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Comments on news posted 2013-11-26 14:38:29: The retransmission fees broadcasters charge pay TV operators to carry their content have been the source of increasingly obnoxious conflict the last few years resulting in all manner of content blackouts and bad behavior by both sides. ..


mixdup

join:2003-06-28
Birmingham, AL
Reviews:
·Charter

this is nuts

At what point do they start allowing customers to opt out of having these channels in their packages? Satellite providers, at the outset of satellite provided LiL, allowed you to buy or not to buy your local channels. Seems like they should get back to that. Then, I'll use my antenna in the attic to get what is broadcast and should be free.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

1 edit

Downward spiral

The more people that "cut the cord" and pirate, the carriage fees will increase. They cant make content on no money.

Im getting a feeling they are calculating carriage fees, and not taking into consideration future cord cutters.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Downward spiral

Then I guess they need to find a better business model as the cord cutting and pirating will continue and will grow with the fees.

For anyone to suggest they will stop making content, your being very short sighted. They will do what they are in business to do and they will find a way to do it and make money. How that will look is only for us to predict, but a complete stop of content isnt it.

Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2

1 recommendation

said by ITALIAN926:

The more people that "cut the cord" and pirate, the carriage fees will increase.

As a cord cutter, I am fine with that. Have fun paying the higher bill.

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI
said by ITALIAN926:

The more people that "cut the cord" and pirate, ...

"Pirate?" How does one "pirate" broadcast TV?

Jim

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: Downward spiral

Can of worms : " Aereo "
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: Downward spiral

Except for now Aereo is legal as such its not piracy.

Also Aereo does not at all harm broadcasters, If you watch a program via that system you are still subject to the advertisements during the content.

An antenna on someone's roof is no different they also do not pay retrans fees.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

JasonOD

@comcast.net

Re: Downward spiral

said by Kearnstd:

Except for now Aereo is legal as such its not piracy.....

The jury is still our for aereo... broadcasters will get the laws changed if they have to.

At this point, the logical path is for broadcasters to move their entire value add (read primetime) offerings to CATV, leaving the OTA broadcast for news, public service, and reruns.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
ask that question to execs at CBS and ABC. If its available for public broadcast, it should be impossible to pirate it if it was broadcast in your area.

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME
It's a snake eating it's tail.

There's only X amount of money coming in. Maybe accept that the price is as high as the market will bear?

Just a crazy thought.

mixdup

join:2003-06-28
Birmingham, AL
cord cutting is happening, but it's not as big an issue as everyone makes it out to be. If prices would stop going up at such a huge rate over inflation, there would be less cord cutting.

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable
These channels are free if you use an antenna, they are supported by commercials. Retransmit fees to have a free channel broadcasted over cable/sat which brings in more viewers which should bring in more ad revenue. All this is just greed on the part of local broadcasters. Long ago cable didn't exist and the TV stations managed to make money by simply sending out the signal for free.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: Downward spiral

Theres this new invention called a " DVR" , advertisers aren't paying like they used to.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Downward spiral

Yes and there are new business models that have every product you see in a show/movie paying to be there, which was not nearly as prevalent in the old days.

anon_anon

@comcastbusiness.net
If you look at the numbers, you will see that cable tv rates increases have considerably outpaced the inflation rate since the mid 1990's. I could contend even if broadband didn't exist the rate of increase would still remain the same. 6% yearly rate increases for cable have been the rule of thumb even before the word "cord cutter" was invented.
armed

join:2000-10-20
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Downward spiral

A contention without proof.

Here's another way to look at inflation in cable prices. In 1963 I paid $18/month for 12 channels. Inflation since 1963 is approx. 651%. Ergo I should be paying about $117/month today for just 12 channels. Of course I now pay much less than $117 for 10 times the number of channels.

So much for the old "profits go up and service goes down" argument for cable companies.... eh?

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC

Re: Downward spiral

Where did you have cable in 1963??? I was in up state NY, Endwell to be exact and we couldn't get cable until the early 80's.

TAZ

@qwest.net

Killing your own business

In totally unrelated news, "cord cutters" or "people who never had a cord to cut in the first place" to jump 130% by 2019. :P

cchhat01
Dr. Zoidberg

join:2001-05-01
Elmhurst, NY

Re: Killing your own business

seems legit!

