocketed the rest of the money. Google has all but stopped expanding Fiber as it has become too cumbersome fighting local and state governments over the rights to deploy next to the entrenched cable companies.
 

Gweenz

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His statements are an obvious dog and pony show to satisfy investors. But it is true that the average person wouldn't know how to cord-cut and the Charter bundles provide a nice warm blanket for them.
 
D

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Tom Rutledge said:
a lot of reasons why the packages, the big rich packages, will stay together, and why people will continue to pursue their historic patterns.
sounds a lot like

Big Banks in 2007 said:
a lot of reasons why mortgage securities, with big rich payouts, will stay together, and why people will continue to buy them.
Till you discover they are horribly over valued.
 

vegeta535

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He does, shareholders.



And growing. I think it's headed for IPTV regardless of what these CEO's think.
Not at such a fast pace that they need to worry about it any time soon. They are the ones that have all the real numbers.
 

Susquehannock

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Blame sports. Especially the NFL. Cable providers will never go to an "A la cart" pricing model. If so NFL fans would be paying near $400 a month because 4 networks paid $40-billion for broadcast rights for said games. Even more to include other sports. Nobody wants that. So instead the cable providers spread the cost to all subscribers whether they watch NFL or not.
 

sir-gold

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Blame sports. Especially the NFL. Cable providers will never go to an "A la cart" pricing model. If so NFL fans would be paying near $400 a month to view the 4 networks that paid for said games. Even more for other sports. Nobody wants that. So instead the cable providers spread the cost to all subscribers whether they watch NFL or not.
The only way to truly free yourself from the grip of the cable companies, is to free yourself from the obsession of watching a bunch of sweaty men running around on a field.
 

buttons

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Maybe he knows something we don't know? As much as we talk about this stuff online at forums, perhaps your typical stupid American is still subscribed to a bloated $200/month package and still growing?
I have a fat cable bundle -- at least i think it is. cable internet 60mbps, hbo, sports, 200 other channels that i never watch. $115 a month after taxes/fees.

I also have netflix and amazon prime, so i never watch cable except HBO's john oliver, game of thrones and i plan on westworld here pretty soon. Now that i can get HBO separate, when my deal runs out ill probably just drop to internet -- because i cant stand commericals being mixed in with my tv shows.
 

Spidey329

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I think he's wrong as the traditional bundle model gets deprecated.

Sure, cord cutters are a minority. But the fact remains that these "traditional" companies are losing subscribers year over year, not gaining them. They're also seeing increased pressure from streamers like Sling or Sony. Heck, Hulu just inked a deal to rebroadcast CBS via stream. HBO has already shifted to their own stream network.

I can imagine more network/content-creators will see the writing on the wall and shift to having some form of online distribution (without a cable subscription to unlock). You also need to remember there's an entire generation that was raised on Netflix and other apps, they don't see CableTV/Satellite as a necessity like the prior gen, and they'll be coming of age soon.
 

nutzo

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I think he's wrong as the traditional bundle model gets deprecated.

Sure, cord cutters are a minority. But the fact remains that these "traditional" companies are losing subscribers year over year, not gaining them. They're also seeing increased pressure from streamers like Sling or Sony. Heck, Hulu just inked a deal to rebroadcast CBS via stream. HBO has already shifted to their own stream network.

I can imagine more network/content-creators will see the writing on the wall and shift to having some form of online distribution (without a cable subscription to unlock). You also need to remember there's an entire generation that was raised on Netflix and other apps, they don't see CableTV/Satellite as a necessity like the prior gen, and they'll be coming of age soon.
If it wasn't for the Wife/kid I would have dropped cable years ago. 150+ channels, and even with the junk the wife watches, we could be happy with 20 channels.
Biggest problem is ESPN (I never watch it) and their must-carry requirements. Used to be, the cable companies had to deliver ESPN to EVERY customer, adding $10+ to every cable bill.
I now I finally have the option of going with a bundle without ESPN, but I would loose several other channels that the family does watch.

Can't wait until more channels move to the web. If the right channels price it cheap enough, I could subscribe to a few channels and drop most my cable bundle.

