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Dish Retrans Dispute with Fox over 50% Hike (Closed Thread)

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by RasputinAXP, Sep 9, 2010.

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  1. runner861

    runner861 Icon

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    A la carte is the way to go, in my opinion. Sure, some channels may go out of business because they won't be able to make enough money. And, the monthly fees for some subscribers would substantially increase, such as those who subscribe to the sports channels. However, for a great many subscribers the monthly fees would substantially decrease, and people would only pay for the channels that they want. Market forces would dictate what channels remained, who paid higher fees, and who paid lower fees. And, at the end of the day, that is how it should be with a free market.
     
  2. James Long

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

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    I disagree on the placement of "some" vs "a great many" in that statement. Replace "some" with "many" and "a great many" with "a few" and I'm with you all the way.
    A la carte is the way to go, in my opinion. Sure, many channels may go out of business because they won't be able to make enough money. And, the monthly fees for many subscribers would substantially increase, such as those who subscribe to the sports channels. However, for a few subscribers the monthly fees would substantially decrease, and people would only pay for the channels that they want. Market forces would dictate what channels remained, who paid higher fees, and who paid lower fees. And, at the end of the day, that is how it should be with a free market.​

    The free market developed this system. As lousy as it is, it is a free market system that allows someone with something you want to set the terms on how they sell it to someone who wants it. Fox can say: "You can't have Fox O&O without paying for FX, NatGeo and FoxSports." and "You can't have FoxSports unless you pay our price."

    If you were selling your car wouldn't you get to set the price? And if you disagreed with the price wouldn't you get to say no deal? That is a free market. If you had two cars and I wanted to buy one of your cars and you wanted me to buy both of your cars. It is up to you, the seller, to decide if you want to split up the sale or walk away. It would be up to me, the buyer, to decide if I wanted to buy both or walk away. If one of your cars was really worth having and the other "not so much" I would have to choose whether getting the prize was worth paying for the lemon. That is the free market.

    I suppose the government could take TV and cable channels and force their sale via some "eminent domain" type of process. I wouldn't mind seeing that for OTA stations that exist OTA "to serve their communities" (or at least that's what they say when applying for the license). I have no problem with breaking the existing system as needed. But I'm not going to call something that isn't a free market "free market".
     
  3. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I think people forget that the free market chose the package/tier system over a la carte years ago as new channels were added.

    As people were offered discounts for buying multiple channels vs just buying individual ones at a higher price, people chose the bundle to save money per-channel and have more viewing options.

    IF we unbundled everything tomorrow, and all channels had to be paid for/ordered a la carte... undoubtedly a bunch of them would be out of business within 6 months as they wouldn't get enough viewers paying at any price.

    Other channels would survive, but with less subscribers would charge more for their channels.

    Yes the market determines pricing... but it isn't one sided! Both the consumer and the producer are part of the equation!

    IF I don't want to pay more than $5 then I won't buy... but if the channel can't be profitable for less than $6 then they will not drop to my buying point... and if enough people are like me, then even a popular channel could find itself in trouble.

    For all the talk about pro sports... I like my football and basketball but wouldn't dream of paying the asking price for tickets to attend one live! Some of the popular teams and teams with good records are having trouble selling tickets to their stadiums. That's what happens in a free market. They can't afford to sell for less, and people choose not to pay more... and eventually something has to give.

    Any way you want to slice things... every indicator points to a la carte ultimately leading to less channels for the same or more money as we pay now for tiers.

    Also, you might find your favorite channel is one that doesn't survive a la carte... because you are in the minority of people willing to pay for it on its own merits.
     
  4. Hoosier205

    Hoosier205 Active Member

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    There aren't enough facepalm's in the world for folks who believe a la carte might be a good idea. In the category of "things which are bad ideas", this one is among the most obvious.
     
  5. Hoosier205

    Hoosier205 Active Member

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    Ding, ding, ding.
     
  6. Satelliteracer

    Satelliteracer Hall Of Fame

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    But here's the difference. Disney owns ESPN and all the Disney content and ABC. They aren't going to let a MSO take sports without the other on a widely distributed tier. That's what makes this so so so so much more complicated than the record industry. It might as well be apples and couches in a comparison.

    By controlling broad holdings like that, they can force sports on everyone (even if non sports fans don't want it), or force children's programming on everyone (even if the sports fans don't care about it).

    Newscorp has similar power. If NBC Universal and Comcast merger goes through...same situation.
     
  7. Satelliteracer

    Satelliteracer Hall Of Fame

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    I wonder why so many Canadians for so long had fake USA addresses then if tv is so great up there. They sure were consuming a lot of American tv from satellite companies. :lol: Probably why so many of them come south for health care, too. Better options.