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Antenna or Bust

I already have an antenna that I use for myself and broadcast basic for one my family members. I am ready to go 100% antenna and forget about cable. If they pull the OTA signals, then so be it. I barely have any interest in what is on TV now and I could easily give it up and stick with reruns of my favorites of the 1970's.

Program's I watch while gritting my teeth:

How I Met Your Mother (skipped last night as it looked to be a waste of time)
Two Broke Girls (a half hour of my life I will never get back)
Big Bang Theory (usually watch it if I am bored)
The Crazy Ones (Probably the only show I enjoy because of Robin Williams)
Two and a Half Men (should have been terminated along with Charlie Sheen)
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: Antenna or Bust

Charlie Sheen should have been terminated? Wow, that's harsh, man.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Re: Antenna or Bust

No he shouldn't have but since they did, they should have ended the show. It is just getting so bad I skip it most weeks now.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
armed

join:2000-10-20

Re: Antenna or Bust

I really like the new version of the show.

Every program has its likers and haters.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

More, more, more!!!

Here's the problem with the entertainment industry and businesses in general: they always want more profits, no matter what. Are economic times tough? Doesn't matter. Are there more alternatives seeking consumers' time? Doesn't matter. Are people getting stressed out over paying more and more? Doesn't matter. They simply refuse to accept the possibility that they might have to settle for less money.

Out in the real world, anyone who runs a household knows that this model simply doesn't work. You can't simply go to your boss and say, "From here on out, I'm going to require a 7% raise each year to offset the fact that I have a child now and will need to buy a new washer and dryer and renovate my house. I know that my current salary allows for these things, but I also want to be able to develop some rental property and take a nice vacation each year." Only an idiot would say something like that. We all know that we have to make do with what we make and either hope for a promotion or look for a better job. Sometimes we may end up wit a little extra in the bank, and sometimes we won't, and the best we can do is manage our money wisely. This is a lesson that businesses desperately need to learn.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2

Re: More, more, more!!!

said by ISurfTooMuch:

Here's the problem with the entertainment industry and businesses in general: they always want more profits, no matter what.

I agree with this with one clarification... This phenomenon primarily affects publicly traded companies and is a result of

1) Companies worrying more about their stock price (and pleasing Wall St) than actually running their business

2) The current interpretation of Shareholder Primacy which dictates that business decisions should be made to maximize profits to the shareholders.

These two closely related factors cause businesses to adopt the 'exponential growth' model you describe. If profits aren't increasing it is considered a loss. Unfortunately I don't think they are going to 'learn their lesson' anytime soon. Greed has been let out of its cage and it isn't going back willingly.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 edit

1 recommendation

Re: More, more, more!!!

Excellent point. Yes, privately-owned businesses, especially small businesses, understand that. They also usually understand how to treat customers to make sure they remain customers. I've had several instances where local businesses (plumbing/heating and cooling/carpenters) have either not charged me for work or told me how to get small jobs done more cheaply than they could do them, and, when I've thanked them, they've said they value my continued business more than just making a few dollars from me in the short term. And, the thing is, when I need work done, I will definitely call these places first, and if someone asks me for a recommendation, I'll pass along these businesses' names. They've helped me out, so I'll help them out. I feel no such loyalty to the likes of AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc. To these corporations, all we amount to are a bunch of money dispensers, and their mission is to make us dispense as much as they can suck out of us.

EDIT: Another facet of companies seeking ever-increasing profits is that it often isn't really about profits; it's about stock appreciation. Shareholders really may not get a whole lot from a company's dividends; what they really want is for the news of increased profits to drive up the stock price so they can sell at the appropriate time. And, given that this whole thirst for profits and stock appreciation is unhealthy for a company long-term, since it can't spend the money it needs to on capital projects, you have to assume that the business will eventually run into trouble. This makes the whole affair a very long pump-and-dump scheme. Investors buy in, ride the company as hard as they can to churn out ever-increasing profits, even to its detriment, watch their stock appreciate, and sell out at the first sign of trouble. The company may suffer, and the stock price may go down, but that's the problem of the schmucks who are just buying in. And, if things get really bad, simply chop up the dying business and sell it off to other companies, either for cash or shares of their stock. Rinse and repeat.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

said by CXM_Splicer:

said by ISurfTooMuch:

Here's the problem with the entertainment industry and businesses in general: they always want more profits, no matter what.

I agree with this with one clarification... This phenomenon primarily affects publicly traded companies and is a result of

1) Companies worrying more about their stock price (and pleasing Wall St) than actually running their business

2) The current interpretation of Shareholder Primacy which dictates that business decisions should be made to maximize profits to the shareholders.

