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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

#101 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 02:05 AM

Well if the rich guys in the industry and the practically anonymous on the Internet after midnight can't figure out a solution I suppose we're doomed. :)

If I ever hear a solution that isn't pie in the sky or heavy government interference I might be more interested.

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#102 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 03:48 AM

Not a fair assessment. I can think of several apartment-type high rises that house seniors and disabled here, and not only is cable their only option, I would venture to say it is their primary, if not only mode of entertainment. I'm sure they hate the high cable bills for crappy tv, but sometimes options amount to "zip".


Okay... If we really want to split hairs, I don't think many people feel that what Lifeline cable costs are unfair. In my area, it's $15/month. That includes WGN and all the broadcast locals. Not a bad deal for $180/year. The FCC mandates that cable companies offer Lifeline service, and the price has to be in that range. In many areas, it's about $10/month. If you hold that these prices are too high, then I misunderstood the argument, since this thread is about ESPN, which is not included in lifeline service.

If, on the other hand, these seniors are choosing to pay for "basic cable", they are substantiating my argument that they must be deciding that cable costs are not too high - by purchasing basic cable, they are saying that the benefits justify the cost. They may not like cable prices, and may wish that those prices are lower, but by choosing to purchase it anyway, they are adding weight to the side of the argument that says that cable prices are fair.

It is the nature of a free market that the consumer wants the most product for the least cost. And the producer wants the most money for the least product. Where the two opposite forces meet is where free exchange takes place. In a perfect world for cable, you'd pay them $1 million/month for no service. In a perfect world for you, you'd pay nothing for all the channels in the known universe in HD with a DVR. The world is not perfect for either of you, so compromise must take place.

Arguments that something is too expensive must be based on the fact that you cannot have them. If you have them, then you can't say they are too expensive. What you mean is that you wish they were cheaper.

If cable cost $1000/month, I think most people would decide they don't need what cable has to offer.

#103 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 04:06 AM

It is a lot more than that ... it is "television without commercial interruption, even without the interruption of pushing the skip button. In my experience, after being a Netflix customer for over a year, I find it very difficult to watch TV with interruptions every ten minutes anymore - so I don't. Pay television should not have commercials!

I disagree with this. I can't get TV OTA so I have to have a service provider if I want TV.

Commercials are the only thing keeping the cost where they are now.

Could you imagine how expensive it would be if the sole source of revenue is subscription costs.

Mike

µß
Since it costs 2.4¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 4.8¢ worth.  That 4.8¢ is my own and not the 4.8¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#104 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 04:30 AM

Okay... If we really want to split hairs, I don't think many people feel that what Lifeline cable costs are unfair. In my area, it's $15/month. That includes WGN and all the broadcast locals. Not a bad deal for $180/year. The FCC mandates that cable companies offer Lifeline service, and the price has to be in that range.

Someone better tell Comcast that ... Basic Cable for $24.99 per month (Limited Basic) which is mostly broadcast and the required public interest channels - only a couple of "real" cable channels.

I've looked for this "mandate" of which you speak and can't find a price point. Got a link?

#105 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 05:24 AM

Okay... If we really want to split hairs, I don't think many people feel that what Lifeline cable costs are unfair. In my area, it's $15/month. That includes WGN and all the broadcast locals. Not a bad deal for $180/year. The FCC mandates that cable companies offer Lifeline service, and the price has to be in that range. In many areas, it's about $10/month. <snip>

The FCC has NO requirement for a local/public access/gov’t access channels only package.

The FCC mandates that service providers carry local channels, public access, gov’t access, etc. The FCC mandates that these channels must be included no matter what programming package the customer chooses. However, that package can include any assortment of channels the provider wants at any price the provider wants to charge (within FCC rules on cost). There is no ≈$15/mo requirement for locals only by the FCC. Some States have these requriements but it's not mandated by the FCC.

The FCC DOES have a mandated program called Lifeline (Link). It provides discounts on telephone service for low income families and is supported by the Universal Service Fund (that fee on our phone bills).

The FCC Lifeline program ensures everyone regardless of income has access to basic telephone services such as 911 and has absolutely nothing to do with cable TV.

Mike

Edited by Mike Bertelson, 27 June 2012 - 05:33 AM.

µß
Since it costs 2.4¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 4.8¢ worth.  That 4.8¢ is my own and not the 4.8¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#106 OFFLINE   oldengineer

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:56 AM

Someone better tell Comcast that ... Basic Cable for $24.99 per month (Limited Basic) which is mostly broadcast and the required public interest channels - only a couple of "real" cable channels.

I've looked for this "mandate" of which you speak and can't find a price point. Got a link?


I live in the Philly locals area and am one of many subs who cant get any RSNs because Comcast is still hanging on to the Terrestrial Loophole exception to the Communications Act even though it was removed. Nothing they do surprises me.

2H/1J


#107 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:09 AM

Arguments that something is too expensive must be based on the fact that you cannot have them. If you have them, then you can't say they are too expensive. What you mean is that you wish they were cheaper.

If cable cost $1000/month, I think most people would decide they don't need what cable has to offer.


That's kind of where I was trying to steer the idea too... We would all like more for less, just like the companies would like to charge us more for less :)

The free market slowly balances things.

IF prices were lower, would there be more than 100 million pay tv customers? Probably... but there would still be people for whom the price is not going to be low enough... so even for free, some people still wouldn't want the service.

Similarly, as prices go up some people will drop away. What is the price above which all subscribers would stop paying? Hard to say, there might be a price point where Trump, Gates, and a handful of other billionaires would still pay and be paying enough to keep the service active. I don't think we'll reach that point, but technically such a point might exist.

As paying customers we have the right to complain... as non-paying customers you have the right to say "I wish I could be a paying customer"...

but as paying customers, we obviously are voting with our wallets and saying that even IF we have strong opinions and disagreements about the service and pricing... we still mostly feel we are getting value for our billing, because at the point we felt we were not then we would cancel service.

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#108 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:05 PM

Might be time for Freeview like the UK has
http://www.freeview.co.uk/

http://www.freeview....vices/Freeview2

The best of telly for free

Freeview gives you 50 channels and 4 HD channels to play with and features such as series record and Smart TV.

Free from contracts, free from subscriptions. The best bits of telly are free for everyone and free forever.


Remember when your kids were the TV set's remote control?

#109 OFFLINE   Jhon69

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:11 PM

That's kind of where I was trying to steer the idea too... We would all like more for less, just like the companies would like to charge us more for less :)

The free market slowly balances things.

IF prices were lower, would there be more than 100 million pay tv customers? Probably... but there would still be people for whom the price is not going to be low enough... so even for free, some people still wouldn't want the service.

Similarly, as prices go up some people will drop away. What is the price above which all subscribers would stop paying? Hard to say, there might be a price point where Trump, Gates, and a handful of other billionaires would still pay and be paying enough to keep the service active. I don't think we'll reach that point, but technically such a point might exist.

As paying customers we have the right to complain... as non-paying customers you have the right to say "I wish I could be a paying customer"...

but as paying customers, we obviously are voting with our wallets and saying that even IF we have strong opinions and disagreements about the service and pricing... we still mostly feel we are getting value for our billing, because at the point we felt we were not then we would cancel service.



That is probably the reason everyone at one time or another subscribes to DISH because of their excellent choices of different prices of programming packages available to choose from.;)

#110 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 04:59 PM

Might be time for Freeview like the UK has
http://www.freeview.co.uk/

The "free" programming is over the air channels ... most of them are government supported, or in otherwords, paid for by the subscribers via the "TV Tax" instead of subscription.

That model in the US would be pay a few hundred dollars for a receiver and dish, pay ~$225 per household for having a color TV ($5.7 billion dollars was collected in 2010-11). And get OTA broadcast material. The fine for not paying the annual license (even if you watch OTA or live over the internet) is over $1500.

Then add the pay channels.

Personally I would not mind an FCC rule that required local broadcasters to give consent to retransmission and some national copyright license fee instead of negotiating with each station. It would solve most of the disputes.

#111 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 05:01 AM

Mea culpa.

Apparently the broadcast-only package and regulations are handled locally, not by the FCC.

#112 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 04:28 PM

No problem.

Some of these things are done to AVOID the FCC. DISH and DirecTV started their "family" packages (and welcome package and DISH introduced a locals only package for DTV conversion). They were not mandated but there was pressure at the time that such a package might be mandated so they decided to introduce one. Better to be a package of THEIR choice instead of one designed by the government.




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