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Dish Retrans Dispute with Fox over 50% Hike (Closed Thread)

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by RasputinAXP, Sep 9, 2010.

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  1. James Long

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

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    The sale of "households reached" is too strong. People actually watching and caring about the programming is a different number called ratings. That number has it's place in selling advertising (especially show specific ads) but keeping the "reached" number high, even if artificial, is more important.

    Besides ... a home reached may pick up an occasional viewer who would not have thought in advance to subscribe to the channel.


    Creating the packages was a progressive effort. DISH started out in 1996 with AT40 ($19.95) in 1996 as their only tier. The next year they started offering AT40 and AT50 putting the newer channels in the $5 higher package. The third level was not introduced until 2000 ($19.95/$29.95/$39.95 levels). In 2000 there were only 5 million subscribers. DISH had a "pick any channel" type package but it didn't last.

    The programmers still want to reach "everyone". The compromise is to place them in AT250 and let people with lower packages buy the channel a la carte. Not many would accept the position of a la carte only.

    What would you do with the "must carry" local stations? They don't get paid for carriage. There would have to be some base level package for them. And the government would have to step in and define "distributed on a non-discriminatory manner" to allow DISH to charge their customers 50c for ABC and $1 for CBS or FOX (NBC would be a quarter).

    Yeah, that is not going to fly.
     
  2. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    With Dish, Fox and Cablevision CEOs being who they are, you can probably expect Fox to go dark there for a time. As subscribers paying the bill these guys generate, we can only hope that something not completely horrible to us comes out of all this.

    And for those on services not currently involved in this saga, the writing is on the wall. This will be happening with more frequency as the content providers have pretty much said they want more money from subscribers because the ad dollars aren't paying out so well anymore.
     
  3. James Long

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

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    What annoys me the most about this issue is Fox's advertising. Instead of telling their lost viewers that they are working on a deal to have their channels restored they are spending their money advertising competing systems. It is getting to the point where I can't watch other Fox related channels due to the number of "dump DISH" ads. It reminds me of protesters with picket signs ... not a company trying to get their channels restored.
     
  4. Greg Bimson

    Greg Bimson Hall Of Fame

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    It's a two-way street, two weeks into the dispute.

    Obviously, negotiations had to occur long before the October 1 cut-off date. Fox feels it is getting nowhere, so they are trying to improve their bottom line by enticing subscribers to move to systems where they feel they have relationships with valued partners.

    Meanwhile, Dish Network is happy to have the CEO tell everyone on the disputed channels that Fox is demanding a 50 percent increase, yet that would only be in relation to having FX and the FSN's in the lowest tier. It is actually a bit surprising that Dish Network hasn't been more vocal about the dispute.

    Neither side wants to budge off of their basic demands.
     
  5. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    I guess I never understood 'must carry'. The network or viable independants should be carried, but does every local low power church or high school channel need to be? Not in my book. There are a few channels here that are nothing but paid programming; not a single scripted or programmed item on them. Then we have a state operated PBS type system with transmitters in most cities of any size at all. Rotating my antenna, I get about 20 of those, all with the same programming.

    The other thing I never understood was the retrans fees. I get my local stations OTA crystal clear. I get distant station clear 90% of the time with some digitization/pixelation/complete loss (thanks DTV, never had that problem with analog). Why should I have to pay to get those same channels by satellite? The local stations aren't losing anything that they need compensation for. If anything they're gaining viewers and should have to pay Dish for the increased households. Those are people that might not watch them at all if they couldn't get it by satellite.

    Back close to topic, there really isn't that much on Fox or any other OTA channel I watch, let alone would pay to watch. During any given week, I might record an hour or two of network OTA programming. Add in a few reruns and some shows on RTN. Other than that, I try to catch the local morning news.
     
  6. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    I know we can't get political, but it reminds me of the campaigns over recent years. You don't talk about what YOU can do, you badmouth the other guy.
     
  7. James Long

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

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    Fox created the "GetWhatIPaidFor.com" domain on August 18th. DISH created the "JoinTheFightAgainstFox.com" domain on September 21st. That is a pretty good illustration of Fox's intentions in this matter.

    Fox's decision to attack DISH and tell people to change providers was not an act of desperation at the end of negotiations. It is an assault planned at least weeks in advance.


    50% is not a hard number to come up with even if one assumed that it only related to the existing package levels for the programming (AT120+ for FoxSports, AT200 for FX, AT250 for NatGeo). If a figure around $2.30 is used as the "current" for FoxSports we're talking about a $1.15 increase. Combining the media reports of Fox wanting payment for Fox 0&0 at typically $1 per subscriber as well as any increase on FoxSports, FX and NatGeo and 50% is easy to get to ... without the placement issue.

    Fox has openly claimed that their programming is worth $4 per subscriber. You don't get to $4 without a 50% price increase from the chart that was provided earlier in the thread.
     
  8. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    Absolutely - now- who needs the other more ?
     
  9. TulsaOK

    TulsaOK New Member

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    I assume that Fox isn't getting paid during this dispute while Dish hasn't lowered my bill any.
     
  10. Curtis0620

    Curtis0620 Hall Of Fame

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    Let's say $0.99 for a 30 minute show, $1.99 for a 60 minute show and $3.99 for a movie.

    That would add up real fast.
     
  11. tampa8

    tampa8 Godfather/Supporter

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    If the premise you believe in is that A La Carte will lower your bill, it will for a limited amount of people. When I see people say they only want to pick the few channels they watch, they better mean a very few if they expect to save money. As mentioned wherever you see examples of A La Carte, the pricing is in dollars, not cents. Even at only $4 a channel, you could get, what, about 10 channels before it is more than the Dish lower tier that includes locals? Yes, for a very few they would be happy with that.
    Will they be happy when the provider charges them $10 to add and subtract? Will they be happy when their favorite show moves to another channel they don't get and now have to? Or when their sports team is on another channel for the beginning of a game as often happens when another event goes overtime?

