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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Intel to Offer A La Cart?


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458 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   pdxBeav

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

Actually, this is exactly wrong. Think about how a show comes into existence...the planning, testing, piloting, etc. You're looking at it through a post show successful launch. Now back up to prior to shows launching and how they come about. You will have many fewer new shows, much less of the riskier ones because there will no incentive to create them.


I don't dispute that there might be fewer new shows, but I don't see that as a problem. Good shows will find a way to get on the air. Instead of true a la carte I would also be in favor of choosing channels based on programmers or more sub-packages. i.e. If I want one ESPN channel I must buy all of them. If I want HGTV I must buy all the Scripps networks. Even this would make more sense then what exists today. But it doesn't make sense that everyone must pay for ESPN and their exorbitant fees if they have zero interest in sports.

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#22 OFFLINE   KyL416

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:45 PM

They only moved away from a la carte when BUD was on it's last leg. It was successful for most of it's existence. Once the BUD numbers dropped down to a few hundred thousand subs the programmers saw them as more of an annoyance and eventually stopped offering their service to them.

Although that was also before there was anything to bundle with all the consolidation in the late 90s along with the launch of the digital sister channels. TNN and CMT were still Nashville based, Nickelodeon, VH1 and MTV didn't have all those sister digital channels, BET was still a separate company and didn't have Centric. ZDTV/TechTV didn't get absorbed by Comcast to expand G4. All those Discovery digital nets didn't exist yet outside of TLC. Discovery Fit and Health was just FitTV, a sister station to The Family Channel, which was still semi-religious. ESPN was one channel and wasn't owned by Disney yet. Disney Channel was still a premium cable channel in many areas and didn't have Toon Disney or SoapNet.

#23 OFFLINE   pdxBeav

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:14 PM

Although that was also before there was anything to bundle with all the consolidation in the late 90s along with the launch of the digital sister channels. TNN and CMT were still Nashville based, Nickelodeon, VH1 and MTV didn't have all those sister digital channels, BET was still a separate company and didn't have Centric. ZDTV/TechTV didn't get absorbed by Comcast to expand G4. All those Discovery digital nets didn't exist yet outside of TLC. Discovery Fit and Health was just FitTV, a sister station to The Family Channel, which was still semi-religious. ESPN was one channel and wasn't owned by Disney yet. Disney Channel was still a premium cable channel in many areas and didn't have Toon Disney or SoapNet.


Very true. That's why I would like to see the ability to pick channel "groups". That seems more reasonable, but the programmer and distributor have a symbiotic relationship that won't be easily disrupted.

#24 OFFLINE   onan38

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:57 PM

Here is another interesting story. http://gizmodo.com/5...not-be-worth-it

#25 OFFLINE   joed32

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:12 AM

How did it fail with BUDs? My programming costs were far lower with a BUD than any cable or DBS package at the time.


I'm guessing that was a few years back when all programming was cheaper. For me when I selected the channels I wanted it always was cheaper just to get a package that contained those channels than it was to pay for them individually.

#26 OFFLINE   pdxBeav

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:37 AM

I'm guessing that was a few years back when all programming was cheaper. For me when I selected the channels I wanted it always was cheaper just to get a package that contained those channels than it was to pay for them individually.


Yes, same here. But there were also many more smaller packages to choose from. And then you could add 1 or 2 channels to a package to get exactly what you wanted.

#27 OFFLINE   EricRobins

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:33 AM

I don't see a la carte channels ever working.

What we will see is a la carte PROGRAMMING. Instead of buying whole channels for 24/7/365, we will be just buying individual shows. We kind of already have that through, e.g., iTunes and the various sports league packages.

#28 OFFLINE   tulanejosh

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

I don't see a la carte channels ever working.

What we will see is a la carte PROGRAMMING. Instead of buying whole channels for 24/7/365, we will be just buying individual shows. We kind of already have that through, e.g., iTunes and the various sports league packages.


You should really read the Gizmodo article and sync it up with SatRacer's last comment. The process of bringing a program from concept to production will grind to a halt. Like it or not - the entertainment industry works on what is known as "the hits" model. Simply put - successful programs support and fund development of new programs. Most of those new programs fail but a few succeed, and the process repeats itself. This model works because of the existence of the channel and the bundle. Take those away - and you take away new programming.

Now we can all sit here and take the pie in the sky approach of "well good programming will find a way", but quite frankly that ignores the business aspect of this business. Banks and investors and studios - for all their New York and Hollywood eccentricities - are very very good with money. And they don't really make a habit of tossing money into a project without some reasonable degree of confidence that their going to make their money back. And today, the hits model provides them with that confidence. But you take that away, and you kill their security. You find me one power player in New York or Hollywood that will put money into new programming projects that have a such a high failure rate, and I'll show you a liar.

This model just does not work.

