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DIRECTV HD Channel Anticipation (Official Q3 2010 Thread)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by Stuart Sweet, Jun 24, 2010.

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  1. cebbigh

    cebbigh Icon

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    TCM has been #1 on my list for a long time. It is the only SD channel I have in my favorites list.

    Never saw an episode of Madmen because I avoid SD. But all the talk of it in this thread made me curious. Guess I am hooked now. Just went to Amazon last night and purchased the HD streaming version for season 1. Just 15.00 per season so I think it's a good deal.
     
  2. slimoli

    slimoli Hall Of Fame

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    It's a good deal and you will like it. An alternative is to rent the 3 disks Bluray, they look awesome. Try Breaking Bad too, my favorite.
     
  3. gregjones

    gregjones Hall Of Fame

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    That excited over Nat Geo Wild HD and Investigation Discovery HD? We all have favorite channels for unusual reasons. Everyone has a different favorites list. But there's a difference between "I wish they had X," "If they don't carry X, I'll leave" and "I cannot fathom why a company would ever choose not to carry X because at least three of my friends actually watch it twice a year."

    I'm trying to make a few observations:
    • Not every channel that would agree to a cheap (or free) carriage of their HD channel will be picked up.
    • Not every channel that is highly rated will be easy to negotiate and might not be picked up.
    • Some channels will be expensive and have demands that will keep them from being carried for a good while.
    • Most channels that does get picked up in HD was likely some combination of cheap (enough), popular (enough) and providing few (enough) other demands like tiering or partner channels.
    • Some channels that none of us seem to want will end up getting carried and we'll probably never know why.

    That being said, I think TCM and AMC are the crown jewels of what's left from a marketing perspective. They are probably the only two hurting DIRECTV from a marketing perspective though there are other channels that have some considerable support. But I do not think DIRECTV likes explaining why those two aren't there when so many other channels are.
     
  4. trdrjeff

    trdrjeff Icon

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    Pawn Stars is one of the most educational shows on TV :righton:
     
  5. jmudukes07

    jmudukes07 AllStar

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    AMC HD
    TCM HD
    Nat Geo Wild HD
    History International HD
    Investigation Discovery HD


    I think those are the only national channels left that I REALLY want. I'd love for them to add HBO Comedy and fill out the rest of the HBO line-up in HD but I can wait a bit longer I guess.
     
  6. Hoosier205

    Hoosier205 New Member

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    It wouldn't be hard. The receiver can do that itself. The could shut off every SD duplicate (if we lived in a fairytale where there were no contracts to carry them) today and those SD customers could view HD versions of those channels downrezzed by the receiver. All they would need is a MPEG-4 receiver. They'd get letterboxed channels, DD 5.1, and better picture quality than they get with current SD versions.
     
  7. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Yep, and DIRECTV would have to replace millions of MPEG2-only boxes, presumably at no charge.
     
  8. georule

    georule Hall Of Fame

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    If you assume that they've got bandwidth for roughly 50 HD in their pocket, and further assume maybe 10 or so of those are really relatively popular channels by the ratings, then clearly there is a lot left over for the "passionate niche people" to have a chance to get their desires fulfilled.

    I suppose you could make an argument either way as to where they should focus. The more popular the channel, the more it will cost, and the longer it will likely take to reach an acceptable carriage agreement. But the longer you don't have it, the uglier and more numerous are the gripes about it.

    Otoh, going after a pile of "the little guys" lets you add more HD channels faster, inflating your numbers in the eternal PR war, at less cost, and even if it takes talking to more people to do it, each of those transactions is likely much faster (at least if you avoid the ones you know there is likely to be an attempt by the provider to tie its availability to some other channel you don't want to deal with right now for whatever reason).

    So there's some tradeoff there. There are probably about 20 smallfry channels you could add all at once that still wouldn't give you as much customer satisfaction cumulatively as adding any two of, say, BBCAHD, AMCHD, TCMHD, or TruTV. But they'd sure gussie up the PR count nicely, and possibly at less cumulative cost than any two of those four I just mentioned.
     
  9. Hoosier205

    Hoosier205 New Member

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    Hey, I can dream...
     
