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djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to mob

Re: Sports need to be treated like movies

Agree, but it would require government intervention. The networks demand inclusion in the base package as part of contract negotiation. If DirecTV didn't agree to that, their customers would be denied the content altogether.

That's exactly the sort of issue that causes those negotiations to drag on forever. Networks demand big money AND essentially demand that they cannot be offered a la carte.
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.


Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

well what about a sports basic pack??

Or a pack with all the main sports channels + your local RSN + TNT/TBS + Trutv + Fx + and other main cable channels or at least the ones that show sports a good deal of the time.



mob
On the next level..
Premium
join:2000-10-07

1 recommendation

reply to djrobx

I voted with my dollars. I shut off cable TV, and kept internet access.


NOVA_UAV_Guy
Premium
join:2012-12-14
Purcellville, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to djrobx

said by djrobx:

Agree, but it would require government intervention. The networks demand inclusion in the base package as part of contract negotiation. If DirecTV didn't agree to that, their customers would be denied the content altogether.

I'm not one who is generally in favor of more laws and more government intervention, but this sounds like an area where a little more intervention could perhaps yield favorable results for the consumer.

I'm a believer in paying for content, and also a believer in freeing up content from draconian and useless rules artificially created by entertainment networks. Government intervention will be the only thing that will ever allow this.

Case in point: I live in Washington, DC. I'd like to receive local channels for Pittsburgh, PA instead, and would even be willing to pay a little extra (say $5/month) to get them, either in addition to or in place of the Washington, DC locals. But I can't - because of the way that laws are set up and contracts are negotiated.

Case in point 2: Over the past year or so, I've casually tracked the channels I watch and record programs from. There are really only a handful of non-network stations (say a maximum of 10-12) that I even watch more than a small handful of times throughout the year. I'd venture to guess that there are a lot of others like me too.

Why are we forced into the chains of what I like to call "entertainment socialism", where the "free market" is prevented from rewarding good channels with good shows and punishing bad channels with bad shows? Consumers should be forced into only buying bundles of channels, and supporting mediocre things which are of no consequence to them? Is it really fair that to subsidize home shopping channels and the like with revenue from stations which are actually successful? I think I'd prefer to see things move more toward the "PBS model" of things - all channels should be "supported by viewers like you", though revenue generated from subscriptions.

I know this is becoming a long-winded post here, so I'll try to wrap things up quickly. What I'd like to see is someone - a company, our government, likely a combination of the two - become a "game changing force" here. Establish contracts with content generators which allow for a fixed per-subscriber fee calculated and paid monthly on each channel individually. Then offer up a service to consumers which allows them to create their own entertainment package with just the channels they want, with various fees for various channels calculated by taking the content generator's rate and adding a fixed percentage fee on top to cover infrastructure costs, administrative costs, and a reasonable profit. Leverage the "Netflix model" for content delivery and offer it up all as an IPTV-based solution.

This solution should stretch across all content generators and providers, and offer true choice. People get to vote with their wallets by subscribing to the channels they like while not buying the channels they don't. People like me who would rather see the news in Pittsburgh instead of DC or elsewhere get to do so. People who want to buy an "NFL Season Ticket Lite" version for just one team per season have the ability to do that, too. And what a wonderful world that would be.


lakerfan82

join:2009-01-30
Corona, CA
reply to Joe12345678

Why do people who don't like sports even subscribe to cable? Can't you get 90% of that content on a mish mash of cheaper subscriptions through Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon on demand? Who cares if you are 1 season behind if you save hundreds, if not thousands per yer?



nonamesleft

join:2011-11-07
Manitowoc, WI

This is the very reason sports channels need to be put in there own package.


elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink
reply to djrobx

said by djrobx:

Agree, but it would require government intervention. The networks demand inclusion in the base package as part of contract negotiation. If DirecTV didn't agree to that, their customers would be denied the content altogether.

That's simply not true.

Directv could "hold out" as long as it takes, to sever the mandatory bundling.
If that means their customers go without certain content, so be it. Eventually, the networks would realize (feel) the loss and come back with a better offer.

If you've ever been to NAB or CES or met with cable, satellite and broadcast executives, you'd understand why they are so eager to cave and force all subscribers to subsidize ESPN. There is a substantial Sports bias in the boardroom.

itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
reply to lakerfan82

said by lakerfan82:

Why do people who don't like sports even subscribe to cable? Can't you get 90% of that content on a mish mash of cheaper subscriptions through Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon on demand? Who cares if you are 1 season behind if you save hundreds, if not thousands per yer?

Lot easier to pay Verizon 1 bill for all my entertainment than a little to Netflix, little to Hulu, and Amazon. And I've got a Free DVR for life from Verizon so I can record in HD, skip commercials and be done with it.

And I'd not want to be 1 season behind when talking with friends about the stuff we watch.

I say put all sports on a package and let them (sports fans) pay for it. If some teams and leagues fold, so be it....

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to elray

By as long as it takes I assume you mean until their competitors use this against them to take enough of their subs that they finally give in.

It will take all content providers to do it at the same time to hurt the content owners enough to cause them to rethink their model. Which is exactly why the owners negotiate contracts with long terms and with much different end dates.

