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Rate increases coming, could be worse


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#21 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:01 PM

So few channels are worth a spit… I say save bandwidth and let 80% of the crap just go away.

As more and more people pull the plug and go online with streaming we get closer and closer to A la carte by way of Net Flix, Hulu, Apple TV etc. Sure the cost will shift to pay for Internet service but I think we’ll still be ahead.

I do believe A la carte is the future – just not through the typical means… Especially not with DirecTV. I personally don’t see much of future for the current model. At the current rate of increases the average bill will be $200 and there will be even more channels that few people watch but are forced to pay for.

I can buy a lot of programming from Amazon, Hulu, NetFlix etc for $200 a month.

I hope DirecTV is preparing for the likely defection of customers who don’t put such high value on crap programming….

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#22 OFFLINE   MattScahum

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:33 PM

Its not just programming costs though. People want their equipment to do more and more but expect their bill to stay the same. Never gonna happen. Also providers holding strong on rate increases isn't going to happen, see dtv vs viacom amd dish vs amc
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#23 OFFLINE   Satelliteracer

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:48 PM

Television viewing remains stronger than ever. 97% of American HH's watch television. They may be augmenting with other services, but TV is still the king. Americans are watching over 35 hours of television per week, some demographics over 50 hours per week. Many more are watching on a 2nd device, but still getting that service from a television operator.
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#24 OFFLINE   Satelliteracer

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:50 PM

So few channels are worth a spit… I say save bandwidth and let 80% of the crap just go away.

As more and more people pull the plug and go online with streaming we get closer and closer to A la carte by way of Net Flix, Hulu, Apple TV etc. Sure the cost will shift to pay for Internet service but I think we’ll still be ahead.

I do believe A la carte is the future – just not through the typical means… Especially not with DirecTV. I personally don’t see much of future for the current model. At the current rate of increases the average bill will be $200 and there will be even more channels that few people watch but are forced to pay for.

I can buy a lot of programming from Amazon, Hulu, NetFlix etc for $200 a month.

I hope DirecTV is preparing for the likely defection of customers who don’t put such high value on crap programming….


It will just shift the pricing over there, then. The content rights owners get most of their money from the distributors. If people shift to Netflix, Hulu, etc, then you can bet your bottom dollar (pun intended) that the providers will demand huge sums of money from Netflix, Hulu, etc. They have to get their money to pay for things like NFL Monday Night football rights, production of HBO series, production of FOX, CBS, ABC series, etc, etc. Huge amounts of money for development costs, sports rights fees, etc. At the end of the day, that has to be paid for one way or another.
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#25 OFFLINE   Dude111

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:32 AM

I am hopeful that the rates rise to the point where there will be mass defections from all cable/satellite providers and then the rates will fall. It is ridiculous that rates rise far higher than inflation every year and it's all because of no a la carte.

Especially when THE QUALITY OF PROGRAMMING doesnt get any better!

#26 OFFLINE   kevinturcotte

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:35 AM

Especially when THE QUALITY OF PROGRAMMING doesnt get any better!


Exactly! And it's all "Reality" tv now. I thought "Reality' tv was supposed to be cheaper to produce than scripted shows? Show production cost and quality goes down, price to watch it go up-Problem lol

#27 OFFLINE   thomas_d92

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 04:56 AM

I just bought a Tivo Premiere XL for $315 with lifetime service and when my contract is up I am cancelling DTV. I find too many of the channels are showing reality junk instead of the programing they use to have. Some times I go thru the guide twice to see if I could find a show to watch. The channels are becoming almost the same instead of different. The price goes up and the value goes down. The Tivo is so much better then my HR20-200. It is super fast changing channels ,the ota brings in all sub channels that the HR20 cannot get. The recordings never breaks up like the HR20. Every five minutes the picture on the HR20 breaks up when watching a recording. There are no audio drop outs with the Tivo compared to the HR20. The HR20 is a piece of junk compared to the Tivo. I am not going to keep paying $90 a month to watch reality junk.

#28 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 05:32 AM

Why are you even waiting until your contract is up, thomas_d92?

Whatever time you have remaining on your contract, paying $20 a month to get out of your contract has got to be less than spending $90 a month on DirecTV.

