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Rainbow Media CEO: Free Video 'Insulting'
We wouldn't want to create 'bad habits...'
by Karl Bode 08:59AM Tuesday Jun 30 2009 Tipped by caco See Profile
It has been interesting to watch cable industry executives talk about online video lately, few really understanding that broadband and piracy have changed video forever, and that there's no stuffing the genie back in the bottle. Some execs, like Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, seem to think they can simply take the existing business model (with its bi-annual rate hikes) and move it online. One of the more vocal opponents to free online video is Rainbow Media CEO Josh Sapan, who thinks the idea insults paying customers:
quote:
"I do think it's important to be technologically progressive and responsive to what consumers want. But that's a different thing, in my mind, from creating bad habits," Sapan said in an interview. "To offer these shows for free ... It's almost insulting to the consumer who's paying money for it, because it says to that consumer, 'What are you doing?'"
Asked whether there would be disenfranchised video consumers who don't necessarily want to subscribe to cable in order to get online video service (Comcast and Time Warner Cable's current plan), Sapan insists it's "a teeny number" and "really minuscule." Two things most "cable guys" seem to have in common is an unwavering belief in the infallible power of cable to ward off online video, and the belief that they still actually have control in the face of 50Mbps connections, a growing number of video alternatives, video-streaming game consoles, and piracy.

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DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

CEO's

CEO corporate spin always amazes me. Why not just be honest?

Jim Kirk
Premium
join:2005-12-09

Re: CEO's

said by DataRiker:

CEO corporate spin always amazes me. Why not just be honest?
If they were honest, the common consumer see they are a bunch of greedy bastards.

footballdude
Premium
join:2002-08-13
Imperial, MO

1 recommendation

said by DataRiker:

CEO corporate spin always amazes me. Why not just be honest?
Part of a CEO's job is to be 'cheerleader in chief'. They're supposed to talk up the company and the industry and make everyone feel good about their future prospects.
--
It's a trick. Get an axe. - Ash

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: CEO's

said by footballdude:

said by DataRiker:

CEO corporate spin always amazes me. Why not just be honest?
Part of a CEO's job is to be 'cheerleader in chief'. They're supposed to talk up the company and the industry and make everyone feel good about their future prospects.
No, a CEO should be concerned with running a good company, which includes being honest. People respect honesty.

I remember after Katrina the president of COX was constantly on TV basically saying "sorry we are massively F'd up don't expect good service for a while (human and technical), please be patient with us", and people respected that.

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:3

1 recommendation

Re: CEO's

said by DataRiker:

said by footballdude:

said by DataRiker:

CEO corporate spin always amazes me. Why not just be honest?
Part of a CEO's job is to be 'cheerleader in chief'. They're supposed to talk up the company and the industry and make everyone feel good about their future prospects.
No, a CEO should be concerned with running a good company, which includes being honest. People respect honesty.

I remember after Katrina the president of COX was constantly on TV basically saying "sorry we are massively F'd up don't expect good service for a while (human and technical), please be patient with us", and people respected that.
Your definition of a good company is different than that of a CEO's. Their definition of a good company is one that is profitable and sets new quarterly records every quarter, period.
--
CheckSite.us | YourIP.us | Reverseip.us

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: CEO's

said by Rob:

Your definition of a good company is different than that of a CEO's. Their definition of a good company is one that is profitable and sets new quarterly records every quarter, period.
BUT if you refuse to see the trends and admit you need to move into a different direction and quit holding onto the old ways then you WON'T make profits and you'll eventualy run your business into the ground. So their actions are totally illogical no matter how you look at it.

C0deZer0
Oc'D To Rhythm And Police
Premium
join:2001-10-03
Tempe, AZ

Re: CEO's

Except that running businesses into the ground IS the new successful company. All for the free government money, after all.

What else do you think is being taught in Business 101 nowadays?
--
Front Line Force Fortress Forever
gorehound

join:2009-06-19
Portland, ME
andwhen the bastards move their video to the net then these comapanies will get you even more.
monthly fees plus a small cap w/ dollar per gig overcharges.
yes i can see how they will please us consumers.

Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Video used to be free

I think these cable CEOs are forgetting that until cable came along, video was free. Growing up, my parents never paid for TV since we got all our TV via antenna (though we did get cable eventually when our antenna blew down in a storm).

The idea of paying for cable was originally supposed to be that you wouldn't get commercials. That idea quickly went by the way side and now it's not unusually to see "ads" (technically bugs) on premium channels.

