That's an interesting point, Craig. One key difference is that most airlines (the least profitable ones) have union contracts, and cable companies have -- more and more -- replaced employees with subcontractors that wear their uniforms and answer their telephones. It doesn't seem to go very far, since the major cost of airlines is fuel and empty seats, and the major cost of cable seems to be debt financing. Fuel varies in price more than financing. Southwest Airlines is an outlyer; they lease planes, have union contracts and are usually profitable. Hard to find a similar case in cable. However, whether they know it or not, it's very important for any business to generate profits. Imagine what happens when you are just making do on cash flow, and then the regulator rears up it's head, eats your breakfast and lunch, and then your creditors get dicey about your ability to repay the debt. It's not unlike the situation that faced Western Union a few decades ago. They were the alpha dog in the communications business. Now, it's a way to send money using other people's telephone lines. John Willkie -----Mensaje original----- De: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] En nombre de Craig Birkmaier Enviado el: Sunday, November 11, 2007 7:09 AM Para: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Asunto: [opendtv] Re: News: NBC chief says Apple 'destroyed' music pricing At 9:42 AM -0800 11/8/07, John Willkie wrote: >"Their balance sheets show a tremendous amount o debt and a negative net >worth. Their operating statements usually show a negative profit" > >Very funny that. I've been saying the latter (using direct language, no >holdouts "No cable company has ever shown a profit" for years, yet you have >pushed back on that. Now, you quote something much worse: negative net >worth. > >(This is why they don't 'compete' with broadcast stations: they can't afford >to actually create programming, and all but the smallest broadcast stations >DO.) It is NOT important for the MSOs to generate profits. They are just the conduit, billing and customer service end of the industry. Their real value is the generation of massive cash flow - about 35 billion per month. That's a hell of a big "float" to manage. The real profits are taken out in other areas, especially the cable networks. This is not unusual. Most of the profits in the airline industry flow to the companies and individuals who own and lease the planes back to the carriers... Regards Craig ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.