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News Hound


You really do have it ALL WRONG

The ESPN 360 model and the HBO go model are NOT AT ALL ALIKE...and all NBC Olympics programming is NOT free over the air. The entire premise of your article is wrong because you don't have the facts anything close to straight.

HBO Go simply allows online access to HBO programming for individuals who subscribe to HBO through their cable or satellite subscriber. (BTW, at my cable company, the least expensive package that includes HBO and HBO OnDemand costs $28/month, including the set-top box...not $100. Besides HBO, it offers 28 cable channels and a LOT of free OnDemand content.)

ESPN 360 makes the participating ISP pay a subscription fee for each and every one of its customers, whether or not the customer EVER ACTUALLY USES ESPN 360 programming. Furthermore, ESPN prohibits the ISP from itemizing the cost of 360 on the customers' bills. ESPN insists that the ISP simply bury the cost of 360 in the rate for Internet service, so that the customer will think it's FREE (as if ESPN would ever GIVE ANYTHING AWAY!!!!)

I personally don't have any interest in ESPN 360, and I don't want to pay for it in my ISP bill just so the OTHER subscribers who want it can get it. I would have NO PROBLEM AT ALL with HBO's model - those who want it pay for it and the rest of us are left alone.

What you need to understand is that this is exactly the model that created the huge bundle of basic cable channels that all of us HATE -- where we're forced to take a bunch of channels we don't want in order to get the ones we do. This is how ESPN got distribution for ESPN News, U and Classic -- by forcing cable companies to take them as a condition of distributing ESPN and ESPN2. They're trying to go down the same path with 360, to do for online content what they've done with cable. If I could buy cable service ANYWHERE without getting stuck with ESPN, I'd do it in a heartbeat. All of us non-sports fans get screwed by being forced to take the most expensive programming on cable, which is ESPN and its ever-expanding family of networks I don't want.


Laramie, WY

1 edit
The above is not correct. The fact is that you can't buy HBO directly; you must by it through a cable provider. So, you must be a customer of a cable company to view HBO's online content. And of course, once you have the cable TV subscription, it becomes much cheaper to buy the "bundle" which includes Internet due to cross-subsidies. So, consumers who want HBO's online content are heavily penalized if they do not both subscribe to Cable TV and buy their Internet service from the cable company.

Unless HBO allows users to sign up without a cable TV subscription, this constitutes an anticompetitive move against ISPs who are not cable companies.

News Hound

UMMM - evidently you didn't read my post. As I said, HBO Go is an alternative way for for INDIVIDUALS who subscribe to HBO through a cable company to view the content they're already paying for. The point being that HBO is an a la carte cable service, not bundled with any other programming, so those who subscribe to it do so as a choice. ESPN 360 is paid for NOT by individuals who choose to subscribe to it, but rather by EVERY customer of participating ISPs, whether they use it or not. It should be immediately evident that these are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT distribution models.


Laramie, WY

4 edits
said by News Hound:

INDIVIDUALS who subscribe to HBO through a cable company to view the content they're already paying for. The point being that HBO is an a la carte cable service, not bundled with any other programming,
Not true. It's bundled with the cable channels that you must buy as part of a cable subscription. As well as with the cable subscription itself. You cannot buy "HBO Go" by itself.

This forces you to buy a bundle. And the cable companies, in turn, use cross-subsidies between the services to penalize you, via their pricing, if you do not extend the bundle to include your Internet service.