These two closely related factors cause businesses to adopt the 'exponential growth' model you describe. If profits aren't increasing it is considered a loss. Unfortunately I don't think they are going to 'learn their lesson' anytime soon. Greed has been let out of its cage and it isn't going back willingly.

This is why I knew "Don't Be Evil" was dead when Google went public. Once they had shareholders to keep happy they would have to do the same thing as everybody else in the industry.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
armed

join:2000-10-20
Reviews:
·Charter
I am far from impressed with the average American's understanding and control of their personal economics. Uncontrolled consumption and rampant debt is the byword of too many "households" today. When comparing large business and individual management of money I generally see companies doing a far better job.

Most large companies are doing quite well while the masses wallow in their own inability to self control expenses. Banks are the one big exception to that observation.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2

Re: More, more, more!!!

said by armed:

Most large companies are doing quite well while the masses wallow in their own inability to self control expenses. Banks are the one big exception to that observation.

Don't forget the government (Well, they really aren't a company... but still!)

It is an interesting paradigm you point out and I wonder how you think we got here. What caused a country of mostly financially responsible, politically involved, fairly well educated people to evolve into people who only care about the latest TV season and the release of the newest toy?

I would argue that business/the short term economy benefits from this new-found religion of Consumerism but I can't believe it is the only factor. Too many drugs in the 70's? Over paternalization by the government? A shift in education? How did we get here and, more importantly, how do we fix it?
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: More, more, more!!!

Unfortunately, we're in the same pattern that occurs to any large empire. At first, the country is either poor or, at the very least, not prosperous, which means that the population and government have to spend wisely. Eventually, expansion and economic dominance bring prosperity, which leads to excess. This not only means excessive spending but also a shift in focus by the population toward entertainment, since many people believe the basics in life are pretty much assured, so they can focus on pleasurable things. Of course, this is a mistake, since a politically rudderless country can't continue to do the things it did to get it to its position of prominence, so the beginnings of decay set in, but, since people aren't really paying attention, they don't see it, or, even if they do see it, many aren't equipped to shift back into economic and political engagement mode in order to effect a change. So the empire slowly falls into decline as other nations and empires ascend.

spelling_b

@comcast.net

Re: More, more, more!!!

ISurfTooMuch, I always enjoy reading your posts. I didn't mean to be so excessively wordy in mine, but it's something I feel strongly about. I kinda ran out of steam at the end but like you summarized, it's all tied together. You basically nailed it here with your post. That was accurate and precise. Good job!
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: More, more, more!!!

Thanks! I enjoy writing, and it's nice to see that some folks like to read my insane ramblings.

One of these days, maybe I'll start a blog or something. I already have the domain registered.

spelling_b

@comcast.net

2 recommendations

About the new religion of Consumerism - well this started in the 80s with the Baby Boomers. There was a delusional belief of unlimited optimism and growth, which was actively pushed and maintained by the country's leadership. We should all have bigger houses, bigger cars, and bigger boats. Of course everybody also needs all new brand-name appliances, furniture, and clothing to fill these big houses. Just look at the figures of average single family house sizes from the 50s up to the last couple of decades. Keep in mind that family sizes aren't any bigger than they were back in the 50s. If anything they've shrunk.

This is an interesting story with an interesting date:

Behind the Ever-Expanding American Dream House
»www.npr.org/templates/story/stor···=5525283

"I believe that you can live out your fantasy," Frisby says. "That is what I'm doing. That is what my wife is doing. That is what other people are doing when they build or buy a house like this."

Note that this story was done back in 2006. He's right though: many, many people then were indeed living out a fantasy. How many of them are still within this fantasy?

Earlier generations (pre-Baby Boomer) were permanently changed by the Great Depression. That event altered their attitude toward spending money, because many of them did not have any money to spend. They also didn't have credit cards, or usury level payday loan/title loan stores on every corner. Those generations well understood the difference between needs and wants, and the value of saving what you can. Unfortunately this severe mentality and militant thrift ended with the Baby Boomers. Thriftiness used to be a high virtue and now it is almost considered a vice. Instead of militant thrift we have militant consumerism.

How to fix it? Well the only way is to reject consumerism entirely and return to an attitude of serious minded thrift. Recycling gets lots of lip service, but you hear less of the complete phrase: "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." Those first two words are critical. Recycling by itself does no good if we don't reduce consumption, and to do that we can reuse. Most everything possible can be bought used and second hand - the only real exception I can think of is food, and for most people stuff like underwear and socks! Just about everything else can be acquired in thrift stores and on craigslist and such.

