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Comments on news posted 2014-04-29 07:57:38: “I’m not saying the jig — er, business model — is up, but if your platform, your programming and your audience are all under attack, the degree of difficulty in selling big packages of entertainment over cable is increasing," writ.. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · next

elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

4 recommendations

Take some parallels to the music industry

Look at the music industry. When I was a kid the only way to get music (legally) was to buy the entire album, and that album cost pretty much the same regardless of the quality of the music (which is personal), but there was some real s**t out there. Just like cable today, and there is LOTS of sh**t.

Someone got smart when CDs came out because people started ripping them. They then took the $14 CD (yes back in the 80's which would be over $20 today), and then made a mini CD (with the one good song and two shi**y songs) and sold that for $9.99.

Eventually Apple came along and destroyed the album (well music did that because albums today have no cohesion--just like cable), and then was born the .99 track. The album was gone.

Profits went down (as they should) and the shi**y material doesn't get any revenue. HOWEVER the platform for any said artist to emerge has exploded. Essentially the curator (middle man) died, and now the choice in music is amazing, and cheap. The middle man went off and still survives and brings even more middle of the road crap for the masses, and also went out and started buying venues and jacking up live performances. The new money maker for artists....

Long story short, the same will happen to cable and this is all possible because of broadband, PERIOD.

Since cable is not creative, they will follow the same path. Break it up slowly--put the headliner show in there and a few crappy ones to pad the bottom line, and then voila you get what you pay for. Programming quality will go up immediately and the choices will be amazing. And actors will get paid a reasonable wage again, and the curators will be sucking wind. They will start buying up venues (Comcast, Disney, etc.)

The ones who suffered were the artists. They fat middle man was sitting back smoking cigars and making all the profit. They say they were taking the risk, which is BS because they OWNED and monopolized the distribution channel so their risk was limited and known--hardly worth the lions share of the profits they were keeping for themselves.... Now today the artists can sell directly and reap the benefits of their creation, the way it should be...


jw asdlwe

@108.249.170.x

we are so screwed

What I realized when Amazon licensed HBO's back catalog and MS stated they wanted original content for the XBox is that we are even more screwed than usual.

There will be more bidders buying competing to buy content to resell to us. More bidders equals higher prices paid. Netflix raising rates for new subs is the beginning.

We may kill off the old content aggregators - premium channels, networks, etc. - only to be faced with the new ones - Netflix, Amazon, etc.


JimThePCGuy
Formerly known as schja01.
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-27
Morton Grove, IL

I'm skeptical

Current model: Everything $100/mo
Ala Carte: Each premium channel $15/mo
Each Sports channel $15/mo
Each Network Channel $10/mo
Each Non Premium channel: $5/mo
Doesn't take long to get back to $100 (or more) per month.


Mr Guy

@24.183.212.x

1 recommendation

won't save a dime

Anyone thinking that pay TV providers are going to take less revenue are crazy. Oh and by the way since they have costs like content which always being raised are they going to get the content makers to come down on pricing? Nope they aren't taking revenue losses either. If al a carte could save people say 50% on their bill that means 50% or more less profit for the pay TV providers. You seriously think they are going to accept that? What color is the sky in that world? So if you only want 5 channels some pay TV provider will let you have that for $5? Um no it's not going to work that way. You are not getting cable TV for $5 or $10 a month. If cable TV takes a hit on revenue on programming they will simply raise the pricing other areas. Your $6 or $7 STB. Now it's $12 for the first and $10 for each additional one. With a $99 non refundable deposit required for each box.


plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3
reply to JimThePCGuy

Re: I'm skeptical

While that may be true for some, I know myself, and probably others where their bill would be lower, using the numbers in your example.

Again, using your numbers, my bill would be around $45 (minus any taxes). By the way, I am making the assumption that by "Premium Channel", you mean something like HBO, Showtime, etc. Something that you normally have to pay extra for to get that is not part of a package.

I would have 2 or 3 Network Channels (CBS 2 Chicago, Fox 32 Chicago, and maybe WTTW 11 out of Chicago). So, that would be $30.

I would also have 3 non-premium channels (Food Network, Discovery, and History Channel). So, that would be $15.

$30 + $15 = $45. Add in some taxes and fees, and my bill comes in around $55. Looks like I saved almost 50% by just getting the channels I want.

Again, I'm making a few assumptions just like you are. However, most people only watch a few channels anyway, and I know a lot of people who could care less about sports (ESPN, NFL Network, etc) channels.

