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ESPN Ordered to Pay Dish Network $4.86 Million for Breach of Contract


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#26 OFFLINE   pfred

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:31 PM

Netflix , roku, and other internet replacements for cable/satellite are here. It is in Dish's own best interest to try and keep customers from "cutting the cord" so to speak, and making a sports tier is therefore a good idea.

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#27 OFFLINE   Curtis0620

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:43 PM

Netflix , roku, and other internet replacements for cable/satellite are here. It is in Dish's own best interest to try and keep customers from "cutting the cord" so to speak, and making a sports tier is therefore a good idea.


ESPN will never allow that.
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#28 OFFLINE   donalddickerson2005

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:44 PM

If y'all just called everyday and said we do not want ABC - ESPN - Disney they might listen. Who knows maybe while your at it tell them you do not want cable news or any of the the home-food networks.
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#29 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:49 PM

If dropping ESPN or putting it in a sports tier is such a great idea, then why hasn't it been done?

The SEC & Big 10 have quite a few games on ESPN/ABC. Try telling the states of Alabama/Michigan/Ohio sorry you all can't see your Tide/Wolverine/Buckeye football games or the BCS Bowls. This years title game was the second largest audience of any program in cable television history, an average of 17,216,000 households...and average of 26,380,000 viewers. Guess what was number 1...that's right, the 2011 title game with 17,718,000 homes and 27,316,000 people (same link).
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#30 OFFLINE   LtMunst

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:19 PM

This idea that Dish could become some sports free, Disney free, ABC free, a la carte Utopia is just a fantasy. If Dish dumped ESPN/ABC/Disney...they would be done. Dish would be a laughingstock.

It ain't gonna happen. Charlie talks a good game...and he may even squeeze a good deal out of it.....but he is not suicidal.
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#31 OFFLINE   pfred

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:41 PM

If dropping ESPN or putting it in a sports tier is such a great idea, then why hasn't it been done?

Because it hasn't reached , shall we say, "critical mass".

#32 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 03:32 PM

Dish is not going to lose ESPN. I doubt it even would go dark for 24 hours.

ESPN needs/wants that revenue... and Dish wouldn't take the risk of losing a large number of customers if a negotiation like that dragged on.

For those comparing ESPN to HBO... That is apples to oranges.

A better comparison is comparing ESPN that you don't like to all the channels others don't like but pay for so you can have them in the same tier.

We are all subsidizing each other.

Again, we can debate that... but I feel pretty confident that a la cart would inevitably lead us to paying the same prices for far less channels as the only channels that would survive would be the ones that people were willing to pay the most to keep... so be careful what you wish for!

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#33 OFFLINE   satcrazy

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 03:50 PM

This idea that Dish could become some sports free, Disney free, ABC free, a la carte Utopia is just a fantasy. If Dish dumped ESPN/ABC/Disney...they would be done. Dish would be a laughingstock.

It ain't gonna happen. Charlie talks a good game...and he may even squeeze a good deal out of it.....but he is not suicidal.


O.K.
Fair enough.
However, still no answer as to why we have to take such a large bite out of that crap sandwich.:eek2
There are a dozen or so channels I would much rather contribute an increase towards, ESPN isn't one of them.
The finacial side of sports is out of control and everyone knows it.

I also refuse to pay top dollar at the theatre so that another movie star makes their $20 mill paycheck. But at least I have that choice.

#34 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:15 PM

ESPN is not one of my go to channels ... the only time I watch it is when they put something there that normally I watch on other sports channels. I wish they were not the poster child for high priced channels ... but they got there by getting in at the base level and fighting to stay there.

I defend ESPN's choice to be one of the core basic channels on cable and satellite. I defend HBO's choice to be a premium channel package. Both are locked into their current strategies enough that if ESPN decided to go premium and HBO decided to go basic they both would end up losing.

Some strategies work better for some channels than others.

I understand the two strategies. But the ESPN strategy is caught in an economic whirlwind.

