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Would Dish Network Really Consider Dropping ESPN?


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208 replies to this topic

#61 OFFLINE   dennispap

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 01:09 PM

http://www.hollywood...are-drop-631832

"On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Laura Swain in New York ruled against ABC in its efforts to stop Dish subscribers from using its PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop features.
Aside from the legal fight, the talks are complicated. Disney is reportedly looking to raise the cost for ESPN to as much as $8 from the approximately $5.50 per subscriber per month under the existing contract. The discussions encompass more than 70 channels, platforms and digital services (including VOD and versions of TV Everywhere)."

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#62 OFFLINE   tsmacro

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 01:33 PM

http://www.hollywood...are-drop-631832

"On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Laura Swain in New York ruled against ABC in its efforts to stop Dish subscribers from using its PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop features.
Aside from the legal fight, the talks are complicated. Disney is reportedly looking to raise the cost for ESPN to as much as $8 from the approximately $5.50 per subscriber per month under the existing contract. The discussions encompass more than 70 channels, platforms and digital services (including VOD and versions of TV Everywhere)."

After reading that article I still don't see anything said by anyone from either Dish or Disney that raises any red flags at this time, it sounds like so far they're really just doing their best to negotiate a deal. The most "alarming" statements in that article seem to come from people playing "what if" who are trying to stir the pot and try to create some juicy news as opposed to just reporting the actual news which in this case is so far pretty bland, people who all seem to be on the outside looking in btw.




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#63 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 01:40 PM

I agree...  if there was a major issue at this point, somebody would already be loud about it.  Channels like this start a month or more in advance with the "you are about to lose your channels" rants...  the fact that we haven't heard one negative peep from Disney over this is promising.  Similarly, the only negative stuff from Dish/Charlie is from months ago... some Web sites keep recycling old quotes from Charlie, but they are old quotes that don't appear to be valid given the current state of negotiations.

 

We will, of course, have to wait and see...  but the closer we get without loud noises the more positive we should be.


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#64 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 02:28 PM

Neither side has a big advantage.

 

Dish stands to possibly lose a few subscribers, Not I of course.

ESPN stands to lose the monthly payment for all the Dish Subscribers.

 

There will be as always some that want ESPN to go away and the other that will say, If they drop ESPN I'm outta here.

 

And others such as myself that will go Ho Hum...............

 

If WABC disappeared from Dish for example I would just record it on my DVD recorder and watch from its hard drive later. I am already getting ready to decide what to record on it as I try and sample all the new shows.

 

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#65 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 03:21 PM

Dish can also promise not to expand Auto-Hop to cover the ESPN family of channels - in exchange for lesser fees, or conversely, if we have to pay you more for ESPN, we will initiate Auto-Hop on the ESPN family of channels.


The ESPN set of sports channels would be the worst set to add Auto-Hop to. DISH does not do Auto-Hop on OTA networks for sports programs because the breaks are less predictable. The non-sports channels could be hopped. But do they have the viewership to make it worth the trouble? The major broadcast networks are only hopped a handful of hours a day and the channels represent a good portion of television viewership. The reward is worth the cost. DISH would make their decision based on the cost of adding hop information for each show during whatever hours they wanted to target.

I'd like to see Auto-Hop extended to other networks ... but I'm not expecting it and it seems like an empty threat.
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#66 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 03:33 PM

The ESPN set of sports channels would be the worst set to add Auto-Hop to. DISH does not do Auto-Hop on OTA networks for sports programs because the breaks are less predictable.

 

Are you sure about this?  It'd be trivially easy to do.  I suspect the real reason is because 99% of the public will not record a live sports event to watch the next day, so it's wasted effort.

 

That said, having AutoHop show up on the Disney Channel would be more problematic for Disney, and a cause for cheers with parents everywhere.



#67 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 04:10 PM

When DISH regularly adds Auto-Hop for live sports on OTA satellite channels I'll consider it a valid threat for ESPN. There are some sports that can wait until next day. If it is possible and DISH is already encoding that channel why not do the live sports too?

Personally I believe it is too much trouble to follow the floating breaks on live sports.