--Brian
--
============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail

desarollo

join:2011-10-01
Monroe, MI
reply to JimThePCGuy
Ala carte won't reduce prices, but it will force cable channels to actually compete for eyeballs and probably improve programming, reduce commercial load a bit and stop the incessant rate increases.

Right now, the current situation rewards cable channels for doing as little as possible because they have a revenue stream from every customer. What risk is there in all day marathons of reality shows when the customer has no option to vote with their dollars?

Fewer channels, fierce competition for eyeballs will probably put a lid on the stream of copy-cat reality shows.


Mr Guy

@24.183.212.x
said by desarollo:

Ala carte won't reduce prices,

Too bad most people don't agree with you. every person calling for al a carte think it's about reducing cost not improving programming. People think "I only have 6 channels I'll get TV for $20 a month" and that's fantasy talk. Some people will save a little most will pay about the same. A sizeable portion will actually pay more.

Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

1 recommendation

reply to desarollo
they can start by makeing Disney an premium channel like it used to be.

also put ESPN in to it's own group.

Local RSN's can be on there own say $3-$5 mo. some started as PAY UHF Channels.

Most of the the non-premium channels cost under $0.30 each.

It's the sports channels that have high cost. Even stuff like TNT is only about $1 a sub.

OTA channels need to be free or people will just use there OWN OTA hook ups to get them.

elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
reply to Mr Guy

Re: won't save a dime

You didn't get the memo. They are already grossly profitable on internet and phone. TV is the least profitable. They make up with the content lack of margins by already making obscene profits on STB.

To Verizon or AT&T they don't care -- They can become OTT provider or simply charge transit fees. Comcast, CV, etc have more to worry about because they are content creators too.

And if you follow the stock market, while revenue is looked at profitably and cash flow are much better indicators of stock growth in mature markets.

Also these guys will double down into Cloud hosting and business services which are massively profitable. Not to mention spying on you and reselling all your personal habits.

You have to get your head out of the fact that in a very short time, TV will NOT be needed for these guys to survive.

boredsysadm

join:2012-01-11
reply to Mr Guy
Mr Astroturfer. Go turf somewhere else. The math is really simple. The second one is not forced to shove sports into basic level packages the price for TV goes down. Now the crazy prices of internet that's whole another topic and it mainly due to ISP monopoly. (slow options don't really count)

NefCanuck

join:2007-06-26
Mississauga, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms

The reason that "A'La Carte" won't help, at least not in some places

The problem is that "A'la carte" assumes that the stuff that a majority of the people won't pay to watch for will simply "go away" without consequences.

However when a BDU *owns* the channels that are suddenly starved for eyeballs (which is the case for a large portion of the cable/sat/OTA channels in Canada) what do people think is going to happen if say, "The Knitting Channel" suddenly finds itself without viewers?

Sure the BDU owner (Bell/Rogers/Shaw) can shut that channel down, but then to make up for the lost revenue they simply jack up the prices of all their other properties to make up the shortfall (and add a little extra padding for themselves)

That doesn't even consider the extreme situations like Rogers having agreed to fork over $5.2B USD for 12 years to the NHL for broadcasting rights.

The situation in the US isn't as dire for consumers (yet) but it is coming as the costs of content goes up and smaller players are forced to bow down to the big guns...

"A'la carte" is a great idea spoiled by the reality of the content distribution rack^H^H^ business.

NefCanuck

elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

5 recommendations

reply to plencnerb

Re: I'm skeptical

Forget channels (the one good show and the rest s**t). That is the $9 CD. The natural step immediately after that is you buy the show you are looking for--itunes. And you subscribe to a "catalog" Netflix, Amazon, etc for casual or repository viewing. Cm'on Pandora, Spotify, etc this stuff already exists today...

Really do you love AMC or do you love Breaking Bad. Maybe a second show. The rest is drivel.

Think of the upside--the reality shows will evaporate like bad whiskey sitting out in the sun. Sports will have the largest hangover.

Channels need to die too....

ALSO with technology people are spending less time watching TV, so the packaging makes even less sense.

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
·Google Voice
·Comcast
·Future Nine Corp..
reply to elefante72

Re: Take some parallels to the music industry

Years ago, when I first subscribed to Dish Network, back IIRC in the 90's. There was an A La Carte offer for $1 per channel. There was a basic fee of something like $5 for the receiver, and $1 per channel. This pre-dates HD.

