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Cablevision backs cable a la carte
Charles Dolan supports position of FCC's Kevin Martin saying option in consumers' 'best interest.'
December 1, 2005: 3:14 PM EST
Cablevision Chairman Charles Dolan
Cablevision Chairman Charles Dolan

NEW YORK ( - Cablevision Chairman Charles Dolan threw his support behind the FCC's recommendation of an a la carte option for cable subscribers, calling it "in the best interests of consumers", the company said Thursday

"Cablevision agrees with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's assertion before the Senate Commerce Committee on Nov. 29 that the opportunity to purchase programming on an a la carte basis would be in the best interests of consumers," Dolan said in a statement.

"Like Chairman Martin, we do not believe in the long term that selling programming a la carte will be detrimental to either programmers or cable operators."

Dolan's statement, which would appear to break with the position of other cable providers, said the move would result in more affordable service for customers and deliver more programming options.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association, an industry group that represents Comcast (up $0.47 to $26.87, Research), Time Warner Cable and other companies, criticizes the pay per channel option on its Web site, saying it would result in higher prices and less programming diversity.

Under the current model, programmers are able to cater to underserved audiences, the group said.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin revised an earlier agency opinion about pay per channel pricing before the Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday, saying that so-called a la carte pricing was economically feasible and could be in the best interest of consumers.

Under a la carte pricing, you could purchase individual channels rather than buying a package of channels from cable providers.

Shares of Cablevision (down $0.32 to $23.34, Research) fell over 1 percent in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.


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