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Comments on news posted 2013-04-23 12:27:15: As noted last week, there is a renewed pressure on broadcasters to either finally offer a la carte channels, or at least channel bundles that are a little more consumer friendly and economical. ..

page: 1 · 2 · next

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

6 recommendations

I'm ready to go...

...espn free.
Let the sports junkies buy their own crack.

Brian_M

join:2004-06-19
Manchester, GA
Reviews:
·Charter

1 recommendation

Re: I'm ready to go...

I am ESPN/sports free.... took ditching cable/satellite altogether though.

*shrug* I'm pretty sure that broadcasters have lost my household forever for ANY video service. I'm more than happy to wait till something worth watching hits dvd/netflix/amazon/etc...
joebear29

join:2003-07-20
Alabaster, AL
That's fine as long as they can buy only the sports channels. Making them pay for everyone else's crap and then pay extra for sports is unfair.

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: I'm ready to go...

said by joebear29:

That's fine as long as they can buy only the sports channels. Making them pay for everyone else's crap and then pay extra for sports is unfair.

Last I checked, the most expensive stations are the sports stations. Easily. Most evidence points to non-sports-watchers subsidizing the rest of our sports-watching habits. If you're watching sports and don't want to pay for "everyone else's crap", then you *might* save about 10% off of what you're paying. Maybe. It's not like you're actually paying for BET, Lifetime and Oxygen... They're getting throwin in with A&E and MTV...

Frankly the only non-sports stations on Cable which can command much at all are Discovery, A&E, MTV, and Comedy Central. Possibly FNC and CNN.

ESPN, Big10, CBS, NBC, FOX, NFL, NBA, NHL sports networks are all expensive anchors during network negotiations where the Cable Companies frankly have no bargaining power. They're the reason why Cable is expensive. And you're sorely mistaken if you watch sports and think a-la-carte will be some magical way to cut your cable-viewing costs by heaps.
--
"What makes us omniscient? Have we a record of omniscience? ...If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning."
-United States Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara
mdlund0

join:2011-08-02
Lawrence, KS

Re: I'm ready to go...

Maybe we'll all end up paying the same amount, albeit for different reasons (Sports because they're in high demand, other crap because it's expensive to produce for a small audience). Why don't we go ahead and find out... I'd be willing to take even a modest savings when buying my sports packages if it meant losing Lifetime, FNC, CNN, Oxygen, BET, MTV, CMT, etc.
chances14

join:2010-03-03
Michigan
said by tiger72:

said by joebear29:

That's fine as long as they can buy only the sports channels. Making them pay for everyone else's crap and then pay extra for sports is unfair.

Last I checked, the most expensive stations are the sports stations. Easily. Most evidence points to non-sports-watchers subsidizing the rest of our sports-watching habits. If you're watching sports and don't want to pay for "everyone else's crap", then you *might* save about 10% off of what you're paying. Maybe. It's not like you're actually paying for BET, Lifetime and Oxygen... They're getting throwin in with A&E and MTV...

Frankly the only non-sports stations on Cable which can command much at all are Discovery, A&E, MTV, and Comedy Central. Possibly FNC and CNN.

ESPN, Big10, CBS, NBC, FOX, NFL, NBA, NHL sports networks are all expensive anchors during network negotiations where the Cable Companies frankly have no bargaining power. They're the reason why Cable is expensive. And you're sorely mistaken if you watch sports and think a-la-carte will be some magical way to cut your cable-viewing costs by heaps.

Regardless, people who only watch sports channels are paying for those channels that non sports fans are watching on a regular basis, even if it is a smaller amount than those who don't watch sports channels.

NotHereNow

@verizon.net

Re: I'm ready to go...

Well, that's the whole point of having bundles, isn't it--so that the providers can get their pound of flesh (which they send part of back up to the producers of crap "content"); ESPN and Disney are simply the most egregiously bad about it. Everybody pays for what everybody else watches, but those who don't watch ESPN and the other crap sports channels pay the most for the stuff they never watch. (This is why I don't get "cable"--so I don't have to pay for everything I don't have any interest in. If they don't want to just sell me what I want to buy, then they'll get nothing from me.)

