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DirecTV plans to simplify TV program offers and bills

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by Steve615, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Mar 11, 2014 #1 of 101

    Steve615 Hall Of Fame

    Feb 5, 2006
    Middle TN area
  2. Mar 11, 2014 #2 of 101

    Gloria_Chavez Godfather

    Aug 11, 2008
    So, Michael White laments median wage stagnation, but wants to address it via a DTV-Dish merger???!!!!

    I have a better idea. When ESPN comes to the table with an offer of 5.75 a month, bid 2.25 a month, increasing at the CPI for the next five years, take it or leave it.

    White also expresses curiosity as to how Dish will develop its IP PayTv offerings.

    My take? Right now, the 18-34 that's interested in sports is already a PayTv subscriber.

    You want to attract the 18-34 demo to PayTv? Dish will have to allow a-la-carte choices, without ESPN, that will cost less than 15 dollars a month for a reasonable package. Otherwise, I doubt Dish will see the results it is expecting.
  3. Mar 11, 2014 #3 of 101

    davidatl14 Icon

    Mar 24, 2006
    Always good to see and hear the vitriol from the "usual suspects"

    Hopefully bills and package offerings can be simplified to get back on topic.
  4. Mar 12, 2014 #4 of 101

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Perhaps they could have chosen better names for some of the line items. The whole concept of "Advanced Receiver" could probably stand to be revisited. They might think of going back to the old scheme of just calling it a DVR fee or an HD fee as opposed to "Advanced Receiver-DVR" or "Advanced Receiver-HD".

    The fact that the unqualified "Advanced Receiver" is more than either of the other two is also a bit of a boggle; especially since new subscribers with only an HD DVR must pay it without being able to avail themselves of the Whole Home DVR Service component. Why are these Advanced Receiver line items "charges" and not "fees"? Is it that you can't get prorated refunds on fees? I believe the key to simplifying bills is to present the itemized charges in terms that make sense. Don't create a situation where the customer has to research what something is (or you feel compelled to include a glossary).

    Charging for the primary TV and crediting it back may not be something they can fix.
  5. Mar 12, 2014 #5 of 101

    sdk009 Icon

    Jan 19, 2007
    Kihei, Maui, HI
    A timely topic since I just off the phone with DirecTV to question why my bill went up after speaking to a CSR late last month an being told she was applying credits to reduce my bill by $23. Today's conversation was worse with the only solution offered was to reduce the package I sub to, which I find a unacceptable. If DirecTV offered ala carte pricing, most channels would disappear as the subscriber base would be speaking with its choices of what it wants to watch. I'm probably like most subs, and only watch 10-15 channels ever, but there isn't one package, other than the Premier, that contains all of the few channels we do watch. I also find the additional $29 in total receiver fees to be outrageous, and I only have two.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Mar 12, 2014 #6 of 101

    peds48 Genius.

    Jan 10, 2008
    Why would that be unacceptable? if you can afford a higher package it makes sense to downgrade the package. Why folks like to chew more that they can eat is beyond me....

    Asking for a credit is one thing, expecting or demanding one is well.... crazy ....
  7. Mar 12, 2014 #7 of 101

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    What needs to happen is the regulators need to step in and ban forcing providers to carry a popular channel in a basic tier in order to secure rights to carry other less popular channels.

    All sports (ESPN, FOX1, etc) should be in a sports pack. If you want sports, you pay for the sports pack.
    Movies should be in a movie pack
    Reality channels should be in a reality pack.
    Locals should be in a locals pack. Etc.

    I could get by real easy each month with just a Sports pack, and a News/Weather pack. I never watch anything else on DirecTv.

    Even if the sports pack was $50 a month, and the News pack was $10 a month, I would be saving $70 a month.
    1 person likes this.
  8. Mar 12, 2014 #8 of 101
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    That assumes that the channels would be able to survive collecting money only from those who would choose to buy them a la carte.
  9. Mar 12, 2014 #9 of 101

    gov Legend

    Jan 11, 2013
    That's the idea . . .

    1 person likes this.
  10. Mar 12, 2014 #10 of 101

    Rob37 Active Member

    Jul 10, 2013
    I have an idea. I keep on seeing all these people who post saying I don’t watch sports, I don’t need ESPN and all the other Sports Networks & what not. Well I for one have DirecTv for the Sole purpose of Sports. I order NFL Sunday Ticket & MLB Extra Innings Every Year. How about giving me a choice of just getting the Sports Networks for about $20 a month and not forcing me to buy all of the other 500 channels that I NEVER will watch. I don’t need all the Discovery Channels and History Channels & Cartoon Channels. Give me a Sports Ala’ Carte Choice Why Don’t You?