(Non-pirated) Online video is supported by ads.

Jeff Bewkes did get one thing correct. We should be insulted, but not by free video. We should be insulted by the price we have to pay for cable TV, the constant rate hikes to "improve quality" and the actual lack of quality. That doesn't include frequent unexplained outages or other weird glitches that people experience.
--

The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.
me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO

Re: Video used to be free

It still can be free, I know some people who use antenna only, they could get cable but choose not to. We have 22 digital stations here, so its enough for some I guess.

As for quality of video, from what I have seen it goes like this for HD any way. Blu-ray>>>>>>OTA>>>>>>>Sat>>>>>cable.

Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Video used to be free

said by me1212:

As for quality of video, from what I have seen it goes like this for HD any way. Blu-ray>>>>>>OTA>>>>>>>Sat>>>>>cable.
OTA may be in a position to loose it's spot if it hasn't already. Many stations have started broadcasting sub-channels. Each channel can only carry 19.39 mbps of video. Take a 1080i HD channel and break off 2 SD subchannels and you've now made an okay looking HD channel, look noticeable worse.
--

The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.
me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO

Re: Video used to be free

None of the HD digi stations here have more than one sub channel, we have 7 HD and only 3 have subs and like I said those 3 only have one sub. The rest only use their badnwidth for HD.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by Morac:

OTA may be in a position to loose it's spot if it hasn't already. Many stations have started broadcasting sub-channels. Each channel can only carry 19.39 mbps of video. Take a 1080i HD channel and break off 2 SD subchannels and you've now made an okay looking HD channel, look noticeable worse.
OTA can still be better than cable. Cable usually shoehorns 3 HD channels(sometimes only 2 if ESPN is involved) in to 6 Mhz(38.8 mbps) of bandwidth. Divide the 38.8 mbps by 3 and cable is delivering HD channels in about 13 mbps of bandwidth. OTA can still better that while also delivering 2 480i subchannels in addition to the HD channel.
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Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
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Most readers of DSL Reports.com are to young to remember when there was quality programming on network television. Before the subscription channels like Home Box Office, each network ran a first run movie once or twice a week. Unfortunately the viewers that advertisers were trying to reach with programs like Monday Night At Movies lost interest when the advertisers discovered that their target viewers had already seen those movies on subscription television. Those were the first victims of the CATV revolution. If one views HD Network Television will find that they receive HD Crap. Mostly cheaply produced reality shows. Although there are some good programs on network television they are few and far between. Hopefully DTV will reinvigorate network television.
me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO

Re: Video used to be free

I am too young to remember that stuff, but I watch a lot of tv land(about the only place to find decent tv any more) and a lot of old movies, I like when g4 has movie that don't suck on Mondays. There was some good stuff on tv when I was a kid(90's, cone heads was on every week and I watched it each time) but not much now(the only good shows I can think of that are still being made are operation repo and mythbusters, IDK about pitchmen any more.) I hope DTV does help.

SLD
Premium
join:2002-04-17
San Francisco, CA
Some of the biggest ad blocks are on cable channels like USA Network. Ironic, isn't it?

community TV

@pacbell.net
snip-The idea of paying for cable was originally supposed to be that you wouldn't get commercials.-endsnip
Not quite correct

The original idea behind cable was to bring TV reception to the many rural people who didn't live in a city where the stations broadcast from.
CATV doen't stand for "cable TV", it stands for "community antenna TV" a single community antenna was erected in rural towns and TV was wired from the antenna to the townspeoples homes. Commercial free "pay channels" didn't enter the cable scene till some 25 to 30 years later
Desdinova
Premium
join:2003-01-26
Gaithersburg, MD

Re: Video used to be free

I did not know that! Cool trivia! Thanks!

mod_wastrel
iamwhatiam

join:2008-03-28
kudos:1

"Insulting"?

Paying for the privilege of watching content with commercials? Yeah... I'm insulted. As far as I can tell, most of the content on "TV" these days is little more than filler for the space between commercials. The stuff I really like (to watch repeatedly)--what little there is of it, I'll buy on DVD. (And as the MPAA becomes more like the RIAA, I may stop doing that.) The only thing on "cable" that I'd consider paying for is premium movie channels... now, how can I get them (from the cableco, I mean) without having to pay for the other "basic" stuff or local channels I already get for free? (I don't see that plan in the brochure.)

treetop1000

join:2003-11-07
Lexington, KY

cable company bull****

Not to threadjack here, but has anyone seen the satellite companies commercial about the cable company board meetings?
The one where the outspoken guy is always coming up with the off-the-wall (obviously) mis-management strategies like "blamestorming" and "nobody offers millions of HD channels" (level the playing field) stuff?

