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Guest Message by DevFuse

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ESPN costs me $6-12 a month: outrageous


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111 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   tommiet

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 09:56 AM

No choice? Someone is holding a gun to your head and insisting that you subscribe to a package that includes ESPN? You always have a choice. The fact that a choice you would like better is not available does not mean you do not have a choice. It means that you have had to compromise.

In a perfect world, I would insist that stations sell their channels individually. They do not. They sell them in groups, and they negotiate which tiers which channels must go into.

Here's my a la carte solution: eliminate programming packages. Allow each company to create their own list, and set the prices accordingly. So if Disney wants you to buy ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNNews/ESPNU/ESPN Classic/Disney East/Disney West/Broadcast ABC and the price is $20/month, you can choose to buy the Disney corporate package or not. Time Warner can create their own TNT/TBS/TWC/etc package, and you can choose to buy it or not. Dish can put together a package of freebies (channels whose advertising pays for itself, or loss leaders) available to all. What I suspect is that if ESPN were moved to its own package, along with all the other channels Disney owns, 90% of you would buy it because you would want the other channels, EVEN IF YOU NEVER WATCH ESPN! Disney will never agree to move ESPN to its own tier, without tying it to the other channels.

What you seem to want is the perfect world, where you only pay for the channels you actually want. Here's the rub: if ESPN isn't in that mix, you'll end up paying more for your perfect world of a la carte because your channels are not as popular as ESPN. By making ESPN optional, you'd make your favorite channels optional, and because so few people (relatively speaking) would opt into your favorite channel, the cost per subscriber would jump up quickly. In many cases, these smaller audience channels would cease to exist. We'd probably end up with 20-30 cable channels, but we'd each only get a subset of them and it'd cost us about what we're paying now for the 8-10 channels we wanted. On the other hand, the quality of the available content would jump dramatically, as the good stuff wouldn't be spread over 250+ channels. But niche viewers would be left out altogether.



Other than the basic package, I cannot get much of anything else without getting robbed for ESPN. I know of no other basic programming channel that cost more per customer than ESPN. I'm not asking for al carte. Just a choice of not having to pay for ANY premium channel. Not asking for too much. Dish does not require everyone to pay for HBO? Not much difference in price if you add ESPN and FOX SPORTS together. If everone would pay for HBO, I could save some each month. Yeah, that's stupid. But whats the difference?

If I end up paying the same for less channels, what did I lose? ESPN, FOX SPORTS and local sports. NO LOSS FOR ME AND MANY OTHERS. Sounds good to me!

Edited by tommiet, 16 May 2012 - 10:03 AM.
spelling......

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#22 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:21 AM

No choice? Someone is holding a gun to your head and insisting that you subscribe to a package that includes ESPN? You always have a choice. The fact that a choice you would like better is not available does not mean you do not have a choice. It means that you have had to compromise.

In a perfect world, I would insist that stations sell their channels individually. They do not. They sell them in groups, and they negotiate which tiers which channels must go into.

Here's my a la carte solution: eliminate programming packages. Allow each company to create their own list, and set the prices accordingly. So if Disney wants you to buy ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNNews/ESPNU/ESPN Classic/Disney East/Disney West/Broadcast ABC and the price is $20/month, you can choose to buy the Disney corporate package or not. Time Warner can create their own TNT/TBS/TWC/etc package, and you can choose to buy it or not. Dish can put together a package of freebies (channels whose advertising pays for itself, or loss leaders) available to all. What I suspect is that if ESPN were moved to its own package, along with all the other channels Disney owns, 90% of you would buy it because you would want the other channels, EVEN IF YOU NEVER WATCH ESPN! Disney will never agree to move ESPN to its own tier, without tying it to the other channels.

What you seem to want is the perfect world, where you only pay for the channels you actually want. Here's the rub: if ESPN isn't in that mix, you'll end up paying more for your perfect world of a la carte because your channels are not as popular as ESPN. By making ESPN optional, you'd make your favorite channels optional, and because so few people (relatively speaking) would opt into your favorite channel, the cost per subscriber would jump up quickly. In many cases, these smaller audience channels would cease to exist. We'd probably end up with 20-30 cable channels, but we'd each only get a subset of them and it'd cost us about what we're paying now for the 8-10 channels we wanted. On the other hand, the quality of the available content would jump dramatically, as the good stuff wouldn't be spread over 250+ channels. But niche viewers would be left out altogether.


It won't happen.