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1
said by chances14:

said by tiger72:

said by joebear29:

That's fine as long as they can buy only the sports channels. Making them pay for everyone else's crap and then pay extra for sports is unfair.

Last I checked, the most expensive stations are the sports stations. Easily. Most evidence points to non-sports-watchers subsidizing the rest of our sports-watching habits. If you're watching sports and don't want to pay for "everyone else's crap", then you *might* save about 10% off of what you're paying. Maybe. It's not like you're actually paying for BET, Lifetime and Oxygen... They're getting throwin in with A&E and MTV...

Frankly the only non-sports stations on Cable which can command much at all are Discovery, A&E, MTV, and Comedy Central. Possibly FNC and CNN.

ESPN, Big10, CBS, NBC, FOX, NFL, NBA, NHL sports networks are all expensive anchors during network negotiations where the Cable Companies frankly have no bargaining power. They're the reason why Cable is expensive. And you're sorely mistaken if you watch sports and think a-la-carte will be some magical way to cut your cable-viewing costs by heaps.

Regardless, people who only watch sports channels are paying for those channels that non sports fans are watching on a regular basis, even if it is a smaller amount than those who don't watch sports channels.

Maybe. But the content companies aren't stupid. Disney owns ABC Family, but it also owns ESPN. It owns Lifetime, but it also owns A&E.
Same goes for Viacom.
And Fox
Really, have a look: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney%E2% ··· on_Group
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_as ··· networks
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_Corpo ··· ation#TV

If Disney feels that it's going to lose money due to no longer being able to dump Lifetime and ABC Family in a package deal for ESPN, then they're simply going to charge more for ESPN and give Lifetime away for free (which is what they're doing anyways). News Corp will charge more for their FOX RSN's, Big10 Network and FNC.
Viacom will charge more for Comedy Central and MTV.
They'll make up the losses - Content companies will not accept losing money over a-la-carte.

The only way you will pay less is if you cut out content from an entire content company. If you want to cut out ABC, I hope you don't like ESPN.
If you want to cut out FOX, I hope your local sports aren't delivered by Fox Sports Networks.
If you want to cut out Viacom (probably the easiest if you only watch sports), I hope you don't watch Comedy Central.

Let's get real here, the cable companies don't want to hear you complain about price increases. They're just the middlemen and aggregators. They're probably more than happy to just charge you a $10 or $15 access fee and let you deal with the content companies yourself. It would cut their support costs, and they'd only need to set up a proper automated station provisioning system (which wasn't possible 30 years ago).

It's the content companies that like the system as it is. They charge the cable companies whatever they want, and everyone gets mad at cable for price increases or blackouts rather than the content companies which are the cause of the price increases in the first place.
--
"What makes us omniscient? Have we a record of omniscience? ...If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning."
-United States Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara

NotHereNow

@verizon.net
unfair : payback <> to-may-to : to-mah-to

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
I agree, if I could pick channel bundles I would take local channels, news/weather channels, and music. Of course with mom in the house I would have to add Food Network and HGTV to the mix.

Al-a-carte would be a logistical nightmare if we got to choose individual channels as cable companies would have to program each converter for the channels a customer wants. Not to mention the increased cost of labor for taking orders and provisioning accounts so a-la-carte would actually drive costs up. What I would like is for channels to be bundled by genre (such as news or music) and allow customers to choose genre based bundles instead of the current model of having to buy crappy shopping/infomercial channels to get the good channels.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.
ptbarnett

join:2002-09-30
Lewisville, TX

Re: I'm ready to go...

said by IowaCowboy:

Al-a-carte would be a logistical nightmare if we got to choose individual channels as cable companies would have to program each converter for the channels a customer wants. Not to mention the increased cost of labor for taking orders and provisioning accounts so a-la-carte would actually drive costs up.