#29 OFFLINE   Guesst925XTU

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

That would be GREAT if it happened. I would save soooo much money by not being forced to pay for channels like ESPN/ESPNews/ESPN2/etc.

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#30 OFFLINE   tulanejosh

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:33 PM

That would be GREAT if it happened. I would save soooo much money by not being forced to pay for channels like ESPN/ESPNews/ESPN2/etc.


I don't believe that that's true. The consumer would not pay the wholesale price that their provider pays. If you think you are going to get your favorite 15 channels for about a $1/piece because that's what Directv currently pays - that's just not how this works. You would not get ESPN (just using that as an example - i know you don't watch it) for $5/month. You'd pay $25 or $30 month. Look at HBO as an example of channel valuations. HBO currently costs - a la carte - around $17.99 per month. And it have a fraction of the interest/penetration as an ESPN or some of the other channels. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of $20 - $25 for even low rated channels - per channel.

Here's the thing people always forget. The companies that own these channels are not altruistic - they are in it to make money. And there's not a public company in the world where it's acceptable the shareholders to make $2B in profit one quarter, and then to turnaround the next and make only a fraction of that because they killed their bundles in favor of a la carte and they have less penetration than before. Networks are still going to get their money. Its just a question of whether $2B is divided by 20M customers or 100,000.

For me personally - if i am still going to pay $100+ per month - i'd rather get 200 channels than 10.

#31 OFFLINE   pdxBeav

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:39 PM

You should really read the Gizmodo article and sync it up with SatRacer's last comment. The process of bringing a program from concept to production will grind to a halt. Like it or not - the entertainment industry works on what is known as "the hits" model. Simply put - successful programs support and fund development of new programs. Most of those new programs fail but a few succeed, and the process repeats itself. This model works because of the existence of the channel and the bundle. Take those away - and you take away new programming.

Now we can all sit here and take the pie in the sky approach of "well good programming will find a way", but quite frankly that ignores the business aspect of this business. Banks and investors and studios - for all their New York and Hollywood eccentricities - are very very good with money. And they don't really make a habit of tossing money into a project without some reasonable degree of confidence that their going to make their money back. And today, the hits model provides them with that confidence. But you take that away, and you kill their security. You find me one power player in New York or Hollywood that will put money into new programming projects that have a such a high failure rate, and I'll show you a liar.

This model just does not work.


Then that model will have to change. If there are fewer new shows then so be it. New shows were produced before forced bundling and if forced bundling ever goes away new shows will continue to be produced.

I know everyone has a different opinion, but why do a lot of people think the current business practices can never change and are the only way it can ever work? Successful businesses will adapt to the current conditions.

#32 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

Then that model will have to change. If there are fewer new shows then so be it. New shows were produced before forced bundling and if forced bundling ever goes away new shows will continue to be produced.

I know everyone has a different opinion, but why do a lot of people think the current business practices can never change and are the only way it can ever work? Successful businesses will adapt to the current conditions.


Maybe because the current model evolved o where it is. Finding its natural foothold.

The closest we have to an a la carte model is the movies. Well, when the broadcast media became available, the number of movies created dropped like a stone and we are down to very few and even fewer good movies to watch. The only thing that saved the movies was the blockbuster. Good luck finding many niche movies. Good luck finding quality.

The current system does work. What is threatening it is some greedy people, most of whom fall into the sports arena. Correct that problem and you will still have tons of programming relatively cheaply.

Changing the whole paradigm just because a few are messing up is not a solution. Especially going to one that dismisses creativity.

Not to mention the higher burden and cost (alluded to by you on your BUD answer a while back) that no one wants to take on.
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#33 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

Maybe because the current model evolved o where it is. Finding its natural foothold.

The closest we have to an a la carte model is the movies. Well, when the broadcast media became available, the number of movies created dropped like a stone and we are down to very few and even fewer good movies to watch. The only thing that saved the movies was the blockbuster. Good luck finding many niche movies. Good luck finding quality.

The current system does work. What is threatening it is some greedy people, most of whom fall into the sports arena. Correct that problem and you will still have tons of programming relatively cheaply.

Changing the whole paradigm just because a few are messing up is not a solution. Especially going to one that dismisses creativity.

Not to mention the higher burden and cost (alluded to by you on your BUD answer a while back) that no one wants to take on.


putting sports in there own packs can work. Having the other basic Channels stay as they are.
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#34 OFFLINE   pdxBeav

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

putting sports in there own packs can work. Having the other basic Channels stay as they are.


This would be a great start.

#35 OFFLINE   tulanejosh

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

Then that model will have to change. If there are fewer new shows then so be it. New shows were produced before forced bundling and if forced bundling ever goes away new shows will continue to be produced.

I know everyone has a different opinion, but why do a lot of people think the current business practices can never change and are the only way it can ever work? Successful businesses will adapt to the current conditions.


