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An important article on sports costs


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73 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   mp12point7

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:48 AM

From the other side:

I'd would take every sports channel I could get -- if I could afford them all, and I have no use for the movie, food, kid and general entertainment channels. Maybe if we could get all channels set into basic-group bundles, I could devote the money I'm spending on the general interest channels on the higher-priced sports packages I wish I had access to.

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#22 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:49 AM

That would be a'la carte programming, which the content providers say is very bad for us.
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#23 OFFLINE   TANK

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:28 PM

Since D* was built as the sports leader,why doesn't Dish just drop all sports ? It already has dropped the MSG channels .

If there is such large number of subs that do not want any ESPN's or RSN sports programming or the extra costs of those channels.

Wouldn't Dish increase it's number of subs by catering to those non sports fans nationwide?

#24 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:33 PM

That would be a'la carte programming, which the content providers say is very bad for us.


Which IS very bad for consumers.
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#25 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:10 PM

Fully a la carte programming would be a bad thing, but packages of channels without sports wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, especially for those that don't care much about sports.

For me, I'd like to keep ESPN, but the rest could not be there and I'd never know it.

In the old BUD days, there were many different packages made up of smaller numbers of channels and it seemed to work fine.

Of course, the sports channel owners would howl if they had to depend on only those that thought the prices that would end up being charged were worth it.

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#26 OFFLINE   Brubear

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:08 PM

Isn't ESPN one of the greatest offenders, cost-wise?

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#27 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:50 PM

Yes, ESPN is. But it would be one I'd be interested in paying for.

None of the RSNs or other sports channels hold much interest for me.

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#28 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:58 PM

SatelliteRacer, the industry is near a shakeup and customers are tired of the "shakedown". (Sorry, I couldn't resist. :) )

You know this and have been upfront about all this. Thank you for sharing. You, personally, are the middleman of information in the midst of a company who is the middleman being squeezed by both sides.

We all know, PayTV will survive. It will adjust and thems that don't, won't. I expect DIRECTV will. Not sure about any of the other players, cable or otherwise. :)

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#29 OFFLINE   zimm7778

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:59 PM

Since D* was built as the sports leader,why doesn't Dish just drop all sports ? It already has dropped the MSG channels .

If there is such large number of subs that do not want any ESPN's or RSN sports programming or the extra costs of those channels.

Wouldn't Dish increase it's number of subs by catering to those non sports fans nationwide?


Because a large portion of their audience likes ESPN and their RSNs. They may have no use for all of the other stuff but generally speaking those are fine/wanted by most people if they like any sports at all which is even a good portion of their audience. They just aren't die hards.

#30 ONLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:22 PM

Isn't ESPN one of the greatest offenders, cost-wise?


I Actually think RSNs are far worse than espn. Some RSNs charge half or more do what espn does and espn carries a lot more selection of games from more teams and more important games and playoffs that local RSNs don't have.

#31 OFFLINE   TANK

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:55 PM

Because a large portion of their audience likes ESPN and their RSNs. They may have no use for all of the other stuff but generally speaking those are fine/wanted by most people if they like any sports at all which is even a good portion of their audience. They just aren't die hards.


You say "a large portion of their audience likes ESPN and their RSNs." and satracer says in post #1 - "the vast majority of consumers do not watch sports".

So what percentage of sat and cable subs don't watch sports ?

#32 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:37 PM

Since D* was built as the sports leader,why doesn't Dish just drop all sports ? It already has dropped the MSG channels .

If there is such large number of subs that do not want any ESPN's or RSN sports programming or the extra costs of those channels.

Wouldn't Dish increase it's number of subs by catering to those non sports fans nationwide?


Because it is not good business. While a lot don't watch a lot of sports, I'll bet a lot watch some sports.

Dish isn't stupid. They make money. All you have to realize is that they haven't abandoned sports. They abandoned certain markets but not all (and even have a bigger presence in PAC 12 territory than directv. Since they haven't, it shows that sports still sells.
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#33 ONLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:46 PM

I think the pac12 channel is the start to the line being drawn in the sand by DIRECTV. I have a feeling that the conference channels coming will be hard to find a way into DIRECTV systems. But for RSNs, the bigger markets they will have to keep them in if they already have them, mainly ny and Los Angeles. But otherwise, I am not sure DIRECTV won't start hard lining more of them as well that aren't a part of FOX network. Case in point, any Comcast owned RSN.

What gets me is the amounts these channels are bidding. They aren't increasing the price a little, its astronomical. They should increase it only based on the ad revenue increases they think they can get and not extortion fees from consumers as well, because eventually they will say see ya. ad buyers won't.

#34 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:46 PM

Couldn't ALL the providers band together and put a stop to this and demand sports channels be in their own package?


It's not that easy. For starters, TWC, Comcast and DirecTV (among others) OWN sports channels.

Why would TWC, who put their own channel in the cheapest package possible, have any interest at all to put it in a sports package? Same with Comcast Sportsnet, some of which aren't even on DirecTV. Should they want to put it in a sports package but make a deal with DirecTV first.

You have a better chance on Congress agreeing on something than the individual carriers of television programming.
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#35 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:00 PM

I think the pac12 channel is the start to the line being drawn in the sand by DIRECTV. I have a feeling that the conference channels coming will be hard to find a way into DIRECTV systems. But for RSNs, the bigger markets they will have to keep them in if they already have them, mainly ny and Los Angeles. But otherwise, I am not sure DIRECTV won't start hard lining more of them as well that aren't a part of FOX network. Case in point, any Comcast owned RSN.