    I posted three articles for convenience but there are many others including several studies. Those 100 channels that YOU don't watch, others do. And yes, they would feel upset about having to spend much more to keep them. That's really the whole point, not everyone agrees to which 10, 20, 40, 60 channels are most important to them. But the more and more niche you get, the much higher cost those become to the customer. Basic economics. Either those customers would have to pay it, or that channel would go belly up...thus reducing choice.

    Congress ordered a 6 month study on this back in 2004 and came away with the conclusion that it would cost customers more money and cause some channels to go out of business. Worse, it would mean less innovation, less new channels, especially for certain protected classes. Think about the channels created in the last 5 years, many of them niche but important to certain groups of people, that never would have even been considered under an a la carte plan.

    Booz Allen did a similar study and came to the same conclusion in 2005.

    Other studies in 2007 and 2008, including several at prestigious business schools.

    The NY Times had an interesting piece on it just a few years ago. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/24/business/media/24nocera.html
     
  8. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    While I had no problem with that theory up to about 2004-5, like every other program to subsidize an industry in its infancy or a critical industry in times of trouble at some point you have to say "No more."

    Right now we have "The Hub" co-owned by Discovery and Hasbro that started this month and is "spun" by its coowners as:
    But one observer noted:
    Now I know somewhere some kid is going to throw a tantrum because his parents don't have the right cable/satellite company to get this, but come on, do I really have to pay 20¢± per month. You want to cater to your kid, pungle up $5 a month for this. And maybe it ought to be $12 a month for Disney plus ESPN for the big kid in the house, $8 a month for Nick, etc.

    You don't think you should have to pay like that? Well, in the end you will because the nickle and dimers will soon include Ryan Seacrest who we recently learned:
    And if he can just get all the cable and satellite companies to put that into their basic package for 10¢ per month per subscriber, he can be subsidized to the tune of $8 million a month.

    Shall we also subsidize mega corporations growing corn? Oh, we already do that. The difference is the government taxes you, while in the case of cable channels, cable and satellite companies tax you. And you don't even get to vote for the members of their Boards or their CEO.

    Sorry, but somewhere along the way I went from being a liberal on this to being a libertarian.
     
  9. runner861

    runner861 Icon

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    To clarify, I never said a "government-mandated a la carte system." I just said an a la carte system is, in my opinion, the way to to. I think that "retransmission consent" should be replaced with "must carry," but that is the only change in regulation that I want. I understand that a business is able to market its channels anyway it chooses--Fox or any network can bundle channels together. But, at the same time, the carriers can resist that bundling. The carriers can work toward an a la carte system.

    Sure, prices and channel availability will change. But I am not convinced that the results will be horrific--the results will be what the market dictates. And, although many people on this board make predictions about horrific results with a la carte, no one really knows what will happen because we do not have a la carte.

    I fully support Dish's refusal to pay the prices demanded by Fox. Am I glad that the channels are gone? I am not, but I understand why they are gone.
     
  10. adkinsjm

    adkinsjm Icon

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    People just can't comprehend this.

    If your local RSN was pulled, there isn't a way to see your local team on that channel legally on Dish Network. It doesn't matter if you have Center Ice or League Pass, your local team will be blacked out because the RSN has exclusive rights to broadcast the games to your area that it shows. It doesn't matter if you want to pay more money or you think you have a right to see the games. The truth is you won't see them as long as this dispute goes on.
     
  11. James Long

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

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    Yes, the carriers can ... and DISH does within what they can negotiate with the program providers.

    The following programmers have agreed to allow DISH to sell their channels a la carte (as well as include them in certain tiered levels of programming):
    Bloomberg Television ($3.00), RFD-TV ($3.00), Sportsman Channel ($3.00), The Outdoor Channel ($3.00), CineLatino ($5.00), Dish CD (stereo Muzak $5.00), Encore Movies ($5.00), Veria ($5.00), Epix 3 (one SD channel $7.00).

    Baby First ($5.00) is a la carte only and the Latino Bonus Pack ($14.00) adds the base DISH Latino channels to any English package.

    There is also some sports a la carte: Multi-Sport w/ Redzone ($7.00), Fox Soccer Plus ($15.00), Willow Cricket ($19.99), Racetrack Television ($50.00).

    DISH's basic price structure of AT120 then AT120 Plus basically separates the RSNs out of AT120 and allows people to buy their local RSNs for $5.00 without jumping to the next level (AT200).