Let's pretend for a moment that ESPN's costs were tied to gasoline prices. In 1993 the price for gasoline according the Department of Energy data was around $1.00 per gallon. Using the CPI today that gasoline should be around $1.60 per gallon. We all know it is far more than that.

What ESPN sells has had cost increases similar to gasoline. The oil companies, with the support of the U.S. Senate, cannot tell me that if I want to ride a bicycle on the street instead of drive, that's fine as long as pay them as if I'm using gasoline at a rate of 25 miles to the gallon.

But if I want to watch FX and USA, I pay ESPN's skyrocketing prices. Others don't have to pay HBO. So I think it's time to stop my being forced to subsidize professional, or for that matter college, sports.

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#35 OFFLINE   satcrazy

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:25 PM

If dropping ESPN or putting it in a sports tier is such a great idea, then why hasn't it been done?






It's the Gordon Gecko syndrome....

#36 OFFLINE   WebTraveler

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:14 PM

I don't see Dish and ESPN parting ways, but I do see disputes coming. I can forsee Dish playing hardball with ESPN in most packages and to most subscribers. I can see a fight over some lower tier packages losing ESPN.

To be honest, the ESPN charge is over the top and I can see a good chunk of folks simply not wanting it. This is the battle for the future, the # of subs that any provider can have in a package w/o ESPN.

#37 OFFLINE   Hunter844

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:09 AM

This dispute has been going on for a long time. It may be that both Dish and ABC/ESPN are ready to put this all behind them and work toward amicable agreement. It doesn't have to be a knockdown drag out deal like we saw with AMC. I for one would like to get ESPNU in HD before I'm old and gray.
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#38 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:39 PM

Let's pretend for a moment that ESPN's costs were tied to gasoline prices. In 1993 the price for gasoline according the Department of Energy data was around $1.00 per gallon. Using the CPI today that gasoline should be around $1.60 per gallon. We all know it is far more than that.


Probably not the best example... gasoline is a finite product... in other words, there is far less capability of converting existing crude today to gasoline than there was in 1993... because we have used a lot of it up in the intervening 20 years.

As time goes by, we will continue to exhaust the supply... so expect the gasoline prices to continue an upward trend over time.

With sports, however, as long as we have people... they will be making new/more sports. We aren't exhausting the supply of sports :)

But if I want to watch FX and USA, I pay ESPN's skyrocketing prices. Others don't have to pay HBO. So I think it's time to stop my being forced to subsidize professional, or for that matter college, sports.


Still comparing apple to oranges.

HBO chose to be alone... ESPN chose to be in a tier. Compare HBO to other similar standalone channels... Compare ESPN to other channels in a tier.

I'm paying for your FX and USA and whatever you like to watch so that I can watch ESPN. You are paying for my ESPN so that you can watch FX and USA.

IF we separate one from the other, then I bet ESPN survives longer than FX.

In the end, you would have the choice of paying for ESPN or not... but many of the other channels you like would be gone.

Today you have that same choice... pay for ESPN and watch channels you like... or don't, and cut the cord.

Packages and tiers truly evolved because when faced with the prospect of a bundle discount, people almost always opt to pay for a package even if it contains some stuff they don't want so that they get a bundle discount.

Channels like the bundles too... so it ends up working for everyone. That is how we got to wherever we are now... through consumer choice supporting the current model. IF it wasn't a desired model by most consumers, then we wouldn't be here.

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#39 OFFLINE   fudpucker

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:52 PM

What Stewart said.

No one wants to pay for the channels they don't watch. I'd drop down a tier in my package, but there is one freakin' channel in the tier I'm in that is a "must have" for us, so I end up paying for a bunch of channels we never watch.

There are a significant number of people that would be fine if ESPN was gone. Same way, a lot of people who say, hey, the big 4 networks suck, you could drop them and I'd be fine, I can get them by OTA anyway. And on and on and on.