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#23 OFFLINE   inazsully

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:42 AM

Sports on TV is the most popular programming in the world and especially in the USA. It's really a simple matter of offering what the majority wants. Soccer is number one in the world and football is number one in the US. Advertisers spend where they can get the most bang for their buck. Sports rules, always has and always will.

#24 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 12:39 PM

Other than the basic package, I cannot get much of anything else without getting robbed for ESPN. I know of no other basic programming channel that cost more per customer than ESPN. I'm not asking for al carte. Just a choice of not having to pay for ANY premium channel. Not asking for too much. Dish does not require everyone to pay for HBO? Not much difference in price if you add ESPN and FOX SPORTS together. If everone would pay for HBO, I could save some each month. Yeah, that's stupid. But whats the difference?

If I end up paying the same for less channels, what did I lose? ESPN, FOX SPORTS and local sports. NO LOSS FOR ME AND MANY OTHERS. Sounds good to me!


Yeah... but what if I don't want to pay for the dozen channels that you like that I never watch? I want those out of my package too... but then many of those wouldn't survive, and you might be surprised at what few channels are left if we weren't all subsidizing each other's channels.

Besides... TV is not a right... it is a luxury... and there is always a choice to not watch TV if it costs too much.

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#25 ONLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 01:13 PM

Yeah... but what if I don't want to pay for the dozen channels that you like that I never watch? I want those out of my package too...


That argument only holds water for like-priced channels. I don't care if they have 30 channels I don't watch that are getting 30 or 40 cents each. When one oddball is included at 10-15 times the 'normal' rate, it makes the whole mess lopsided.

The fair way is to make ESPN a premium channel whether ABC/Disney likes it or not. If Dish, Direct and the cable companies would band together and make a stand, they could break Disney's will.

At the very least, do as I've suggested before; make each package level available with or without sports -- all sports channels including ESPN, Fuel, Tennis, Golf, HRTV, TV Game, FSC, FOXCN, the RSNs and anything else that is primarily sports focused.

AT120 With or AT120 Without for example. The names wouldn't have to be changed since they don't really reflect the number of channels accurately anyways.
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#26 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:21 PM

That argument only holds water for like-priced channels. I don't care if they have 30 channels I don't watch that are getting 30 or 40 cents each. When one oddball is included at 10-15 times the 'normal' rate, it makes the whole mess lopsided.


Wait... so it is unfair for you to have to pay $5 for one channel you don't want but it is somehow fair for me to have to pay $5 for 10 channels I don't want?

How does that work?

Isn't it the same argument?

My paying for ESPN in that package helps support you by me also paying for all those channels you like but that I never watch... similarly, your paying for those channels you like then helps me get ESPN.

While we all know why a la carte isn't the savior that people think it would be... at least people who want ALL channels a la carte are being fair to everyone. Your argument to just single out ESPN wouldn't be fair to everyone at all.

I would still be paying for dozens of channels that you like but that I don't watch in your scenario, whereas you would be saving money by not paying for ESPN. How is that fair?

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#27 OFFLINE   jpeckinp

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 09:06 PM

If Dish, Direct and the cable companies would band together and make a stand, they could break Disney's will.


It's called collusion and would never stand up if and when it went to the courts.;)

#28 OFFLINE   tommiet

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:48 AM

ESPN (or sports in general,) is like a drug for some. Pay the cost no mater what and if you can get others to help pay for your drug of choice, even better....
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#29 OFFLINE   Wilf

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 06:42 AM

ESPN (or sports in general,) is like a drug for some. Pay the cost no mater what and if you can get others to help pay for your drug of choice, even better....

That says it all! And that is why the media companies are fighting IPTV, which is where things are going, whether they like it or not.

#30 ONLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 07:09 AM

It's called collusion and would never stand up if and when it went to the courts.;)


No, it's called a boycott and it would never get to court because none of the carriers are required to carry any specific provider package.
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#31 OFFLINE   Redbullsnation

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 07:23 PM

This is why more people need to wake up and realize what crappy channels they're paying for that they don't even watch. I watch like 3-4 channels a day, 7 total for everybody here and I still can't figure out why the other million channels are there...

A la carte will be the future OR the never...

#32 OFFLINE   Inkosaurus

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:31 AM

This is why more people need to wake up and realize what crappy channels they're paying for that they don't even watch. I watch like 3-4 channels a day, 7 total for everybody here and I still can't figure out why the other million channels are there...

A la carte will be the future OR the never...


A la carte is the past, it was around and it failed.

#33 OFFLINE   Wilf

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:44 AM

A la carte is the past, it was around and it failed.

