ESPN Accounts For More Than $6 Of Your Cable Bill; Could Soon Top $8

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Mark Holtz, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Calling them the most successful is a bit over reaching. They are sure, but it's their success in other areas that has back ended their ability to over bid and give massive contracts to sports teams that then push them to ask for even bigger deals to then try and recoup their money. and they all know they will simply pass along the costs to someone else now that they have the power to do so. But they had to have the backing first.

    Look at the ridiculous price twc paid for the Dodgers. They claim they did it because they where tired of the escalating costs of Rsns from fox.

    You just can't defend this... It's not about being successful or the profits they are getting. It's about the fact they are overbidding without care. They could have made the same percentage of profiles, heck probably even the same dollars and yet paid less for all their contracts...

    They don't get balance. And I in part blame the sports leagues. A big part...
     
  2. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    If required base tier carriage at $4+ per month is not successful what is? Does any other channel get that?
    I was not intending to call ESPN *the* most successful, but the numbers are pretty convincing.


    If a sports network doesn't bid enough they lose content. ESPN and TNT are leaving NASCAR because someone else (Fox and NBC) bid more to carry the races. There is a balance ... but ESPN manages to get enough content to stay in business (although I may not find a need for them after Homestead).

    The single team or conference sports channels such as SportsNet LA, Longhorn and SEC may "overbid" for content. SportsNet LA seems to be the worst "overbid". But they wouldn't be a network without the content - and while TWC would be in a better position financially if DISH or DirecTV would pay them $5 per month per subscriber, having the content gives them an exclusive they can use to sell full package subsciptions - similar to DirecTV's use of NFL Sunday Ticket.
     
  3. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    The profit of a provider is irrelevant. People compare providers by what they cost, what they have, and people's assessment of them (i.e. the "I hate Comcast" factor) No one chooses their provider by how much profit they make. Should they dump Directv and choose Dish simply because Directv makes a lot of money and Dish makes little? If the prices are roughly equal for a given customer, why should he care if Directv is more profitable? Maybe Directv is better run, or maybe most of that profit comes from customers different than him (i.e. maybe a lot of that profit is from public viewing customers, not residential)

    The issue with ESPN isn't for sports fans who value its content. Many people are willing to pay a lot for what they want, far above the cost to make it. Otherwise the "luxury" market would exist. The issue with ESPN is how much that non sports lovers have to pay for TV, and how ESPN and other sports related content (i.e. sports is why TNT was the #2 ranked network by price in that WSJ article) is driving up the cost of TV for them. When cord cutting changes from a trickle to a flood, it will be the greed all the way up and down the sports chain, from players to owners to networks to providers, who are responsible for killing their golden goose.
     
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  4. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    And if it was just espn people would care as much. But it's not. There's at least 13 sports channels I pay for right now. And everyone that comes online thinks they should be priced the same as the others even though all they did is steal content from one of the others.
     
  5. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    I believe ESPN is only 'successful' in having a large subscriber base because they are forced on everyone. If we had a choice, I see their numbers dropping by close to half. That's not success, that's extortion. Success ala Capone. You gots no choice ya' see?
     
  6. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    It shouldn't be. Everyone who is ticked at ESPN charging $6 for content (price not profit) should get their head straight and pay more attention to the profit their provider is making. Especially when their provider is virtually claiming poverty ... we're not going to pay $5 for the Dodgers ... we're not going to pay the market rate Pac-12 wants ... but we are going to make an average $21 in profit per subscriber while saying we're keeping their bill lower with our tough stance on negotiations.

    People are upset that they are paying ESPN $6 for content but not upset that they are giving DirecTV $21 in profit? Perhaps Forbes needs to write an article about where that 20% of the average bill is going.

    Think about it this way: If ESPN cut their price to $1 subscribers would save $5 per month. If DirecTV would cut their profits to $1 subscribers would save $20 per month. Yet ESPN is evil?
     
