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HDNET v. DIRECTV Application for Restraining Order

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Doug Brott, Nov 7, 2007.

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  1. Nov 7, 2007 #81 of 473

    MikeR Hall Of Fame

    Oct 5, 2006
    Problem with that logic is....Mark Cuban doesn't care if Directv increases the HD Access fee to $14.99
  2. Nov 7, 2007 #82 of 473
    Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    That is true .. MC is just looking for his cut like everyone else.
  3. Nov 8, 2007 #83 of 473

    rahlquist Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2007
    Wow step away for a bit and see what I miss. I obviously have a lot of reading to do but a quick scan through this thread leads me to one firm set of beliefs.

    It seems that HDNet and D* entered into a mutually beneficial agreement over content at a time with D* needed it badly (as proof of concept, profitability etc). They both got what they needed for a time.

    Now D* has a full stable, granted some of the horses are still a bit immature but they do meet the description of a horse even if they couldn't outrace a rabbit(i.e. HD channels with minimum content). So they can advertise them as horses. Now D* has leverage.

    D* also has a slightly uncomfortable contract with HDNet and a lot more leverage (if HDNet leaves they still have tons of horses) than previously. HDNet is more or less fighting to keep the rug from being pulled out from under them.

    And there is us, the consumers. Above all if they can dump HDNet and the content they are free to fee us up however they want. The content most likely they would like to keep (only under their amended terms), but they have other content and if they loose HDNet it wont cripple their HD offerings.

    Does that sum it up to most of yall? Or am I reading this all wrong?
  4. Nov 8, 2007 #84 of 473

    gully_foyle Hall Of Fame

    Jan 18, 2007
    Los Angeles
    One could easily argue that Choice is the most widespread package that contains HDNet. Especially if you are going to go on about "access fees" not being a package.

    If NFL Sunday Ticket is a package, and SuperFan just an access fee, then Choice and HD Access seem to be very similar. So either HD Access is a package, or Choice is.

    But saying that HD Extra Pack is the lowest tier package is trying to argue out of both sides of your mouth.
  5. Nov 8, 2007 #85 of 473

    orayzio Cool Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    You didn't understand what I was complaining about. I'm not complaining that DirecTV is trying to recoup their costs, I'm complaining about how they're doing it and who they're socking it to. Average Joe consumer on DirecTV with HD Access isn't going to get an increase in their bill on 12/15 because average Joe Consumer won't go to the trouble of adding the HD Extra Pack - they'll just stop receiving those 6 channels and will live with it. Instead, the cost of the expansion will be bore on the shoulders of the diehard HD fan that wants these 6 channels and is willing to pay for them. If I were to guess, let's say that means that 1 in 5 people with HD Access today decide to go to the trouble of adding the HD Extras Pack, increasing the price of their HD access by 49.9% and getting only an 8.6% increase in the number of HD channels for that extra 49.9%. And I'm calculating the 8.6% by dividing the number of additional channels (6) by the minimum number of channels that DirecTV touts as being in HD (70).

    My complaint is that it's lousy that they're passing a 49.9% increase onto me when it would be much more fair if they spread the increase out to all HD users, which would equate to a 10% increase or $1.50 more for HD Access. I have every right to complain that this was a lousy marketing decision because, to me, it is.

    Oh, and your last statement is misleading: you're not paying an extra $5 a month to get the shows and channels you mentioned ("Stargate Atlantis, Food Network, Law and Order Criminal intent... the Big Ten Network...") in HD. You will still get those shows for $9.99 because they're not on the 6 channels in the HD Extras Pack.
  6. Nov 8, 2007 #86 of 473

    gully_foyle Hall Of Fame

    Jan 18, 2007
    Los Angeles
    If Total Choice is a "package" and access is just access to technology, then the lowest package is Total Choice With HD Access and by that part of the contract HDNet belongs there. To say that there is some other SD/HD bundling is nice, but I don't see that contract language supporting it. There are several other unique HD channels that come with HD Access (e.g. Food HD).
  7. Nov 8, 2007 #87 of 473

    techieguy23 Cool Member

    Oct 17, 2007

    Seriously... Do you work for Directv? All your comments so far in this thread seem to indicate you do, or are heavily vested in them in some aspect.

    HDNet and HDNMovies are two of the few HD channels that show unique and completely HD material. Things like the shuttle launches, World Report, Get Out!, etc, that have been HD from the start (unlike all these new additions, with like 4-5 hours a day in HD). I also like how many of the movies on the HDNM are films you wouldn't normally see on the premium movie channels, and definitely not in HD.

