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A LaCarte Programming

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by Kendick, Feb 10, 2006.

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  1. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Ok, I'll jump in here... I like sports, and I wouldn't like a la carte if it meant less channels for more money... but I also wouldn't pay $20 for ESPN! I like sports, but I don't like it that much!
     
  2. the_bear

    the_bear Godfather

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    ST at $300 and ESPN $20 assumes there will be a lot less sports watching than currently. Although ESPN could get $20 from a lot of people with it’s currently line up, the total revenue EPSN brings Disney would be lower than today. The loss of revenue would result in ESPN being out-bid by other networks for sports coverage. In turn ESPN, would have to lower rates. Pretty soon there would be no ESPN or at least nothing like it is today.
     
  3. Greg Bimson

    Greg Bimson Hall Of Fame

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    And from another retransmission-type battle:

    Dish Network paid Hearst-Argyle 45 cents per sub for their ABC affiliates during the Lifetime spat. When the new agreement came around for Lifetime, the Hearst-Argyle agreement was terminated and Dish Network paid all fees for Lifetime-managed properties and Hearst properties to Lifetime, and Lifetime paid Hearst for the local retransmissions.

    No matter what, this will become more and more interesting over time.
     
  4. jrb531

    jrb531 Icon

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    And this is bad? Right now ESPN can outbid all the networks because their deep pockets of "forced subscriptions" allows them.

    Now instead of us being able to watch sports for free, paid for by commercials, we have to pay for sports "and" watch the same commercials.

    I am supposed to feel sorry for ESPN?

    I don't care if ESPN want's to become a premium "HBO" type provider as long as they have to play by the same rules as HBO. If HBO raises rates too high then people can elect to cancel them. If ESPN raises rates too high for some we can do what?

    Currently the only thing we can do is to elect to cancel "all" pay TV - silly in the extream.

    As I said before.... if ESPN can no longer afford 100 million a year for rights then they simple pay 50 million in turn the players then make half of what they are making - I'm sure they will not starve if they are "only" making 500 thou instead of 1 million :)

    -JB
     
  5. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    This statement has been said multiple times, and it simply isn't true.

    The list of freely watchable sports on ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX is too long to mention. Also TNT, while not being OTA, is a channel other than ESPN that has lots of sports... and there are other channels as well that contain sports programming. ESPN is NOT outbidding all the other networks.
     
  6. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I wondered about that myself... since usually a la carte is used on restaurant menus for a list of "on the side" items that you can add to a meal... with the presumption being you would buy a meal and then add items a la carte to it.
     
  7. BobaBird

    BobaBird EKB Editor

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    Here's why it is the same argument. Yes, many actors are able to demand jackpot salaries. How? Because they generate box office ticket sales. Those tickets are paid for by people willing to pay $5-10. Don't like movies at all? No problem - don't buy tickets and no need to worry about paying taxes to build the local cineplex. Similarly, if people didn't by CDs by ___, then he/she/they wouldn't be so rich. All from the pockets of willing fans.

    I am sure actors get residuals from many sources, but I doubt much of it is from USA. I don't begin to know how much USA pays to air Hollywood movies, but rarely if ever is it enough to be able to claim a small-screen debut. They usually get them after, in varying order, theaters, DVD rental/purchase, premium channels, and broadcast networks. By then the cost is more in line with the budget of a "basic" channel.

    In the sports world, everybody gets to pay. The sports channels cost many times what other basic channels cost. Municipalities pony up millions, paid from taxes, to build stadiums for millionaires that generate jobs for dozens of part-timers. The only ways to opt out are to get no pay TV at all (a truly silly alternative if you want some pay TV) and to move to a town or county that has not sold out.

    And no, this is not like taxes for other things you don't like or need. If you've recently spoken to a CSR or fast-food cashier you see the need for education even if you don't have kids. You may only drive on a few roads but if take a look to the left and right when you come to a red light you'll see plenty of other people who do the same. These are for the good of society and we all chip in. Sports is nowhere near the same category yet we see city after city catering to the arrogance and greed of the owners and players.

    Part of this thread is about a la carte. Another part is about removing what has become a premium channel from the economical base package. ESPN can't have it both ways.
     
  8. IowaStateFan

    IowaStateFan Godfather

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    I can repeat myself too. I think we had this discussion earlier in this thread. Nobody is suggesting C-Band is great, just that it is an example that packages and a la carte did co-exist once upon a time. Is it proof that they can again? No, not proof, but it is suggestive. To suggest that C-band is nearly dead because they had both packages and a la carte is silly. There are lots of reasons C-band is almost dead but I don't think that is one of them.
     