    For most people, I firmly believe A La Carte would cost more and for once agree with a government (and others) studies that it would water down the choices and not encourage taking programming risks. Packaging is not perfect, not much is. But there are things I get to watch that I know I would not be able to afford, or would not have even been produced if A La Carte were the only alternative. I can only see it working if it is offered in addition to the packages being offered.
     
  12. EW800

    EW800 AllStar

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    I would love to know what the advertisers are saying in regard to this dispute going on as long as it is. I would imagine that they are very concerned about these channels now being available to far fewer viewers. I would think they would be putting pressure on Fox to resolve this??
     
  13. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    I will make one more comment about a la carte vs tiered packages.

    If I could con the cable and satellite companies into putting up the phrelin channel consisting of 24/7 web cam of my cat in SD with mono audio (low bandwidth usage) for a mere 10¢ a month from every subscriber, that could bring me a gross revenue of something like $8 million a month.

    At some point, these channels that have relatively few viewers ought to be on the internet where the 10,000 viewers that watch two shows from it can do so. Cable TV is an inappropriate medium.

    With regard to pricing of a la carte, the market would determine the price. HBO can pull $15 a month for its package. Maybe Disney with the a package that includes the Disney channel and ESPN could pull $20, maybe not. Maybe they could get $10 for ESPN a la carte. I don't know.

    Maybe a basic cable tier could include the top rated 100 channels 20¢ and under plus whatever "premium packages" or a la carte you want to buy - Disney, NBCU, Viacom, CBS, Time Warner, Fox, Discovery, whatever.

    My point is, I don't want to continue a system that forces me to subsidize Ryan Seacrest or Hasbro.
     
  14. Greg Bimson

    Greg Bimson Hall Of Fame

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    Yet almost 85 percent of the US households, including your own, are by a strained definition "subsidizing" a system the free-market built. It's a bit disingenuous complaining the system is corrupt while continuing to send in money.

    I don't get to ear-mark how my tax money is spent or choose the suppliers of the wheat used in a box of spaghetti.
     
  15. runner861

    runner861 Icon

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    Get Congress to eliminate "retransmission consent" and go with "must carry," or put up a rooftop antenna (how TV is really supposed to be received), and you get the local affiliates for free.

    It seems like companies like Dish feel that subscribers are nearing a breaking point where they will not tolerate further rate increases. I at least believe that is the case. Something has to give. People who are not sports fans don't want to pay large amounts of money for sports channels. People don't want to pay large amounts of money for TV channels that are supposed to be free, like the local network affiliates. Something is going to happen. Perhaps the market will move toward a la carte. Perhaps people will just stop subscribing to cable and satellite and go back to OTA or move to the internet. Perhaps people will just accept that cable and satellite are going to offer fewer channels. The system, as it currently is, is unsustainable and is broken.
     
  16. Paul Secic

    Paul Secic Hall Of Fame

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    Again FOX pulled "their" channels first!
     
  17. grooves12

    grooves12 Godfather

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    Well, the thing is, it WORKS... Fox is not harmed in any way by these negotiations. Customers are naive and switch providers whenever these things happen, not realizing that by doing so they are indirectly agreeing to a price increase and encourage the tactics of the network.
     
  18. inazsully

    inazsully Icon

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    OK, OK, By now it's pretty obvious that the blame game has been established. There are a few here that certainly seem to know what they are talking about regarding this issue and how it came to be, at least from the DISH standpoint. James, Phrelin, Paul, Greg, and several others. What is you're educated GUESS, will FOX go dark on Nov. 1? If they do what are the short term ramifications for DISH? I'm just curious how some of the 1500 + posters here think this issue will play out.
     
  19. EW800

    EW800 AllStar

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    Wouldn't fox be taking a beating from their advertisers over the fact that the number of possible viewers is less??
     
  20. Greg Bimson

    Greg Bimson Hall Of Fame

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    Funny. Eleven years ago both DirecTV and Dish Network "needed local television stations to compete with cable". And with those local stations, DirecTV and Dish Network became much more viable in the eyes of the general public, as one of the main obstacles of subscribing was overcome.

    Which is the exact same problem with cable TV. Most people believed it was a half/half propostion: pay for cable to get your local channels and additional programming. EDIT: And if you go to the government with your hand out, asking to compete with another group, you'll be saddled with their regulations. So DBS received the local stations, and the must-carry and retransmission consent laws.

    So of course what is being asked is to rollback TV like it was in the 1980's, just like Charlie Ergen and his quote about "when I was a kid, sports was on broadcast TV". Times change, and if you don't want to play the game, either get out or change the game...
    Dish Network has an interesting problem. They are the "value" provider. So they are already operating on thinner margins because their business plan WAS to be a few dollars cheaper than their competitors. Now, one of their programming providers is feeling shortchanged because all of their other partners offer their programming on the most basic tier. So, Dish Network now has three options:

    1) Swallow the proposal with pride
    2) Forget the channels exist and hope not many jump ship
    3) somewhere in between

    The value provider may have to start dealing without more and more channels if they are simply looking to cut costs. The downside is they may have to deal with both a shrinking subscriber base and a shrinking base of possible customers that will now never consider Dish Network as an alternative because they don't have some of the higher-rated programming.
    It isn't broken if people aren't leaving in droves. You can't get 85 percent of the nation to agree on much; 85 percent of the nation is subscribing to some form of multichannel distribution.
     
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