  7. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    ESPN charges $6 per subscriber (or $8 or whatever) to every provider. If you argue that Directv's customers shouldn't be allowed to complain because Directv makes too much money, what about Dish's customers? They're paying a lot for ESPN also, maybe more than Directv does per customer, and making little or no profit. Can their customers be upset at least, or do you have some excuse why they should just shut up and take it?


    Once again, my point is that people who don't want to watch sports are paying a ton for ESPN and other sports rights whether they like it or not. They have to pay this "sports tax" whether they subscribe to a profitable provider like Directv or a cable company on the verge of bankruptcy.


    Anyway, you don't know where Directv is making this money, so complaining about it is a bit premature. What if most of it comes from commercial customers (if you think Directv charges too much you should see my bill - I pay them five figures a year, easy) What if because of their size, they're able to negotiate lower per subscriber prices for some content? Should they be required to pass that savings on to their subscribers?
     
  8. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Why should there be balance? Why should every channel cost the same? Is everything you buy the same price? Does bread cost the same as water? Do sodas cost the same as candy? Is your power bill the same as the phone bill?

    When you say "balance" I hear "price-fixing"... and that only ends one way, with all the prices going up...

    What difference does that make? If there are 20 other channels that I don't want and they all together cost the same as ESPN... then I would have the same right to demand I don't have to pay for those channels as you would to say you don't want to pay for ESPN. It's the same argument... I'm paying for channels I don't want... and once you strip everything away, prices will go up on every channel for them to makeup the revenue they lose when the tiers go away... and then people will be begging for bundle-discounts again or their favorite channels will go away.

    Think you don't like paying $6 for ESPN? Ok... today your favorite channel is only 50 cents... but with ESPN stripped away and your channel now also having to stand on its own... your channel has to raise its rates to $5 to make up the difference.

    Maybe... but if I had a choice, then I would drop all those other channels I don't watch.... and they are probably channels you like... but their subscribers would drop by more than half too... and those channels couldn't survive without significantly raising their rates.

    This will never end anywhere but badly for consumers. Consumers spoke and that's why we are where we are.

    The notion that tv is forced on us is a strange one... because if most people didn't feel they were getting value for their paytv bill, most people would cancel their paytv.

    You pay $10+ a pop at a movie theater to watch whatever movie you want... you pay for that convenience to only spend on what you want to spend... whereas that same $10 (ok $15 probably) gets you HBO all month and while your choice of new movies might be cut down a little, you have a 24/7 movie offering on multiple channels.

    You pay $20+ for one ticket to one sporting event... or you pay $6 for ESPN and get lots of sporting events all month...

    And bottom line... the paytv bill is still one of the cheapest ways to get entertainment all month long. Is it too high? Maybe... but compare it to other ways you would enjoy yourself in a similar way... like going to a movie or a concert or a sporting event, and you can pay for your paytv a lot easier.

    We are "forced" to pay for channels we don't watch because we wanted it that way. We choose Dish over DirecTV because they have more channels... or switch to DirecTV when Dish loses a channel we like... and we want bundle discounts for buying a lot of channels... I do not want to revert to a one-to-one pick all my channels and pay for each individually option because there's no way that saves me money and likely ends up with less content.

    You want ESPN pulled out because you don't watch it, fine... but I want all the channels you like pulled out too because I don't watch them... and then the whole thing implodes and we are left with a couple dozen surviving channels charging as much as we are paying now for hundreds... and not easy for a new niche channel to launch under those conditions.
     
  9. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I think it is going to end badly, but just for consumers, because those who don't want sports are the ones most likely to cut the cord. Sports is responsible the vast majority of the price inflation in people's cable bills, and the more prices go up the more people who will cut the cord. The more non-sports viewers cut the cord, the more prices need to go up to support the contracts and expectations currently in place. It will quickly become a vicious cycle.

    The price increases we keep seeing are unsupportable in the long or even medium term, and are going to end badly for a lot of players/owners/colleges/networks that plan their finances around ever-increasing piles of money extracted from cable/satellite subscribers. Look at how the battles between players and owners already look to the average fan, greedy millionaires battling with greedy billionaires, with the increases given to the millionaires paid for by the sports fan, not by the billionaires. To use the latest catch-phrase from political news the "optics" of this look really bad to the average sports fan.
     
