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Intel to Offer A La Cart?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by ssm06, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    DirecTV is not a middleman?
     
  2. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Indeed they are and are getting very much squeezed. :)
     
  3. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    I'll just say that the same people that are today saying that al-a-carte pricing models won't save the viewer any money are the same people that 10 years ago were saying that DVRs would ultimately raise the price of TV. No vendor is going just settle for less money for their product. Absent a competitive force or goverment regulation, the content providers will set the price of their content in such a way to insure that they make the same net revenue.

    In the final analysis they have the product we want. If you want to watch "Walking Dead" you HAVE to go to AMC Networks to get it. There is no competive outlet for that content, and since there is no government regulation to the contrary, they will continue to sell it the way they please. If the government were to force al a carte, the price for everyone would go up, by whatever degree was required to insure that the content providers earn at least the equivalent net income.

    This is where the supermarket model collapses. If one supermarket were to bundle filet mignon with bread, forcing you to but the bundle if you want bread, you can always get just bread down the street. The reality is that, when it comes to entertainment, there is only one place to buy bread - and one place for milk, and one place for eggs, and only one place for filet mignon. All the cable and satellite companies are doing is collecting it all for us and selling us an "all you can eat" smorgasbord for a given price, depending on the ingredients.
     
  4. Hoosier205

    Hoosier205 New Member

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    Yes, but you continue to compare very different industries.
     
  5. bakerfall

    bakerfall Godfather

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    Well, you CAN go out to iTunes and buy a season pass for $42.99 (or other competitors). So it's possible to get current eps of cable series in an "a la carte" format. However, unless you're viewing is very limited, that price model doesn't make sense for very long.
     
  6. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    Thanks. That just steams me even more. Looks like 11 or more of the top 13 are included in the base Entertainment package. At a cost of nearly $15/mo $174/yr + DirecTV markup. The only one we watch (infrequently) is CNN.
     
  7. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    There you go, again, and making this about you and your family. It doesn't matter what you, myself or others here watch. It's about popularity and trends bigger than you or I.

    (This isn't meant as a personal attack on you or your family.)
     
  8. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    I gave a few reasons why it wasn't going to be 10 years. You will also be paying $50/mo to DirecTV for UHD.

    Only if you're hung up on doing it live. We always watch NCIS, several weeks after it airs.

    Ever heard of caching? As the model shifts there will be caching servers in every metro area. NCIS will be sent out once to all the caching servers and they will deliver it across town to the consumers DVRs spread out over a very long time.

    Heck, the local cable TV company will probably grab it OTA and serve from there.

    Do you honestly think that any significant internet service today comes from a single server somewhere?

    If I did watch it every year it would be OTA.

    You are all forgetting that it doesn't take a majority of consumers to switch away from the current services to affect a significant change. Nobody can predict the number but do you honestly think things will stay the same if they lose 10% of their customers? 20%? Long before the internet becomes a barrier the current services will have to change drastically.

    I'm not against paying a fair price for the content and services I use. When they get back to that then I will avoid the internet.
     
  9. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    Not taken that way.

    I realize that we aren't every family. But you have to realize that there are a lot of families like mine. The underlying trends are similar to many more.

    Again, if only 10%, 20%, whatever of the people go over this threshold it's going to get attention and action.
     
  10. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    I recently checked on this for just the series we watch on premiums. Season price on Vudu, 1 or 2 seasons back.

    Dexter/SHO $36
    Homeland/SHO $32
    Borgias/SHO $27
    TrueBlood/HBO $48
    GameOfThrones/HBO $39
    StrikeBack/MAX $29
    total $211/season

    SHO/HBO/MAX a la carte from DirecTV: $528. Yes, I realize I'm getting a discount via Premier.

    $528-$211=$317. Or $6.10/wk. That's 1 PPV per week. I'm fairly certain that we don't watch more than one movie a week on those channels.

    I'm ok with DirecTV pricing here for now. I don't have to wait a season or more. I can continue to make a value call on what I use and if I decide it doesn't make it anymore then I can cut.
     
  11. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Sure, I understand cacheing (I make my living dealing with data, networks and servers). But now we are getting into a cultural change that I'm in no position to address. How many people will accept a system where they go out and choose to watch NCIS versus how many watch simply because it is on at a particular day and time and they have nothing better to do? I have no idea, really, but I think it is a shift that will take a generation yet to fully develop.

    But let's come back to the core issue. Why is al-a-carte pricing models more attractive? Because they cost less? We have seen that in order to cost less, the content providers will have to accept a sharp decrease in revenue. Since that revenue finances the production of new content, that will diminish both the quantity and quality of programming int the future.