The government could easily resolve this by simply stating that all contracts will be paid as agreed until X date and no new contracts can go beyond this date. That x date could be until the last big one expires (Say Comcast is the last to expire in 2/15). They can then couple this with a set mandatory expiration date for those that try to beat the deadline for when this rule comes into effect or if their contracts are already set to far out. Say 12/17 which would then provide all parties (content owners, sports leagues, productions companies) an opportunity to adjust their forecasted revenues and make the needed changes. Then ALL must be renegotiated with a la carte packaging for ALL channels along side of small, medium and large bundles. They can do bundles based on # of channels picked, content owners, themes or any other combination they see fit.



lakerfan82

join:2009-01-30
Corona, CA
reply to itguy05

I guess we are subsidizing eachother then, so its six of one, half a dozen of another... I pay for 100s of channels I don't want just to get the 10 or so sports channels I want. If I could get my local teams online I would happily do that and drop my cable package. I agree that putting them all in their own little bundles would be great as long as I'm not forced to pay for Disney channel, MTV, and the 100s of other channels full of garbage I don't want. A la carte is clearly the answer but the least watched channels will be the ones that go under, not the sports channels. There is a reason ESPN can charge $4/month.


dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL
reply to djrobx

said by djrobx:

Agree, but it would require government intervention. The networks demand inclusion in the base package as part of contract negotiation. If DirecTV didn't agree to that, their customers would be denied the content altogether.

That's exactly the sort of issue that causes those negotiations to drag on forever. Networks demand big money AND essentially demand that they cannot be offered a la carte.

And this VERY same thing is happening on many cable systems, that are now tacking on a similar surcharge for local, broadcast stations, that demand payment for their (already FREE) OTA signal - & which subs CANNOT opt-out of, either. I'm actually surprised either satellite service hasn't done this same thing. (yet)

These are all above-the-line rate increases, pure & simple - since these providers are NOT going to absorb these higher prog costs any longer, of course they're going to pass them to their subs. But this way, these same providers CAN continue to advertise those "teaser-rates", just like phone & cell companies do...

NOVA_UAV_Guy
Premium
join:2012-12-14
Purcellville, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to elray

said by elray:

That's simply not true.

Directv could "hold out" as long as it takes, to sever the mandatory bundling.
If that means their customers go without certain content, so be it. Eventually, the networks would realize (feel) the loss and come back with a better offer.

I agree in theory, but not in application.

While there would be some like me who would probably not leave DirecTV over holding out like this, there are many who would not be as willing to stay. As an example consider parents of young children who suddenly might find themselves without programming like Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel if something happened around those networks. Depending upon the channel, this could cost DirecTV a bunch of revenue. (What if it was something like ESPN, or TBS, or TNT, that draws a lot of viewers?)

One also need consider that DirecTV's objective in holding out wouldn't be the same as yours or mine. At the end of the day, their focus is money (maximizing bottom line profit) and not altruism (working to achieve a cause for the betterment of others). Thus, in holding out, DirecTV would be likely to fold if offered a smaller price increase - so the scenario that both you and I dream of isn't likely to ever be held out as a serious bargaining chip.

What we really need is for an established company like DirecTV to be willing to take a large financial risk and change its operating model entirely. Unfortunately, I wouldn't hold my breath - as "established company" and "large financial risk" don't go well together these days. Maybe a smart start-up could try to do this (it would be a more likely scenario), but they're not likely to have successes against the content providers since they won't have much bargaining power.

elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink
reply to Skippy25

said by Skippy25:

By as long as it takes I assume you mean until their competitors use this against them to take enough of their subs that they finally give in.

It will take all content providers to do it at the same time to hurt the content owners enough to cause them to rethink their model. Which is exactly why the owners negotiate contracts with long terms and with much different end dates.

Any one provider could achieve the desired result by holding out, as long as it takes. But they would have to assume the risk, when in today's climate, it is easier just to pass the cost on.

said by Skippy25:

The government could easily resolve this by simply stating that all contracts will be paid as agreed until X date and no new contracts can go beyond this date.
...
Then ALL must be renegotiated with a la carte packaging for ALL channels along side of small, medium and large bundles. They can do bundles based on # of channels picked, content owners, themes or any other combination they see fit.

I am ever reluctant to suggest that the government should interfere with the marketplace. But I'm not opposed to discussing the possibility of legislation, to motivate the players to be more competitive.

At some point, we need an iTunes Store model for video content leasing, with per-channel/episode/season/day/week/month/year, density and volume pricing options - which should actually yield more revenue than the current structure, while giving the consumer more freedom of choice. But we need industry to build it, not have it dictated from Washington.


aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA
reply to lakerfan82

said by lakerfan82:

I guess we are subsidizing eachother then, so its six of one, half a dozen of another... I pay for 100s of channels I don't want just to get the 10 or so sports channels I want. If I could get my local teams online I would happily do that and drop my cable package. I agree that putting them all in their own little bundles would be great as long as I'm not forced to pay for Disney channel, MTV, and the 100s of other channels full of garbage I don't want. A la carte is clearly the answer but the least watched channels will be the ones that go under, not the sports channels. There is a reason ESPN can charge $4/month.

Because Disney forces ESPN on everyone.


afsafd

@comcast.net
reply to NOVA_UAV_Guy

You're deadly wrong. FCC most of the times favor corporate. That is how they get elected.



danawhitaker
Space...The Final Frontier
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Urbandale, IA
reply to lakerfan82

No, you can't, especially not news-related stuff. I discovered this when I was trying to stream coverage from the Connecticut shooting on my PC while my daughter was watching cartoons on TV this weekend. The good news streams seem to be locked behind the cable login paywall now, so I had to dig out my login info.

The Weather Channel stuff that I watch is usually live coverage of breaking weather which may or may not be covered on live streams.

Sometimes I just like to channel surf, too, and find random stuff.

I don't recall someone passing a law that said cable TV exists only for sports fans.
--
You're watching Sports Night on CSC so stick around...