I do expect to see Auto-Hop on other networks (History, Discovery, etc. The type of channel that repeats shows throughout the week where one encoding can match whatever recording the customer chooses). But not on live sports.
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#68 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 07:55 PM

You inferred what I did not imply.

 

My point is that Dish has an extra bullet in its ammo belt, at least one more than last time around.

 

I don't know if Dish needs Disney more than Disney needs Dish, I suspect it, but do not know.


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#69 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:57 PM

In the short term... a lockout loses more money from ESPN due to the loss of 14 million subscribers worth of revenue... and Dish knows customers can't cancel service that fast even if there was a mass exodus.

 

In the long term... it gets trickier.  IF ESPN could afford a long lockout, we would get to see IF people left Dish in droves over the loss of ESPN...  IF it reached a tipping point then Dish would become more motivated to reach a new deal at ESPN terms... unless they just gave up on the notion entirely.

 

I still say this isn't going to happen.  I don't see a blackout happening here.  Where I'm less certain, though, is just how much we will get back/new in this deal.  I feel more positive about no blackout than I do about restoration if the missing HD feeds + HD feeds of channels we never had before + possibly WatchESPN.  Those are there all the sticking points would be... and I don't know how many of those might negotiate separately.... so we could get some but not all and a continuation of channels currently offered... but I don't see a blackout.


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#70 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 04:47 AM

I'm hoping for WatchESPN, and getting the various ESPN sub-channels in HD would be a nice perk.  But I'm not going to switch providers if they maintain the status quo.  However, losing ESPN for very long would be a significant problem.



#71 OFFLINE   WebTraveler

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:03 AM

It's a threat to both Dish and ESPN.

 

ESPN loses $5 or so plus the charge for its other networks x 14 million each month, not a paltry sum at current rates.   Even MORE if other Disney/ABC channels are tied into all of this.

 

Dish loses some customers, but not very many if it is a short term take down.   With folks under contract you won't lose those folks, and others won't just run right out and cancel, they'll wait it out a few days.

 

Danger for ESPN is that other systems do the same and leverage what Dish is doing and support it.

 

Also, consider this - at a charge of about $70M a month (14M x 5), even if Dish pulls it off on Tues 10/1 and restores it on Sat 10/5, how much will Dish save in just this time period?   What's on ESPN the 1st week of October during the weeknights?   Thurs has Texas @ Iowa State in football.   I can't see much else that's happening.

 

You've got the MLB playoffs going on TBS and Fox.....so will anyone be watching ESPN  this week or the next?  Or even the next week?

 

I think its the perfect time to for Dish to force ESPNs hand.

 

I would be shocked if Charlie and company did not have a master theory somewhat along these lines.    ESPN has rarely been taken down and a $70M hit for just a month or a week would be a huge hit.



#72 OFFLINE   Curtis0620

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:17 AM

How about this:  No increase but no HD. On any DISNEY/ABC/ESPN channel.


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#73 OFFLINE   joetex

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:26 AM

I would think that ESPN might be leery of being off Dish for even a short period with the presence of Fox Sports 1, a channel that I have not watched much of since I get my sports news from ESPN SportsCenter.  If ESPN goes dark on Dish, I will be tuning into Fox Sports 1 for my national sports news.



#74 OFFLINE   Link

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:35 PM

Put ESPN and ESPN 2 in the top 250 or in the Multi-Sport package.  I never watch them.  If sports fans want them, make them pay for them.  Why should all consumers be forced into a big price increase for these two channels that they may or may not watch.  Other than Monday Night Football, I don't even know what is on ESPN.


Edited by Link, 20 September 2013 - 07:36 PM.


#75 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:49 PM

Put ESPN and ESPN 2 in the top 250 or in the Multi-Sport package.  I never watch them.  If sports fans want them, make them pay for them.  Why should all consumers be forced into a big price increase for these two channels that they may or may not watch.  Other than Monday Night Football, I don't even know what is on ESPN.