I think one thing that underlies this is how many people quickly refer to themselves as consumers. As if our only purpose here is to buy, buy, buy. It's time to stop using the label "consumer". How about citizen, or human being? One thing that would help, as difficult as it is now, would be for people to turn off the television and unplug from Hollywood and pop culture. How many people would have little to talk about with each other if not for popular tv shows and movies? Those great earlier generations did not have all this escapism. They faced a harsh reality head on and they were wiser and stronger for it.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: More, more, more!!!

The article you linked to was quite interesting. My wife and I have a three-bedroom house that was built back in the 1950s. We have one child and another on the way. While they can each have a bedroom, that leaves none for guests. Do we need a bigger house? Nope. When guests come, someone can sleep on the couch. I did that growing up, and it was never a problem.
DrStrangLov

join:2012-03-28
kudos:1
said by spelling_b :

About the new religion of Consumerism - well this started in the 80s with the Baby Boomers.

Rain Check - Turner Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission, 512 U.S. 622 (1994), is the first of two United States Supreme Court cases dealing with the must carry rules imposed on cable television companies.

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turner_Bro···mmission
armed

join:2000-10-20
Reviews:
·Charter

1 recommendation

It ain't that simple

"Granted it's no skin off of cable operators' teeth since all of those costs are passed directly on to you, increasingly in the form of below the line fees on top of the usual rate increases (also blamed on programming cost increases)."

Well that's a little over simplified. If the cable companies felt that it was nothing but a pass though cost issue then why were they trying to fight it. These retrans battles have left the cable companies bruised and always on the losing side. They have learned that they either pay retrans fees or lose customers... a lose lose for them.

A better reality is that they are becoming more aware that there is a limit to how much people will pay for television. They see the cord cutters adding up as they are driven away by higher costs, a very slow recovering economy, and developing home entertainment alternatives. Together these problems are developing a synergy that is worrisome to the cable companies.

That also begins to explain why the cable companies are separating the cost of retrans in the billing. Yes it does keep the advertised price down but another reason is to educate their customers that the price of cable has more than one driving factor.

•••
YDC

join:2007-11-13
Hewlett, NY

Even the networks are bundling

I see things a bit different than most. Once upon a time there was a channel dial. Only so many stations could possibly exist on it, period. This caused stations to provide the best content or be passed by. There was no retrans, no ESPN, no Disney Channel. We had networks.

Now when a company like CBS sees revenues slipping, they add another cable channel to their list, and push it down the throats of the cable companies with "incentives" to carry it.

Next thing you know it is bundled year after year into your contract to retransmit their content and the content itself is lack-luster.

I think all those cable channels are a weapon to force local cable companies to pay ransome. In turn, we get the bill.

End bundling on the network side, watch all those extra junk channels go away, and watch people have a choice again. Make network bundles illegal!
slow_move

join:2012-07-20
Coram, NY

Let the rates keep going up and subs keep going down

These large price increases are actually good for the market. It will force more people out of the pay market and that will force cable companies to come up with better models to survive. It could certainly help with getting smaller channel packages or a la carte channel purchases or concentrate on network upgrades for better performing bandwidth and more IP channels. Then as channels lose large numbers of subscribers they will lower prices to be able to keep advertising rates high and will also offer discounted package deals of channels.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

130%

about the amount of cord cutting going on.
cablecos really need to stop acting like their shit dont stink with all their rate hikes and below the line unfees!
--
Despises any post with strings.

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Sports

There is already more than enough content out there that I will never have the opportunity to watch in my lifetime.

What I want is method to watch live sports.

A visit to my local baseball team is a 2 hour, one way trip in terrible traffic, yet I am unable to subscribe to MLB TV and watch this team play due to ridiculous blackout rules. The only option is to watch this game on a cable TV sports channel. To get this channel, I need to pay for 200 channels that I may never watch. An antenna would not help in this situation except for the rare weekend game that might get local TV coverage, that is, unless it would preempt some reality dancing or singing contest.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: Sports

That will change. Just this morning Rogers (Canada) signed a big deal for sports broadcasting for mobile, TV, radio with no blackouts.

