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Rate increases coming, could be worse


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133 replies to this topic

#101 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 06:39 AM

Then again humans are a dumb lot sometimes,and some just amaze me. I know as far as I'm concerned once the bill hits over $100. I will be going back to 4 channels and netflix or something.


Directv's average customer bill is in the low $90s (I think $92 was mentioned in the last quarterly report.) And with average annual March price increases of around $4-5 dollars, they'll hit that magic $100 average in about two years.

However, Directv plays at the higher-end of the subscription TV market, so most dish and cable subscribers are spending less per month. The complicating factor is that many cable subs bundle, so their monthly bills include internet and phone, pushing their total monthly bills into the $150+ range.

From the reports I've read there are only a few true cord cutters, mostly at the fringes of the market. But there appears to be a growing trend among young adults that are choosing not to subscribe in the first place. In college they don't subscribe, or use their parent's service and get much of their "tv" entertainment off the web. Once they've graduated and get jobs of their own they just never sign up for cable or sat. Their smartphones are far more important to them than their TVs.

If this trend is real and continues to grow, that's when you'll see real changes in the industry. My own guess is that within 10 years cable/sat will be dominated by sports and news and that more and more people will stream their general entertainment. This will lead to a collapsing down of regular networks, so they'll only be one History channel, one Lifetime, etc, etc.
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#102 ONLINE   longrider

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:34 AM

Mike, I just think you are more honest than most about how few TV stations you actually watch. I know for me, 75% of my watching is from maybe half a dozen stations, and that includes my locals.

We want the smorgasbord, and will occasionally grab a plate of food that we rarely eat, but most of the time we feed from the same basic food groups.


The smorgasbord is the best description of TV viewing I have seen. I am in the same position, I can count on one hand the channels (other than locals) that I watch regularly - Speed, Syfy, Comedy Central, TNT, and Fuel. NBC Sports gets a once a week viewing in the summer for motocross, and while I do watch Monday Night Football the only games I really care about are also on a local.

I seriously considered dropping DirecTV last winter but after analyzing the costs of what I would need instead (DVR, streaming subscriptions, series I would have to buy on disc) and what I would give up (all motorcycle racing except MotoGP) I just cut back all the extras and have one HR24 and Total Choice plus. However if prices keep going up I will have to revisit this.
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#103 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:00 AM

I'd say in another 10 yrs ,if the current trend of rate increases continues or increases. I would not be surprised to see a mass exdous of subscribers,and the providers will just have to lower their prices or go poof. When the avg bill goes over $100 or higher there will be alot of people going back to ota. Same goes for ticket prices to sporting events at some point people will stop going especially, if the economy keeps going down the tubes.

Then again humans are a dumb lot sometimes,and some just amaze me. I know as far as I'm concerned once the bill hits over $100. I will be going back to 4 channels and netflix or something.


To each their own.
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#104 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:04 AM

Mike, I just think you are more honest than most about how few TV stations you actually watch. I know for me, 75% of my watching is from maybe half a dozen stations, and that includes my locals.

We want the smorgasbord, and will occasionally grab a plate of food that we rarely eat, but most of the time we feed from the same basic food groups.


Excellent point with the smorgasbord comment!

I just went through my series manager and I do have to add Travel and TVland to my list.

So officially if all the channels other than my locals, Showtime, Discovery, SyFi, Comedy Central, History Channel, TVLand and Travel Channel went away today I wouldn’t notice!

Wow, maybe it is getting closer to cord-cutting time….

#105 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:08 AM

We should have a poll. :) I just counted, and I watch 35 basic cable channels...HBO, Showtime, Starz,...random RSNs for sports packages...and 6 networks.


Holy @#$^$%@#! How many hours a day do you watch TV?

I can see why you'd be against changing the current pricing model....

#106 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:14 AM

Holy @#$^$%@#! How many hours a day do you watch TV?

I can see why you'd be against changing the current pricing model....