  9. IowaStateFan

    IowaStateFan Godfather

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    Maybe..... or they could set the price at a point where they get revenues very similar to what they are getting today. If revenues drop at $20/mo maybe they could lower the price to gain more subscribers (ie make it up in volume).
     
  10. Opynion

    Opynion Godfather

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    Well maybe if C-band would come up
    with some kind of a small dish, similar to the ones that E and D have, and offer the same deal: Free system and free installation, only then C-band could and would compete with E and D, specially with the 'a la carte' option'.
    and yes, IF a la carte goodness was being offered at this time (by E, D and Cable), millions of people would be eating it up!
    I wouldn't mind paying the same amount I'm paying right now, as long as I would pay only for the channels I want.
    For the price of AT120
    20 channels a la carte would be fair enough, specially if you could get some of the premium channels included, after all, you can get all of them for $30 something, so you might as well have them a la carte also.!
     
  11. IowaStateFan

    IowaStateFan Godfather

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    Unfortunately they can. At least they do now. Actually, I agree with most of your post. Remember I am a sports fan. I understand the argument about why cities should fund stadiums but I disagree with it. Sports is an entertainment business and stadiums should be privately funded. However, sports teams also create an identity for a city which many cities covet. If Pittsburgh (or any city) won't build a new stadium, there are plenty of others that will and the owners would be foolish to turn that down. In a perverse way, it is a supply and demand market. I also agree that ESPN has become a premium channel. They are in a position to make demands on the distributors, because the distributors would lose customers in an instant if ESPN weren't carried. ESPN is never going to voluntarily become a premium channel. So what is the remedy?
     
  12. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    All I like to point out is how the people who say "C-band does it, why can't Dish" never seem to be C-band customers. They apparently have decided that Dish or DirecTV with bundles is a better deal for them than C-band with a la carte.

    Maybe it is the small Dish, maybe it is the lease/free receivers... but somehow Dish even with its ultimate evilness of no a la carte and paying for channels they swear they don't want... people keep choosing Dish over C-band.

    So my point, everytime someone brings up C-band is... well, customers keep making the choice to leave C-band for all that Dish offers... then want to complain about what Dish is not.
     
  13. Greg Bimson

    Greg Bimson Hall Of Fame

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    Aye, laddie, an' now we are at the crux of the problem...

    How can you say that ESPN is a "premium channel"? It has never been one before.

    What is an "economical base package"? Something that everyone can afford?

    My point all along has been that ANYONE'S belief that ESPN should now be a premium channel is faulty. It is not the consumer that makes this decision. According to all of you, the first multichannel provider to stand up to Disney will reap the rewards. So I'll let you all imagine what happens to the first multichannel provider that pulls ESPN from their lineup. ESPN determines how ESPN is sold. Not the distributor nor the consumer. At least not until someone stands up.

    Oh, and an "economical base package" is whatever the market will bear. Since ESPN is in 90 million out of 110 million homes, and is the most subscribed basic cable channel, I'll assume that 90 million households find their base pacakge is already economical. As someone else said...
    Well, ESPN has had it both ways for quite some time. The issue here is that the consumer can't have it both ways. You cannot complain about how expensive something is and continue to buy it.
     
  14. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    Because either:

    (a) People are more eager to see a Bruce Willis movie than a Universal movie, but they're more eager to see a Yankees games than a Derek Jeter game. OR

    (b) Entertainment owners know that publicly growsing about stars' salaries will decrease demand for tickets, but a lot of sports owners haven't figured that one out.
     
  15. Opynion

    Opynion Godfather

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    Dish is okay, but it is not perfect, it's missing the a la carte option, and the sky will not fall if uncle Sam steps in, to help with this option.
    of course, the dish packs should remain for those who want more channels.
    some people like to compare this with meals in restaurants;
    (let's see if I can do the same)
    let us suppose that restaurants sold their meals in bundles of 60_Meals, 120_Meals and 180_Meals,
    and a customer walks in and says that he only wants a steak, onion rings, a piece of french bread, a dessert and soda,
    and the waitress tells him,
    I'm sorry Sir, but a la carte is not an option, we only sell meals in bundles,
    to be
    "cost effective and to help keep prices low";--(duz this sound familiar?).
     
