A La Carte Cable

Ken AshfordGodstuff, Popular CultureLeave a Comment

Many social conservatives are pushing the idea of pay-per-channel cable services.  In other words, instead of getting Time-Warner’s Basic Subscription Package, which includes a bunch of channels you will never ever watch, you just pick the channels you want and pay for them individually.

Conservatives are behind per-channel cable because it means that your dear precious family won’t be exposed to the moral filth on Comedy Central (or whatever it is you find offensive).  Furthermore, your hard-earned dollars won’t be going to subsidize MTV (or whatever it is you find offensive).

But there’s the flipside of the coin, too.  And that’s got religious broadcasters in a panic.

Pay-per-channel pricing “would have a devastating effect on the inspirational programming we currently provide” and “decimate both the audience and financial support for religious broadcasting,” according to the Faith and Family Broadcasting Coalition. The group includes Pat Robertson ’s Christian Broadcasting Network, which is based in Virginia Beach.

In fact, even Christians might choose not to select Christian networks off the a la carte menu:

“People may say, ‘Well, we go to church on Sunday, we try to teach our kids good lessons, we can tune-in’” to Christian programs “’on the radio, and it would be nice if it was cheaper, but it cuts into our budget,’” Mullen said.

So, an idea designed to counteract the moral degeneracy of cable television could, in fact, result in dramatic decrease of religious programming.  How’s that for karma?