About 8 hours... I'm somewhat homebound due to disability. I know I'm not the average viewer.
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#107 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:53 AM

Holy @#$^$%@#! How many hours a day do you watch TV?

About 8 hours... I'm somewhat homebound due to disability. I know I'm not the average viewer.

Maybe not far from average either....but at least we know you're much smarter than the average Bear.
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#108 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:06 PM

About 8 hours... I'm somewhat homebound due to disability. I know I'm not the average viewer.


Ah, I wonder what the average is anyway?

I do watch a lot of TV but the majority of it comes form CBS, ABC, NBC and Showtime.

I don't think I can even name "35 basic cable channels" without looking!

#109 ONLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:17 PM

Ah, I wonder what the average is anyway?

I do watch a lot of TV but the majority of it comes form CBS, ABC, NBC and Showtime.

I don't think I can even name "35 basic cable channels" without looking!


According to a NYT article dated May 3, 2012, viewing was about 153 hours and 19 minutes a month, which is over 5 hours a day. This article cites a decrease of about 30 seconds a day from the previous year. (Dates were 4Q of 2011 and 2010).

http://mediadecoder....vision-viewing/

Also from a VideoMind article from December 2011:

"Meanwhile, on a weekly basis, the number of channels watched has increased slightly to 16 from 11."

http://videomind.ooy...appetite-choice

I really think people watch more channels than they think they do. And if you are sports watcher, your numbers go way up. Especially if you have out of market sports on satellite or cable.
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#110 OFFLINE   DirectMan

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:44 PM

I would like to see D* make local channels optional. The reason is not that I would want to delete them from my package but rather that this would help to put a brake on the retransmission requests/demands by the networks. If subscribers in big cities like LA and NY where over the air broadcasts are plentiful and available in high quality are charged separately for locals, there might be a big push to install antennas to eliminate the extra fee. Lower subscriber levels might temper the requests by the programmers.

#111 OFFLINE   PrinceLH

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:03 PM

Yeah, price increases. The price we pay, for watching Viacom's hatchet jobs on their programming. I wish that they had held the line on this, during the Viacom dispute. I would have gave them no increase, because of their jamming of commercials, into their programming.

Edited by PrinceLH, 30 September 2012 - 08:57 AM.


#112 OFFLINE   stoutman

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:24 AM

I would like to see D* make local channels optional. The reason is not that I would want to delete them from my package but rather that this would help to put a brake on the retransmission requests/demands by the networks. If subscribers in big cities like LA and NY where over the air broadcasts are plentiful and available in high quality are charged separately for locals, there might be a big push to install antennas to eliminate the extra fee. Lower subscriber levels might temper the requests by the programmers.


That is not how the business works. Local channels are in the base packages for a reason. The revenue to a local channel is their life blood now. Free over the air with advertising and network support is from an era in the past. ESPN, RSN or locals are not leaving the base without a bloody fight in which the provider might lose. Dish provides wonderful case studies.

#113 OFFLINE   usnret

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:57 AM

Titan25 - at the $16+ per sub one can assume that 1,900,000 people aren't gona pay that amount, even though they like the channel. I would assume 1/2 would stick with it, thus making it $32+ per sub. Or am I getting something wrong here with my assumption?
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#114 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:52 PM

I would think that is a reasonable assumption.

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#115 OFFLINE   bills976

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:07 PM

I'd be pleased as punch if I could just subscribe to...

OTA stations (Free)
NFL Sunday Ticket
NHL Center Ice
DVR service for OTA

I really don't need anything else. I pay $80/mo for a base package that I might use once or twice a week outside of OTA networks, NFL, and NHL. I'm a huge sports fan and ESPN gets little to no play in my house.

