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BTN & DISH Agree to Deal (was BTN, Dish Network negotiation at stalemate)


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#101 OFFLINE   tsmacro

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:38 AM

Their side of the story reads as follows:

Big Ten Network has made the decision to remove its signal from DISH customers. We asked Big Ten Network to leave their programming up while we continued to negotiate. However, they refused.



Big Ten Network was demanding that DISH pay programming fees at least a third higher than any other major distributor. Such an increase would equate to more than DISH pays per subscriber for NFL Network, MLB Network, NBA Network, NHL Network and Golf Channel combined, and would result in unreasonable monthly fees for DISH customers.



We continue to work diligently to reach an agreement with Big Ten Network to restore your programming. We take our promise to bring our customers the best programming at a price they can afford very seriously.



For up to date information where DISH customers can view college football games this weekend, customers can visit www.footballondish.com.


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#102 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:49 AM

PAC-12 has: Full time SD main channel, Part time HD main channel, 4 part time alt SD channels, 4 HD part time alt channels.

If I understand correctly PAC-12 has one full time HD main channel and six regional variations that simulcast the main or play alternate games of interest to that region. I understand the plan is to program the six regionals differently throughout the day - so each school's other sports also get carried on their regional version of PAC-12. DirecTV publicly balked at the idea of giving PAC-12 seven channels ... so I believe seven produced channels is what PAC-12 "has" despite what DISH carries.

The compromise with DISH is that DISH will only carry PAC-12's main channel, not the regionals, and carry it like the rest of the RSNs - SD only except for games. Plus four channels for alternate games (four HD, four SD). Other RSNs use the generic ALT channels when needed for additional games (for example, when FS Midwest airs a Pacers game on FS Indiana the feed ends up on an ALT).

BTN does not have more than one channel. They have a single feed with ALT feeds similar to other RSNs. They had a good deal being DISH's only 24/7 RSN and being presented in a way that put them above the other RSNs. Perhaps it went to their head when setting the renewal price.

#103 OFFLINE   diggerg56

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:49 PM

Seems like we're not getting the full story from either side here. I have a former classmate that works for BTN and he tells me they initially were asking for a 5 cent per sub increase. During negotiations BTN agreed to 2.5 cents per sub, per month and DISH balked at that.
That's a whopping 30 cents per sub per year. Instead of paying that DISH is giving out bill credits like crazy to anyone that complains that will far outweigh the price of the increase if this dispute isn't resolved soon. Seems crazy if those numbers are right. (Yes I am a Directv subscriber but I follow both Directv and Dish closely)

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#104 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:43 PM

Seems like we're not getting the full story from either side here. I have a former classmate that works for BTN and he tells me they initially were asking for a 5 cent per sub increase. During negotiations BTN agreed to 2.5 cents per sub, per month and DISH balked at that.
That's a whopping 30 cents per sub per year. Instead of paying that DISH is giving out bill credits like crazy to anyone that complains that will far outweigh the price of the increase if this dispute isn't resolved soon. Seems crazy if those numbers are right. (Yes I am a Directv subscriber but I follow both Directv and Dish closely)


There is no way this was all just about 5 cents. It wouldn't even be in the Big Ten's interest to bother negotiating for just a 5-cent increase... as it probably costs them more to spend time negotiating than that would benefit them in revenue.

I agree we aren't getting the full story, though.

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#105 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:44 PM

If I understand correctly PAC-12 has one full time HD main channel and six regional variations that simulcast the main or play alternate games of interest to that region. I understand the plan is to program the six regionals differently throughout the day - so each school's other sports also get carried on their regional version of PAC-12. DirecTV publicly balked at the idea of giving PAC-12 seven channels ... so I believe seven produced channels is what PAC-12 "has" despite what DISH carries.

The compromise with DISH is that DISH will only carry PAC-12's main channel, not the regionals, and carry it like the rest of the RSNs - SD only except for games. Plus four channels for alternate games (four HD, four SD). Other RSNs use the generic ALT channels when needed for additional games (for example, when FS Midwest airs a Pacers game on FS Indiana the feed ends up on an ALT).

BTN does not have more than one channel. They have a single feed with ALT feeds similar to other RSNs. They had a good deal being DISH's only 24/7 RSN and being presented in a way that put them above the other RSNs. Perhaps it went to their head when setting the renewal price.


Yeah... I know that in reality PAC-12 had a bunch of full-time HD channels for their different regions... far more than Big Ten has full time.