ESPN would rather give up all 14 million subscribers than be forced to give up 10 million of them. They will never agree to a higher channel placement for their core channels. It is the same answer for a la carte. Why not let only the people who want ESPN pay for the channel and let everyone else drop it? Because ESPN will refuse to sell the channel to anyone via DISH if it is not sold to everyone via DISH.
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#76 OFFLINE   tampa8

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:50 PM

I have to agree I have seen no postering from either side, a good sign. This is one time I think DISH is at the disadvantage, and another reason I think the deal is all but done. DISH will just have to pay more than they really want to because I don't see it as a viable option to have ESPN dark with Monday night football, and even just in general. Of all the sports channels, I see the ESPN's being the least likely to be separated from the regular packages, so unless a carrier is willing to tell Disney no and lose ESPN and perhaps the Disney family of channels, things are not going to change.

 

(Lol posted at the same time and said pretty much what James Long did)


Edited by tampa8, 20 September 2013 - 07:51 PM.


#77 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 08:12 PM

It's all about the cards and Charlie does play his hand well. The thing is apparently he can successfully bluff and he just despises losing. It's personal to him. But the stakes are high for the Disney suits. And it's not just ESPN. Can you imagine what it would mean if Dish turned off all ESPN, all Disney channels, ABC Family, and ABC O&O (ABC in the major markets) and lost fewer than 8%of its subscribers over 2 years because all it's packages could be $13 cheaper than every other provider?

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#78 OFFLINE   brucegrr

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 09:59 PM

Put ESPN and ESPN 2 in the top 250 or in the Multi-Sport package. I never watch them. If sports fans want them, make them pay for them. Why should all consumers be forced into a big price increase for these two channels that they may or may not watch. Other than Monday Night Football, I don't even know what is on ESPN.


This argument works the other way to. There are a lot channels I don't watch. Why should I pay for them? I suspect if I added up the carriage cost for all these channels their cost would exceed the ABC/ESPN cost.

I will agree on one point. Watching TV is getting expensive. How to combat this is THE issue, IMO.


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#79 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 12:17 AM

This argument works the other way to. There are a lot channels I don't watch. Why should I pay for them? I suspect if I added up the carriage cost for all these channels their cost would exceed the ABC/ESPN cost.


The average channel isn't anywhere near ESPN's price ... It takes quite a few 20c-30c channels to get up to the $5 of ESPN. You could get there quicker if the channels you didn't watch were popular network TV affiliates or other major sports channels such as the Fox Sports regionals.

All of the other channels would exceed ESPN ... they have not quite reached 50% of programming costs, although with all of the ABC/Disney channels included they are a respectable portion of what DISH pays providers to provide your television service.

I agree that the "let me not subscribe to ESPN" argument works for any channel ... but the "you can't sell our content a la carte" and "give us the tier we want or we walk" arguments from the content providers also apply. The less popular content providers may be told to take a hike - so they agree to a la carte and/or higher tiers. But the big ones tend to get the better placements. They may allow some of their less popular channels be carried in a higher tier but their main channels must be available to nearly every subscriber ... or they walk.

When I first subscribed to DISH 10 years ago the packages were AT60/AT120/AT180/AEP. Now we have AT120/AT200/AT250/AEP. While some of the lower tier additions were music channels much of the increase in channels in the lower packages came from the higher packages. Channels that negotiated their way down to the lowest tier. The tier that most channels with self respect want to be in - delivered to nearly every DISH customer. (BTW: The price of the lower packages has been adjusted accordingly.)

While regional sports remains a second tier offering (currently AT200 for $15 more or the special AT120+ for $10 more than AT120) it remains (according to DISH public relations) "our most popular programming package". Most people are willing to pay the $15 more for the sports and other channels AT200 provides. It would be nice if there could be an AT200 and AT200+ split where one could get the "other channels" without the regional sports but I doubt that DISH would sell AT200 without sports for AT120+$5. And it still wouldn't get pricy ESPN out of the base package.
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#80 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 03:35 AM

I think they'd lose more subscribers over dropping Disney/ABC Family, et al.

 

The athletic supporters would make more noise in their usual unruly and disruptive manner, but there are plenty of other ways for them to get their lockerroom peeping fix. 

 

Short of buying the DVDs or using one of the streaming services if you have a capable web connection, there aren't too many other ways to seem the family and kids programming.

 

The two programming groups REALLY need to be separated.


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