Very few subscribed.

Karl and others may think A La Carte will sell, but it's already been tried, and failed.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.

elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
reply to NefCanuck

Re: The reason that "A'La Carte" won't help, at least not in some places

Please. Rogers is essentially paying itself and passing the envelope around the board room. They own the end user, the cell networks, the franchise rights, and the most valuable hockey team known to man. Not to mention lots of drivel magazines.

And what happens to the knitting channel. It becomes a channel on Roku for $1 a month, because production costs to deliver directly to the customer is miniscule.

Go read up on Blaze, Glenn Beck TV. By going OTT he is becoming insanely rich. Even now you can get his channel on some operators.


Frank
Premium
join:2000-11-03
somewhere

No room for growth.

What the cable and content companies dont seem to understand is that there is no room for growth in terms of pricing. That $99 triple play bundle promo is actually closer to $150 after dvr, cable box fees and taxes and most people are balking at having to pay that much. The non promo prices are probably around $80-$100 on top of that.

The way I see it alacarte is the only way of keeping tv customers because if prices keep increasing at the rate that they have been cable tv may soon become a luxury item that the middle class will no longer be able to afford.

MrBungle87

join:2013-01-18
Durham, NC
reply to Mr Guy

Re: I'm skeptical

Thus, the best solution is to simply stop funding the monster and cut cable altogether.


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

Won't happen

With the pending Net Neutrality rules you'll probably be paying for the privilege of having streaming on your cable modem unless you buy a minimum of expanded basic TV from your cable provider which will unlock streaming privileges on your cable modem.

I'll fight back by getting my TV from a satellite provider.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.


Bugsy

@108.238.16.x

Just stop making us subsidize channels we don't watch

... And channels that don't deserve to exist.

I'll consider coming back to cable when I don't have to pay for ESPN — whose programming I literally never watched — and get the religious goofballs and home shopping out of my home. I don't need Univision and Telemundo, either, but that was forced on me. Cartoon Network? No kids in my home. And so on.

And a big one: Fox "News." Subsidizing that crap organization goes against every fiber of my being. Let the teabaggers pay the full fare on that steaming pile of lies and hate, without my subsidy.

If the cable companies can provide me 120 channels for, say, $100 per month, I think I should be able to trim off the 50% or so I don't want and pay maybe 25% less.


morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to pandora

Re: Take some parallels to the music industry

said by pandora:

Karl and others may think A La Carte will sell, but it's already been tried, and failed.

Times have changed. It's best to view the internet as a la carte information to the masses. You can pick and choose what you want to consume. Once you view it like that, you can see how a la carte for TV will thrive.


morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter

3 recommendations

reply to Mr Guy

Re: I'm skeptical

said by Mr Guy :

said by desarollo:

Ala carte won't reduce prices,

Too bad most people don't agree with you. every person calling for al a carte think it's about reducing cost not improving programming. People think "I only have 6 channels I'll get TV for $20 a month" and that's fantasy talk. Some people will save a little most will pay about the same. A sizeable portion will actually pay more.

Introducing choice will drive prices down as people will be able to see and made decisions based on price. See how much ESPN costs? Goodbye. See how much HSN reduces your bill? Ok, will keep that. Local channels are only $4 each? I'll take some of those.

It's only the cable company's dream that each channel will cost $15 and people will pay more. Once choice is introduced, customers will vote with their wallets and cut out the fat.

Fast Turtle

join:2008-02-19
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to plencnerb
On the Ala Carte, the FCC would require them to continue offering the OTA channels as part of the basic service and from what I've seen of TWC That's going to be no less then $30 a month (They already offer this in my area) yet they keep changing what's part of the absolute basic package

clone

join:2000-12-11
Portage, IN
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
reply to plencnerb
Wait, so you pay $110 a month for basic cable? That's the problem right there. If all you want are the Chicago locals and Food, Discovery, and History you should already be paying around $55 a month.

Digital Starter is $55 on the non-promotional price as far as I know. You can get a 12-month deal for $44.95. Why are you paying more?

I currently pay $160 a month for unlimited phone, Blast internet, and Digital Preferred. This works out to approximately $53 a month for each of the three services. This is less, even before adjustment for inflation, than I was paying for POTS($55+LD Charges, remember those?), 768k DSL ($50), and DirecTV ($65) back in 2000. Add in a few long distance calls, and I was paying right around $200 a month. In 2013 dollars, that would be $267 a month. So, for essentially $100 less I get internet that is magnitudes faster, unlimited clear phone service, and all the TV I can watch.

