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HDNet and HD Extra Package

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by paulsown, Nov 12, 2007.

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  1. medic4jc7

    medic4jc7 Guest

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    As widescreens keep going down in price. And the economy not that great. The TV giants will lower prices even more for the holidays. And D is licking their chops knowing that all new HD subs will take the new HD tier(s). And isnt it only around 2-4 million HD subs out of 12 million subs total they say? JMO
     
  2. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    You're obviously not alone. The Average [monthly] Revenue Per User (ARPU) for DIRECTV was $78.79. For those with more than basic DIRECTV services, the $69.99 price point sailed some time ago.
     
  3. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    As long as the idea that an HDTV needs to be a flat panel, the price will remain higher and the uptake will be slower.

    I still cannot fathom how they can charge a $100+ premium just for having a digital tuner. Look at the price disparity between computer monitors and that of small TVs.
     
  4. lman

    lman Legend

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    I'll be thinking along the same lines when my commitment expires. Price increases by DTV will convince me to go elsewhere.
     
  5. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

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    Check some real-world ala-carte pricing first. I'm sure there are circumstances where it could cost more, but once, again...ala carte wouldn't prevent companies from selling package deals as well.
     
  6. Link

    Link Hall Of Fame

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    A lot of people feel the same way. Satellite and cable are going to have to offer more affordable options for people who don't care about paying for a lot of channels. Our bills continue to go up for channels many don't care about. I mainly watch local network stations plus maybe 10 satellite channels and that's it--yet I have to endure price increases each year for channel additions I don't care about.

    In offering this HD Extra Pack, Directv is giving the subscriber the option of whether it wants those extra channels or not rather than forcing all HD subscribers to get a $5.00 increase. I think it's better for the consumer by offering the extra package.
     
  7. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

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    Oh, trust me Dolly - that example was just that - an example! My 'programming package' may be $69.99, but add the PP and 9 additional DVRs (luckily I am still under the lifetime DVR fee) and I haven't seen a bill for $70 in years! :)
     
  8. ecdc

    ecdc Mentor

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    I don't have any problem with change or the price increase - I've already said that. While you may be right (though I'm not convinced) that there'd be complaints regardless, I wouldn't be among them if they'd handled it like I'd outlined. I'm paying for a service. If that service gets a lot better (and I believe it did with the new HD channels) then I can expect to pay more. If I am dissatisfied with the service, I can always leave. In this particular case, I'm more than satisfied, and would pay more.

    I get that plenty of people will always complain about their money, no matter what. But I'm not one of them. Cheapskates are one of my big pet peeves (it's just money, people!) I already pay over $120 a month to D*; if I'm really that worried about $5 more, then I've got a lot bigger problems than TV. But I think to a certain extent, it's a myth that companies face a lose-lose situation with price increases. Sure no one likes paying more money - I'd happily pay $0 for D* every month. But most consumers understand that they're paying money and getting something in return. So long as consumers and providers think it's a fair balance, I think most people are happy to pay. What puts people off are the myriad of surcharges (often cloaked as taxes), extra fees, penalties, and every other way companies dream up to wring one last dollar out of consumer's pockets. The pressure on companies to increase revenue every year is ludicrous. IMO (and I'm no economist) the day will come when the market is so saturated and consumers so strapped and in debt, that it'll all come crashing down.

    As for the "restructuring," I don't necessarily mind that, either, depending on how it's handled. If it's because D* has so many more channels and it'll be easier for consumers to understand, sure. But we all know that's not the case. Channel packages are restructured as a way to eek out more money. Someone already noted that our world is decided by charts and pie graphs. A restructuring most likely only comes after a marketing presentation in a board room somewhere with PowerPoint slides saying that if we labeled our channels X, and then charged Y, we'd increase revenue by 3.65% over our current intake.

    Restructure channels all you want. Charge what you want. If it comes to the point where I'm not happy, I'll leave. In the meantime, again, I just hate being treated like I'm stupid, and that's what D* is doing. Don't come up with some Twilight Zone "free preview" arrangement where I suddenly don't have channels I've always had, but now I get to preview them.
     
  9. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    DIRECTV Q2 2007 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
    • ... Between now and year end, the HD DVR box cost will decrease about $100 per box.
    • ... We will launch with an HD package with over 70 channels around the end of the third quarter.
    • ... between the end of the third quarter and the end of the year, we’ll get to the 100 channels that we talked about.
    • ... the launch of our initial VOD offer in the fall.
    • ... SAC [Subscriber Acquisition Cost] will still be in our $650 to $700 band
    • ... We announced today a new $1 billion buy-back [shares, on top of the earlier $1B buyback]
    • ... we will not have a programming cost increase related to HD.
    • ... We’ll have the capacity around the end of the third quarter if the satellite comes online to do 100 channels.

    DIRECTV Q1 2007 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
    • ...DIRECTV-11 is scheduled to be in service the first half of next year.
    • ...a customer will be able to browse and schedule recordings when away from home...
    • ...We are going to have thousands of titles available...]most of them are broadband...
    • ...in [the] summer we will have boxes that will have broadband capability that will be able to deliver video from websites onto your TV or your PC.
    • ...we’ve got a $10 price to the [HD] package and we don’t have plans to change that.
    • ...we are going to be moving continuously to...set-top boxes that feeds multiple TVs or a set-top box that integrates multiple devices in the home.
    • That will all be part of what we will be launching, as well as services like being able to program a DVR from your office on the web or from a cell phone.

