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RideRed
Vista needs a popup blocker for Vista
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join:2005-06-18
USA

1 recommendation

This is why we need a la carte

Let people opt out of ESPN and prices will drop.

A la carte works great for the big dish and prices are WAY lower than DBS and cable because you pay for only the channels you want.
--
"I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft." - Jim Allchin, Co-President, Platforms & Services Division, Microsoft Corporation

FiL
Premium
join:2005-08-16
Silver Spring, MD

Re: This is why we need a la carte

and who the hell WOULDN'T keep a ESPN channel in their ala carte item list? This whole "provide ala carte, and we drop you" ragline is bull, because the content providers know the people would STILL subscribe to many of their channels, not 500 channels of fluff. Its all about penny pinching, and Comcast is in there going just as strong as the Disney's, Viacom's and Universals, sticking their customers like the loyal slaves they are...sheesh.

RideRed
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3 edits

Re: This is why we need a la carte

Me. ESPN sucks and if it were gone tomorrow I could care less. If Fox Sports, ESPN and other sports channels had to compete, prices would come down and programming would improve.

So long as they're in every basic package, people will take it whether they want to or not just because they want a few other channels.
--
"I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft." - Jim Allchin, Co-President, Platforms & Services Division, Microsoft Corporation

macrospect
All The Little Stuff
Premium
join:2005-08-25
Newark, DE

Re: This is why we need a la carte

Me X2. I never watch sports. Every time I hear of rate increases some sports channel rate hike BS seems to be there to back it up!

RideRed
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Re: This is why we need a la carte

If it were SPORTS I would probably care. But ESPN and ESPN2 have turned into the lame Tourny of Poker Channel.

Note to Disney, POKER IS NOT A SPORT! I just looked at the listings and what's coming up? An hour and a half of World's Strongest Man followed by the best of Mike and Mike? Oh yeah, that's worth the money.
--
"I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft." - Jim Allchin, Co-President, Platforms & Services Division, Microsoft Corporation

FiL
Premium
join:2005-08-16
Silver Spring, MD

1 edit

Re: This is why we need a la carte

2 out of millions.

RideRed
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4 edits

Re: This is why we need a la carte

said by FiL:

2 out of millions.
Not according to their ratings. Their biggest ever was a 12.8 from a huge NFL game. And that was only 2/3's of the AVERAGE it got on ABC. And ABC's sorry Sunday night slot doubles the ratings of ESPN's MNF.

And football is the only thing on ESPN worth watching. The rest of their programming (yay, Poker, Strongest Man, Austrian d!ck wrestling) gets non-existent ratings.

The only reason millions of people have ESPN is 'cause it's forced upon them in even the most basic cable/dbs package and of the 100 million (65M cable, 32M non-cable multichannel) who have cable and DBS in the US, the best ESPN can do is 10 million. So I'm not in the 2 out of millions, I'm in the 9 of 10 subscribers who weren't watching on ESPN's record setting rating night.

Give people choice and they will FLEE when they see the bill for ESPN.
cptmiles
Premium
join:2004-04-22
Swayzee, IN
Unless you have specific inside knowledge of an ESPN contract your statement is bull. The programmers have free reign over what they want to charge and to whom. If they can keep carriers from the a la carte method with little trouble why not. They have already convinced the law makers that a la carte would financially ruin the free world. They (the programmers) are the real monopoly.

FiL
Premium
join:2005-08-16
Silver Spring, MD

Re: This is why we need a la carte

so the Comcast's and Verizo's of the world are actually out to 'enable' their subscribers but trying to fight these content providers?

DON'T THINK SO!

Its a game where both sides win.

PGHammer

join:2003-06-09
Accokeek, MD
And the big dish accounts for *what percentage* of even the satellite TV marketplace, compared to DirecTV and EchoStar (neither of which have ala carte)? Despite the satellite-TV market literally owing their beginnings to the C/KU (*big dish*) folks, the disinterest in ala carte actually started here, and it started with customer migration from cable. The programmers used additional channels to drive the cost-per-channel *down* (which raised the perceived value of each bundle, and further decreased interest in ala carte). Ala carte won't happen because there is an *alternative* to ala carte. As long as bundling is allowed (and I don't see bundling being outlawed for either cable or satellite TV), ala carte won't fly. Pay-TV (the premium channels) *used* to be offered on an ala-carte basis; however, even here, ala carte is under assault by bundling (especially niche programming channels such as @MAX and Showtime eXtreme) and is about to die (not just in terms of cable TV, but also by satellite TV, even the big C/Ku-band dishes).

So, I have to disagree on ala carte working for the big-dish folks; in fact, the death of ala carte started here before it started with cable (let alone DirecTV and EchoStar). The only way ala carte will have a chance is to outlaw bundling.

RideRed
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Re: This is why we need a la carte

Big dish has a la carte and programming is cheaper. Cable and DBS don't and we see double digit yearly increases.

Seems simple to me which pricing platform is better for consumers.