    It honestly seems to me that most people, when they talk about al-a-carte, really mean "don't include sports in my bill." Understandable, since ESPN, the various other channels, and regional sports networks make up about 50% of the basic programming costs in our bills.

    Sports is also a content type that does not work well with on-demand viewing. Most people that watch sports want to watch it live. As a result, it won't be moving to internet delivery anytime soon.

    Perhaps that is where we are headed - where sports is nearly the ONLY content on traditional linear broadcasts and everything else is available using some form of on-demand delivery (whether by internet or prestaging on servers or DVRs).

    But keep in mind that the traditional OTA broadcast networks are still both the source of the majority of all non-sports content, and still command the majority of the primetime viewing audience. They are the originators of the linear delivery model and have an enormous investment in it. I honestly don't see them or the cable networks going away anytime soon. What we will more likely see if more diffusuon of the market. What started as under 10 channels, even in the largest markets, is now 200 channels. The internet will turn that into 1000 "channels" or more. How the vendors respond is hard to say...but it will offer opportunities and challenges. I think, in the long run, it will make the whole discussion of al-a-carte versus tiers a moot point. If you don't like the tier approach, there will be options.

    Forcing al-a-carte onto the existing industry will require government intervention - something I personally would not like to see. I doubt they will do it correctly, and I think it has real constitutional issues.

    One thing for sure...this has conversation has been stimulating. :)
     
  12. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    So now the story is the Internet will survive long enough for a major dent in the industry ripples back to the content providers?

    What would happen is ESPN will still get its money. Dish, DIRECTV, comcast, etc. won't. They will feel the squeeze first. Then Intel will as it grows to a size that ESPN will start charging them more. (If they haven't all along.)

    The other post/posit is that enough people are like you, watching things weeks after the fact. Currently that is running about 30%, from what I've seen.

    In other words, still 70% watching live.

    Caching only works if one pre-produce and then feed the caches (in a multicast form), then individuals would overload the local networks. Cuz remember, there will be bottlenecks at EVERY level of the Internet.

    Also recall that most people watch TV at the same times of the day: after work. It doesn't matter if the stuff has been cached, compressed, folded, or spindled. Content will have to move the last 10 miles of Internet one stream at a time. At a rate of 2.3 streams per household (or whatever it is) during a very intense primetime period. That last mile or ten miles of internet will still be overwhelmed. And likely long before 20% of the market hits. And that will slow adoption as performance suffers.

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  13. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Diana, the other heavily watched live genre is news (in all its flavors.)

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  14. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    On that we can agree. The root of this is that the cost of service is rising too fast and much of the reason seems to originate in sports. People that aren't heavily into sports will not continue to subsidize it at this rate. As it continues to take up a bigger and bigger portion of the air in the room something has to give - breaking sports out into a few bundles would silence my complaints.

    The bulk of the population has access to OTA. My amplified OTA antenna is smaller and cleaner looking than my dish. It can remain linear forever.

    I don't like government intervention either. But what other way is there to even accomplish what you suggested - breaking out sports? We saw on Wall Street what happens when there aren't reasonable controls.

    Stimulating is a word for it :D I do understand where people are coming from and it goes to show how entrenched the current model is. There is a huge inertia and in general people don't like change.
     
  15. Hoosier205

    Hoosier205 New Member

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    A la carte will not be adopted or forced. It is not the solution to a problem.
     
  16. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Best Buy gets replaced by another middle man. So what?
     
  17. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    So you're suggesting that we should all just go back into our caves and plan on 4%+ a year increase forever for no increased value?

    I don't care how ESPN gets their money. Maybe the consumers of it will actually flip the whole bill instead of being subsidized by those of us who don't use it. The day everyone starts subsidizing my premium channels we can talk.
     
  18. Hoosier205

    Hoosier205 New Member

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    Every channel you like is being subsidized by others.
     
  19. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    Amazon and the like are middlemen. Their margins are much smaller and their breadth of product much wider. Not much more than wholesale + a tiny markup. Shipping is probably the biggest part.

    The so what is that consumers pay a lot less money. The only downside is the delay in getting the product. It's extremely rare to see any product in BB that isn't much more expensive than online. When they start price-matching online then they are toast. BB is going to get taken out by the overhead of physical stores.

    If the consumer electronics industry was like the TV industry then none of the manufacturers would sell to internet retailers. They would only sell to big box stores that could buy in large volume. Prices would be much higher - like they used to be. Manufacturers would make more money too. Why aren't things this way?

    Blah blah TV distribution is totally different blah blah. Greed is universal. Things are getting ripe.
     
  20. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    Obfuscation.

    Does a portion of every subscribers bill go to the premium channels? No.
     

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