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DirecTV Disses Broadcasters


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#51 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 04:09 PM

The government must intervene and clean out everything that gives unfair anti-competitive favors to some in the current system.  That is how this thread started and clearly DirecTV wants this cleaning to happen.


OK ... So the government decides that DBS prices are too high and they mandate that DirecTV can no longer charge any customer more than $100 for a single receiver setup and can charge no more than $5 for each additional receiver regardless of features. Let it be written and let it be done.

Do you think DirecTV would support that law? It is very pro-consumer. Or is government interference in business limited to other people's businesses?

If distributors are doing anything illegal why are they not being prosecuted under current laws? Or is it a case of what they are legally doing being labeled "illegal" by people who simply disagree with the practice?

Bulk discounts ... a provider offering a channel to a carrier at a certain rate provided they deliver that channel to most if not all of their subscribers. Illegal? Package discounts where a provider offers a group of channels at a lesser price when carried together or in some negotiated tier level combination. Illegal?

DirecTV and other carriers live on contracts negotiated with the channels they carry. They include language such as "most favored nation" where no other carrier can get a better price. Collusion? Or just good business?


I would not mind seeing more control over broadcast channels ... they are in a unique position as they have provided broadcast spectrum for their OTA transmissions. But a wholesale change to a la carte? It is not going to happen.
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#52 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 07:41 PM

You're ignoring the basic laws of economics. They can't just raise their prices as much as they want because the more they raise their prices the less demand there will be. Especially for the 98% of programming that is mostly interchangeable with other similar stuff. There aren't very many Mad Men type series out there that people would be willing to pay real money for. Do you really think that they can raise the prices of streaming reality TV? I doubt most people would pay even a penny to watch something like Storage Wars via streaming. Shows like that will have to live and die with advertising sales.



Just look at the movie theater business. That is exactly what they have done after years of decline, and I mean 40+ years of declining attendance. Prices have been going up steadily.

Even in years where the US box office has been down in money and attendance you look at it overall they've managed to use overseas sales to still more than make up for it which is kept them from slowing down or even considering slowing down raising prices of movie theaters.

They are going to continue to do the same thing anyway in shape they can TV business and there's really nothing out there right now it's gonna stop them unfortunately, And all a cart would absolutely make it worse.

#53 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 10:24 PM

OK ... So the government decides that DBS prices are too high and they mandate that DirecTV can no longer charge any customer more than $100 for a single receiver setup and can charge no more than $5 for each additional receiver regardless of features. Let it be written and let it be done.

Do you think DirecTV would support that law? It is very pro-consumer. Or is government interference in business limited to other people's businesses?

If distributors are doing anything illegal why are they not being prosecuted under current laws? Or is it a case of what they are legally doing being labeled "illegal" by people who simply disagree with the practice?

Bulk discounts ... a provider offering a channel to a carrier at a certain rate provided they deliver that channel to most if not all of their subscribers. Illegal? Package discounts where a provider offers a group of channels at a lesser price when carried together or in some negotiated tier level combination. Illegal?

DirecTV and other carriers live on contracts negotiated with the channels they carry. They include language such as "most favored nation" where no other carrier can get a better price. Collusion? Or just good business?


I would not mind seeing more control over broadcast channels ... they are in a unique position as they have provided broadcast spectrum for their OTA transmissions. But a wholesale change to a la carte? It is not going to happen.

Well I think a few small things can help.

 

Like copy Canadian way of being able to buy the box with no mirroring / outlet / drv fees.  Receiver Warranty fees are ok.

 

MLB blackout lawsuit end up with smaller team areas so RSN's are covering less outer rings. and less multi RSN areas.

 

Why not have a split sports package? maybe even have so you just buy sports + some of basic channels like TNT / TBS that do show sports quite a bit.

 

have a directv entertainment package with no ESPN no RSN's no fox sports ect but all of the other channels in choice extra classic.

 

add a choice ultimate package with no movie channels but with all the NON RSN sports pack stuff and maybe even dump NHL net from the choice ultimate package out now. Give people a 1 time shot who have choice ultimate package now to switch to choice extra classic that will keep NHL only but have no other sports pack only Non RSN stuff.


Edited by JoeTheDragon, 16 June 2013 - 10:35 PM.

I want CLTV / CLTV HD on direct tv.

#54 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:17 AM



OK ... So the government decides that DBS prices are too high and they mandate that DirecTV can no longer charge any customer more than $100 for a single receiver setup and can charge no more than $5 for each additional receiver regardless of features. Let it be written and let it be done.

 

I don't know how you got to that based on what I said.

 

The article referred to by the OP is about DirecTV (exec VP) testimony before congress.