  16. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Several of us, on both sides of the a la carte debate, have essentially said this.

    What I see, to use a real-world shopping example... is a lot of people who want to shop for clothes at K-Mart for convenience and lower prices BUT expect to find the same selection they would find at an upscale store like Hecht's.

    If it walks and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck... and no matter how much you blow the dog whistle to call it to you... it will still be a duck!

    So people pick Dish over something like C-band, which they say offers them more choice, but then want to keep spending their money with Dish and have something to complain about.

    I've felt ripped off before, felt like I got bad service more than once at a place, and felt like I wasn't getting my money's worth... and I stopped going to those places and stopped giving them my money! It's really a simple concept.
     
  17. jrb531

    jrb531 Icon

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    Tell me "when" I have had a chance to cancel ESPN????

    How many of those 90 million out of 110 million people have an option to cancel ESPN and how many are "forced" to subscribe because their only option to get rid of ESPN is to cancel "all" pay tv?

    And to your first question about when did ESPN become a premium channel?

    IMHO "any" channel (or channel package as in the multiple ESPN channels) become "premium" once they starty charging triple the average cost for channels in the basic package. Now of course this is just "my" interpretation but just because ESPN started long ago as a "much" cheaper single channel does this mean that they have cart blanc to raise fees forever?

    At what point would you say enough is enough? Since the public cannot cancel ESPN we have no say so what is keeping ESPN in line?

    -JB
     
  18. jrb531

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    Actually I just want the option to cancel ESPN (or any other runaway channels) as well as subscribing to the science channel (for example) without having to subscribe to package B and C for an extra $20 for 1 channels.

    No one is saying to tear down the entire system but there has to be some give as the costs rise and rise.

    Making people subscribe to package "a" and "b" just to be able to get "c" is silly at best. Making people pay for premium channels (no matter what you say ESPN is now a premium channel package!) just because is not a good enough reason.

    I know, and you know, why ESPN wants to force everyone to pay for them... $$$

    90 million people paying $5 a month = $450 million!

    now lets say that half of the people would drop ESPN if they had the option (IMHO it would be more long term)

    45 million people would have to pay $10 to equal to same revenue. If ESPN doubled their fee to make up for the lost "forced" subscribers then it would cause even more people to cancel thus forcing another price increase.

    Eventually ESPN would have to cut back services until they found a happy medium - a price that a core group of people would be willing to pay.

    Is this not what other premium services have to do? Why is ESPN exempt from playing the game the same way as eveyrone else? Because long ago they "used" to be a cheap basic channel is an excuse for how long?

    Why not force everyone to pay for HBO? Would is not be cheaper then for everyone? I asked this before but the only answer I got was that sports was more popular that HBO... well back up your facts. If sports are truely more popular then make it a premium package and people will surely pay ESPN whatever they want because ESPN (and sports) is just so popular :)

    right? :)

    -JB
     
  19. Greg Bimson

    Greg Bimson Hall Of Fame

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    So, how much do you pay ESPN a month? Do you write a check to ESPN every month?

    Your issue is more with the distributor than with ESPN, as the distributor believes the channel must be in the most basic package in order to drive more subscribers. The reverse belief must also hold true: without ESPN in the basic package, the expectation for damage to the distributor's business is high.

    ESPN is in basic because most distributors believe they cannot do without it. So if you really want to do some damage, grab a bunch of people and boycott.
    And there is a reason the distributors helped to package the channels this way. The distributors make more money by forcing people to take higher tiers for programming. I don't get Sports Pack from DirecTV, although I would love to have Fox Sports Soccer and CSTV. It is just not economical for me to get these channels. As a wise first lady once said, "Just say no!".
    Until enough people actually sock the distributors in the wallet by stopping subscriptions altogether.

    Just because it is your opinion that ESPN is a premium channel does not make it so. It is a basic channel, just like CNN and TBS.
     
  20. jrb531

    jrb531 Icon

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    Can Dish remove ESPN from the basic package if they wanted to or does ESPN "require" per contract that ESPN be in the basic pacakage?

    If Dish (or the distributor as you say) is the one forcing ESPN on me then I will redirect my efforts and anger to Dish and the first "distributor" who allows me to remove ESPN will get my $$$'s.

    It is my understanding that the programmers are running the show by requiring "must carry" as well as dictating what packages their channels are being placed in.

    Now if I am wrong please let me know :)

    -JB
     
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