    Sent from my iPhone using DBSTalk mobile app
  11. Mar 12, 2014 #11 of 101

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

    Jul 21, 2008
    What about channels like TBS that some times shows sports?
  12. Mar 13, 2014 #12 of 101

    Rob37 Active Member

    Jul 10, 2013
    TBS only shows 1 weekend of NCAA Tournament games a year & baseball games during the Season on Sunday most of which are on MLB Extra Innings anyways. I really don’t need TBS.

    Sent from my iPhone using DBSTalk mobile app
  13. Mar 13, 2014 #13 of 101

    milton Cool Member

    Mar 12, 2011
    Actually the Turner properties have quite a bit of sports. I would say the NCAA Tournament (including the national college basketball semi-finals), a MLB league championship series and considerable NBA playoff coverage is a big deal.

    Also, WGN carries quite a few Cubs/Sox games, although that may not last for long.
  14. Mar 13, 2014 #14 of 101

    milton Cool Member

    Mar 12, 2011
    On the issue of simplifying packages, I would like to see Directv offer a comprehensive sports package that includes SportsPack plus every sports package (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAA football, NCAA basketball, Deportes, Fox Soccer Plus, and MLS) for around $70 per month. Kind of like how you can have all the movies for about $50.
  15. Mar 13, 2014 #15 of 101
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    A la carte would be the opposite of simplifying one's bill. It would be making the bill more complicated.

    In the simplest form a bill would state the package(s) one has chosen to subscribe to and the price, totaled up. Then any additional fees are added and any credits are listed and the bottom line is presented for payment. Perhaps a section would show previous balance, payments since last bill and current balance due. Add a date due and one has a bill. Taking all of those facts and figures and getting them into a concise readable form is part of simplifying the bill.

    Bills also include disclosures ... perhaps some are required (statements about what happens if you don't pay before the date due) ... perhaps some disclosures are not needed (statements that belong in the terms of service - not in the monthly bill). There will be some disclosures required by law - but if California requires a certain paragraph and New York requires a different paragraph should those paragraphs be on a bill sent to Illinois? Simplify.

    Getting the bill down to a single page ... two pages with required disclosures ... makes it easier for the customer to understand what they are paying for. Not forgetting that the customer is paying to watch TV, not for monthly delivery of a statement that resembles a small book. Keep it super simple!

    That is simplifying the bill. Not adding a la carte (which would be an increase in line items). But making the bill easy to understand.
  16. Mar 13, 2014 #16 of 101

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    IMHO a simplified bill would be all channels grouped in packages and none where its in this pack and this package, but not this one that costs inbetween, and so forth...
  17. Mar 19, 2014 #17 of 101

    JosephB Icon

    Nov 14, 2005
    Birmingham, AL
    Nothing is ever going to change with programming until there is a major revolt by the customers.

    The MVPDs (meaning the combined industry of cable, satellite, and telco TV) legally cannot gang up to drive prices down. The content companies can't do the same in the opposite direction, but they have the power. If all the major distributors told ESPN to take a hike, something would happen. The problem is that their contracts never expire at the same time and the pain inflicted would be immense. And, there's always one company that will say "I'll give you your ESPN" at any price.

    I don't know what Dish or DirecTV expect to accomplish with "internet TV". The method of delivery isn't where the costs are at. Buying TV over the internet will be just as expensive if not more since you have to factor in data usage. Some of the talk coming about the Dish internet TV service is that it will be tied to a person, not a household so expect to get nickled and dimed even more than you are today for the ability to watch more than one thing at once. Finally, the content will cost the same because Disney isn't going to willingly blow up their business model. It'll be an improved experience, maybe even dramatically improved. But it will cost the same and there will be very, very annoying restrictions such as the inability to FF through commercials. Basically, expect a Hulu-ization of the TV experience, both via the providers' set tops and their "apps" you'll get on your phone or tablet.
    1 person likes this.
  18. Mar 19, 2014 #18 of 101
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    They expect to stay in the game and make money. From their perspective it is better that DISH and DirecTV make money off of the cord swappers (not really cord cutters) that move to new distribution methods than to let that market go to someone else. From the programmer's perspective it is better to have the MVPDs handle the sales to individuals than need to set up their own shop.
  19. Mar 19, 2014 #19 of 101

    prushing Active Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    The problem with a la carte pricing is that the channels will just split up their shows across all of there channels. Look at what FOX did to get providers to carry FXX. No one wanted another channel, but FOX moved FX hit shows there and now providers had to carry it or face potential loses.

    In the past there has been talk of grouping channels, but what happens is they group them where you end up having 1-2 channels in each group that most people want. So you end up having to buy all the groups if you want those 10-15 channels.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
  20. Mar 20, 2014 #20 of 101

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Good point, bad example. FXX was the rebranding of an existing channel that had no real viewership. It is an example of the free market working.

    A better example would be MTV2 or H2. Or the move of NCAA tournament games to TruTV to force wider coverage and HD coverage.

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