 

He said

 

    Broadcast television has gotten far too expensive.

    Customers are forced to buy unwanted programming to get it

    special privileges for broadcasters

    Congress must address the imbalance created by decades of regulatory underbrush clogging the video marketplace

    [I]f the media conglomerates continue to reject calls for packaging flexibility, then they leave us no option but to support government  

        intervention. The status quo is simply unacceptable

 

On a simple read it sounds like he is talking about OTA broadcast.  In the last quote he says media conglomerates - does that not cover a much broader realm (including ESPN/Disney)?

 

Your don't touch business viewpoint is counter to DirecTV.

 

As for legal/illegal... see http://en.wikipedia....ying_(commerce).  Prove that cable/sat are not tying.

 

You're right that consumer vs business isn't going to have much chance of changing the law.  This is becoming business vs business and that has a history of changing law.



#55 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:38 AM

Just look at the movie theater business. That is exactly what they have done after years of decline, and I mean 40+ years of declining attendance. Prices have been going up steadily.

Even in years where the US box office has been down in money and attendance you look at it overall they've managed to use overseas sales to still more than make up for it which is kept them from slowing down or even considering slowing down raising prices of movie theaters.

They are going to continue to do the same thing anyway in shape they can TV business and there's really nothing out there right now it's gonna stop them unfortunately, And all a cart would absolutely make it worse.

 

Movie theaters are just in the death-throws of an obsolete medium.  People didn't decide they didn't want to watch movies anymore.  They decided that other distribution methods - DVD/Blu-Ray/PPV/internet/... - were more desirable.

 

The implication that this shift somehow made it more expensive for us to see movies is just plain wrong.  DirecTV PPV movie is $5.99.  Matinee around here is $7.  If I don't want to pay $6 for something and I'm willing to have less convenience, I can drive down to a neighborhood RedBox and rent a Blu-Ray for $1.50.

 

Likewise I could go to a pro sports game if I wanted to.  Their prices passed obscene long ago.  I might watch a local team's game if it is free (OTA).  That's the value I place.  Obviously there are others who are willing to spend a small fortune on their sports.

 

If Speilberg's threat of $25 movies comes to pass then so be it.  As with sports I'll choose not to.  If it is never available at the value I place on it then I won't see it.

 

That's the way the world works in most things.

 

Except TV... that has to be different  :nono2:



#56 OFFLINE   pdxBeav

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:49 AM

I'm assuming by programmer you mean something like the group of ESPN channels?

 

Are you saying that the price ESPN could get would be the same if it was offered a la carte as it is bundled with a tier?  How is that possible?  Lots of people could care less about ESPN and surely wouldn't pay for it - via their tier - if they didn't have to.  But if they don't have any choice - other than not having lots of other programming - then they will grudgingly pay for it.  For now anyway.

 

No, not at all. I'm just saying that the price will be determined by what the subscribers are willing to pay. I keep hearing the argument that if a channel is offered a la carte then the programmer will just raise their rates to whatever level which ensure the same revenue/profit. I'm saying it doesn't work that way. They can only do that if the consumer is willing to pay that much.

 

If ESPN was a la carte then a couple of things are obvious. 1. They would have fewer subscribers. 2. They would charge more per subscriber then they do now because a lot of people must have ESPN, but their overall revenue would depend on how many customers are willing to pay more. It could very well be less than what they get now. I guess it's possible the number of subs paying more could make up the entire difference, but the consumers determine that.



#57 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 09:16 AM

No, not at all. I'm just saying that the price will be determined by what the subscribers are willing to pay. I keep hearing the argument that if a channel is offered a la carte then the programmer will just raise their rates to whatever level which ensure the same revenue/profit. I'm saying it doesn't work that way. They can only do that if the consumer is willing to pay that much.

 

If ESPN was a la carte then a couple of things are obvious. 1. They would have fewer subscribers. 2. They would charge more per subscriber then they do now because a lot of people must have ESPN, but their overall revenue would depend on how many customers are willing to pay more. It could very well be less than what they get now. I guess it's possible the number of subs paying more could make up the entire difference, but the consumers determine that.

 

If you think ESPN would take less then they are now and less subs, you are out of your mind.  They would have to be forced into it.  Do you really think any cable channel can take the hit with a la carte and survive?  There are other issues to consider.  I could see subs adding and removing a channel weekly as well.  Say AMC for example, add it the day of Breaking bad and remove it later that day till the next week.  I am not sure the current phone support staff is enough to compensate for people adding and removing channels like that.

 

In the end, are you willing to pay the same price you are now and just have the 15 channels you want?  Also, under the a la carte model, how do you propose new stations ever get started?  Which channels do you watch would you fear could not make it in this model?


