Friday, December 18, 2009

"LUS sacks Cox with Saints vs. Cowboys game"

From the Independent blog:
"If you’re paying $39.95 a month for LUS’ 83-channel expanded basic cable service, breathe a sigh of relief. You’ll watch the undefeated Saints take on the Dallas Cowboys (8-5) on Channel 38 Saturday night at 7:20 p.m. But if you’re one of Cox Communications’ approximately 100,000 Acadiana customers who subscribes to expanded basic, 72 channels for $52.99 per month, it’s going to cost you more."
Couldn't have said it better myself. —You can sign up with the local guys or you can pay more for less and still not get what you want from Cox. It's a choice that ought to be easy. What do you think Lafayette?

The Saints Mania that has taken hold here (and across south Lousiana) has made people more than a little crazy and I've got email this week asking whether LUS will have the game. I had a hard time understanding what folks were anxious about since it is on expanded basic, and expanded basic is pretty much the default level for most folks. Now that I see that Cox is only carrying it on a more expensive tier I have to suspect that the truly fanatic were hearing about that and worried that the same would be true of LUS...there was a big blow-up in the Baton Rouge media earlier this week and apparently Cox worked hard at getting it set up there even though BR wouldn't normally be allowed to see it. I'm sure they'd like to have been able to do the same in Lafayette—if only to avoid the unfavorable contrast with LUS Fiber.

It's not really just about this game and single, immensely popular show...it is more about the contrasting corporate policies that Cox and LUS Fiber pursue. Cox has, time and again, moved "must have" weather, French language, TV guide, and sports channels off the basic tiers and pushed them up into the upper, more costly, tiers in unpopular if financially understandable, moves. After all they are in it to make money for their owners. LUS Fiber, on the other hand, really doesn't have nearly the same pressure to "upsell" its customers since those customers are its owners. Keeping your owners happy means entirely different things to a large corporation and small town utility.

And that's the real lesson of this story.

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