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Directv CEO Says Possible Merger with Dish "Could Be Pro-Consumer"


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#201 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 02:24 PM

I didn't say they would go away...but they will change dramatically.

Viewers (particularly young viewers) are developing direct relationships with content providers. Today, providers like HBO only offer their content to viewers with a cable or satellite subscription, but sooner or later everyone will have access to their library, either by direct subscription or PPV. While I'm not saying products like Roku is the final answer, it is an indication of where things are going.

It is economics that will drive the changes. As fewer and fewer viewers feel the need to have cable or satellite service, the costs of operating these systems will be borne by fewer and fewer subscribers. This will drive up costs to the consumer, which will drive more cord-cutting. We can see this already...if you total the subscriber numbers of all the cable and satellite companies, the total number has been decreasing...not by much, but there has been a steady erosion. The cable are companies are also seeing a sharper decline in multichannel revenue, but that is being at least partially offset by increases in internet services.

My son is a perfect example. He lives in Greenwich Village and has Time Warner Cable for internet only. He watches TV via his Xbox360 from Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.

Satellite has faired a bit better than cable, but that is only a temporary phenomenon. Satellite subscribers are a self-selected group of people for whom linear TV is important. But eventually, the trends that are driving cable will effect satellite as well.

It's not going to happen tomorrow, but it will happen. Remember that when DirecTV and Dish Network got started they weren't an "economically viabale" alternative to cable. They lost money for a decade. The same will be true for whatever comes next...maybe it won't be IPTV, but I have to give Charlie kudos for at least putting a toe in the water of the that market.


I totally disagree. The economic forces are working against it. As streaming gets heavier, the caps and cost will skyrocket. The Internet method of television delivery will not be able to get to a point where it is enough to make a difference. I've had this discussion over and over here. For years and years.

For every student I know who uses Internet access primarily, I know several who watch shows when they air on liner channels. The stories of the new generation of tv watching and direct relationships to networks are overblown.
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#202 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:11 PM

I totally disagree. The economic forces are working against it. As streaming gets heavier, the caps and cost will skyrocket. The Internet method of television delivery will not be able to get to a point where it is enough to make a difference. I've had this discussion over and over here. For years and years.

For every student I know who uses Internet access primarily, I know several who watch shows when they air on liner channels. The stories of the new generation of tv watching and direct relationships to networks are overblown.


I guess you know different people than I do. :) I don't know ANYONE under the age of 30 that subscribes to satellite, and those that are cable customers are almost all internet only subscribers.

My experience with internet speed and cost is also, IMHO, informative. 10 years ago I paid around $80/month for 768Kbps SDSL. Today I pay about $40/month for 75Mbps FiOS. That's about 100 times the throughput for half the price.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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#203 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:26 PM

Imagine how poorly they'd perform without stealing patents and screwing content providers!

So now you're saying these activities helped DISH? Normally when people make these accusations they say DISH would be better off (financially) if they had not done what they are accused of doing.

If these two companies ever merge, I would see it much more likely they will go the route of SiriusXM, with a merged name.

"DirecDish" is probably not an unlikely choice. Or a completely new name.

I expect the merged name would stay in the background and the two brands would continue. If the systems were ever physically merged one name might be used.

#204 OFFLINE   rmmccann

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:45 PM

I guess you know different people than I do. :) I don't know ANYONE under the age of 30 that subscribes to satellite, and those that are cable customers are almost all internet only subscribers.

My experience with internet speed and cost is also, IMHO, informative. 10 years ago I paid around $80/month for 768Kbps SDSL. Today I pay about $40/month for 75Mbps FiOS. That's about 100 times the throughput for half the price.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.


I think it depends on area - I'm 28 and live in a more rural area and although I have access to high speed (50Mbps or better), I don't stream much of anything. I find that DirecTVs linear programming fits my viewing habits better. I tend to watch different things (plus I watch sports), so trying to determine what I want to watch beforehand just doesn't work for me.

One thing I fully expect to see over the next few years, especially as streaming becomes more the norm is that all (or most) ISPs will go to a usage based system - especially the larger ones.

They won't be able to make the kind of margins they are now with unlimited usage services and eventually their facilities will start to get bogged down with excess traffic. Bandwidth may be cheap, but the infrastructure to deliver it is most certainly not. Also as they see their costs for peering creep up for off-network content, something will have to change.
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#205 ONLINE   RAD

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:57 PM

My experience with internet speed and cost is also, IMHO, informative. 10 years ago I paid around $80/month for 768Kbps SDSL. Today I pay about $40/month for 75Mbps FiOS. That's about 100 times the throughput for half the price.