If you are this unhappy with both the hardware and the programming, why don't you leave right now?

I would.
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#29 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:07 AM

It will just shift the pricing over there, then. The content rights owners get most of their money from the distributors. If people shift to Netflix, Hulu, etc, then you can bet your bottom dollar (pun intended) that the providers will demand huge sums of money from Netflix, Hulu, etc. They have to get their money to pay for things like NFL Monday Night football rights, production of HBO series, production of FOX, CBS, ABC series, etc, etc. Huge amounts of money for development costs, sports rights fees, etc. At the end of the day, that has to be paid for one way or another.


I’d gladly pay Showtime $20 a month and stop paying DirecTV the $14 a month I pay if they’d just steam it directly to me and skip DirecTV in the middle. I don’t need to pay for ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX programming – I have an antenna. I’d also pay more directly to the content creators for channels like History Channel, Comedy Channel, AMC and a few others… All at the cost of worthless channels like fake music channels like MTV and VH1. When was the last time you saw something related to music on MTV anyway?

Live sporting events are DirecTV’s only hope if you ask me… But I can’t even get PAC12 network from them (sadly I need Comcast or Dish Network for that!). Maybe an online pay-per-view kind of thing would work.

I already pay for the Internet infrastructure why should I pay DirecTV to duplicate what could be done on the Internet?

Let's face it - pay-tv costs are out of control and the pay-tv industry is in serious trouble if it doesn't change.

#30 OFFLINE   WebTraveler

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:21 AM

A la carte will most definitely INCREASE your monthly bill.


Maybe, maybe not. I would go with locals and probably no more than 6 or 8 cable channels.

The sky wouldn't fall. Take a look north of the border in Canada and how their packages works, works quite well. Have an old buddy who moved there recently, told he how surprised he was that the TV was so cheap...

#31 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 07:11 AM

Most of the channels you claim as a favorite would very likely cease to exist and you'd be paying a lot more for that pleasure. Sub dollars from retrans agreements dry up and then advertisement dollars dry up. It doesn't work. It never has.
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#32 OFFLINE   Satelliteracer

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:17 AM

I’d gladly pay Showtime $20 a month and stop paying DirecTV the $14 a month I pay if they’d just steam it directly to me and skip DirecTV in the middle. I don’t need to pay for ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX programming – I have an antenna. I’d also pay more directly to the content creators for channels like History Channel, Comedy Channel, AMC and a few others… All at the cost of worthless channels like fake music channels like MTV and VH1. When was the last time you saw something related to music on MTV anyway?

Live sporting events are DirecTV’s only hope if you ask me… But I can’t even get PAC12 network from them (sadly I need Comcast or Dish Network for that!). Maybe an online pay-per-view kind of thing would work.

I already pay for the Internet infrastructure why should I pay DirecTV to duplicate what could be done on the Internet?

Let's face it - pay-tv costs are out of control and the pay-tv industry is in serious trouble if it doesn't change.


In theory, sounds great. The reality is much different. The internet can't deliver four simultaneous HD streams to a house let alone the entire neighborhood, etc. Not yet, it will be quite while before that happens and a VERY long time when it happens in rural America. The speed isn't there right now for that much disparity.

You mention AMC, and other channels like that. Remember that right now you may be paying a small amount for those channels as part of your overall bill, but now look at their ratings and parse them out over those costs. In other words, to keep those channels on an a la carte basis rather than bundled today, a customer would be paying 5 to 20 times what they pay today on a per channel basis. Now, that may lower your overall bill, but you'll be paying far more on a per channel basis for far fewer options. That's exactly what is happening in Canada right now.

http://business.fina...-but-at-a-cost/


When AMC and those others don't get that support from subscribers, they can't sustain and they go away.

I like choice, I like the fact I pay about $3 per day for 200+ channels 24/7/365 that gives me entertainment, news, sports, drama, etc. My Starbucks fix gives me joy for 10 minutes and costs more. I pay more than that for my wireless service. It all comes down to what people want, but at $3 a day considering what you get...there is tremendous value.
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#33 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:44 AM

In theory, sounds great. The reality is much different. The internet can't deliver four simultaneous HD streams to a house let alone the entire neighborhood, etc. Not yet, it will be quite while before that happens and a VERY long time when it happens in rural America. The speed isn't there right now for that much disparity.