The average family can't afford a day out to the game today. In my area people w/ seasons' tix (Hockey) shell out thousands and split them up. So this is simply supply and demand. If a team skimps on salaries or management either they get a subsidy payment or start loosing money.

A sports team making money and going from $100m to $1b in value shouldn't be a fact of life, it should be capitalism....

Welcome to the real world...
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

Tail wagging the dog.

It was not until 1992 that TV stations were allowed to charge retransmission fees.

See this wiki: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retransmission_consent

Allowing Broadcasters to charge retransmission fees is hypocritical. The government obviously failed to recognize that CATV systems were originally constructed to allow residents of areas where no TV Signal is available to view Broadcast TV Programming. In the past rather then charging cable systems to carry their signal, broadcasters rejoiced whenever a new CATV System went on line because there were more eyeballs to watch their commercials. These issues could be solved by prohibiting charging retransmission fees in any area where a TV signal can be received with an antenna. Unfortunately companies providing TV services whether transport or content, seem to think that subscribers have unlimited financial resources.
megarock

join:2001-06-28
Catawissa, MO
Reviews:
·Charter

There is an issue...

Most customers are stupid. Sure, that's a mean thing to say but it's the truth. Here's why.

Say you're on Time Warner. The local CBS station decides to jack up it's retrans rates. Time Warner balks. CBS station yanks it's feeds from TW. Time Warner holds strong. Customers run from Time Warner to a competitor. Time Warner loses customers so they finally have to give in and jack rates.

Two months later everyone who ran off to that competitor then find out the competitor just got hit for higher fees from the same CBS station. Same things happen. So they run off to DirecTV.

Two months later everyone who ran off to DirecTV then find out the same CBS station has now come after DirecTV so they run off to Dish. Same result.

If the customers weren't so dumb they would stand strong with their provider and demand the provider make one offer - keep the rates the same or be dropped permanently. Or offer customers the chance to opt out of said channel and keep everything else.

In short - until people kick these broadcasters square in the teeth they are going to continue to demand more and more money every single year - costs the providers will have to pass off to you. There is only one villain and that is the people demanding retrans rights because - the more viewers the more ad revenue - the less viewers the less ad revenue. If you dump 20 million people on DirecTV their ad revenue will take a MASSIVE hit.

Remember who has control here. It's not the broadcaster...it's YOU.

Act like it.

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Re: There is an issue...

The consumer, regardless of their intelligence level, has no real control in this market at all. What about the millions of people that stayed with their provider and were willing to do without CBS, Disney, Viacom, or whatever flavor of the month renegotiation was taking place?

The only option a consumer can take that will impact this broken business model is to drop their subscription TV completely once the provider signs a new contract at a much higher rate. What kind of consumer choice is that?

You go first, I'll be right behind you.

A similar business model is taking root online as well with such sites as ESPN 3 that forces a provider to pay them millions so that their subscribers can legitimately gain access to the service. They won't allow a consumer to pay $20 per month to access the site, there is no option available for this, and the broadcasters don't ever want you or me to have this level of control over the market.

Super Marcel

@responsys.com

Love my antennas

Great signal, no fee. And broadcasters are not going to pull their signal off the air as they would lose the use of the spectrum.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: Love my antennas

Actually I foresee a future where they do just that. Make their shows only available via PayTV subscription or PPV via the Internet. They then sell or trade the spectrum to the big 2-3 telecommunications companies who use it to make sure there will never be significant competition to their market.

Win Win for them. Lose lose for us.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

Super Marcel

@responsys.com

Re: Love my antennas

True enough. Hopefully, by then, we'll have a la carte over the top channels.

anonome

@verizon.net

Redonculous!

Pay extra for something that most viewers can watch for free by "shelling out" (once) for a good antenna.

Actually, the "pay TV" operators should start charging the local broadcasters for the privilege of having their content "re-transmitted" to their subscribers, which increases the viewership for the stations--not the other way around. Very few people subscribe to "cable" in order to get local stations. (Sure, there are some--for good reasons; but the percentage is infinitesimally small.) And if they don't want to pay, then don't carry them. No skin off their noses.

Simon707

@184.151.127.x

Let it die

Just let TV die, good riddance.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

This is insane

I cut the cable cord years ago because of the insane price for a washed out picture. I like the big dish better than any system I ever had. It worked! I picked every channel I wanted including 7 channel and paid $25/mo.in 1992. Now I have what I like on Dish and pay $50 and have 5 times more channels. What I don't like about either system is the creeping piggyback infomercials.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside