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How Cable TV works in the USA?

by jarturof / February 5, 2008 3:51 PM PST

I heard many times in the show about cable TV, it sounds like monopoly, is there only one company per city, or how it works??, Is comcast and Time Warner the only companies?

In my city I used to have the choice of 5 pay tv companies, Sky (dish former DirecTV)), Televicable, Telecable, Mas TV and Maxcom, now after adquisitions by bigger companies there are only Megacable, Cablecom, Sky (dish) and MasTV still I have choices.

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by acedtect-20196213851867054973637995818137 / February 5, 2008 11:52 PM PST

Each city awards a franchise to one cable company. Then there are sometimes smaller companies that provide cable building by building. And of course you can get satellite if you have a clear view of the southern sky in your residence.

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In USA company owns cable, in EU country owns actual cable
by nutjob / February 7, 2008 12:59 AM PST
In reply to: Oligopoly

Cities can have more than one cable company and a few do. The difference in the USA versus other countries is that the Cable company is responsible for laying the cable. In most of Europe and Asia the government lays the cable and the cable company plays a fee for its use. In the UK they have a TV fee for instance, in Singapore they have a special excise tax for wholeselling of TV and radios.

The cost to lay the cable is expensive so you need a higher number of cable subscribers. If we want competition in USA, government would have to but the cable already out here.

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Another choice?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 6, 2008 12:32 AM PST

Use the off switch.

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by Renegade Knight / February 8, 2008 3:50 AM PST

In my town it's CableOne. There are no other choices for cable.

My options for TV are:
Over the Air.

Over the air lets me watch any station I want of the few that are in the area. Roughly 4. Each is more or less it's own company.
Cable is the company. They pipe in TV and because I use the old non digital cable it "just works" everwere in my house. I don't need set top boxes for my DVR's and TVs. They pay to lay all the cable needed to provide service.

Satalitte (I can never spell that) I can choose from several companies. They pay for the satalites. All I need are a dish.

My local Phone company also offers TV services now. That's fair since my Cable company now offers Phone...The Phone company pays for the phone cables.

Strangly the Phone company is a regualted Monopoly while the Cable Company isn't even though there are only one of each.

Give it a year or two and the Cell Phone companies will offer TV services.

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Thanks fpr your answers
by jarturof / February 9, 2008 7:41 AM PST

Is good to understand now how it works.

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