That's not realistic. It's not that it can't change, it's that it has no reason to change. Everyone involved in the actual business side of this is happy with the way things are. The networks, the studios, the providers (despite Directvs public claims otherwise) they all make a metric sh*t ton of money and they would make less with an a la carte by the program model. Why would anyone change from a model that is a license to print cash to one that doesn't offer that type of return?

And besides that - to rip off the Gizmodo article - unlike the Music industry, which was on life support before Apple swooped in and offered a life line, the video distribution business is not on life support, it's stronger than its ever been. Billions in profit per quarter. No company will turn its nose up at billions in profit per quarter because a relatively small number of people are demanding change.

What consumers want is largely irrelevant because quite frankly while you might gripe about it you still pay under the current model. And most will continue to pay. And some people may cut the cord sure - but not nearly enough to form a critical mass to force change.

Edited by tulanejosh, 03 January 2013 - 03:20 PM.


#36 OFFLINE   pdxBeav

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

That's not realistic. It's not that it can't change, it's that it has no reason to change. Everyone involved in the actual business side of this is happy with the way things are. The networks, the studios, the providers (despite Directvs public claims otherwise) they all make a metric sh*t ton of money and they would make less with an a la carte by the program model. Why would anyone change from a model that is a license to print cash to one that doesn't offer that type of return?


I couldn't agree with this more. The current system is a cash cow and won't be easily changed.

#37 OFFLINE   saleen351

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:33 PM

Foolish to think this is not going to happen.

Two keys reasons:

1. HD cameras are now dirt cheap, can be hand held and produce stunning HD/Movie quality video. This is going to be the un-doing of Hollywood's control and they know it. Anyone can now produce a movie or tv show on the cheap and distribute it without Hollywood's blessing. Content is dirt cheap and getting cheaper.

2. Pure economics. TV is an elastic product. This means if the price of coke increases to a certain level people will buy a substitute. If no substitute exists they will stop drinking soda. Don't be fooled, at a certain price people will stop watching tv and find an alternative which includes torrents. To think otherwise means you don't understand economics or read history.

Look at google fiber, this is the first shot across the bow of the content providers but they had no choice but to work with google. Why? Google could produce 10 tv shows without anyone ever noticing a blip on their balance sheet. Netflix is already going down this path.

Hollywood is losing control due to these cameras and that is the key here. Sat racer et al, you guys are kool aid drinkers. History is filled with markets being decimated. Half the dow companies from the 1980's are gone. Just a few years ago it was sears then walmart now amazon is killing them all. Some comedy writer is now sticking it to the shaving industry to the point they lowered prices and are now fighting back via commercials. I can go and on and on and on. Content providers are no longer immune from market disruption due to these cameras.

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#38 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

You will have many fewer new shows, much less of the riskier ones because there will no incentive to create them.

The question is whether or not channels that are supposedly documentary in charter should be concentrating on documenting such things as whack job individuals and messed up relationships without a balancing exploration of successful people and surprisingly successful collaborations. [See more at Only In America].

Why show countless hours of spectacularly destructive fighting that obviously isn't worth saving when there are so many important persons and concepts that need to be placed prominently in the public eye?

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#39 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

Already running into all kinds of delays.

http://online.wsj.co...MjEwNDIyWj.html
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#40 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:13 PM

Foolish to think this is not going to happen.

Two keys reasons:

1. HD cameras are now dirt cheap, can be hand held and produce stunning HD/Movie quality video. This is going to be the un-doing of Hollywood's control and they know it. Anyone can now produce a movie or tv show on the cheap and distribute it without Hollywood's blessing. Content is dirt cheap and getting cheaper.

2. Pure economics. TV is an elastic product. This means if the price of coke increases to a certain level people will buy a substitute. If no substitute exists they will stop drinking soda. Don't be fooled, at a certain price people will stop watching tv and find an alternative which includes torrents. To think otherwise means you don't understand economics or read history.

Look at google fiber, this is the first shot across the bow of the content providers but they had no choice but to work with google. Why? Google could produce 10 tv shows without anyone ever noticing a blip on their balance sheet. Netflix is already going down this path.

Hollywood is losing control due to these cameras and that is the key here. Sat racer et al, you guys are kool aid drinkers. History is filled with markets being decimated. Half the dow companies from the 1980's are gone. Just a few years ago it was sears then walmart now amazon is killing them all. Some comedy writer is now sticking it to the shaving industry to the point they lowered prices and are now fighting back via commercials. I can go and on and on and on. Content providers are no longer immune from market disruption due to these cameras.

Kid, you're on a roll. Enjoy it while it lasts, 'cause it never does.
Lou Mannheim:


So your reasons why a la carte will happen boil down to the greater availability of HD cameras (ignoring the many other production elements, expertise involved, and the talent at every level) and that the economics of pay TV will turn people away from pay TV? That's it?

You believe that content owners and producers felt threatened by...Google Fiber? I don't think you know what Google Fiber is.
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