Why would I want to pay more and get less with A La Carte, when I watch more than just 6 channels and like having the option of watching whatever I want, should I choose to do so? It's like saying I'd like to pay about the same or maybe just a few bucks less than I do now for my car payment, but only be able to drive it to work, some family's house, and to the supermarket, since those are the only places I normally go. If I want to go on a trip, or to the movie theatre, or to the golf course, I'd need to pay extra.

Why do people consistently bellyache about the cost of service in the only sector other than physical computer technology that has seen consistent price decreases while consumers get more for less?

I wish I could get more energy, or better automobiles, or longer-lasting durable consumer goods for less money even before adjustment for inflation than I did 10-15 years ago. And I know more people who care about ESPN and would forego the Food Network, Discovery, and History than vice-versa.

You think you somehow subsidize ESPN, but you don't. ESPN subsidizes your niche programming. It sucks, but more people care about sports than history, if you haven't noticed.

sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111
reply to JimThePCGuy
What makes you think the prices would be that high? And even if they were set at that, they would be pricing themselves out of the market. $15 for a network channel is just ridiculous especially when you can get it for free OTA.

I can see sports channels being $15 and Premiums but everything else...


Mr Guy

@24.183.212.x
reply to morbo
said by morbo:

Introducing choice will drive prices down as people will be able to see and made decisions based on price. See how much ESPN costs? Goodbye. See how much HSN reduces your bill? Ok, will keep that. Local channels are only $4 each? I'll take some of those.

It's only the cable company's dream that each channel will cost $15 and people will pay more. Once choice is introduced, customers will vote with their wallets and cut out the fat.

Cable companies don't determine the price of channels the channel owners do. ESPN doesn't cost $5 because that's what the cable companies want to charge it's what ESPN wants.

TNT is one of the most watched cable networks and they currently get $1.50 per sub. In al a carte if only 50% decide to pay for it TNT will ask for at least $3 to make up for the lost income. in fact they will ask for more because less viewers mean advertisers will ask to pay less to show ads on TNT and TNT will have to make that up so TNT will cost $4 or more. How many $3, $4, $5 channels do you get before you are paying the same as you were before?

Also you can kiss many channels good bye since they will go out of business. Some of those channels may actually be ones you watch.

once again this theory that cable companies and content producers are just going to accept half the money they are used to getting is pure fantasy


Mr Guy

@24.183.212.x
reply to Joe12345678
said by Joe12345678:

Most of the the non-premium channels cost under $0.30 each.

It's the sports channels that have high cost. Even stuff like TNT is only about $1 a sub.

They are that price because EVERYONE pays that .30 whether they watch or not. Is some network that only gets 10% to pay for it still going to accept only 30 cents? They are going to accept 90% reduction in revenue? You think commercials and infomercials and repeats are bad now just wait.


morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to Mr Guy
Choice is what's important here. Most people only want a few channels and will pay for those or drop them depending on their price. Once customers can decide, things will change.

Yes, goodbye tiny channels. They will head off to Youtube or Roku and survive if they are clever.

Yes, channels will cost more than they currently do. I wouldn't expect to pay $1.50 for TNT, but I would consider $3 or maybe $5 at most.

The middle men in this situation are the cable companies.


Mr Guy

@24.183.212.x
reply to boredsysadm

Re: won't save a dime

said by boredsysadm:

Mr Astroturfer. Go turf somewhere else.

Mods?


Mr Guy

@24.183.212.x

1 recommendation

Another reason why al a carte is fail

Even if you force pay TV providers to offer al a carte that can't be done as long as companies like Disney and Viacom and Comcast etc etc insist you offer ALL their channels together on some sort of tier. You also have to pass a law which mandates companies like those to offer those channels separately. Good luck getting that passed. Like Disney is going to let Congress pass that bill.


Deathrows

@209.49.164.x
reply to Mr Guy

Re: I'm skeptical

I tell you what is fantasy and that is the current model being sustainable. Eventually people are going to be pushed/forced to get their content from alternative sources.


JimThePCGuy
Formerly known as schja01.
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-27
Morton Grove, IL
reply to sandman_1
I suggested a network channel was only $10.
I didn't even get into the "Ala Carte Administration Fee" and the "Ala Carte selection change fees" that will get added as well.