The problem for Dish is that ESPN is a major network, with a lot of visibility, and there are a lot of people who would indeed move to DirectTV if all else was fairly equal and DTV had the ESPN channels and Dish did not. Yeah, if Dish was then half the cost of DirectTV but they won't be, and it appears from various studies most people do not decide which of the two to go with by a few dollars difference, but rather by the channel lineups and other features.)

Heck, we had a TON of people in our area that dropped cable and moved to a satellite provider simply because the cable provider switched their local RSN and dropped the current one. They lost enough people that they eventually added the old RSN back, but by then people had switched and had no desire to switch back.

#40 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:15 PM

Probably not the best example... gasoline is a finite product... in other words, there is far less capability of converting existing crude today to gasoline than there was in 1993... because we have used a lot of it up in the intervening 20 years.

As time goes by, we will continue to exhaust the supply... so expect the gasoline prices to continue an upward trend over time.

Environmentalists may consider the gasoline supply to be limited ... but most people don't treat it as a limited supply. Conservation measures are minimal and it seems much of the conservation comes from not wanting to pay for it.

Eventually the actual limit on the supply of gasoline will catch up with the world ... but for now it seems to be more of a political issue. Some countries have oil and don't mind pulling it out of the ground and selling it. Other countries don't want to pull the oil out of their own ground or territorial waters so they buy from the countries that don't mind. Much of the "limited supply" comes from decisions such as these.

And that is where artificially limited supply on programming comes in. There is literally an infinite supply of a programmer's content. The feeds of the NFL could be shown to 100 people or 100 million without exhausting the supply. The decision to limit that content to less than 20 million people (whatever the subscriber level of NFL Sunday Ticket is) was not forced because there was only so many widgets to hand out. If the NFL wanted to distribute additional copies they could.

And if the world wanted more oil all they have to do is go get it. Eventually the planet will run out of oil ... but we're not there yet.

With sports, however, as long as we have people... they will be making new/more sports. We aren't exhausting the supply of sports :)

At some point we will hit critical mass on how many people the world can support. Some think we're already there.

There is a limit on how many hours people can spend watching sports ... and after a while new sports and new feeds of existing sports simply dilutes the marketplace.

#41 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 03:10 PM

No one wants to pay for the channels they don't watch. I'd drop down a tier in my package, but there is one freakin' channel in the tier I'm in that is a "must have" for us, so I end up paying for a bunch of channels we never watch.

We all pay for channels we never watch and Dish's programming packages do offer a good set of options. Here's how I view the list, however:

Welcome Pack $19.99
Smart Pack $29.99
Dish America $39.99
America's Top 120 $49.99 (includes four ESPN channels)
America's Top 120+ $59.99
America's Top 200 $64.99
America's Top 250 $74.99
America's Everything Pak $119.99

I dropped two levels to AT120 when Dish and AMC were fighting because the only channel left in AT200 that I really wanted was BBCA and it isn't worth $15 a month (and AMC now appears in AT120).

The problem is the AT120 package costs (rounded) $50 a month and it appears that the ESPN channels represent 15%± of the cost. Add Disney to that and I and many others start to grimace because it appears that ESPN/Disney represents half the price difference between the Smart Pack and AT120.

IMHO as the pricing for ESPN climbs, at some point one has to say the ESPN channels should be in the AT120+ package. And it would be ok if access to the Disney channels were to start there to create a combined household desire to spend the extra money.

Of course, I don't like the package structures. I advocate having the cable/satellite signal carriers be like the phone company or ISP - have them sell you access and equipment for a monthly fee. Then you buy packages or channel access that the media companies decide to create and offer. It would set up true competition between the media companies and honest competition between the signal carriers. In that scenario the media companies would have to compete for your dollar by creating desirable and affordable content. And so would content production companies whether they were the NFL or Chuck Lorre Productions.

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#42 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:42 PM

The only problem with that, as I see it, is it only saves you money if you hardly watch any TV.