  10. gregjones

    gregjones Hall Of Fame

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    Good points, georule. I would add that you have to consider the "channels yet to be" in your calculations, though. DIRECTV got burned once before by allocating slots based on what existed. Then there were a number of channel announcements with nowhere to go for a good long while. I think they are gunshy about that situation going forward.

    The next thing I almost hate to say out loud because I don't want it to come to fruition. I think we are approaching a point of HD saturation where numbers don't matter anymore. The average consumer cares a lot more if one provider has 50 HD channels and the other only 25. With the counts on Dish and DIRECTV now, I think most consumers just hear "most channels" instead of a specific number. I believe the days of marketing by creative counting for HD are pretty much over only because it is no longer effective. I think we are much more likely to hear "DIRECTV doesn't have X in HD, but we do" going forward. And it's smarter to go at it that way because you can target Mad Men viewers by advertising that during Mad Men.

    The downside of that transition is that the likelihood to add the small guys is somewhat lower in a given time period. Again, there are only four reasons for DIRECTV to add a channel: people will leave if you don't, people will sign up if you do, it will help marketing (to help items 1 and/or 2), or it was part of a multi-channel deal. Maybe I'm wrong but I feel the days of the third reason are numbered.

    Would Baskin & Robbins worry if another chain had 32 flavors? Probably only if that 32nd flavor was really popular.
     
  11. georule

    georule Hall Of Fame

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    Well, the small-fry can have some cumulative impact. We're seeing some marketing now from D* smacking E* around on their packages by showing a picture of a bunch of channel logos that aren't included in a specific E* package.

    We could argue about what the real multiplier effect is, but surely one does exist. The niche people can be very passionate about their channels, even if there aren't many of them per channel, and they do add up.

    The fact that (so far as I can tell) only Comcast (and possibly TWC in some areas?) has AMCHD does make me very suspicious, but oh well it'll get worked out eventually. Whether the cable guys overpaid (and perhaps demanded a most favored nation clause to go with it? "Okay, we'll pay stupidly overpriced rate of x, but only if you agree you will not give the channel to anyone else for less than that price for the next 'y' period") to create an effective if not official exlusive for some length of time, or what, I don't know. But I suspect whichever of D* or E* gets it first, the other will follow pretty rapidly.
     
  12. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    There is some truth to your point, and certainly keeping your eye on the "competition" is a good and yet standard practice.

    As for that 32nd flavor...maybe....maybe not...in some cases the right 31 is better than 32 made up of assorted flavors made with artificial colors and sweeteners. :D
     
  13. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    French Vanilla.

    I guess their research says they can do better. (See the OT for the appropriate thread on the five flavors being frozen out.)

    It does show that something that seems plain and simple CAN be popular. What may seem to be vanilla may make more people happy than the most exotic of HD flavors.
     
  14. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Within my metaphor...I was thinking more like roadkill chocolate as someone else's 32nd flavor. :D

    More is good.
     
  15. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I'm sorry ... but I blanked out on that first word. All I saw was chocolate. As long as it is chocolate it can't be bad. :D

    Kinda like "roadkill HD" ... if it is HD it can't be bad? :)
    (Although I wouldn't want the roadkill channel.)
     
  16. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Me neither...I think Comcast has that one contractually locked up tight anyway.
     
  17. Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

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    AMC definately...

    I'd throw in BBC America, DIY, E!, and Lifetime Movie Network in with TCM though...

    I want to bring up something though. There's been times in the past where DirecTV has skipped one DMA for locals (or HD locals) due to the amount of subscribers (or HD subscribers in the case of HD-LIL) THEY had... and not simply the population of the DMA.

    Check out "What's Hot" on TVApps sometime... DirecTV has data on what their subscribers watch... and it doesn't necessarily have to come to the same conclusion as ratings for all providers.

    ~Alan
     
  18. Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

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    FULL AGREEMENT!!

    I disagree...

    Unless the TV Providers start taking a stand or the FCC (would that fall under the FCC's authority) steps in, I don't see media giants backing away from multi-channel deals...

    ~Alan
     
  19. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Wow, 1255 posts in 20 days. A page and a half a day (40 posts/day).

    [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  20. Paul Secic

    Paul Secic Hall Of Fame

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    You're right. I read about ENCORE West going HD last December.
     
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