Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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The case for too many cable channels

Rob Walker offers up a nice counterargument for Saturday’s New York Times article by Joe Nocera about a la carte cable. Nocera argued that in the end it would be more expensive for consumers in the end: “Take, for instance, ESPN, which charges the highest amount of any cable network: $3 per subscriber per month. (I’m borrowing this example from a recent research note by Craig Moffett, the Sanford C. Bernstein cable analyst.) Suppose in an à la carte world, 25 percent of the nation’s cable subscribers take ESPN. If that were the case, the network would have to charge each subscriber not $3, but $12 a month to keep its revenue the same.” Anyway, read both, I think Rob Walker makes some very fair points, like “if it’s really true that lots of cable channels would die out if they weren’t buffered from the actual marketplace by cable-company bundling, well then, why shouldn’t we just let that happen?”

November 27, 2007