I was just comparing what Dish agreed to carry vs what they had been carrying for Big Ten. Dish certainly didn't agree to carry all 7 full-time HD PAC-12 channels. Heck, they didn't even agree to carry the main channel as a full-time HD channel... so in that regard, they were technically carrying more of the Big Ten in HD than they are the PAC-12.

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#106 OFFLINE   tampa8

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 06:59 PM

If, as has been widely reported, ESPN costs close to $10/subscriber once you include all the extras, Dish could offer a serious discount over other providers. And since stats show that half of all households never watch ESPN, that would provide a serious incentive for non-sports fans to switch to Dish. ESPN could lose a lot more than 14 million subscribers with such a move. Risky indeed.


Normally prices don't go down, instead there is no increase or less of an increase at some point. But should ESPN and Dish not come to an agreement when the time comes, I think Dish has no alternative but to cut subscription costs and clearly be less than anyone else. To lose ESPN would be huge and in the case of ESPN I have to think it would hurt Dish more.

While there is a cum-able affect of losing channels, just losing the Big Ten is not going to hurt Dish. Many people who have posted they are leaving over the years are still subscribing. Add AMC and if ever ESPN however then Dish will have to do some fancy dancing.

Still wondering where the negotiations broke down.

#107 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:17 AM

Normally prices don't go down, instead there is no increase or less of an increase at some point. But should ESPN and Dish not come to an agreement when the time comes, I think Dish has no alternative but to cut subscription costs and clearly be less than anyone else. To lose ESPN would be huge and in the case of ESPN I have to think it would hurt Dish more.


Everyone wants to make it out like the Big10 can afford to lose 2.5 million Dish subscribers. But profit margins for entertainment companies are pretty low. BTN will either need to reduce costs (content) or raise rates elsewhere to make up the difference, or face being a loss leader for their schools. Simply put, I think in the long run losing Dish will do great harm to BTN.

And while normally prices don't go down for lost programming (see AMC), this is frequently because the lost channels make up such a small percentage of package costs. Rumor was that AMC cost 35 cents a subscriber. Cutting package prices that little doesn't make sense. But ESPN gets a huge share of programming costs, such that a package discount not only makes sense, but it would be demanded. Dish is already popular for being low-cost, and if they could further undercut other programmers by dropping ESPN, I think they'd see more customers join than left. I would leave because ESPN is a significant part of why I pay for my TV, but I know many people with cable who hate paying for ESPN and only stick with it because they really don't have a choice.

The real problem is that it wouldn't just be the ESPN multiplex. It'd be Disney and ABC and ABC Family, which would be too much. That's why any talk of Dish dropping ESPN is meaningless.

#108 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:26 AM

This is not an ESPN thread, but two quick points.

Many believe Dish subsidizes much of the programming and equipment costs, especially for newer customers. Loss of some programming would not result in reduced subscription rates, but would rather stave off future increases as any revenue saved would help with those subsidized costs.

I agree that while many would not miss ESPN and might even prefer not to have it, few will want to lose the attached Disney/ABC channels.

Now back to BTN?

Don't even know what it is, so couldn't care less.
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#109 OFFLINE   coldsteel

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:52 AM

Now back to BTN?

Don't even know what it is, so couldn't care less.


Then why even comment? This helps how?
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#110 OFFLINE   fudpucker

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 04:10 PM

Well damn.

On ESPN - that's a very high profile set of channels. I believe that not having them in their programming would result in a lot of people leaving, but also keep a lot of people moving to satellite from picking Dish.

Hopefully it will not come down to that. I can't watch AMC shows on Dish, now I can't watch BTN here in the middle of Big Ten country. I shudder at what's next. I'll be watching for how much my bill goes down, lol.

#111 OFFLINE   Renob2317

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:26 AM

So are they not negotiating any longer and for now they have permantenly dropped BTN? I will switch providers if this is the case, but if they are still in talks I will wait a little while longer before switching.

#112 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 10:04 AM

So are they not negotiating any longer and for now they have permantenly dropped BTN? I will switch providers if this is the case, but if they are still in talks I will wait a little while longer before switching.


This is hard to read... As far as dropping the feed, that's ALL on Big Ten. Right or wrong, Dish didn't drop the feed... Big Ten said "we have no contract, stop broadcasting"... and Dish had to comply.

That said... I know I'm normally on Dish's side for many of these... and Big Ten isn't helping their cause.