You mention AMC, and other channels like that. Remember that right now you may be paying a small amount for those channels as part of your overall bill, but now look at their ratings and parse them out over those costs. In other words, to keep those channels on an a la carte basis rather than bundled today, a customer would be paying 5 to 20 times what they pay today on a per channel basis. Now, that may lower your overall bill, but you'll be paying far more on a per channel basis for far fewer options. That's exactly what is happening in Canada right now.

http://business.fina...-but-at-a-cost/


When AMC and those others don't get that support from subscribers, they can't sustain and they go away.

I like choice, I like the fact I pay about $3 per day for 200+ channels 24/7/365 that gives me entertainment, news, sports, drama, etc. My Starbucks fix gives me joy for 10 minutes and costs more. I pay more than that for my wireless service. It all comes down to what people want, but at $3 a day considering what you get...there is tremendous value.


I agree that right now the Internet can't just replace the old model but it sure seems headed that way and they more the cost goes up the quicker I think it will happen. It could for me - at least come pretty darn close to replacing DirecTV!

Truth is, in my selfish world, I don't need 4 simultaneous streams and the only live TV I need is some basic sports... Even those sports could be streamed (and are if you're a Comcast subscriber).

I'd be happy to pay 5 to 20 times for the channels I want and considering the few channels I want I'll still come out way ahead. If the channels I want can't convince enough people to watch and to stay in business then so be it. Showtime and HBO don't seem to have any trouble staying in business and they have some of the best programming available. Aren't Showtime and HBO 'a la carte' today and since the beginning?

I'm all for choice and channel selection but I'll have to disagree on the 'tremendous value'. I, and I think many others, watch very few of the 200+ channels but we all have to pay for them.

Remember this is TV not healthcare or Police protection. TV isn't all that important and as the cost continues to explode many people are just going to say 'screw it'.

#34 OFFLINE   ronsanjim

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 10:07 AM

In an effort to curb my TV expenses, I signed up with the local cable, they have really upgraded their system, very much improved over the previous provider. I still retained Direct as I have 10 months left.

Just wanted to compare the two, and both were pretty even. This cable service lasted 7 days, before I had to cancel cable.

Just one mistake after another with their call center. Their General Manager had to step in and get things corrected. But the call center's last mistake was the deal killer, and I just cancelled.

Directv looks mighty impressive now.... I really don't mind paying $5 more in the coming (2013) rate hike.

#35 OFFLINE   PrinceLH

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:01 AM

Maybe, maybe not. I would go with locals and probably no more than 6 or 8 cable channels.

The sky wouldn't fall. Take a look north of the border in Canada and how their packages works, works quite well. Have an old buddy who moved there recently, told he how surprised he was that the TV was so cheap...


Yeah, T.V. is cheap in Canada, if you take a few of the bundles, but they seem to mix the bundles up, so you can't get everything you want in one or two. Add to that, almost all of the local channels are playing the same thing at the same time, except the time shift option. There is not near as much HD programming, as well. However, they do have east and west U.S. locals, in HD, from Detroit and Seattle. Is it an option, as opposed to Directv? Fewer choices and God awful simsubbing of U.S. programming makes it sometimes unwatchable.

#36 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 09:23 PM

I agree that right now the Internet can't just replace the old model but it sure seems headed that way and they more the cost goes up the quicker I think it will happen. It could for me - at least come pretty darn close to replacing DirecTV!

Truth is, in my selfish world, I don't need 4 simultaneous streams and the only live TV I need is some basic sports... Even those sports could be streamed (and are if you're a Comcast subscriber).

I'd be happy to pay 5 to 20 times for the channels I want and considering the few channels I want I'll still come out way ahead. If the channels I want can't convince enough people to watch and to stay in business then so be it. Showtime and HBO don't seem to have any trouble staying in business and they have some of the best programming available. Aren't Showtime and HBO 'a la carte' today and since the beginning?