What gets me is the amounts these channels are bidding. They aren't increasing the price a little, its astronomical. They should increase it only based on the ad revenue increases they think they can get and not extortion fees from consumers as well, because eventually they will say see ya. ad buyers won't.


Yup.

The story here is the potential sale of MASN to Fox. Orioles, who control the channel, are in negotiations with the Nationals, who are minority owners. The deal has a formula based on 20 years of baseball history that says the Nationals should get $34 million per year. The Nationals are looking at current deals and, pretty much correctly in at least their math, are asking $100 million per year. The Orioles contend that the deal was already done and won't budge. But it is a measure of how much sports moneys have changed.
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#36 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:36 AM

I think the pac12 channel is the start to the line being drawn in the sand by DIRECTV. I have a feeling that the conference channels coming will be hard to find a way into DIRECTV systems. But for RSNs, the bigger markets they will have to keep them in if they already have them, mainly ny and Los Angeles. But otherwise, I am not sure DIRECTV won't start hard lining more of them as well that aren't a part of FOX network. Case in point, any Comcast owned RSN.

What gets me is the amounts these channels are bidding. They aren't increasing the price a little, its astronomical. They should increase it only based on the ad revenue increases they think they can get and not extortion fees from consumers as well, because eventually they will say see ya. ad buyers won't.

some of the Comcast owned RSN are part fox others comcast only owns a small part of them.
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#37 OFFLINE   lokar

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:18 PM

The real truth is if there was a sports package with all sports channels in it, there would not be enough subscribers to be able to provide it at a reasonable cost. Sports must be distributed across all subscribers in order to provide it at a reasonable cost.


I disagree with this, mainly because I think present sports costs are already unreasonable and I'm guessing D* is beginning to agree. Everyone knows that sports channels like ESPN and TWC Sportsnet bid astronomical sums of money for events because they are playing with subscribers' money. If 60-70% of people decided not to buy a sports package that had all sports channels in it (my own guestimate), that drastically cuts the amount of other people's money that ESPN et al can play with. Their options would be to raise their rates to the 30-40% of people who would pay for a sports package or to quit bidding such ridiculously high amounts of money or probably some combination of the two.

To sum up, if there was a sports only package, I think the following would happen:

Most subscribers' bills would go down.
Sports fans' bills would go up.

As a sports fan, I am ok with this because at least things are transparent and it's only fair that people who don't care about sports shouldn't have to pay for them. I think sports has become way too big a business in this country and needs to be taken down a few notches anyway.

#38 OFFLINE   PCampbell

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:29 PM

None of this will change until we pass the tipping point and customers start to cancel. Then things will change, till then the sports channels will see no reason to change there business model.

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#39 OFFLINE   jmpfaff

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:32 PM

Which IS very bad for consumers.


Why is it blindly assumed that ala carte would be worse for ALL consumers than the current system?

It would be worse for some households -- most specifically those with very diverse interests.

But for the average consumer....I don't see how it would be any worse than today. Specifically, I don't believe the per-customer average bill for a provider like DirecTV would go up at all. Consumers would have fewer channels, but they would be the channels the consumer wanted to watch.

In fact....if ala carte would drive up the cost for the average consumer, we would already be there. Time Warner & Comcast & Viacom & Disney & DirecTV are out there to maximize profit -- which approximates maximizing revenue since many of their costs are fixed.

Clearly, the marketing gurus at these companies believe that bundling channels results in more profits than selling channels individually.

I understand the story about why ala carte would be bad. I just think that the first law of capitalism means that is a story and not reality.

#40 ONLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:42 PM

Why is it blindly assumed that ala carte would be worse for ALL consumers than the current system?

It would be worse for some households -- most specifically those with very diverse interests.

But for the average consumer....I don't see how it would be any worse than today. Specifically, I don't believe the per-customer average bill for a provider like DirecTV would go up at all. Consumers would have fewer channels, but they would be the channels the consumer wanted to watch.

In fact....if ala carte would drive up the cost for the average consumer, we would already be there. Time Warner & Comcast & Viacom & Disney & DirecTV are out there to maximize profit -- which approximates maximizing revenue since many of their costs are fixed.

Clearly, the marketing gurus at these companies believe that bundling channels results in more profits than selling channels individually.

I understand the story about why ala carte would be bad. I just think that the first law of capitalism means that is a story and not reality.


Most channels would have to charge well over 10 and some over 40 a month for one channel. Add in that for companies that own multiple channels, if they where to shut down some channels, they would then increase the other channels costs to us even more because while their costs would have gone down, so would their profits, and they will increase the costs of the channels people are getting to keep their profits where they are at now. And the increase from closing one channel would be huge, because your not just talking abut all the subscription prices they would have to get from one channel that. They used to get from two, but you would also have to charge to make up for all the advertising revenue that would have been last, so the prices would increase exponentially.

Strait a la cart will not work. But more groupings and sorting out more by sports and others might, if its done just right. I don't think anything could lower the costs we pay today, but I do think they might be able to get rid of or minimize any increases. Also of note is that DIRECTV has actually added more ways to watch a lot of their content, and will continue to do so, and are not charging anything specific for these services.




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