Choice?

I was up way too late last night watching the great performances by Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson.  Of course, as a soccer fan, I’m missing the USA/Canada Women’s match since it’s not on TV and as a Cablevision subscriber, I have no access to NBCOlympics.com video.  Yes, I’m aware that it’s pretty easy to spoof the system so one can watch but that’s not this morning’s point.

NBC is charging cable operators for a supplemental package of channels for the Olympics and the online broadband site.  While many operators have said OK (and I’m wondering how they’re passing along the costs to consumers), Cablevision said no thanks.  I have no issue with this- it’s the same decision as they and others make with respect to new channels and broadband packages such as ESPN360 all the time.

My issue is that history shows that consumers don’t like gatekeepers and will find ways around them.  AOL’s walled garden is gone.  Others are as well.  ISP’s have been fairly open to date (I say fairly since some of where Comcast is heading bothers me) and wireless networks are slowly opening.   Again, I have no quarrel with Cablevision’s decision.  But why didn’t SOMEONE ask me is I wanted to pay for it?  Cable guys hate ala carte pricing, NBC wants to get paid on the whole of a footprint rather than by individual users, but in the end, in theory, my sleepy wife misses some great performances.  Sure, she can watch highlights, but if NBCOlympics.com has any archived full-length stuff she’s out of luck.

By the way, why does NBC have you install Silverlight (required to watch) before they let you know if you are able to see live video?  Nice benefit to our friends in Redmond but sort of sneaky.

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