I'm all for choice and channel selection but I'll have to disagree on the 'tremendous value'. I, and I think many others, watch very few of the 200+ channels but we all have to pay for them.

Remember this is TV not healthcare or Police protection. TV isn't all that important and as the cost continues to explode many people are just going to say 'screw it'.


Curios, what channels would you be willing to pay for? I am curios about the number of them? If its more than 10, and one is ESPN, then you'd probably pay as much or more for those 10 than you do today for all the channels you get.

#37 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:06 AM

I think that in the long term ESPN has a problem. Every team, league, conference and association want a bigger piece of the broadcasting revenue pie. As a result, they are starting their own channels. Over the next few years less and less event coverage will available to ESPN, and they will have to pay more and more for what they do get.

This is unsustainable. Sooner or later the money spent for events, like the baseball World Series, will start to take away from the money available for original programming, like Sportscenter. Their original programming, no matter how popular, can not sustain a network when the actual events are seen elsewhere. Of course, as these team/league/conference owned channels make more money, their original programming will also improve.

This is exactly what has happened to the broadcast networks and scripted dramatic series (and the corresponding proliferation of cheap "reality" programming).

Right now there is a power imbalance between the provider, the packager, the distributor, the advertiser and the viewer, with the packager (ESPN) holding a disproportionate amount of power. Eventually, the market will correct itself.

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#38 ONLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:10 AM

Sooner or later all sports will have to be in its own premium package, like HBO and Showtime.

#39 OFFLINE   APB101

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:22 AM

The cable-television model doesn't serve well those who have to really budget and find the subscription costs out of line with their personal, economic posiition. So, when they say, "Let's do a la carte!" I cannot blame them for feeling this way. It's to say, "Screw them! They've done it to themselves. I'm more interested in my, and my family's, survival." Sounds dramatic; but it's real enough.

I don't side with a la carte. Economically, it would be worse. But I do think the amount of individual channels became so out of hand over the last 10 years-plus. I'm referring to the primary progammers' offspring channels and the multiscreens. The expansion has been so rapid, it justified the likewise rapid programming costs.

I recommended DirecTV to a relative of mine who resides in a separate state. This was in December 2004. She signed up and has been a subscriber since January 2005. At that time, the basic-cable package (before HD came in), with the plus, had cost around the mid-$40s. It now costs 50 percent more. (Anyone who can correct me on the numbers is welcomed to do so. And, undoubtedly, will.) It was not a mistake; given DirecTV had more individual channels than her cable-ready system provided for the same cost [in late-2004].

For those who find cable-television subscription no longer affordable: Who deserves credit for this?
Blame the model for that provides us with cable-television programming services. That would be the entire system.

#40 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:24 AM

I think that in the long term ESPN has a problem. Every team, league, conference and association want a bigger piece of the broadcasting revenue pie. As a result, they are starting their own channels. Over the next few years less and less event coverage will available to ESPN, and they will have to pay more and more for what they do get.

This is unsustainable. Sooner or later the money spent for events, like the baseball World Series, will start to take away from the money available for original programming, like Sportscenter. Their original programming, no matter how popular, can not sustain a network when the actual events are seen elsewhere. Of course, as these team/league/conference owned channels make more money, their original programming will also improve.

This is exactly what has happened to the broadcast networks and scripted dramatic series (and the corresponding proliferation of cheap "reality" programming).

Right now there is a power imbalance between the provider, the packager, the distributor, the advertiser and the viewer, with the packager (ESPN) holding a disproportionate amount of power. Eventually, the market will correct itself.


Sooner or later all sports will have to be in its own premium package, like HBO and Showtime.


Titan25 and TheRatPatrol, what two insightful ways to start off my day! I'm going to have a couple of cups of coffee to think about what you wrote but you two seem so right on.

My only initial question is what remains on either the traditional broadcast networks or a general sports channel like ESPN? If the PGA is selling a golf package through the Golf Channel, will The Masters still be on CBS? If the Pac12, ACC, Big 10 and SEC all have their own cable/satellite channels, for which I pay a premium, does ESPN still show the Duke/Michigan St. basketball game? If the two teams are #1 and #2 in the polls, where would I find the Alabama/LSU football game? On the SEC Network or on ABC?
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