Big Ten apparently jumped the gun last week in emailing people that there was a deal in principle in place... Remember when we had the Sinclair dispute recently? Sinclair announced a deal in principle with Dish... and then we never heard anything else, and Sinclair took down all their nasty stuff... so we had to assume the long term deal was reached.

So what happened with Big Ten? Big Ten said "we're good" and then a week later they are gone and saying they are likely done for the season. That's a HUGE turnaround.

Also... why would Big Ten agree for two weeks to continue allowing Dish to show the games while negotiating, then pull the feed on week 3? IF you're going to pull feed until you get a contract, do that when the contract ends. Once you start extending, you are doing that for your fans... so if you pull the feed after that, then in my opinion, you just told the fans you don't care about them.

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#113 OFFLINE   KSbugeater

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:34 AM

Leverage explains the timing. This week the BTN carries 7 football games. That's a huge day revenue-wise for the BTN. The other sports, while nice, likely don't pay the bills like football does. If BTN waited until after football season to pull the plug, the result would most likely be yawns except from rabid basketball fans (outnumbered by football fans). This Saturday there will be a LOT of people in 6 states pounding down Dish's door.

#114 OFFLINE   tampa8

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:44 PM

I agree. But I think the BTN miscalculated if they thought Dish would succumb. If they come back this season it almost has to be because in the end Dish will have payed what they wanted or even less. (Because of less games now to broadcast)

#115 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 03:45 PM

This Saturday there will be a LOT of people in 6 states pounding down Dish's door.


And this Sunday, there will be a lot advertisers pounding down BTN's door and demanding a partial refund for the advertising they paid for because the ratings will be lower. Yes, networks guarantee a certain rating level, and it is doubtful that BTN can achieve those levels without Dish customers in the fold.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Dish doesn't need BTN nearly as much as BTN needs Dish. Profit margins are thin. Advertising revenue is viewer-based, and denying a significant number of viewers a single game will hurt BTN in the pocketbook. And then the per-subscriber fees they were getting disappear, too. The only thing they can do is cut costs (original programming) or cave.

In the meantime, how many customers will leave Dish over what is probably a temporary loss of a channel? Probably less than 1/10 that were viewing the channel, which is probably less than 1/10 of those who were paying for the channel. I know I've paid for the BTN, and I've probably watched between 1-2 hours of programming on it, total. And I'm a former Big10 season ticket holder, so I'm not completely disinterested, as many of you are. Will I leave Dish over this? Not a chance. Will BTN lose my monthly customer fee? Absolutely.

#116 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 03:59 PM

So are they not negotiating any longer and for now they have permantenly dropped BTN? I will switch providers if this is the case, but if they are still in talks I will wait a little while longer before switching.

Per DISH's site: http://www.footballondish.com/

Unfortunately, Big Ten Network has removed its signal from DISH customers. We asked Big Ten Network to leave their programming up while we continued to negotiate. Unfortunately, they refused. DISH continues to work diligently around the clock with Big Ten Network to reach an agreement.

While Big Ten Network is unavailable, use our Big Ten Schedule and GameFinder tool for information on where you can watch many of the Big Ten games on your local stations and other sports channels.

DISH still wants it ... they just need a good deal.

#117 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 04:11 PM

Leverage explains the timing. This week the BTN carries 7 football games. That's a huge day revenue-wise for the BTN. The other sports, while nice, likely don't pay the bills like football does. If BTN waited until after football season to pull the plug, the result would most likely be yawns except from rabid basketball fans (outnumbered by football fans). This Saturday there will be a LOT of people in 6 states pounding down Dish's door.


Yeah, but it is weak leverage.

Unlike a traditional channel... Big Ten only has value on the day of the games... IF you pull your channel that day, then the pressure is off after that day gets here... so there's no real advantage to pulling your signal in-season.

IF they pulled it prior to week 1, that could have added some pressure... but after the season starts, Big Ten would have been better off negotiating through the season and then trying again next year frankly.

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#118 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 04:56 PM

These threads always amuse me. Like any game is 'important' at all.

If the two teams in any game got together before it started and decided to switch uniforms, would anybody notice? Or would the crowds still root for a certain color jersey?
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#119 OFFLINE   John W

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:49 PM

These threads always amuse me. Like any game is 'important' at all.

If the two teams in any game got together before it started and decided to switch uniforms, would anybody notice? Or would the crowds still root for a certain color jersey?


And posts like this in these threads always amuse ME.

#120 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:55 PM

Significant games will be carried by ABC, ESPN, FOX or FSN, weak sisters or poor matchups on BTN.
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