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Group Presses VOOM Asset Sale Issues at FCC


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10 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 02:03 AM

Despite moves by Cablevision to shut down VOOM at the end of
the month and sell some of the VOOM assets to EchoStar, an
organization established to save the struggling satellite TV
service and push for more DBS competition told the Federal
Communications Commission that it's alive and well.

The Association of Consumers to Preserve and Promote DBS
Competition sent a filing to the FCC this week refuting that
it's "a mere fiction" and addressing claims that it lacks any
standing to comment on VOOM's pending demise.

The association said it's an unincorporated non-profit
association, with a Web site that can be found at
http://www.savedbscompetition.org. The association said it has
more than 200 members in 37 states, comprised of DBS
subscribers, including, but not limited to, VOOM customers.

"The association believes, as does the FCC, that greater
competition between facilities-based DBS providers will
benefit all DBS subscribers through such public benefits as
greater price competition, additional new services, and
increased technological innovation," the organization said in
its FCC comments.

Also, the association reiterated its opposition to
Cablevision's agreement to sell a satellite and related DBS
assets to EchoStar, a $200 million deal that's awaiting FCC
approval. The group said its members "certainly are not alone
in their concerns about the impact that approval of the
proposed transaction would have on the competitive DBS
landscape."

The organization added, "Indeed, over 250 individuals not
affiliated with the association have filed comments in this
proceeding, an overwhelming majority of which urge the
commission to deny the instant application."

Cablevision plans to shut down VOOM, which enrolled only
40,000 customers in a year and a half, at the end of April.

SkyReport - Used with permission

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#2 OFFLINE   SammyC

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 11:01 AM

This situation is a complete mess. Thanks for the info! I wish that the public, guys like you and me, could get a better understanding on how this is going to shake out in the end. While these companies play their positioning games and filings w/ the FCC in order to turn a profit somewhere down the road, the customer ( Voomers ) are left hung out to dry with no replacement that is even half as good. I'm extremely upset :mad: over this debacle. Do I go w/ E*? D*or Cable? All of these options are crap as far as I'm concerned. I'm a true Voomer and only care about the HD content. The others are very limited when compared to Voom and the FCC or somebody should help us understand what the best replacement should be without having to be expert or lied to by customer service reps. Voomers obviously do not care about spending an extra penny or two to get the best technology. What is so hard for me to understand is that how can a little company like Voom ( 40,000 subs ) get an edge on technology. What was D* and E* thinking? They should have been making moves along time ago to fill this need. The need is only going to get bigger as more people figure out that HDTV is the only way to fly. I don't know. Maybe Voom is before their time and that is understandable since HDTV's are not cheap. I just have a hard time believing that companies w/ 13Million subs and 10Million subs can't get their act together and provide the public with quality HD viewing. We do live in America the best country on the planet don't we? :rolleyes:

Upset Voomer
SammyC

#3 OFFLINE   BustAGroove

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 11:06 AM

--Dabs tissue to catch falling tear while dirge is played in the background-- :nono:

#4 OFFLINE   SammyC

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 11:11 AM

Sorry - sniff sniff :( - Had to vent.

#5 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 06:27 PM

I think, unfortunately... Voom helped to prove to Dish and DirectTv that there isn't enough demand for HD. If they needed to point to anything, look at how few subscribers Voom attracted.

As for technology... it is easy to spend money and go in debt providing state-of-the-art equipment... if Dish & DirectTV wanted to go broke, they could introduce stuff better than they are now too...

The trick is to introduce things as people are willing to pay for them, and offer what the public wants at a price the public was willing to pay.

For me, the minimal Voom subscription fee was about twice as much as I wanted to pay for the content... and apparently a lot of other folks felt the same, hence the demise.

#6 OFFLINE   lionsrule

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 07:46 PM

Over 200 members?

Whopdee frickin doo!!!!!

This thread is a joke

#7 OFFLINE   KingLoop

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 08:48 AM

I wouldn't say it's a joke...I think that someone is filing with the FCC and trying to prevent E* from acquiring more transponders is significant.
KL

#8 ONLINE   harsh

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 09:19 AM

This situation is a complete mess. Thanks for the info! I wish that the public, guys like you and me, could get a better understanding on how this is going to shake out in the end.

The answer to that is obvious: the market will be back to two DBS operators. Voom was never viable as a business operation in the market in which it entered. Had they waited until 2006 to go live there might have been enough of an installed base interested in HD programming.

While these companies play their positioning games and filings w/ the FCC in order to turn a profit somewhere down the road, the customer ( Voomers ) are left hung out to dry with no replacement that is even half as good.

And if Microsoft wasn't the 400 pound legal and financial gorilla that it is, we would certainly have a much better selection of advanced personal computer operating systems. Anybody remember the movie "Tucker"???

I'm extremely upset :mad: over this debacle. Do I go w/ E*? D*or Cable? All of these options are crap as far as I'm concerned. I'm a true Voomer and only care about the HD content. The others are very limited when compared to Voom and the FCC or somebody should help us understand what the best replacement should be without having to be expert or lied to by customer service reps.

So who are you mad at?