No, it's here and now. It is known as Netflix, Amazon Video, Acorn TV, etc.

#34 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:54 PM

No, it's here and now. It is known as Netflix, Amazon Video, Acorn TV, etc.


Those aren't a la carte. You have to pay a monthly fee for everything whether you watch anything or not. While they are lower fees, they also have far less available content too... but definitely NOT a la carte.

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#35 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:04 PM

Those aren't a la carte. You have to pay a monthly fee for everything whether you watch anything or not. While they are lower fees, they also have far less available content too... but definitely NOT a la carte.


Amazon Instant Video is most definitely a la carte. Amazon Prime is not. ITunes is a la carte.

#36 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:08 PM

Amazon Instant Video is most definitely a la carte. Amazon Prime is not. ITunes is a la carte.


He said "Netflix" and "Amazon Video"... he didn't specify Amazon Prime vs Amazon Instant Video. Since he listed Netflix first, I assumed me meant Amazon Prime.

That said...

Amazon Instant Video and iTunes aren't "a la carte" in the sense of what people mean when they talk about TV.

Best Buy is a la carte using that logic... but I don't think most people compare their purchases at Best Buy or iTunes where you buy and own a movie to Netflix streaming or satellite/cable TV services.

I wouldn't call iTunes and Amazon Instant Video or any other place where you buy something "a la carte"... it's a different metric and comparison.

IF you purchase everything you want to watch, then you don't need cable or satellite or even Netflix at all.

IF you want to rent or stream or see things as they are released, then you need Netflix or cable or satellite or OTA or something else.

Edited by Stewart Vernon, 18 May 2012 - 09:43 PM.

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#37 OFFLINE   Inkosaurus

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:04 PM

No, it's here and now. It is known as Netflix, Amazon Video, Acorn TV, etc.


Thanks for not reading the post I was quoting and completely missing the context of mine.

Everyone knows when it comes to this forum, and even this thread (based on how its been brought up thus far) that when "a la carte" is brought up were talking about picking and mixing your channel line up with your tv provider, which is also what the person I was quoting was talking about.

Paying for individual episodes is the absolute extreme version of a la carte and honestly its not even a valid discussion in my opinion. The people who do purchase individual episodes more then most likely havent abandoned pay tv all together and are only buying these episodes because they dont want to change there package around to accomodate for one shows worth of episodes.

So once again.

A la carte is the past, and its failed.

#38 OFFLINE   tampa8

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 06:43 AM

......
Everyone knows when it comes to this forum, and even this thread (based on how its been brought up thus far) that when "a la carte" is brought up were talking about picking and mixing your channel line up with your tv provider, which is also what the person I was quoting was talking about.

Paying for individual episodes is the absolute extreme version of a la carte and honestly its not even a valid discussion in my opinion. The people who do purchase individual episodes more then most likely havent abandoned pay tv all together and are only buying these episodes because they dont want to change there package around to accomodate for one shows worth of episodes.

So once again.

A la carte is the past, and its failed.


+1

#39 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 06:53 AM

Paying for individual episodes is the absolute extreme version of a la carte and honestly its not even a valid discussion in my opinion. The people who do purchase individual episodes more then most likely havent abandoned pay tv all together and are only buying these episodes because they dont want to change there package around to accomodate for one shows worth of episodes.

So once again.

A la carte is the past, and its failed.


But this is precisely the point: buying individual shows is a la carte, and it doesn't take much to realize just how much more expensive that route is than buying a package of channels for most people. People who advocate a la carte do so because they believe it will save them money. Odds are good it won't.

But that does not mean buying individual shows is not a valid option worthy of discussion. Buying a TiVo box and hooking it up to an antenna would give most people the majority of what they watch. Then, a pay-per-show option would likely save them quite a bit, as there aren't that many scripted shows on cable worth anything. The only thing lost would be lots of live sports. Netflix's mail service would provide plenty of movies. How is this not a valid option?

#40 OFFLINE   Wilf

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:51 AM

Those aren't a la carte. You have to pay a monthly fee for everything whether you watch anything or not. While they are lower fees, they also have far less available content too... but definitely NOT a la carte.

Perhaps 'a la carte' is not the correct term. But with the likes of Netflix, you are paying for TV without the ads. And that is really addicting. I believe most folks would find it intolerable if the local movie theater interrupted a movie with a three minute ad every ten minutes. Why should we accept that on our TV's when we no longer need to? I know you can choose to watch PPV without ads, but you are paying for that movie on top of the fees you are paying for all the channels you do not watch. It is a crazy system that we no longer need to tolerate.




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