You can buy/rent TV shows and movies via iTunes and other online services... but TV shows usually cost a few dollars per episode.

IF you only watch a couple of shows, you might save money... but what if you watch more?

The amount of TV shows I watch every week... I couldn't afford to pay per episode at several dollars per show. I would pay WAY more if I had to pay per show... so I hope we never get there.

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#43 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 06:34 AM

The only problem with that, as I see it, is it only saves you money if you hardly watch any TV.

You can buy/rent TV shows and movies via iTunes and other online services... but TV shows usually cost a few dollars per episode.


Actually, OTA is what makes streaming a lucrative option for the non-sports viewer. The majority of what gets watched is not the cable programming but the major network programming. In my area, sure, I'd lose access to Nick at Nite, but I still have ThisTV, which has plenty of classic television. I'd lose access to TLC, but I'd have PBS Create. So the real issue is, how much of the real pay-TV content do you watch, that you'd have to pay for, and how much of the rest could be replaced with similar programming on the OTA networks?

Streaming services like Amazon Prime or Netflix are much more affordable than the typical pay TV service. I realize if everyone chooses that route, the price may go up, but for now, if what you want to watch is TV and you're not terribly fussy about it being the latest-and-greatest, I don't think you're going to run out of content.

#44 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:14 PM

The only problem with that, as I see it, is it only saves you money if you hardly watch any TV.

You can buy/rent TV shows and movies via iTunes and other online services... but TV shows usually cost a few dollars per episode.

IF you only watch a couple of shows, you might save money... but what if you watch more?

The amount of TV shows I watch every week... I couldn't afford to pay per episode at several dollars per show. I would pay WAY more if I had to pay per show... so I hope we never get there.

I think I am not getting my message across. I'm not proposing a la carte which has significant problems.

I'm proposing to end the tier packaging by carriers. Let them become "TV channel pipes" which also lease equipment.

What I'm suggesting is throwing Comcast/NBCU, Disney (which includes ESPN and ABC), Viacom, CBS/Showtime, TimeWarner, AMC Channels, etc. into a competitive market in, let's say, 2018. Let them each package whatever they have however they want to sell it to us. The "channel" marketplace is mature enough.

If Disney chooses to sell only an "everything or nothing" package including Disney, ESPN, ABC Family and ABC for $15-$20 a month, so be it.

But if in 2018 you could buy CBS with The CW and CBS sports for $7 a month and NBC with USA, Bravo, and your choice of two more channels for $7 a month and Fox with either FX for $7 or two Fox sports channels for $9, you might stop there. You may find the Disney folks and many households discovering the real cost isn't worth it.

Rich folks could continue to buy expensive boxes at the NFL stadiums. Poor folks would live with whatever they could access within a budget. And the NFL would have to live with what money the combined audience provides rather than being funded by an ESPN viewer tax on almost every household.

Right now we have major international corporations (cable and satellite) negotiating supposedly on our behalf with major international media corporations. Yet what they do is decide which cable/satellite package will contain what media package. I want to get rid of the cable/satellite package.

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#45 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:50 PM

That is still a la carte and it does not get around the issue of the channels needing the money they are currently collecting to stay in business. Cut the number of subscribers and they will have to charge more per subscriber or reduce the content to less expensive programming (infomercials, reality shows, reruns).

#46 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:26 PM

That is still a la carte and it does not get around the issue of the channels needing the money they are currently collecting to stay in business. Cut the number of subscribers and they will have to charge more per subscriber or reduce the content to less expensive programming (infomercials, reality shows, reruns).

I recognize they will have to charge more per subscriber, but I think we're headed there anyway just within an outdated inefficient government-controlled economic model in both the broadcast channels and the cable channels arenas.

I'd like to see an economic model based on content appeal/price, not some lobby-created federal law or negotiations between representatives of billionaires and international corporations.