    And in previous disputes Mr Ergen has gone on record as saying that he will carry the disputed channel a la carte if they wish. The biggest problem is the programmers. They don't want to be paid for just the customers who want their channel enough to subscribe. They want to be paid for ALL the customers they can get.

    It is in Fox's best interest to be paid for as many customers as possible. It would be a bad business decision for them to accept an a la carte offer if they can get a tier such as AT120 Plus or AT200 (DISH's most popular level). As long as programmers want it and refuse to accept a la carte placement the idea is dead in the water.
     
  12. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    That's what, $45 right there? I pay about $50/mo or so for AT250 on annual billing. For ala carte to work for me, channels would have to be priced in the 30 or 40 cent range, not the $3-5 range.
     
  13. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Exactly the point that a lot of people keep missing about a la carte. They seem to think they'd get whatever channel they wanted for $1 or less each... but it's virtually guaranteed not to happen.

    All the channels that are <$1 right now are only that low because they have so many subscribers from being in a package OR because a company like Disney/FOX/etc has a bunch of channels and "gives" a couple away with purchase of other stuff.

    A lot of the a la carte debate reminds me of when some retail store has a "buy one get one free" sale... and inevitably someone will want to just get the one free OR will want to pay half price for just one and argues "but it is the same thing"...

    They miss the reality that a company is willing to take less if you buy more and they can handle the accounting however they want... but they won't give a "volume discount" if you aren't purchasing in volume.

    So all those <$1 channels would go belly up OR would quickly become $2-$3 channels in a heartbeat... and then unless you truly just want to watch 2-3 channels, you'll be paying more for less channels.

    Anyone who truly only wants to watch 2-3 channels isn't really watching that much TV anyway, and probably can live without TV moreso than those of us who watch a lot.
     
  14. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    Although I can remember when we ONLY had 2 or 3 channels to watch. Period.

    Your choice was ABC, NBC or CBS. If you were lucky, you had one or two independants and maybe PBS and some of those went to test patterns between midnight and 6 AM. But I guess that's a different thread.
     
  15. adkinsjm

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    I'm sure 75 percent of the networks carried by Dish or any provider would go under with an a-la-carte system.
     
  16. djlong

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    There's something being forgotten in the a-la-carte debate.

    Right now, channels are being paid whether they are watched or not.

    I wonder what would happen to the advertising rates for a channel that could say the following:

    Yes, we lost 75% of our "households" when we went to a-la-carte - BUT, the remaining 25% that we have are people who have PICKED US DELIBERATELY. These are much more attentive eyeballs. In other words, is it worth more to the advertiser to pay a channel that says "We're in 100 million households" or "25 million households are paying to see our programming"?
     
  17. Greg Bimson

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    Let's talk about that:

    If carriers can work toward an a la carte system, it is almost exactly the direction that Dish Network is going.

    However, in order for the carriers to resist bundling, they have to actually stop bundling. Right now, all Dish Network is doing is telling Fox that their programming (which they believe is highly-rated) is not superior in price to many other alternatives. Dish Network hasn't said "We will no longer have subscription packages".

    It's a two-way street. Dish Network created the AT120, AT200 and AT250 packs, to provide programming to consumers. Screaming "a la carte" because the channel isn't being carried doesn't ignore the fact that the channels were pulled BECAUSE of how the distributor wants the programming bundled and how the programmers want the programming bundled.

    And let's not forget that in an a la carte world, ratings for channels would mean something. So, speaking of rules changes, I'd assume the two most expensive channels in an a la carte world would be your local CBS affiliate and your local FOX affiliate.
     
  18. TheRatPatrol

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    How about packaging channels together like this, by ownership/distributor, then offering those packages (not the individual channels) al la carte?
     
  19. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Looks like Fox could use a course in "How To Win Friends And Influence People". Fox and Cablevision are locking horns and have until midnight tonight to come up with a agreement or the plug gets pulled with Cablevision!
     
  20. audiomaster

    audiomaster DBSTalk Club Member

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    I would prefer A La carte as I would not subscribe to any sports on Sat. I would probably subscribe to 20-25 channels. But what I would prefer is billing BY SHOW! With perhaps a "season ticket" for a show for all season. If I watch TV, I pay for exactly what I watch. if the networks make crummy shows they make no money, good shows, they do. Seems fair to me.

    I can just swing the antenna to WCCB in Charlotte and watch the Panthers off-air if I want to get really depressed!

    I don't see Homeland Security ever allowing off-air stations to stop broadcasting so I can always get my news and lots of programming there.
    I realize that won't work for some more rural residents. But they could get Obama to declare those areas "communicationally depressed" and get government subsidies to cover Sat TV!
     
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