Voomers obviously do not care about spending an extra penny or two to get the best technology. What is so hard for me to understand is that how can a little company like Voom ( 40,000 subs ) get an edge on technology.

Clearly, one of the primary reasons that Voom didn't survive is that they were operating with inferior technology. Voom's primary (if not only) claim to fame was HD programming content. How they delivered it was decidedly lacking in application of leading edge technology

What was D* and E* thinking? They should have been making moves along time ago to fill this need. The need is only going to get bigger as more people figure out that HDTV is the only way to fly. I don't know.

At one time or another, we all like to think that we're part of the mainstream and that what we feel is important is equally important to everyone else. This is a fairly clear example of the fallacy of such thinking

Maybe Voom is before their time and that is understandable since HDTV's are not cheap.

I'm pretty sure it is

I just have a hard time believing that companies w/ 13Million subs and 10Million subs can't get their act together and provide the public with quality HD viewing. We do live in America the best country on the planet don't we? :rolleyes:

Obviously, the HD content isn't yet compelling enough. Let us not forget that much of what was shown on Voom and the piddly content on the bigs was upconverted. If they are going to go after HD content, it better damn well be true HD without much of the compression baggage. MPEG4 or better is imperative.

#9 OFFLINE   SammyC

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 11:44 AM

harsh
I pretty sure that all of Voom's original content was True HD ( 1080i ) - as I stated before...I'm just venting about the situation. I'm guessing you never had Voom and thats okay. I see that you picked apart my statements with your own logic and reasoning and that is okay too. You're entitled to your opinion. The problem is that I don't want to go back to what is available in my area because upconverts or not...Voom was that much better. You would have had to have Voom to really appreciate it. I'll tell you another thing, I never had a problem with their equipment. Not once. I was paying $107/mo for Va-Va Voom which also included a $15/mo PlayboyHotHD. So really $92/mo for all of you non-pervs. For $92, that package included every premium movie channel available w/ two channels in HiDef for HBO AND SHOWTIME. Not just 1 HBO and 1 Showtime in HD. But 2. 2 for STarz, 2 for Cinemax, 1 for Movie Channel. Plus, all of their original 21 channels are in HD ( I'd say I watched about 3 of them religiously ). All of the locals in HD through the OTA, ESPNHD, DiscoverHD, TNTHD, UniversalHD, WealthHD, and all the cable favorites. It was a sh$$*T LOAD. I'm going back to cable in my area ( BrightHouse ) because they have more HD content then both E* and D*. They also have the Hi-Def DVR so maybe it won't be that bad. If another provider down the road has that kind of offering for HD than I will happily jump again. I'm a consumer and I want the best. Don't you? :confused: Remember it's guys like me that help spark the crappy enconomy we're in by spending. :rolleyes:
Peace Out
SammyC

#10 OFFLINE   normang

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Posted 23 April 2005 - 04:18 PM

Junk in HD is no better then junk in SD.. There really isn't much compelling HD programming out there, lets face it. Short of movies that would all have to be converted to run in HD, and the primetime programs on the networks, some sports, what else is there? All VOOM did (IMHO) was categorize various material, make 20 or so HD channels out of it and ran them over and over.

IMHO their are only a few HD channels out there that offer much of anything worthwhile and they of course rerun their content over and over as well. Discovery HD, HDNet, their movie channel, the big two of movies HBO and Showtime, ESPN-HD, TNT-HD and thats about it.. and TNT-HD, not all it delivers is HD. Sure there are other HD Movie channels, but how many do you really need? or are willing to pay for? Even ESPN-HD is short of HD programming, because not all sports are delivered in HD. Then there is the networks primetime programming, if you happen to live in an area where you can get OTA ATSC and have a ATSC tuner to get them.

Then you have to consider, a significant portion of the country still doesn't have HD, you walk into a Electronics store, probably 80% or more of the HD sets in that store still don't provide an ATSC tuner. And many people that bought an HD set probably don't even realize that they are not even watching HD, because they don't have a HD tuner of any kind.

Satellite companies live and die on bandwidth and customers, they get customers by selling programming and equipment in some fashion to people looking for something better than cable. if cable is even an option. To get more customers, they have to offer their local channels in most cases. Most local programming is SD.. And they will probably never have enough bandwidth to offer HD Locals. The best we'll ever get is HD primetime of major networks if that ever gets worked out to provide that HD feed.

This group out to save Voom, better find a way to dig up the millions needed to keep it operating, the FCC cannot force anyone to operate at a perpertual loss.
Norm


#11 ONLINE   harsh

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Posted 23 April 2005 - 05:57 PM

And they will probably never have enough bandwidth to offer HD Locals. The best we'll ever get is HD primetime of major networks if that ever gets worked out to provide that HD feed.

MPEG4 should allow a certain amount of lattitude. D* is promising hundreds of HD locals, but as you point out, we'd probably be better off taking a primetime national feed and leaving the bandwidth available for something unique. Maybe they can figure out a way to insert material from the SD locals where the commercials and PSAs would otherwise be.

This group out to save Voom, better find a way to dig up the millions needed to keep it operating, the FCC cannot force anyone to operate at a perpertual loss.

Only government agencies burn through money like that. Each registered member of the group would have to contribute an average $10,000/month to stem the bleeding.




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