I simply don't see some long-term tragic cultural result or economic crash. IMHO the outcome would be more like the ebook revolution than the digital music mess. Some new problems will arise, new businesses will arise, and the money will get distributed differently, and then it will achieve some new equilibrium based on supply and demand.

Of course that's all hypothetical based on my opinion which is free and worth every penny. It's very likely I'll be dead before any significant shift occurs and my grandkids ignore it all.

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#47 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 03:50 PM

The content providers have it just about the way they want it, bundle a few junk channels in with a couple of "necessary" channels and charge a good wad of cash for the lot - take it or leave it.

So far the "take it's" have prevailed.

where is the price point where the "leave it's" catch up?
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#48 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:27 PM

Also... if you talk about streaming online... then you have to pay maybe $50+ just to have that broadband connection before you can even pay that $7 or whatever to CBS to stream (in that hypothetical model).

And yeah, you might argue that you would have broadband for other reasons anyway... but while watching TV via streaming, that is broadband bandwidth you can't use for something else... so if you wanted to do the equivalent of what you can do today with Dish or DirecTV and have 2-3 people in different rooms watching unique live programming, then you might have to spend a lot more if that speed is even available in your area.

On top of that... many are instituting caps on bandwidth and charging for going over that cap... so that's a problem.

I'm just not seeing the bang-for-buck of cable/satellite delivery of tiered packages being beaten any time soon.

Again, if you literally only watch one or two shows OR all your TV is OTA, then you can and should cut the cord and save money right now!

But if you watch medium to LOTS of TV, you aren't going to beat the value in the current model any time soon.

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#49 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:29 AM

I recognize they will have to charge more per subscriber, but I think we're headed there anyway just within an outdated inefficient government-controlled economic model in both the broadcast channels and the cable channels arenas.

Please don't blame the government ... The free market came up with the current system.

There has been some "interference" on the part of the government in the carriage of broadcast TV --- allowing local TV to be carried initially against the wishes of the networks. Allowing distant channels to be carried without permission from the networks. The broadcast carriage arrangements we have today are primarily based on what the market came up with ... with the help of the courts when the channels and carriers disagreed and the congress to open up carriage. Take the government out and we may not have broadcast channels on satellite at all. (And there is no law preventing a network from negotiating nationwide carriage.)

As far as "cable" channels there is even less interference.

#50 OFFLINE   satcrazy

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 12:05 PM

HBO chose to be alone... ESPN chose to be in a tier. Compare HBO to other similar standalone channels... Compare ESPN to other channels in a tier.

"I'm paying for your FX and USA and whatever you like to watch so that I can watch ESPN. You are paying for my ESPN so that you can watch FX and USA.

IF we separate one from the other, then I bet ESPN survives longer than FX.

In the end, you would have the choice of paying for ESPN or not... but many of the other channels you like would be gone.

Today you have that same choice... pay for ESPN and watch channels you like... or don't, and cut the cord.

Packages and tiers truly evolved because when faced with the prospect of a bundle discount, people almost always opt to pay for a package even if it contains some stuff they don't want so that they get a bundle discount.

Channels like the bundles too... so it ends up working for everyone. That is how we got to wherever we are now... through consumer choice supporting the current model. IF it wasn't a desired model by most consumers, then we wouldn't be here.


Stewart,

Point here is, how MUCH more am I paying for your ESPN?

I'm thinking my USA, FX, and TNT combined are a lot less. The gripe is the amount.
If ESPN limited themselves to one channel and charged what the others are charging, I'd say the playing field is leveled.
Five or six channels with a lot of redundancy. The other day the main channel was showing a baseball game that was on MLBN. I'm not a sports fan even tho I might watch some baseball occasionally, so I don't get this.

Even Encore [ that I seldom watch] in my 250 doesn't duplicate their channels.

Jim5506
I believe in the end you are corrct. "Take it or leave it "will prevail. Question of when do you leave it is more interesting.

Edited by satcrazy, 04 March 2013 - 12:11 PM.





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