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  10. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Every provider (or nearly every provider) makes a profit. I just happen to have figures for DirecTV and DISH. DISH's profits are lower (about $5 per subscriber). I am not saying that DirecTV subscribers or anyone else cannot complain ... it just seems odd that so much focus is put on ESPN for charging what others are making in profit.

    My satellite/cable bill would not be as high if I did not have to pay the "ESPN Sports Tax" ... yet we're paying the DirecTV or DISH profits tax and reading complaints about a company less of our money is going to than the provider.

    Are you claiming that ESPN is charging more per subscriber than DirecTV is making in profits? I assume you understand that subscriber counts for DirecTV (and DISH) are adjusted to take commercial accounts into account. (In general, the gross revenue for commercial accounts is divided by the average revenue for residential subscriber to create an equivalent number of subscribers which is added to the residential subscriber count to create the reported "subscriber count".) $10,000 per year is roughly 8 subscribers - not one.

    The complainers seem to want ESPN, because of their size, to take as little profit as possible or even operate at a loss to lower their subscriber's bills. Why is there a double standard for the providers?
     
  11. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    How are these price increases any more unsupportable than other price increases?

    Almost everything has gone up in price over my lifetime... if all price increases are unsupportable, then everything should have collapsed already, no?

    Compare the cost of paytv to the cost of similar ways to entertain yourself... Buy a concert ticket, a sporting event ticket, a movie ticket... all these things cost proportionally more expensive than the equivalent content on paytv. Also, at those venues you generally are not allowed to bring your own refreshments, and while there IF you buy a drink or a snack it costs WAY more than you can buy snacks to have in your home.

    I hate price increases as much as anyone... but it's hard for me to argue I'm not getting my money's worth out of paytv.
     
  12. acostapimps

    acostapimps Hall Of Famer

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    I remember when I was on AT&T Broadband before Comcast took over, I was able to add channels individually but they were crazy expensive.
     
  13. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz New Texan

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    Just to be specific.... E$PN is the most expensive of the nationally-distributed basic channels, but the Regional $ports Networks (R$Ns) also are quite expensive. What drives me up the wall is that E$PN delivers the ratings, and and a result, Darth Maus (Disney) is able to use it as leverage when it comes to carriage for other channels. It's all in the name of "potential eyeballs".

    I am the end viewer. Yet, I find that the content that I want to watch in comparison to the price I pay is so severely out of whack that I want to cancel subscription television. Especially when I find more compelling content on MeTV with shows long cancelled than on subscription TV. (No, I don't subscribe to premium channels because the movies that I would want to watch I own on DVD or BluRay).
     
  14. ground_pounder

    ground_pounder New Member

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    dish is just as bad a cable it seems when it comes to raising rates
     
  15. ground_pounder

    ground_pounder New Member

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    I kept hearing years ago that the FCC was gonna pass a law to where the consumer could pick out the channels that they wanted to pay for and not have to pay for 400 channels of crapola. I wish they would hurry up and make this law if there ever going to. but then again how cost effective would it be for the consumer??
     
  16. SomeRandomIdiot

    SomeRandomIdiot Godfather

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    It will not be cost effective. People will pay the same price they pay now and get 10 channels instead of 400 (actually will be more than 10 as the Shopping Channels will still pay the MVPD to put them on, but I digress).
     
  17. lee635

    lee635 Hall Of Fame

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    Well, we had cable back in the late 70's and never had an a la carte option. in fact in those days, there was one basic cable package for everyone. When they added HBO, if you didn't want to pay the extra for the HBO, they had to roll a truck to put a little metal thingy on your cable to block that channel. In the 90's we moved to E*, but they didn't offer a la carte when we signed up. The closest thing Dish had was a deal where you could pick 10 channels out of a limited buffet list.

    Therefore, I don't think that there has ever been widespread a la carte subscription TV service in the US. Maybe a few niche or boutique services, but no widespread cable tv a la carte, ever.
     

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