Verizon Only Wants to Pay the Channels You Watch
Cable provider envisions radical shakeup
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 18, 2013 2:35 PM CDT
The headquarters for Verizon Communications Inc. is shown in midtown Manhattan Saturday, April 9, 2005 in New York file photo.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, FILE)

(Newser) – Verizon wants to radically change the way the cable business works, with a new system in which it would only pay channels if viewers actually watch them, the company tells the Wall Street Journal. Right now, cable companies pay networks a fee for every subscriber who has access to the channel, whether they actually watch the channel or not. Under the new system, Verizon would offer far more channels, but only pay those channels for each viewer who tuned in for at least five minutes.

Verizon is already talking about the plan with some "mid-tier and smaller" media companies, though so far it has proven to be a "head-scratching thing" for them because "it's such a disruptive model," an executive tells the Journal. What would all this mean for consumers? More channels, but not necessarily lower prices. The executive says that the move would only "stabilize retail prices." And Rebecca Greenfield at the Atlantic Wire predicts that "money-hungry cable companies and content providers" will never go for it.

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Mar 19, 2013 10:45 AM CDT
The one thing for sure that this is not going to be of any financial benefit to the consumer if it involve verizon or any of the other cable providers, you are going to end up paying more and getting less, that how these companies do business, shaft the people that patronize them
Mar 19, 2013 10:21 AM CDT
Finally, common sense. Why should we have to pay for shopping, music, spanish, religious, news and sports channels we never watch. How about 25 cents a month for each station you watch, that would make my cable bill a lot cheaper. Unfortunately, it is a Verizon idea, not a Time Warner idea.
Mar 19, 2013 9:57 AM CDT
Good! I've said for decades that subscribers should only pay for the channels they watch and not half a dozen others that don't. This is a step in the right direction. For instance; here if you want Turner Classic Movies you have to buy an entire 'sports' package which has about 10 channels I have no interest in AND TCM. Why should anyone pay for something they aren't using?