Categories
Miscellaneous

Why Are TV Channels Packaged?

Television providers have packages for various programming levels: basic, deluxe, and premium or by theme: movies, sports, music, and Spanish. This can be frustrating for consumers who may end up buying an entire package just to watch one channel or perhaps even one show.

Why is this? Why can’t we just buy the channels we want a la carte?

Although there’s a historical reason for this, there’s no longer any technical justification for bundling entertainment channels into packages.

With all service providers, every channel is present on the feed (be it cable, fiber optic, or satellite). When the feed reaches our houses, the items we don’t pay for are blocked.

When cable TV first came on the scene, it was analog and electronic devises were inserted to filter out various parts of the feed people weren’t paying for. These filters were imprecise and couldn’t be finely tuned to individual channels but did work okay for groups of adjacent channels. This resulted in the birth of channel packages.

Now we have digital and individual channels can be turned on and off at each house’s receiver. There’s no longer a technical reason to package channels and sell them as a group.

However, cable and satellite TV providers are used to the revenue provided by selling packages and not anxious to change that. Plus it’s easier to track and bill half a dozen packages for each subscriber, rather than hundreds of individual channels.

If entertainment providers were truly focused on their customers, they would allow for individual channel selection, letting us pick and pay for only the channels we want to watch.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Categories
News

A New Blog: From the Publisher’s Desk

This blog, the “Musings of Peter DeHaan,” is about nothing, but covers everything. It is essentially a sharing of my stream of conscience. While this blog will continue unabated, I have started another blog, one with a stated purpose and goal.

It is a business blog, called “From the Publishers Desk,” and shares my tips and commentary about advertising and marketing. If this topic is of interest, I encourage you to check it out. Just like this blog, you can sign up to be notified via email of new posts or subscribe to a list feed.

[In 2013, the name of the blog changed to “The Book Blog,” and the focus became book publishing. All old posts were saved in the archive section.]

Categories
Writing and Publishing

More News Than You Can Use

As a publisher, I receive all manner of press releases. Some are appropriately targeted and end up in one of my magazines, newsfeeds, or newsletters. Others are close, but slightly miss our focus, while many are seemingly sent to me without forethought or strategy. Here are the headlines that I have received in the past 48 hours; see if you can figure them out:

  • Prosodie Interactive Enhances the Max-Route Call Allocation Platform by Adding Ad-Hoc Reporting, Fulfillment and Contact Center Flexibility
  • Smucci: Make Your Pets Feel Like Royalty
  • Wilson Named to Kaiser Permanente’s Board of Directors
  • Confirmit Partners with Plum Voice to Offer Complete Data Collection Platform
  • GSA Smartbuy Geospatial Agreements Provide Maximum Taxpayer Value
  • Global Telecom & Technology Completes Acquisition of WBS Connect
  • FTC Privacy Roundtable Highlights Clash Between Consumer Advocates, Ad Industry
  • FCC Counsel Invests in XG Technology
  • LG Begins Global Hunt for Live Borderless Experience
  • Knowledge Networks Expands in Pharma Research with Acquisition of CMR
  • Researchers Announce Medical Breakthrough with Simple, Inexpensive Blood Test for Colon Cancer
  • Immune Cell Activity Linked to Worsening COPD
  • Hibernia Atlantic Acquires International Broadcast and Media Production Service Provider Mediaxstream
  • Isippy Networks Inc. Announces Unlimited Calling to 70+ Countries on iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, and Symbian Phones
  • In Age of ‘Sexting,’ Parents Weigh Options for Blocking Content
  • CSD Designated for State of California Disability Equipment Distribution Contract
  • U-M-Patented Nanotech Treatment for Cold Sores Gets Major Boost with Glaxosmithkline Licensing Agreement
  • About 25 percent of Arab adults in Greater Detroit reported abuse after 9/11, study says

Many of these make little sense to me — even after scanning the press release. Some, I comprehend, but don’t care about, while a few capture my attention, as in the case of the last two items  Nanotechnology has always intrigued me, though I never suspected it as a cold sore combatant. The abuse of Arabs after 9/11 is indeed sad.  Nineteen radicals needlessly subjected an entire race to unwarranted ill will and harsh treatment by close-minded and vengeful Americans. What else can I say?

