FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Censor Cable? Customers Say, "@%#$& That!"

Cable TV customers overwhelmingly believe that cable TV channels -- and premium channels especially -- should be allowed to run programming as they please, without censorship or undue regulation.

A study by Arbitron found that 77% of cable subscribers surveyed agreed that "premium networks [like HBO and Showtime] should be able to air unrestricted programming," and 62% believed that "cable networks should be free to air whatever programming they please." By contrast, only 19% found that cable programming was frequently "offensive."

However, the same survey found that a majority (54%) liked the idea of a la carte payments for networks and packages, allowing customers to more finely choose what best suits their needs and interests, whereas 42% were content with current offerings.

Such support for unfettered programming doesn't appear to account for those who currently don't subscribe to cable because they object to the content or feel they can't control what their families see. Nevertheless, the survey points to a growing interest on the part of consumers to decide for themselves what's appropriate. "In an on-demand, multi-platform world, consumers increasingly want to experience media on their own terms," said Carol Edwards of Arbitron. "As technology for media grows, consumers have more choices. This presents the cable industry with new opportunities to be creative in how they reach consumers."

Source: eMarketer