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Verizon in talks to charge for TV channels based on viewing time

Cable has worked pretty much the same ever since it came on the scene in the 1980s, in that customers are required to pay for large blocks of channels, most of which they don’t watch. Customers have begged for change and change has come slowly, but Verizon may be the one to change that by using a system that charges customers only for the channels they watch.

The telecom firm is in talks with mid-size and smaller content companies to pay for channels only based on how long we watch: Verizon would pay whenever a subscriber tunes in for at least five minutes. In theory, it’s a win-win strategy that lowers Verizon’s overhead (and hopefully ours) while rewarding the more successful smaller channels. Of course, there’s no guarantee that a deal will go through — and while Verizon will ask about a similar model when renewing major contracts, Cablevision’s battle shows how much media giants will resist disruption of a steady revenue stream.


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