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#58 OFFLINE   pdxBeav

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:07 AM

If you think ESPN would take less then they are now and less subs, you are out of your mind.  They would have to be forced into it.  Do you really think any cable channel can take the hit with a la carte and survive?  There are other issues to consider.  I could see subs adding and removing a channel weekly as well.  Say AMC for example, add it the day of Breaking bad and remove it later that day till the next week.  I am not sure the current phone support staff is enough to compensate for people adding and removing channels like that.

 

In the end, are you willing to pay the same price you are now and just have the 15 channels you want?  Also, under the a la carte model, how do you propose new stations ever get started?  Which channels do you watch would you fear could not make it in this model?

 

Or course ESPN won't go a la carte voluntarily. Why would they give up their cash cow? Nobody said they would do it on their own. They have a good gig going and won't give it up easily.

 

You say I would pay the same price for 15 channels, but what price data is that based on? It's just a guess. There's a reason why the programmers don't want a la carte and it's not because they're looking out for the viewer.



#59 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:10 AM

Or course ESPN won't go a la carte voluntarily. Why would they give up their cash cow? Nobody said they would do it on their own. They have a good gig going and won't give it up easily.

 

You say I would pay the same price for 15 channels, but what price data is that based on? It's just a guess. There's a reason why the programmers don't want a la carte and it's not because they're looking out for the viewer.

 

No its for reasons like losing subs & not being able to force crappy stations on people they don't want.  You keep on thinking a la carte can be as cheap as the channels are now.  You should look into the few channels DirecTV offers a la carte like the outdoor channel or what ever it is.  Its not pennies on the dollar.


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#60 OFFLINE   pdxBeav

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:52 AM

No its for reasons like losing subs & not being able to force crappy stations on people they don't want.  You keep on thinking a la carte can be as cheap as the channels are now.  You should look into the few channels DirecTV offers a la carte like the outdoor channel or what ever it is.  Its not pennies on the dollar.

 

I have never thought each channel would be as cheap with a la carte. Not sure where you got that from. My monthly programming bill would be cheaper with a la carte.



#61 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:10 PM

I have never thought each channel would be as cheap with a la carte. Not sure where you got that from. My monthly programming bill would be cheaper with a la carte.

 

And you base that on what?  How do you know what the prices would be?


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#62 OFFLINE   pdxBeav

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 02:16 PM

And you base that on what?  How do you know what the prices would be?

 

It doesn't matter what the prices are. I know how much I'm willing to pay. If it's too high then I won't pay it and I won't get the channel.

 

I understand that each channel would cost more under a la carte, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will get the same amount of revenue. That's the only point I was trying to make.



#63 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 04:21 PM

I don't know how you got to that based on what I said.


DirecTV seems to be leaning toward government interference in their supplier's business. I pose the question whether they would be supportive of government interference in their business (DirecTV being a supplier to consumers).

 

As for legal/illegal... see http://en.wikipedia....ying_(commerce).  Prove that cable/sat are not tying.


Your claim, your burden of proof.
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#64 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 04:38 PM

If ESPN was a la carte then a couple of things are obvious. 1. They would have fewer subscribers. 2. They would charge more per subscriber then they do now because a lot of people must have ESPN, but their overall revenue would depend on how many customers are willing to pay more. It could very well be less than what they get now. I guess it's possible the number of subs paying more could make up the entire difference, but the consumers determine that.


Before going a la carte ESPN will look at their profits. If they can make more money charging every DirecTV subscriber $5 (before DirecTV's markup) than charging less subscribers more they simply will not offer their channels a la carte. They are not run by fools.
 

I could see subs adding and removing a channel weekly as well.  Say AMC for example, add it the day of Breaking bad and remove it later that day till the next week.  I am not sure the current phone support staff is enough to compensate for people adding and removing channels like that.


That problem can be handled by having minimum subscription lengths or fees for removing channels within X number of days. With digital rights management programmers could also cut off the ability to replay recordings after the channel is dropped.
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#65 OFFLINE   pdxBeav

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:25 PM

Before going a la carte ESPN will look at their profits. If they can make more money charging every DirecTV subscriber $5 (before DirecTV's markup) than charging less subscribers more they simply will not offer their channels a la carte. They are not run by fools.

 

Exactly, that's why they don't want any changes to the current system. They are very smart and know how to market their products very well.



#66 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:36 PM

All comes down to something is going to change...  Prices are getting ridiculous and I think most people are getting to the point that the prices are just plain not worth the programming.  Some people can't pay more but even people that can pay more are going to say enough is enough.