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Categories
Writing and Publishing

More News Than You Can Use

A few months ago, I blogged about the various random press releases that I receive each day. In that post, I committed the faux pas of labeling them all as spam — and was quickly chastised for making a sweeping overstatement that was not entirely correct. In this, I was reminded that spam is in the eye of the beholder. I also realized that just because I wasn’t interested in the press release, didn’t automatically make it spam — or so the argument went.

Regardless of the fallout, sharing the list was fun. So here is another one — all received within the last 48 hours, with the most arriving on Thursday. (Does that mean that Thursday is a good day to email press releases?)  Although many fall into the broad categories of telecommunications and medical, of which my two publications are very small subsets, none of them are close to news that I would publish and several are head-scratching mysteries.

The recent headlines are:

  • Bioethics Backgrounder on Torture Available
  • IPTV World Series Awards winners announced, PCCW and AT&T clinch two each
  • Members of President’s Council on Bioethics Raise Objections to President Obama’s Stem Cell Policy in Bioethics Forum
  • Cypress Communications Receives Phoenix Award
  • FDAnews Announces 6th Annual Medical Device Quality Congress
  • Windermere Exclusive Properties and McMillin Realty Reach Agreement
  • ISO standard for access panels aims to increase effectiveness of market, opinion and social research
  • Emmi + KidsHealth = Prescription for Informed and Involved Patients
  • Vhi Healthcare rolls out Sword Ciboodle for world-class customer service
  • DataCore SANmelody Storage Virtualization Software Wins 2009 Network Computing Award for “Software Product of the Year”
  • Leading NYC Web Development Firm Launches KeywordFriendly.com
  • ISC West to Showcase Latest Security Technology
  • Dialexia Communications Edges Out Competition When Selected By Billerica Public Schools To Power Backend of IP Telephony Services
  • Economy got you down? Use the principles of positive psychology
  • Virtual PBX and Gizmo5 Partner for New Business-Class VoIP service
  • Rutgers University Team Consulting Group Survey for MUTUAL decision
  • Enterprise application developers are integrating backup tools into their applications
  • Enhanced Windows Power Tools Suite Released
  • ProMarketing Inc. Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Categories
Miscellaneous

Credit Card Injustice

My company accepts credit cards as a means of payment for ads. This week I received a letter from one of the four major credit card companies. They were notifying me that the rate they will charge me will be increasing—and they’re already the highest.

(Merchants that accept credit cards are charged monthly fees, a fee for each transaction, and a percentage of the charge. For example, on a $100 charge, the credit card company might keep $3 and pay the merchant $97.)

I accepted the news with resigned acceptance. However, what was next communicated irked me.

They said I could lower the percentage of what they keep if I would agree to let them hold my money for 15 days. Here’s how it would work. Assume that I ran through a 100 dollars charge on the first of the month. They charge the cardholder on the first, then they keep the money for two weeks, and finally give me my 97 dollars on the fifteenth. In exchange for an even lower fee, they would hold my money for 30 days!

In this day of electronically moving money around the world in an instant, there is no reason for them to keep my money for 15 or 30 days—other than greed. (And look at the mess that greed has gotten our global economy into.)

Each credit card holder who doesn’t pay off the entire balance each month is being charged interest from the day the charge was first posted. So, the credit card company is double dipping—getting money from the merchant and the credit card holder for the same transaction, while they hold on to—and use—my money.

The purpose of credit cards is so that merchants can be paid quickly—that’s why we pay the fees.

I’m sure they have some way to justify their decision—but to me, it’s just wrong.


Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.