Wish had an option like that. My only for wired are TWC and I'm paying $56/month for 15Mbps/2Mbps, the alternative is AT&T DSL at 6Mbps/768Kbps and I'd also need to pay for a landline from them to get those speeds. And to top if off both of those provides want to implement caps which will make streaming something that many won't be able to afford.

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#206 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:30 PM

I didn't say they would go away...but they will change dramatically.

Viewers (particularly young viewers) are developing direct relationships with content providers. Today, providers like HBO only offer their content to viewers with a cable or satellite subscription, but sooner or later everyone will have access to their library, either by direct subscription or PPV. While I'm not saying products like Roku is the final answer, it is an indication of where things are going.

It is economics that will drive the changes. As fewer and fewer viewers feel the need to have cable or satellite service, the costs of operating these systems will be borne by fewer and fewer subscribers. This will drive up costs to the consumer, which will drive more cord-cutting. We can see this already...if you total the subscriber numbers of all the cable and satellite companies, the total number has been decreasing...not by much, but there has been a steady erosion. The cable are companies are also seeing a sharper decline in multichannel revenue, but that is being at least partially offset by increases in internet services.

My son is a perfect example. He lives in Greenwich Village and has Time Warner Cable for internet only. He watches TV via his Xbox360 from Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.

Satellite has faired a bit better than cable, but that is only a temporary phenomenon. Satellite subscribers are a self-selected group of people for whom linear TV is important. But eventually, the trends that are driving cable will effect satellite as well.

It's not going to happen tomorrow, but it will happen. Remember that when DirecTV and Dish Network got started they weren't an "economically viabale" alternative to cable. They lost money for a decade. The same will be true for whatever comes next...maybe it won't be IPTV, but I have to give Charlie kudos for at least putting a toe in the water of the that market.


Very well said. I do expect the cost of Internet bandwidth to increase but I expect to come out ahead.

As more and more programming goes to 'reality' type shows the less likely I am to pay for DirecTV or Dish or Cable for that matter. I'd be more than happy to stop being forced into paying for the crap TV and move to steaming..... Even if I end up paying a little more - at least my money wouldn't support the crap!

Dish Network is smart in looking to the future. Hopefully DirecTV is also making some plans that include something other than the current model. The current model can't survive forever as-is. Soon the cost is going to be so high more and more people are going to drop the traditional version of pay-TV. Even if dropping it means going old school with an antenna and nothing else.

#207 OFFLINE   FLWingNut

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:37 PM

And soccer will take over the American sports scene. Been hearing that one since the 70's. How's that working?

Linear TV will be around for a good long time.

#208 OFFLINE   Bambler

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:58 PM

I know for a lot of you this sounds intriguing, but it's really not if you think beyond the here and now.

People may think, "hey, I'm a DirecTV customer, if they merge things will improve for me!" Or, "DirecTV needs more power to negotiate better tv deals."

That's a deadly misconception.

First, for a lot if people around the country, satellite is their only choice. Second, what is to prevent DirecTV from raising rates to whatever they want after they've gobbled up their only non-terrestrial competition? Good faith and good will towards us? Wishful thinking.

Remember, DirecTV not wanting to take on these deals (no matter how they spin it) is due, in part, not so much us complaining of the "price hikes," but the risk of us leaving to the "cheaper" Dish side. Remove that side of the equation, and believe me, duopolies--which most of us will be stuck with--are horrible, and customers tend to get worked over unchecked, at least with Dish, there is a third alternative keeping the others inline.

#209 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:54 PM

Screwed into a two-year extension of a contract just for making a phone call to ask a question ('the DirecTV way of business')?


Do you have any proof of this happening?
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#210 OFFLINE   studechip

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:40 PM

Really? Screwed into a two-year extension of a contract just for making a phone call to ask a question ('the DirecTV way of business')? How is this going to be good for the consumer? 'HD picture quality?' Please, tell me more about pay-TV in this parallel universe YOU live in!

:nono:

/s


There have been too many occasions where csrs incorrectly extended or started a new commitment when they shouldn't have. I don't think it's ever happened because someone called in and asked a question, though. You, of course, have proof of this claim, yes?

#211 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 08:54 AM

And soccer will take over the American sports scene. Been hearing that one since the 70's. How's that working?

Linear TV will be around for a good long time.


I don't think it will happen tomorrow... But things are changing and the higher the prices go the quicker changes will come.

#212 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:06 AM

And soccer will take over the American sports scene. Been hearing that one since the 70's. How's that working?

Linear TV will be around for a good long time.


I could be totally off base, but on the other hand, in 1995 a lot of people thought satellite TV would never succeed - "it goes out when it rains", "it too expensive to install", "they'll never turn a profit", etc. Nobody in the cable industry ever expected satellite to have about a third of all households.

