Click below subscribe to my RSS


Powered by FeedBlitz

Monday, February 18, 2008

Flowing Along To Monopoly Land

Another major cable company bows to the might of the ever growing Flow cable network. The latest to surrender and pledge allegiance to this conquerer of cable TV companies is one of the big boys in the Kingston and St. Andrew metropolitan area, Entertainment Systems Limited (ESL). It was the lead story in the Business section of the Sunday Gleaner, "Flow Acquires Entertainment Systems Ltd." This may be a good stride for Flow in it's aggressive campaign to dominate the cable TV market in Jamaica. However, this dream becoming reality is somewhat an ominous sign for the many customers who will have to feed Flow's appetite.

Since Flow came on the scene it was given to power to conquer by the then ruling party, when it was given an all island license to operate a a cable TV company. This was like giving it a tanker to do battle with the existing cable companies whose license to operate only in a designated area is comparable to a pistol. With this in mind Flow not only grew it's network by actively seeking customers, but also by devouring these smaller cable companies by means of several regular acquisitions. Flow started out by acquiring the smaller cable companies, but it was not long before the grew and could digest the larger cable TV operators. These cable companies included SAUCE and D&L in the city of Kingston, JACS in St. Catherine and Northern Cable and Communication in Ocho Rios which made a total of five in 2007.

ESL, is one of the largest cable companies here in the city of Kingston and St. Andrew and serves some of the most affluent communities in the city including those at the cream of the crop: Norbrook, Cherry Gardens, Beverly Hills, Stony Hill and Hope Pastures. This is a big boost for Flow as those in these communities can afford to pay for their premium packages thus fueling the growth of the emerging monopoly bringing their total acquisitions to . It is only a matter of tie before Flow will be able to topple the thrones of the the other major cable companies such as Logic One and Telstar.

Yes I said the word monopoly, and that is what Flow will become if they are allowed to continue on their campaign to devour the Cable TV market. This can only mean that Jamaicans will soon be at the mercy of another monopoly. Soon we will not have a choice as to who will provide us with cable TV services, we will be subjected to the service level the company chooses to deliver with little or no power to demand more and of course we will have to fork out the money they demand for their service or do without.

I'm not saying that this is what Flow will do, but having experienced a monopoly in the communication sector and still being oppressed by the current power company monopoly, the JPS, I can't expect anything good. According to The Sunday Gleaner, ESL, one of the higher priced cable TV companies charged a basic fee of $2000 for 100+ channels, while Flow ranges from $750 for it's basic, very basic, cable only package to $7,900 for special bundles. And already they have started to increased their appetite for their customer's money as the prices quoted for Flow was a sixteen percent (16%) increase effective the beginning of this month.

I am not hitting out against Flow, but I am wary of the monopoly that it is quickly becoming as it absorbs the cable companies both small and large, not only in the metropolitan area but also island wide as Flow now operates in six of the fourteen parishes in Jamaica. In a monopoly, customer's becomes slaves, cash cows as they have lost the freedom of choice if they want the specific product. Where there is no competition the consumer/customer only looses.


13 commented:

I have been a flow customer since they devoured Sauce over a year ago. They have done me no wrong and I have been satisfied...another big stakes player as competition would be music to my ears.

sounds like they are well on their way to that monopoly title

yeah i think they'll do that greedy mean monopoly thing too

looking at their packages now, their quite expensive, looking at the ones i would want anyway cus of course u always missing out on some good channels if u choose anything less than the full thing, and the full thing is quite exp!

i was fine with taking internet alone from them, now they gone and took over allied. not looking fwd...

Don't know a thing about flow. However, you were very creative with getting you point across with this image. Great job.

meh.. I am on entertainment systems and I'm not looking forward to the rate hike associated with flow buying them out.

I wonder what telstar is like now.. *rubs chin*

I know nothing about flow but competition is always good for the consumer.
The other cable companies can and should re-examine their pricing schemes to compete with the variety flow has. They won't find themselves priced out of the market if they give consumers options to suit every pocket.

mi seh mi nha look forward to bruk pakkit...dem buy out allied so is only a matter of time before dem start service in duhaney park!!!

mi LOVE di image!!!!!
mi a teef it!

Sounds like our version of Rogers cable

These bloody monopolies...

I'm still upset, because I was quite fine with my previous cable company. Let's see what happens when more people decide to buy DVDs and satellite dishes instead. People should have options, man. (hiss teeth)

We have Comcast doing the same thing with a cable monopoly in the States.

Can you get the dish?

Flow devoured my Allied Cablevision. But I heard some news story tonight about them being stopped.

I am still with Telstar but its just a matter of time before they hike their rates. This as it will largely be a market with only themselves and Flow as providers. Our regulators have let us down badly!