 

The day I can subscribe to a streaming version of Showtime is the day I stop paying for traditional pay-TV service - which I have been paying every month for the last 30 years or so.  

 

DirecTV and the content providers are getting very close to flesh as they 'shear the sheep'.  Once they hit flesh it's all over!



#67 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:03 PM

Peronsally I'm a huge fan of going to the movies again since the quality of 3D IMAX and 4K theaters is available to me....it has created a great move going experience again.  Unitl I can acheive that good a picture and sound at home, I'll continue to go to movies I want to see.  I usually go to a Sat. or Sun matinee, smaller crowds and a few dollars cheaper ticket prices, it a win-win.  On a side note, my HT is no slouch either.



#68 OFFLINE   goinsleeper

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:27 PM

That problem can be handled by having minimum subscription lengths or fees for removing channels within X number of days. With digital rights management programmers could also cut off the ability to replay recordings after the channel is dropped.

+1.  You already see this if trying to remove a premium package in the first 30 days with D*.


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#69 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:34 PM

 

The day I can subscribe to a streaming version of Showtime is the day I stop paying for traditional pay-TV service - which I have been paying every month for the last 30 years or so.  

 

 

And this is why you aren't seeing showtime and others giving away their programming for free, but requiring a subscription to a pay provider in the first place.  A few do but its generally for short times and I suspect that will disappear within 3 years, except for maybe ota stations.



#70 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:48 PM

Movie theaters are just in the death-throws of an obsolete medium.  People didn't decide they didn't want to watch movies anymore.  They decided that other distribution methods - DVD/Blu-Ray/PPV/internet/... - were more desirable.

 

The implication that this shift somehow made it more expensive for us to see movies is just plain wrong.  DirecTV PPV movie is $5.99.  Matinee around here is $7.  If I don't want to pay $6 for something and I'm willing to have less convenience, I can drive down to a neighborhood RedBox and rent a Blu-Ray for $1.50.

 

Likewise I could go to a pro sports game if I wanted to.  Their prices passed obscene long ago.  I might watch a local team's game if it is free (OTA).  That's the value I place.  Obviously there are others who are willing to spend a small fortune on their sports.

 

If Speilberg's threat of $25 movies comes to pass then so be it.  As with sports I'll choose not to.  If it is never available at the value I place on it then I won't see it.

 

That's the way the world works in most things.

 

Except TV... that has to be different  :nono2:

 

Actually, you are making my point for me.  Hollywood for years made prices of vcr tapes of their movies cost prohibitive to people buying them for fear it'd hurt their movie ticket attendance.  As cable (read HBO really changed the entire landscape) started airing things as well, they have slowly manipulated the markets, by making things faster available to own and easier ($), but overall at a higher cost than before (Movie tickets and subscriptions to hbo are higher and higher, and today, blu rays cost what vcr tapes did and more unless its on sale or an older movie they've already made their money on, and today they are also selling tv series, which they didn't really used to do in such large quantity, plus they also get massive money from hulu, netflix, etc for stuff that they never had before) , and increasing the price of movie theater tickets at the same time.  Its the exact same thing and streaming is just another medium that they will do the same thing with. They will increase its costs as needed to balance any profits the new medium may pull away from other sources.  

 

They probably hope for the most part that it replaces blu ray sales to a certain extent so that hey can actualy charge a little more for it and yet have even less costs since they dont have to pay to make all the discs, and the costs of the infrastructre to stream all this is more of a one time charge and some of it is actually taken care fo by internet providers, who will charge their own fees and get their own money. Why do you think comcast bought nbc and nbc was happy to do it?  Soon you will see more and more pricing based on usage and maybe even type of usage. Could you imagine if they start charging a separate rate for streaming of movies etc vs, simply surfing google for a restaurant.  I wouldn't put it past them.

 

And good grief, if a la cart hit for say fox, you would end up paying for a bunch of channels a higher price for each since overall they'd need to keep the same profit lines, and each channel would have less people so less subs paying, and less money from ads for less viewers, OR, or one channel with all programming at a price significantly more than equal to what the individual channels would cost, because you'd be paying for all the programs, plus all the lost ad revenue that the loss of the other channels would cause.  And I'd expect the costs of their movies an tv series to increase for blu ray sales as well, to keep everything in balance.  They dont care if only a few peopel can buy instead of everyone, so long as they keep their proifit margins. They just dont care about everyone having access in the first place.

 

The real solution, is for all sports leagues to stop getting so much money for their broadcast rights.  That would help fix a lot of all these issues, and why i think a hybrid system where most sports are spun off may be coming sooner rather than latter.