Did the satellite company nail this one?
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
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The cable television industry forgot it's roots.

The Cable Television Industry forgets their roots. The only reason the CATV Companies existed until the early 80's was to deliver local stations to viewers that were to far from the stations to receive a signal using an ordinary TV Antenna. The customers did not pay for the programming, just a satisfactory signal. The CATV Weasels like Wallstreeters with their deceitful financial dealings have taken advantage of the move of quality programming from Network Television to Pay Television to raise prices and shake down consumers. Until the government regulates the CATV Monopoly consumers will continue to be abused and overcharged.

SLD
Premium
join:2002-04-17
San Francisco, CA

Re: The cable television industry forgot it's roots.

said by Mr Matt:

Until the government regulates the CATV Monopoly consumers will continue to be abused and overcharged.
I disagree. Until consumers stop buying these crap services, they'll continue to be abused and overcharged. I stopped - you can too!

Not John Malone

@ameritech.net
Quality programming on cable?

LOL

Good one.

agreewithMatt

@pacbell.net
Matt, you are correct. I can add that many of the early cable companies (50s and 60s) didn't even charge a monthly subscription fee. You paid for the installation, which the cable company made its profit on, then service was free, since no one paid for TV programming back then
iria64

join:2003-04-14
Didn't the OTA stations start charging the Cable Cos for rebroadcasting rights or some such thing in the 90s. I seem to remember a big to do at some point about a possibility of losing local stations on cable until some agreements were reached. I am going by memory so I may be wrong.

MrBradTX

join:2001-05-23
Carrollton, TX

Re: The cable television industry forgot it's roots.

said by iria64:

Didn't the OTA stations start charging the Cable Cos for rebroadcasting rights or some such thing
Yes. OTA broadcasters are/were irritated that CableCos were essentially reselling the free OTA content. My mother was without a CBS affiliate on her Cable system for a few months due to this. And no, an antenna isn't a realistic option for her.

El Quintron
Resident Mouth Breather
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Etobicoke, ON
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Reviews:
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OTA is the answer if you need local programming

I live in southern Ontario, and I get 24+ Channels from OTA, I get prolly about 90% of T.O, and Buffalo programming most of the time.

100% of both (T.O, and Buffalo) on Fade up days when I also get about 50% of what's available in Rochester.

I will agree to the Following Comparisons in HD Quality:

#1 Blu-Ray/MKV
#2 OTA
#3 Satelite HD
#4 Digital Cable

To be completely honest, I see local programming as a necessity like local Radio... but what's available online through services like Miro is more than adequate for my specialty programming needs, combine that with Hulu, C4's online streams and I would never, ever go back to payTV in any of its forms.
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Mr Matt

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1 edit

Rainbow Media CEO: Insuling. Thinks customers dumb!

The Cable Parasites are trying to find new ways to monetize their services. The latest abuse is the subscriber terminal rip off. If I could own my own terminal equipment I would pay $65.75 for all basic cable and digital extended service channels. I would pay $35.05 for all Premium Channels. The total monthly subscription fee would be $100.80 plus tax. It is time for the government to wake up and smell CATV Industries Bull Feces.

Because of cable's monopoly position I am forced to pay a additional $46.80 to rent two HD DVR terminals. That is $561.60 per year or $2808.00 over a five year period. I am paying more to rent two HD DVR subscriber terminals than for premium programming. This bull feces has to stop. In 2001 I bought a Panasonic DVR with 80Gb Hard Drive and DVD Recorder for about $200.00. We paid for all basic channels and unlimited outlets, through our Homeowners Association Fee. All I had to pay was $12.00 per month plus tax for HBO.

I pay for a telephone line and no longer have to rent each telephone in my home from the phone company. It is time for the FCC to find a Judge Green to stick it the CATV monopoly.

Rainbow Media's CEO might wonder why consumers want to receive their programming via another technology. If the cable companies were not a monopoly they would be out of business. What Rainbow Media's CEO should be given is a nice regulatory suppository.

iam x
Sungazer
Premium
join:2005-02-23

Bad habits eh?

Well, fuck you.