With alternatives like Netflix and Hulu on the rise, cable companies may be rethinking their strategies.
Until recently, there have really only been two options for watching channels outside the broadcast range. You could get satellite or you could get cable. Either way it's the same basic principle. You pay monthly for more channels than you could ever watch.
"It would be a good thing," said Glen Britt, CEO of Time Warner, "if we could all figure out a way to have one or more smaller packages that would be attractive to people who can't afford bigger ones." It's hard to disagree with that. Few people actually need or want all the channels that come with basic packages – packages that are scaling up to $80 a month in some places.
What he didn't talk about though, was "a la carte" programming, which was a hot issue a few years back, but hasn't gotten much talk recently. Giving customers the option to pick the channels that are important to them could be a great way to cut costs while maintaining viewership.
As far as the measures Britt mentioned though, he says that if it happens it won't be any time soon. "Talks are happening at some level," he said, "but not too seriously."