I also think many in this thread are discounting the impact young adults (25-35 or so) are having on subscriber counts. I am one of those adults and have a tech job where I make over six figures, and work with many other people in the same income bracket. All of us can easily afford TV at this price, but I'm the only idiot paying this much for TV, and the only reason I'm doing it is because I have to have Sunday Ticket. The rest of them are using Crackle, Netflix, lifeline cable from their internet subscription, and Redbox with some that are "splurging" on Hulu Plus. No one has to have TV. It'll just be replaced with other forms of mindless entertainment like Sporcle, YouTube cat videos, and posting on message boards like this.
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#116 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:46 PM

Titan25 - at the $16+ per sub one can assume that 1,900,000 people aren't gona pay that amount, even though they like the channel. I would assume 1/2 would stick with it, thus making it $32+ per sub. Or am I getting something wrong here with my assumption?

Every dollar the price bumps up the less people who are going to pay. At some point the provider will need to accept a price that would be a loss compared to the current 20c for everyone pricing structure - or cease transmission.

Operating at a loss means finding cheaper programming. Like it or not "reality" is fairly cheap. And for some reason people watch it ... so channels airing "reality" shows can sell those viewers and make money to cover their losses.

I hate to think of the number of channels I actually watch out of my subscription ... but then I remember that it is more channels than I would watch if my subscription were a la carte. If I had to decide in advance to subscribe to a channel before watching the content there I probably wouldn't bother with most channels. Even if the linear channel or its content were easily available "on demand" for instant purchase it would be easier to pass than pay ...

For example, how much is watching Steven Colbert on OWN worth? As part of my monthly subscription I get OWN and "never" watch it. But this weekend OWN aired an interview of Colbert and I could watch it at no extra cost (over what I already pay). Would I have paid $5 for that interview? I am glad I did not have to make the choice.

#117 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:19 AM

Every dollar the price bumps up the less people who are going to pay. At some point the provider will need to accept a price that would be a loss compared to the current 20c for everyone pricing structure - or cease transmission...


Exactly...and what many a la carte advocates don't realize is that most would be forced to the second option: cease transmission. We would be left with perhaps 10 general interest channels.

But, on the bright side, they'd all have terrific picture quality. ;)

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#118 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:40 AM

I'd be pleased as punch if I could just subscribe to...

OTA stations (Free)
NFL Sunday Ticket
NHL Center Ice
DVR service for OTA

I really don't need anything else. I pay $80/mo for a base package that I might use once or twice a week outside of OTA networks, NFL, and NHL. I'm a huge sports fan and ESPN gets little to no play in my house.

I also think many in this thread are discounting the impact young adults (25-35 or so) are having on subscriber counts. I am one of those adults and have a tech job where I make over six figures, and work with many other people in the same income bracket. All of us can easily afford TV at this price, but I'm the only idiot paying this much for TV, and the only reason I'm doing it is because I have to have Sunday Ticket. The rest of them are using Crackle, Netflix, lifeline cable from their internet subscription, and Redbox with some that are "splurging" on Hulu Plus. No one has to have TV. It'll just be replaced with other forms of mindless entertainment like Sporcle, YouTube cat videos, and posting on message boards like this.


well I think on cable under the old 1992 law you can get limited basic and add stuff like HBO to it.

Now maybe we need the same law for sat and stuff like NFL Sunday Ticket
NHL Center Ice do fall under addon channels packs like how HBO is.
I want CLTV / CLTV HD on direct tv.

#119 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:58 AM

well I think on cable under the old 1992 law you can get limited basic and add stuff like HBO to it.

Now maybe we need the same law for sat and stuff like NFL Sunday Ticket
NHL Center Ice do fall under addon channels packs like how HBO is.


In my home town to do this requires a digital box which is $10 a month even if you dont get any additional channels. Not to mention most cable DVR's dont have crap for recording space.
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#120 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 01:34 PM

In my home town to do this requires a digital box which is $10 a month even if you dont get any additional channels. Not to mention most cable DVR's dont have crap for recording space.


can also get a cable card for less then $10 a month.
I want CLTV / CLTV HD on direct tv.




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