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Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to FFH

Re: Naturally, this makes sense for ESPN

For ESPN, it makes sense, but I'm not so sure about Netflix and Hulu. The difference is that their programming isn't live, which means that watching it later on a wired or wi-fi network isn't such an issue, and it's also theoretically possible to download the content and store it for later viewing. Also, I think that Netflix and Hulu users will be more sensitive to price increases. Actually, a better way to put it is that sports fans will probably be more willing to accept higher prices than those watching non-sports programming. And finally, sports programming doesn't compress as well as other programming because of more on-screen motion, so it will often require more bandwidth to stream.

Actually, Netflix missed an opportunity to make something like this work. If they'd charged an additional fee to use their service via a mobile app and a cell network at the outset, they might have been able to build in these charges and have people swallow them in exchange for the convenience of having mobile access to movies. But, by launching mobile apps and not charging extra for them, they set a precedent of including them for free with a subscription, and that will be extremely difficult to undo without incurring customer backlash. Granted, ESPN did the same thing, but, as I said, I think they feel that they can charge their customers and get away with it.