Digital set top boxes don't care how channels are bundled. They are enabled and disabled individually.

If subscription and unsubscription is integrated into the set-top box firmware, there's need for CSRs except to handle problems.

A bonus would be an AJAX web interface that would allow you to click and unclick your subscriptions, and automatically update your monthly bill total (including all the taxes and franchise fees).

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: I'm ready to go...

...and that really wouldn't take much effort to build, either.
en103

join:2011-05-02
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
I agree - Cable/Satellite/Uverse/FiOS should be able to make a 'create your bundle' package:

$20 for 'service' plus cheapest channel

then channels 'a-la-carte' pricing and bundled pricing - note many single channels will cost more per channel (duh) and bundles in general MAY cost a bit less w/o sports, but in general more overall, and a lot of junk channels will disappear.

Camaro
Question everything
Premium
join:2008-04-05
Westfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
·Comcast
said by IowaCowboy:

Al-a-carte would be a logistical nightmare if we got to choose individual channels as cable companies would have to program each converter for the channels a customer wants.

If this happened by some freak chance I want a complete breakdown of every penny I spend to said channel then we can make informed decisions. For the logistics, the amount of money I get charged they should be bending over backward and forward's for me.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

I'm pretty sure in this day and age we as consumers could hit a website, place an order and have it show up on our boxes in about 3 minutes without a single person doing a thing on their end. If not, they need better programmers and a smarter system.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Re: I'm ready to go...

Or they could raise the change of service fee from $1.99 to 5.99 for changing the channels in a package.

Or make it so you can order on the computer or website but have to call customer service to remove channels.

Anyways, the cable/satellite provider's hands are pretty much tied by the programming providers.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
Undoubtably, they could do that.
But, most people, are more likely, to agree with a human that they don't JUST want that single channel, and If they want they can have that channel PLUS these other channels for "just $3 more a month for the next 3 months" hoping you enjoy and grow accustomed to having at least one of them.
Never missing the chance of an upsell.

Face it they will continue to bundle or not whatever it takes to earn MORE money, never less.

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast
said by Skippy25:

I'm pretty sure in this day and age we as consumers could hit a website, place an order and have it show up on our boxes in about 3 minutes without a single person doing a thing on their end. If not, they need better programmers and a smarter system.

Yeah ... this is pretty much how it happens on DirecTV with the Starz, HBO, Cinemax premium services, you go on their website, choose a premium service to add and it's up and running by the time you tune to it in your TV ... if they can do it for them, they can do it for ALL channels.

I'm fed up with subsidizing all the sports jocks and paying for channels I NEVER watch.

Fuck ESPN ... and Disney too.

PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Fitchburg, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by IowaCowboy:

...and allow customers to choose genre based bundles instead of the current model of having to buy crappy shopping/infomercial channels to get the good channels.

I agree in general, except for this. You don't pay for these channels. The shopping/infomercial channels pay to be on the cable system and contribute (I'm sure very slightly) to REDUCING your monthly bill.
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
Yeah it's called SelectHD from Verizon. He's probably right.
I would have done just broadcast, but believe it or not the 2-play was 10 less for SelectHD, so I got it.

My bill went from $105 to $79 (inc CC) when I went from Extreme to SelectHD and that INCLUDES 50/25 unlimited. And no regional sports fee. So savings over $35 each month. If they were smart they would have PPV sports like boxing, etc. But they are happy with the status quo today.

Cost to provision is not a problem the problem is that we still have channels. If you go a la carte, go a la carte. You pay for what you consume. Think of how the cell guys charge. Base fee + you pay for consumption. Works well there. Yes some people will pay more, some will pay less but the point is it's a personal decision, and if content providers (which should want it all out there) want to condition us to ration, then they will lose.

My take is that these guys need to stop signing billion dollar contracts otherwise yes, ESPN will cost $20.

PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Fitchburg, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: I'm ready to go...

said by elefante72:

Cost to provision is not a problem the problem is that we still have channels. If you go a la carte, go a la carte. You pay for what you consume. Think of how the cell guys charge. Base fee + you pay for consumption. Works well there. Yes some people will pay more, some will pay less but the point is it's a personal decision, and if content providers (which should want it all out there) want to condition us to ration, then they will lose.

Sounds silly. Would i have to turn off the TV to use the bathroom? If I turn off the TV during a commercial will my bill increase?
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Or make sportscasts Pay Per View only so I'm not paying for sports I don't watch. The big sports leagues charge a lot of money for broadcast rights and if they go PPV only, then our pay TV bills would be a lot lower.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
It would be all automatic. You could do it from your remote control, or your phone app, your web browser or even a touch tone telephone system if you're a luddite.

Would actually be cheaper overall after the initial development.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

NPGMBR

join:2001-03-28
Arlington, VA
And while they're at it, why don't they get rid of those useless music channels too. I wonder how much more we'd save if we didn't have to pay the RIAA tax.

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2

Re: I'm ready to go...

I want the music channels, but I'm happy to buy them as a low cost add-on.

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
said by tshirt:

...espn free.
Let the sports junkies buy their own crack.

Right. If $20 is too much, people won't buy it, and they'll be forced to lower the price. Let the free market decide its fate.
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.
uberjon

join:2010-02-10
Kane, PA
said by tshirt:

...espn free.
Let the sports junkies buy their own crack.

EXACTLY why should we make it cheaper for the jocks when we don't want it.
itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

2 recommendations

Buh-Bye

Fine by me. Buh-Bye ESPN. Never Watched you, won't miss you.
The Antihero

join:2002-04-09
Enola, PA

Re: Buh-Bye

Same here. I never understood the appeal of watching other people play games, and I never understood why I should have to subsidize the people who do watch sports. I like watching movies, but I don't expect other people to subsidize my movie channels.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Re: Buh-Bye

said by The Antihero:

Same here. I never understood the appeal of watching other people play games, and I never understood why I should have to subsidize the people who do watch sports. I like watching movies, but I don't expect other people to subsidize my movie channels.

Me too. They can take all the sports channel, move them to an infinitely priced tier and I would not care in the least. The junkies can pay for their entertainment just like I pay for mine.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
chances14

join:2010-03-03
Michigan
said by The Antihero:

Same here. I never understood the appeal of watching other people play games, and I never understood why I should have to subsidize the people who do watch sports. I like watching movies, but I don't expect other people to subsidize my movie channels.

It's the same reason why people love to watch overpaid actors. It's called entertainment.

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC

I wish this was true

ESPN, I don't need that and in fact I don't need many channels. I would like maybe 10 channels.
tpkatl

join:2009-11-16
Dacula, GA

What is more likely to happen

Cable carriers will separate out the ESPN cost and charge extra.

But cable costs will NOT go down. Non-ESPN watchers will pay the same.

Why would you think that Comcast, Verizon, etc., would voluntarily reduce any revenue?
jagged

join:2003-07-01
Boynton Beach, FL

Re: What is more likely to happen

true they all try to increase the ARPU. However given that we watch 5-7 channel I doubt i'd be paying $137 per month.

I see them offering channels in tiers, ie Sports package, Family package, Movie package etc

NotHereNow

@verizon.net

So, what he's saying is...

ESPN raises the price of the typical cable bill by about $20...

•••
brutus

join:2003-12-16
Tampa, FL

Not a problem.

I would happily dump ESPN. We don't watch sports and the only time we even watched ESPN was for the show Playmakers before the NFL complained and got them to cancel it. We don't even add it to the list of channels we receive on TiVo.
unoriginal
Premium
join:2000-07-12
San Diego, CA

Fine with me

Can I also drop ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPN News, NFL Network, and since I'm in Southern California, the TWC Lakers Channel and Dodgers channel that's coming next year too?
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

And his point is ... ?

