For me the question practically answers itself as it does for anyone who tries to watch tv shows on the Internet. The Cable companies want to protect their turf and if this comes at the expense of the customer so be it.
Turns out though, the Justice Department is on the case:
"The Justice Department is conducting a wide-ranging antitrust investigation into whether cable companies are acting improperly to quash nascent competition from online video, according to people familiar with the matter."
"Justice Department officials have spoken to several online video providers, including Netflix Inc. NFLX -1.42% and Hulu LLC, those people said. Investigators have also questioned Comcast Corp., CMCSA +1.57%Time Warner Cable Inc. TWC +0.74% and other cable companies about issues such as setting data caps, limits to the amount of data a subscriber can download each month, these people said"
Again for me there's little question this is happening. While neoclassical eonomists may debate whether unemployment can be involuntary or the Real Business Cycle school is right and that right now all these workers are just on vacation-then the economy is fine-for me as someone who;s actually worked in the labor market the answer is pretty obvious. Similarly the question of whether or not cable companies do this for me is also pretty obvious: of course they do.
"Cable companies provide both television channels and high-speed Internet access for many consumers in the U.S. With broadband Internet, consumers can watch individual programs or channels through online video services like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon, bypassing the cable company's traditional bundles of channels."
"Having invested billions of dollars building their networks, some pay-TV companies have shown little inclination to get out of the business of packaging television channels and become mere conduits for other companies' data. Some major entertainment companies also have an interest in preserving the current model of television viewing because they want cable companies to take bundles of their channels, rather than just cherry-picking the most popular ones."
"In its cable TV probe, Justice Department investigators are taking a particularly close look at the data caps that pay-TV providers like Comcast and AT&T Inc. T +1.40% have used to deal with surging video traffic on the Internet. The companies say the limits are needed to stop heavy users from overwhelming their networks."
"Internet video providers like Netflix have expressed concern that the limits are aimed at stopping consumers from dropping cable television and switching to online video providers. They also worry that cable companies will give priority to their own online video offerings on their networks to stop subscribers from leaving."
This to me sounds like a good thing. After all this could make us able "buy channels on a stand-alone basis rather than in bundles, to be able to buy streaming access to premium networks like HBO without having to purchase a cable subscription first, to be able to stream shows that are available through services like Hulu as quickly and smoothly as if they were airing on a network."
Yet some people feel there's a catch even here:
"As much as I would also like to see some of those things come to pass, and as much as some networks would like to be able to offer some, if not all, of those options it’s been hard to get through to folks that there is a complex system governing cable television and Internet that makes those changes difficult to make without current successful business models take a major hit that could disrupt the delivery and quality of the programming we currently find so desirable."
"Whatever the ultimate outcome of the investigation, I’m glad it’s taking place. So much of the conversation around what people find frustrating in the current cable regime is erroneously aimed at networks, rather than the regime they operate within. This investigation should recenter that conversation, and hopefully give us more insight into the fulcrums we need to push on to give us an environment where networks can have more opportunities to monetize their content and to pursue new subscribers without risking the ones they currently have."
Hmmm. Does "monetize their content" mean charging me more money? I'm just asking. The main thing I'd like to offer this conversation is this: I like to watch videos on the Internet and don't want to pay anything for it at all, nor do I want the quality to be deliberately lowered on behalf of who Major Freedom calls the "producers."
Nothing much to add beyond that. Oh, yeah, also unbundling cable packages is a great idea. That's about it-don't care to here about if Atlas doesn't like his take on cable he's gonna shrug. How will they get this done? That's the big question. But it happens-industries become better and more affordable like cell phones. All of a sudden you can get a phone with no contract that is unlimited calls per month for only $50 bucks-my current deal with Metro PCS. It happens, hopefully it will happen here.