Consumers should have the choice to omit ESPN, Fox Sports, and other overpriced and/or lame filler channels from their line ups.
--
"I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft." - Jim Allchin, Co-President, Platforms & Services Division, Microsoft Corporation

PGHammer

join:2003-06-09
Accokeek, MD

Re: This is why we need a la carte

Big dish programming is cheaper because it's a *niche market*. Even bundle prices are cheaper in the big-dish market compared to DirecTV and EchoStar. (And finally, the big-dish market is a *mature market*; in North America, it's the oldest part of the satellite-TV market. Ala carte has nothing to do directly with why big-dish programming prices are lower than those of small-dish satellite or other programming sources; market-share of big-dish, however, definitely does.)

RideRed
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2 edits

Re: This is why we need a la carte

A niche market being so small should lend itself to higher, not lower prices. A la carte has everything to do with why prices are lower. They try and raise the price, people don't buy it.

A la carte brings market forces to programming. People have choice and when people have choice, prices drop.

So long as ESPN and other overpriced channels are forced upon customers who want say Sci-Fi, ESPN can charge what it wants and Comcast will just pass on those costs to customers...which is exactly what we see year after year after year.

It's not rocket science, it's competition. As it stands now with cable and DBS, ESPN doesn't have to compete for subscribers. They do with big dish.
--
"I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft." - Jim Allchin, Co-President, Platforms & Services Division, Microsoft Corporation

PGHammer

join:2003-06-09
Accokeek, MD

Re: This is why we need a la carte

So why hasn't ala carte taken off in the smaller-dish (DirecTV and EchoStar) market? (Remember, the smaller-dish market is a *subset* of the overall satellite TV market.) What stops the two major players (DirecTV and EchoStar) from offering ala carte? Also, why, even though ala carte exists in big-dish, are bundles still largely cheaper even here? What is the percentage of big-dish customers that actually *subscribe* via ala carte (as opposed to bundle pricing)? You keep insisting that ala carte is cheaper; I want the evidence.

RideRed
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Re: This is why we need a la carte

said by PGHammer:

So why hasn't ala carte taken off in the smaller-dish (DirecTV and EchoStar) market?
Because the programmers make a mint over charging and cable and DBS certainly don't want their subscribers paying less. As much as ESPN charges, Comcast tacts on their cut.

Evidence? Huh? Big dish is the evidence. Big dish is CURRENTLY a la carte and is CURRENTLY cheaper because you don't have to pay for channels you don't want.

Come on, that's common sense. If the 150 channels you get, how many do you actually watch? Meanwhile you're paying for ALL of them whether you want to or not.

If you don't understand this by now, you never will.
--
"I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft." - Jim Allchin, Co-President, Platforms & Services Division, Microsoft Corporation

PGHammer

join:2003-06-09
Accokeek, MD

Re: This is why we need a la carte

I want *evidence*, and so far you haven't provided any. You keep insisting that big-dish provides ala carte as an option (which I haven't disputed); however, big-dish (which used to be the *entire* satellite market before either DirecTV or EchoStar came along) also does *bundling* (which is known to be true). Have you taken a look at bundle prices in the big-dish marketplace on a per-channel basis, or are you so het up for preservation of that option (and trying to push your viewpoint) that you refuse to consider views that disagree with your own?

RideRed
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Re: This is why we need a la carte

I give up trying to explain it to you. Now you're off on a totally unrelated "bundles" tangent. Oh well, I tried.

PGHammer

join:2003-06-09
Accokeek, MD

Re: This is why we need a la carte

I call BS. You keep insisting that ala carte is cheaper, and said that big-dish is an example. I want *data* from big-dish pricing (which you haven't provided). In fact, I countered that big-dish also offers the same bundles that small-dish and cable do. You have not disputed OR denied it. With that being the case, then how is ala carte the true driving force behind the price differences between big-dish and small-dish? If that truly *were* the case, why are not just the small-dish companies, but the cable companies and other companies reselling cable and satellite services *not* lining up to sell ala carte? Bundling (in every market) exists for one reason: perceived value. Ala carte basically trainwrecks that argument.

By definition *ala carte* is offering each channel/service *separately*. While big-dish does indeed do this, they were also the first to offer service/channel *bundles* (in fact, they started doing so before either DirecTV or EchoStar even began signing up customers). Among the earliest bundles (remember, Disney was still known as a pay-TV service at the time, and hadn't acquired ABC) were regional sports packages (usually ESPN and a regional sports network). The cost-per-channel/service was, naturally, less than ESPN alone. *That* is why bundling works: it spreads out the costs of high-end services (such as ESPN or even HBO) with lower-cost similar services (regional sports networks or even Cinemax). In fact, Disney itself has run into this argument before with their own Disney Channel (which started, believe it or not, as a pay-TV service): however, the uptake was so small as a pay-TV service that it wound up migrating down to *basic cable/satellite* where it has remained for the last ten years.

You hate ESPN. Fine. However, you are, apparently, in the minority: demand is such for the Boys (and Girls) from Bristol, CT that pricing per subscriber has been able to increase *at all*. I hear of VERY few customers asking their cable or satellite providers to boot ESPN or its progeny; if anything, they want *more* ESPN channels, not less. (Don't take my word for it; check out the various cable-TV forums here on DSLR for yourself.)

And lastly, how is bundling unrelated to ala carte? Bundling is the exact *opposite* of ala carte. Either bundling (or ala carte) works, or it doesn't. (From what I've seen, bundling works, as it's available everywhere.)