#71 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:18 AM

And this is why you aren't seeing showtime and others giving away their programming for free, but requiring a subscription to a pay provider in the first place.  A few do but its generally for short times and I suspect that will disappear within 3 years, except for maybe ota stations.

I don't want it for free - I'd pay double just to be rid of the wasted 500+ channels and $150 a month for basic service + Showtime...



#72 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:47 AM

DirecTV seems to be leaning toward government interference in their supplier's business. I pose the question whether they would be supportive of government interference in their business (DirecTV being a supplier to consumers).

 

No business likes to be regulated.  But regulation is necessary for balance.  Lack of sufficient regulation has a history of being bad for the population in general - even to the point of people dying because of it.

 

It's the governments job to ensure a competitive market, to prevent monopolies or oligopolies.  If an industry requires a monopoly due to the nature of the business then they must be a fully regulated utility where, yes, prices are controlled.

 

 

Your claim, your burden of proof.

 

I can't buy SyFy without ESPN.



#73 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:32 AM

Actually, you are making my point for me.  Hollywood for years made prices of vcr tapes of their movies cost prohibitive to people buying them for fear it'd hurt their movie ticket attendance.  As cable (read HBO really changed the entire landscape) started airing things as well, they have slowly manipulated the markets, by making things faster available to own and easier ($), but overall at a higher cost than before (Movie tickets and subscriptions to hbo are higher and higher, and today, blu rays cost what vcr tapes did and more unless its on sale or an older movie they've already made their money on, and today they are also selling tv series, which they didn't really used to do in such large quantity, plus they also get massive money from hulu, netflix, etc for stuff that they never had before) , and increasing the price of movie theater tickets at the same time.  Its the exact same thing and streaming is just another medium that they will do the same thing with. They will increase its costs as needed to balance any profits the new medium may pull away from other sources.  

 

With inflation considered, Blu-Ray are actually cheaper than what VHS was.

 

I don't go to the theater enough to know for sure but it looks like our local megaplex lowers prices as a movie gets older.  Man of Steel is playing now for $8/$12.75.  Others are $7/$9.75.  Those prices may seem high for those of us advancing in age but the rise has been slow and small compared to TV service.

 

Blu-Ray devalues with age as well.  Target has Hansel & Gretel for $55.  Skyfall is $25.  Harry Potter 1 is $10.

 

Any delivery method will be the same - declining costs as an item ages.  A shift to any new medium isn't going to change anything.  The newer the item is the more it will cost.  We will still have option to own or rent.  People that pay the most to have it the soonest will continue to do so.

 

They probably hope for the most part that it replaces blu ray sales to a certain extent so that hey can actualy charge a little more for it and yet have even less costs since they dont have to pay to make all the discs, and the costs of the infrastructre to stream all this is more of a one time charge and some of it is actually taken care fo by internet providers, who will charge their own fees and get their own money. Why do you think comcast bought nbc and nbc was happy to do it?  Soon you will see more and more pricing based on usage and maybe even type of usage. Could you imagine if they start charging a separate rate for streaming of movies etc vs, simply surfing google for a restaurant.  I wouldn't put it past them.

 

 

What difference if we pay for a physical disc or a little extra for data?

 

We do need net neutrality laws to prevent this.  A byte is a byte.

 

 

The real solution, is for all sports leagues to stop getting so much money for their broadcast rights.  That would help fix a lot of all these issues, and why i think a hybrid system where most sports are spun off may be coming sooner rather than latter.

 

Wow.  So sports leagues are the only ones demanding too much?!  Just the tip of the iceberg.  I could just as easily say the production companies/actors/etc are getting too much for what they put out.

 

Whatever enables sports to be spun off will change the way everything is packaged.



#74 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:50 AM

Imagine this scenario.

 

Due to a deal with Disney (for example), NetFlix Disc Subscription service is required to send 1 Disney/Pixar/StarWars/etc disc for every 5 selected by the consumer.  Without accepting this deal NetFlix would not have access to any Disney product.  Knowing that lots of consumers want Disney products, they had no choice.  So every consumer using this service pays $X a month and, as part of that payment, gets a disc they may not want or ever look at.

 

According to some, this is just a "business" deal and nobody should interfere.  If the consumer doesn't like it they can just not use the service.

 

But... you can't buy any DVD/Blu-Ray in a retail store without paying a Disney tax and getting a Disney product either.  It's just business.

 

Legal?  It doesn't take a lawyer to answer that.

 

Yet this same practice is ok with "TV".

 



#75 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:51 AM

 

Blu-Ray devalues with age as well.  Target has Hansel & Gretel for $55. 

$55????? It's $14.98 at Amazon.


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