Even worse is how the cable company treats long term customers.
Every year I have to call and threaten drop my cable, just to get them to drop the price to a more reasonable rate (still not as cheap as new customers). Terrible way to treat long term customers.
 

burton14e7

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I cancelled cable and it barely saved me any money because they just jack up the price of internet. I now pay 84 after taxes for internet only on Frontier FIOS.
 

jlbenedict

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I cancelled cable and it barely saved me any money because they just jack up the price of internet. I now pay 84 after taxes for internet only on Frontier FIOS.
This is the way it will be... the Comcasts and Time Warners and the select few own all of the media content and the internet infrastructure in the entire country
 

Bowman15

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I cancelled cable and it barely saved me any money because they just jack up the price of internet. I now pay 84 after taxes for internet only on Frontier FIOS.
This is what happens when content providers own the pipes to your home and or lack of ISP competition. I'm sure Trumps new FCC chairmen will fix that though. :cool:
 

SonicTron

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"people will continue to pursue their historic patterns"


I guess when you're the only company in town thanks to state sanctioned regional monopoly, and you have complete control over what the customer can purchase........then yeah, people MUST pursue their historic purchasing pattern
 

MrBonk

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The way Charter has restructured their bundles now, you save little to no money at all by downgrading your packages. You might as well get the most expensive one, because you basically have no choice. You don't even get the option to *not* get Premium channels like HBO now. It's all structured into your normal bundles. Then your set top fees + the insane 12$ a month charge for DVR.

And their internet price without a bundle is absurd.

I just have bad luck, I have two other options for Fiber internet in my area but neither service my neighborhood. One of them, their main server building is less than 4 miles from my house! And yet they serve Fiber to customers farther out than me in the opposite direction! :(
 

tazeat

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I told em to pound sand, I got tired of the constant rate hikes and rape. Dropped tv again.

With all the internet TV options starting up at realistic prices is awesome though! PlayStation Vue, Sling, DirecTV now, etc
 

/dev/null

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I don't ever see a large cable (in our case: Satelite) bill going away. I need sponge bob, paw partrol, bubble guppies, globo (soap operas, news...) and live sports all in one easy to use package with one remote. Having a DVR is cake on top of that. Welcome to family life :)
 

lcpiper

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You should hope those stupid Americans don't wise up. Otherwise you will start to see more aggressive caps and increased pricing for your internet service as they try to make up the difference.

I agree in principle but these cable companies are not the ones that are putting content online for cord cutters. They are not the ones behind NetFlix, Hulu, AmazonPrime, HBO Now, etc.

I see these alternatives trying to build something new, not necessarily better, but new. They see enough activity from people like us, enough revenue, to be worth what they are spending to offer alternatives, It's a fluid landscape and there are differences between these services.

If these alternatives grow to a point that they threaten the cable and dish giants then something will give one way or the other. For now we should enjoy what we have.
 

M76

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They're going away slowly but surely. Sooner or later the generation that was used to the bloated bundles will die out. And most independent young adults doesn't even have a TV not to mention a cable subscription.
 

westrock2000

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They're going away slowly but surely. Sooner or later the generation that was used to the bloated bundles will die out. And most independent young adults doesn't even have a TV not to mention a cable subscription.
The industry might change, but I don't think the companies themselves will go away. I mean 20 years ago, who would have guessed that Charter Cable and AT&T would be direct competitors? What would a cable TV company and a phone company have in common? But when it comes to Internet, they are direct competitors.

They may not be able to offer their traditional products and service, but they are now in a position where they can offer a service that anyone can enjoy because nearly everything requires internet connectivity (even Barbie dolls). 150 years ago, building highways may not have been a lucrative business for a concrete company. But now everyone has the means to travel great distances. Now we need roads everywhere.
 

M76

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The industry might change, but I don't think the companies themselves will go away. I mean 20 years ago, who would have guessed that Charter Cable and AT&T would be direct competitors? What would a cable TV company and a phone company have in common? But when it comes to Internet, they are direct competitors.

They may not be able to offer their traditional products and service, but they are now in a position where they can offer a service that anyone can enjoy because nearly everything requires internet connectivity (even Barbie dolls). 150 years ago, building highways may not have been a lucrative business for a concrete company. But now everyone has the means to travel great distances. Now we need roads everywhere.
I didn't say that it is the end of all telco companies. It will be the end of the cable bundles, and the companies that refuse to get on with it and offer services that people want.
I've been only buying internet from my cable company for at least 5 years.
 

GT98

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Blame sports. Especially the NFL. Cable providers will never go to an "A la cart" pricing model. If so NFL fans would be paying near $400 a month because 4 networks paid $40-billion for broadcast rights for said games. Even more to include other sports. Nobody wants that. So instead the cable providers spread the cost to all subscribers whether they watch NFL or not.

Well if you have Verizon Wireless, you can get your local game streamed to your phone for free...not sure if you can cast it to a TV though.
 
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