I see nothing wrong with ESPN charging $20/month for ala-carte service. Sports fans already pay substantial amounts for "NFL Sunday Ticket" and various other packages.

Let the marketplace decide.
ptbarnett

join:2002-09-30
Lewisville, TX

Make it a premium offering, like HBO.

If I could drop it from our subscription, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'd settle for a $10 reduction in our bill.

But, if you try to screw us by bundling a bunch of non-sports channels with it, we'll still drop it.... and you'll lose viewers from those other channels.

Try to explain that to your advertisers.
zippoboy7

join:2006-06-18
USA

Re: Make it a premium offering, like HBO.

I say just make all the Disney\ABC channels there own package (»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_as ··· on_Group) that would include all the crap ESPN channels. The only channel that they have any involvement in that I watch is History which they don't own outright and it is negotiated separate from the rest of their crap anyway. That whole package alone should lower most peoples bills by $25-30.

PW97

@qwest.net

Bring it on, this thing called A-La-Carte

Dear Mr. Malone,
they are already paying that and a whole lot more.

On it's merit's A-La-Carte is a real threat to media companies. It would force them to actually compete for the subscriber.

This would be a huge change for their business landscape, instead of double or triple dipping fees from content providers, advertisers and subscribers alike - they would be force to make decisions based on the actual needs of those viewing.

Bring it on, this thing called A-La-Carte.

CAST 665

@comcastbusiness.net

Don't need ESPN to get the NHL

Don't need ESPN to get the NHL

CAST 665

@comcastbusiness.net

need both sports only and sports free packs as a start

need both sports only and sports free packs as a start.

And the sports free choice has all of the main non sports channels (other then the hbo like channels)

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

ESPN is already headed down this road

With WatchESPN they are putting more and more content behind that paywall. ESPN3 was GREAT UNTIL they startedmaking people subscribe to cable and put all the content on WatchESPN.
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

Does This Mean

I could save $20 by dropping that channel?

••••••
westdc

join:2009-01-25
Amissville, VA
kudos:1

Let it go

It's another channel I can do without!
sparks

join:2001-07-08
Little Rock, AR

get rid of bundling

well I remember years ago the head of comcast saying if people had to pay for sports they couldn't afford them...with a big laugh

its crazy that a mom has to pay a sports fee for nick at night for her kids.

Let them figure out another way to pay those jocks 50 million a year, do they have to bleed everyone
kevinds
Premium
join:2003-05-01
Calgary, AB
kudos:3

Don't offer it alone

Don't offer it alone, rather, bundle it with the other sports channels, only.
--
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.

antdude
A Matrix Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:5

Only ESPN?

What about TNT, TWC, etc. for Lakers games?
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

I'm ready for the sports pyramid to collapse

Bring it on! If only the people who want ESPN are forced to pay for it, then it will become apparent how overpriced the service is. But why is it so overpriced? Because they have to pay those insane fees to the sports leagues, which then pay the teams, which pay the millionaire athletes and billionaire owners.

And once the sports fans are forced to shoulder the full cost of what they're watching, the whole damn pyramid will collapse. ESPN will be caught in a death spiral of having to increase fees to make up for a shrinking pool of subscribers. The more they raise rates, the fewer people will subscribe. At that point, their only option will be to renegotiate their contracts with the various leagues, which will then have to cut payments to teams, which will then have to cut salaries to athletes and profits to owners. It will be utter financial carnage, and I look forward to seeing it happen.

Don't get me wrong, I harbor no ill will toward sports fans. It's just that I think they're being ripped off, and I resent having to be ripped off along with them.
averagedude

join:2002-01-30
San Diego, CA

What's missing

What's missing in this discussion is why ESPN is so expensive in the first place? Where is all this money going?
firedrakes

join:2009-01-29
Arcadia, FL

Re: What's missing

its Disney owned. what you expect
TransitJohn

join:2009-05-08
Denver, CO
Have you seen the size of media rights contracts college athletics conferences and professional leagues are getting?