    - Craig
     
  10. KurtV

    KurtV Legend

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    1. The first thing you quote, from the Q2 call, is about D*'s programming costs, not prices for the consumer. He's saying that they're not going to be paying more for HD than they were for SD from the providers. This has nothing to do with the price we pay D* for service.

    2. The second thing you quote, from the Q1 call, is not a promise and couldn't possibly be considered one by any reasonable standard. They said that, at that time, they didn't have plans to increase the HD package price. They didn't say they never would. They also didn't say they wouldn't repackage/re-tier some things. Some may say they were being disingenuous when they made this statement. I have no way of knowing either way. By and large, though, companies are pretty careful about what they say to investors, analysts, and regulators.

    3. These conference calls are between D* and shareholders and analysts. They're not intended to be communication between D* and its customers. It's public information so we're free to "listen in", but it's easy to get the wrong impression unless you view the information through that lens.

    4. Almost the first thing said in those conference calls is:

    "on this call, we make statements that may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the relevant forward-looking statements..."

    In other words, we're not promising anything, things can, do, and will change.

    Looks like the "promise" is just an urban legend.
     
  11. man_rob

    man_rob Hall Of Fame

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    Of course it wasn't a promise, but the statements were misleading to say the least.
     
  12. durl

    durl Hall Of Fame

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    While I'm never happy with a price increase, I'm not calling for a class-action lawsuit on this issue.

    As far as I can tell, D* never promised to never, ever, no-matter-what, raise the price for HD. I did read a line in the thread about there being "no plan" to increase. In the world of big business, plans can be forced to change after one meeting and D*'s customer agreement acknowledges that possibility. And it's not unusual for channels to move in and out of packages.

    After scanning through the complaints, it seems there's a good number of customers (not all) that will not get the HD Extra package because they feel deceived, not because of the actual cost. It's as though they'd happily pay the extra money if a price increase was announced earlier. I find that odd. D* is not a stupid company. They know that planning a price increase while saying otherwise would be NOTHING but a PR nightmare...and that's bad for business. I was hoping to be grandfathered in but I didn't hold out much hope to receive so many new channels without a bump in price.

    When the HD pack first became available several years back, I was paying $10/month for, what, 4 channels? And if I had any feelings of being ripped off, it was paying a premium price for a channel like HDNet that also showed commercials but I accepted that as what it takes to support a new new HD network.
     
  13. KurtV

    KurtV Legend

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    Which one? This one: "we’ve got a $10 price to the [HD] package and we don’t have plans to change that"?

    It's only misleading if they did indeed have plans to increase the price, which we have no way of knowing.

    I hate these kinds of discussions because focusing on semantics tends to trivialize things, but words mean things and accusing people of lying and bad faith is a fairly serious accusation.
     
  14. man_rob

    man_rob Hall Of Fame

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    D* still claims they haven't raised rates. They have said that adding a second tier doesn't constitute a price increase, even if, to keep some of the channels customers had before, people have to pay more.
     
  15. ironcol

    ironcol New Member

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Agree - it's one thing to add additional HD channels and tier them - but to take channels we already have and tier them is wrong !!!!
     
  16. jjohns

    jjohns Godfather

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    I pay well over $100 a month and have been for a long time. The money is not the issue for me. Of course everyone knows that companies have the right to change rates at any time for any reason. The problem isn't just this one occurance, its the pattern that is developing with DirecTV and its integrity regarding communication with its customers. Any statements from DirecTV or anyone representing them have to now be carefully parsed word by word - brought on by their "semantics" and careful choice of words. I, (foolishly I'll admit), actually expected 70 HD channels that were currently broadcasting high def content, not that some time in the future they may broadcast some. The ad should have said 70 "HD-capable" channels so idiots like me wouldn't be expecting unrealistic results.

    Someone in DirecTV should wise up and start being a little more straightforward in their dealings. They have plenty of money, they don't need to act like that. I don't particularly like being associated with a company that I have to carefully study and research any statement they make. But hey, they've got their hook in me with the Sunday Ticket so I have to take it. But I don't have to like it.
     
  17. msmith198025

    msmith198025 Member of the Year

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    and they havent. By it being optional, your rate can stay exactly the same
     
  18. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    HD is a format .. the channels you are receiving are in HD format when it arrives at your set .. no deception, period.

    What you are seeing is content from a provider that has been up converted from standard definition format to high definition format. DIRECTV delivers the content, they do not create it. Your beef is with the content providers, and the fact that content simply cannot be produced overnight is what is causing so much "standard definition" content to show up on the HD channels.

    The channels are High Definition because they are either 720p or 1080i on your television. Nothing else need to be qualified from DIRECTV's perspective.
     
  19. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

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    The documents in the HDNet lawsuit indicated that they had already planned the new tier in February of 07. The talks of it had to occur before then.
     
  20. msmith198025

    msmith198025 Member of the Year

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    Jun 28, 2007
    Exactly, very good post
     
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