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Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by Stuart Sweet, Jun 24, 2010.
Is it August yet? *sigh* Two more weeks.....
I get them with my Premier package. Not sure which satellite but I only get 101, 99 and 103 and I get them fine.
They're coming. Comcast has already agreed to carry them when they arrive.
In terms of the value of DirecTV carrying soccer, people should also remember in terms of catering to soccer fans that to get Gol, Fox Soccer, and Fox Soccer plus you need the sportspack and FSC+ adding $27.98 to your bill for what's essentially 3 channels.
And many shows get cancelled for going down to the ratings that the article references that one match getting up to.
Re-read what I posted. I'm not attacking soccer as a sport. I'm not attacking soccer fans. I'm not attacking soccer's popularity and commercial viability outside of the US. But as of today, only a handful of soccer matches a year approach what would be considered healthy ratings for any other sport in the US. As DIRECTV is a satellite provider in the US with limited bandwidth, this consideration becomes very important.
Hockey has a much longer foothold in the US and still suffers from a very weak position in terms of leverage (i.e., Versus getting dropped for overvaluing their position).
Which is a way of subsidizing for lack of general demand/commercial appeal in the US market. Not everyone wants it or would be willing to pay to have it. Those that do want it, are willing to pay a premium for it. Basic economics at work.
Guys... let's maybe take the sports discussion elsewhere.
Ok, Stuart. As it started the discussion was very much on-topic. As the number of remaining HD channels is relatively low, doesn't it make sense for DIRECTV to evaluate each addition by possible impact to top-line revenue? Should DIRECTV add TVGUIDE HD (no, i'm kidding) just because it's in the top 100 remaining HD channels we don't have or should they pass and save spots for something that might possibly entice new subscribers or retain current subscribers?
Or should we expect a lot of the niche channels to never be carried in HD? Or perhaps carried only when the channel itself shifts to HD as its primary delivery type?
Hopefully they add more popular channels first but at this point isn't EVERY channel in the top 100 remaining HD channels DirecTV doesn't have?
In other words, are there 100 channels to add? Forget whether or not they provide a HD feed of their service yet - are there 100 channels left?
You might get to 100 if you count channels that have no announced plans for HD but I believe you would have to do some digging to come up with 75 channels that are in HD or have plans for HD before the end of 2010 (and not already carried by DirecTV).
Never is a long time and D-14 is coming (eventually).
Capacity for 50 of the dug up 75 is ready - it is just a matter of deciding which channels get the slots and which programmers will agree to terms. "Saving" some space for completely new channels that may be more desired than existing channels that are converting may not be a bad idea. Having niche channels isn't a bad idea.
With niche channels look at how narrow the niche is and if it is already covered. Is there a channel that focuses on entertainment news/gossip like E! or TVGuide channel in HD? If yes then the need for those channels in HD decreases - the niche is covered. If no then there is a need and one of those channels should be carried (probably E!, if good terms can be negotiated).
If TVGuide were already in HD and carried there would be less of a need for E!. But E! could be added on the basis of content TVG is not providing (or be force added as part of a multi-channel deal). Headline News has coverage of entertainment news/gossip - so perhaps adding HN HD would cover that gossip niche and other niches as well.
The "you can't have E! without Style and G4" (theoretical) type of deals affects what gets added - as most niche customers want one of those channels and would scream if the other two were added.
It isn't as simple as picking the best channels available and turning them on. Planning ahead for the better channels coming and dealing with contracts has a major influence on the issues. The more I think about it the happier I am that it is not my job to figure out how to make everybody happy (an impossibility). I just get to watch.
I anticipate that new HD channel additions going forward will need to meet the ratings/viewer criteria and/or the cost/ROI criteria to be added.
I anticipate that new HD channel additions will be channels in HD.
This was my point before. People constantly harp on how many of the remaining missing channels are in the top 50. Whatever is left will be towards the top of the list only because DIRECTV has done a good job of cutting the list down to size.
Of course, I completely made up TVGuide HD. (For the record, I have no interest in that being added to any satellite or even existing. No offense there, TVGuide)
And if all three negotiating together are marginal, I hope DIRECTV passes on all three. Some of the current SD channels will fold before ever getting on HD. Some will change content entirely (Versus). Some will be added. Using every bit of space now to just get to 98% or 100% of the channels out there doesn't make sense to me. There are only a few left that matter to more than a few of us.
This may not go to directly to anticipation, but I wonder how these niche channels can hang on in advertising environment that is out there? I was rather shocked a few post back that there is a Wedding Channel HD? I am sure there are folks that love it. But I can't think it would be a lot of people. How can you turn a profit on these channels? This looks a little like the "dot com bubble". Broadcasters throwing out HD channels because they are HD. Providers carry them so they can say they have HD. But will the cost cause a number of these HD channels to implode leaving us with a bandwidth vacuum to fill? Frankly, every time I move past Discovery Planet Green, I wonder about this. It wasn't quite the implosion, but Voom comes to mind. Niche channels that could not make it because they needed to much money from Dish (revisionist history?)
Anyway, just idle thoughts waiting for August.
I thought time warner already has tv guide channel HD.
I'm only speaking from the sportsfan point of view here, but DirecTV has me pretty darn satisfied as far as HD goes. There likely won't be one sporting even I watch this year that will be in SD. The exceptions will be during the crazy mirroring stuff on Saturdays during the football season or with the Gameplan. Other than that, I'm a happy camper.
slimoli was referring to WE tv (called Romance Classics [commercial-free movies] when it launched in 1997, then rebranded as WE: Womens' Entertainment in 2001, and finally as WE tv in 2006). While it does carry a lot of wedding-related reality shows, it has other stuff too. However, to support oldfantom's point, my wife, who watches Lifetime and LMN a lot, has never (well, hardly ever) watched WE.
Since this tango stuff seems to be more difficult than expected, I anticipate only more premiums in August. Directv probably already has the rights to broadcast the remaining HBO/MAX in HD.
I anticipate you'll see a bit better festivus than just that.
FWIW, there's also a "Wedding Central", which is also owned by Rainbow Media, though it isn't available in HD yet AFAIK.
ESPNU will be SEC Football tv