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#213 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:35 AM

Is this the point where some of us get to tell Charlie "We told you so"? :D

A number of financial market pundits saw that acquisition as questionable right out of the gate. Those are just the kind of business decisions Charlie Ergen makes that render doubt about any merger actually happening.


These are the kinds of decisions that wrecked Union Carbide and resulted in its demise. Having stood by and watching one bad decision after another destroy a corporation, I couldn't help but wonder what the hell Ergen was doing (or dreaming of doing) when he took over Blockbuster.

Rich

#214 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:40 AM

Is this the point where some of us get to tell Charlie "We told you so"? :D

A number of financial market pundits saw that acquisition as questionable right out of the gate. Those are just the kind of business decisions Charlie Ergen makes that render doubt about any merger actually happening.


I believe That Charlie has said that at worst they will break even on the Blockbuster purchase and probably make some money.


Switching to a different item
Those that are watching things only from streaming, The content they are watching is coming from the same places as Satellite and Cable Tv. Premiums for movies, Networks for shows.

So when they go to Hulu for example what made them decide to go there and decide what to watch if they have no regular TV service?
One reason I might check out a new show is the advertising for it during other shows, And I sample all the new shows whose description looks interesting when the season starts.
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#215 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:46 AM

Story on the decison: http://www.ecommerce...gins-76337.html

Peter Koppel (industry analyst) quote:

The article indicates the big problem was an inability to get the rights required to support streaming.


You'd think he would have acquired those rights before acquiring Blockbuster. I dunno, I was horrified that the company (corporation) I worked for could make so many terrible mistakes and I really don't like to see that happen to a company that could affect our viewing pleasures.

But, what can you do? In the big picture, we're the little people.

Rich

PS...What's with the name change?

#216 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:56 AM

I totally disagree. The economic forces are working against it. As streaming gets heavier, the caps and cost will skyrocket. The Internet method of television delivery will not be able to get to a point where it is enough to make a difference. I've had this discussion over and over here. For years and years.

For every student I know who uses Internet access primarily, I know several who watch shows when they air on liner channels. The stories of the new generation of tv watching and direct relationships to networks are overblown.


My son does the same thing Diana's son does. So do all his friends. It's a whole new generation out there, Tony. Here's a link to an article that addresses "screen addiction" that points to the usage of so many devices that it's actually affecting the health of that generation.

Rich

#217 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:08 AM

"it goes out when it rains", "it too expensive to install", "they'll never turn a profit", etc.

In 1995, if you had rain fade, it was probably your own fault for not being careful with your self-installation. You're probably more likely to experience rain fade today on DIRECTV than you were back then. Cost was not an impediment unless you paid someone else to do it on your behalf.

Nobody in the cable industry ever expected satellite to have about a third of all households.

Many entrenched industries are like that. The telephony industry is a grand example of join or die. Nobody thought that the US auto industry could fail back in the early 40s when there were no less than 15 auto companies [obligatory car comparison].

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#218 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:13 AM

You're telling me......I signed up with XM in mid 2005. I was paying about $140 a year. I got my bill last month, it's up to $220 a year. I canceled.

Of course my use has changed too. I was using mine mainly on my motorcycle and I was doing MANY long distance trips which I'm not doing very many now at all. The other impact has been that back in 2005 my cell phone was just a cell phone. Today my cell phone has every record and CD I've ever owned loaded into it....LOL. Why do I need XM....LOL


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#219 OFFLINE   Bambler

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:18 PM

People talk about direct Internet "sales" to the public. Well, based upon what I've seen DirecTV doing, that possibility is being squashed with each new contract. These people aren't dumb; they saw what we see long ago probably.

Comcast, DirecTV and other distributors are pretty much saying: if you want us to carry you, you'll have to grant us semi-exclusive distribution rights, regardless of where it's at.

Just another reason that, no matter if you're a DirecTV or Dish customer, this merger will never happen.

#220 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 11:23 AM

Interesting?? (Bold is my emphasis):

DirecTV CEO Michael White kept the ember of this long-standing idea burning this morning at the Goldman Sachs Annual Communicopia Conference. “Consolidation could be pro-consumer, perhaps,” he told investors citing, among other things, the soaring programming costs for DirecTV and other pay TV providers.

White’s not the only person who likes the idea of a DirecTV-Dish combination. “A merger would be great news for both DirecTV and Dish Network” — although the cost savings they’d find “would have to be shared with customers” — Bernstein Research’s Craig Moffett says this morning. The big question is whether a deal might pass muster with the FCC and antitrust officials. If Mitt Romney’s in the White House then “we’ll bet on a formally proposed merger within a year,” Moffett says. But even if President Obama is re-elected “we’ll bet they try it before four years are out.”


Full article here:
http://www.deadline....er-possibility/


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