    Cuban has done alot of good for HD in general. As mentioned by some in this thread, it was HDNet that showcased the "wow" of HD to them for the first time. To say Directv doesn't "need" the HDNets as much as it used to is doing a disservice to HDNet. There is much a viewer would lose out on if they do not opt to pay the increased HD package price to continue receiving channels they were getting before the new package was added.
  8. Nov 8, 2007 #88 of 473

    jtn Banned User

    Oct 18, 2007
    Earl is knowledgeable, but has said time and time again he is not paid or affiliated, just has connections with DirecTV.
  9. Nov 8, 2007 #89 of 473

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Another $5 is another $5. I am already at or beyond what my budget allows me to spend on television, and it isn't going up (unless social security gives me a 10% raise next year:lol: ).

    I am at the point where every increase in my DirecTV service cost is going to have to have a corresponding offset someplace. I would love to continue to get those channels, but if it's going to cost me $5 a month more to do so, then I am probably going to have to bypass them or find some corresponding $5 reduction (drop a receiver someplace for example).

    I fully appreciate that DirecTV is in the business to make money and do not begrudge them the right to do so. Unfortunately television is a 100% discretionary expense. They are going to have to make that additional $5 from someone else.

  10. Nov 8, 2007 #90 of 473

    kaysersoze Duplicate User (Account Closed)

    Feb 28, 2006
    Your answer is spot on, except for the cost of HD going down (I know you actually said bill, but I will take some poetic license here). I have 2 HR20's in my house. 2 years ago the equivalent tech (HR10) would have cost me $2k. Now the cost would be $600 at the most. So $5 a month for 23 plus years and I could catch up.;)
  11. Nov 8, 2007 #91 of 473

    Geekzilla AllStar

    Jun 10, 2007
    A lot of us paid $10 or $11 dollars for years of the HD tier when it was something like 7 channels. One of the arguments for that fee was that it was to help pay for the new sats. We shared that burden, but to now that there are plenty of channels and a rapidly increasing number of HD subs, DirecTV is suddenly unwilling to distribute that burden equally among all the HD subs. It is really disingenuous and I as an HDNet viewer really feel betrayed. I imagine if they’d raise the fee for a single HD tier to $12.50, both DirecTV and HDNet would be well ahead.

    Most of us are at least fairly well off and probably spend >$5 on coffee daily. The money is not the point for me. This is an issue of being asked to sacrifice for all that time, and now having that sacrifice discounted by DirecTV.
  12. Nov 8, 2007 #92 of 473

    cartrivision Hall Of Fame

    Jul 25, 2007
    Which will kill any attempt by D* to claim that HD access is not a tier. The logic behind that claim is preposterous, but then people here are only speculating that that will be D*'s defense.

    If D* tried to argue the wacky logic that HD Access is a "feature add on" and not a tier, then logically HDNet could argue that HDNet is part of cheapest D* package that 3 months ago along with HD Access would get you HDNet.
  13. Nov 8, 2007 #93 of 473

    bigwad Godfather

    Oct 19, 2006
    The thing that gets me the most is getting what I believed was a good deal and committing to D* for 2 more years, which I did not have a problem with. I have a friend who is upgrading to HD and is being charged 100 bucks to replace her regular receiver. Plus a commitment. When I complained that this long term customer should get the receiver the same as a NEW subscriber, they wrote me back telling me the DEMAND was so high that they were no longer doing anything for currentt subscribers. They also indicated that they set fees based on demand. Which tells me this may only be the tip of the iceberg! It's a bitch when they suck you in to a long term commitment at a certain fee, then start changing the rules during the game. I don't see how they can defend this!
  14. Nov 8, 2007 #94 of 473

    jkast Cool Member

    Sep 4, 2007
    If the contract language posted above is correct, then Cuban should win his suit and DirecTV was not operating with integrity when it planned to put his channels in it's EXTRA package.

    Arguments that include "it makes more sense" or "everyone will have to pay more" or "I'm not interested in the content" completely miss the point. Mr. Cuban supported HD and DirecTV in the early days with his investments and his channels in exchange for an agreement that DirecTV would broadcast them in it's least costly and most available package. This made DirecTV's early claims to be the leader in new video technologies plausible and Mr. Cuban's investments more valuable. Moving Mr. Cuban's channels to a more "exclusive" offering will lower viewership and make them less valuable. This is probably being done because DirecTV is trying to steal his viewers for their copycat 101 offering.

    I am confident that a jury will agree. Less confident that the DirecTV executives who decided to pursue this approach get fired for lack of ethics --- but they should be.
  15. Nov 8, 2007 #95 of 473

    cartrivision Hall Of Fame

    Jul 25, 2007
    Oh boy! The more I read the TRO filing by HDNet, the worse it looks for D*. According to to the document, because HDNet was not originally part of any HD tier, the contract between D and HDNet had a clause in it that stated that if D* ever created an HD tier, that D* was entitled to invoke provisions in the clause which allowed them to decrease payments to HDNet for their channels based on a formula that took into account how many other HD channels were in the HD tier, and when D* created the $9.99 HD Access tier, D* invoked that clause and began paying reduced fees to HDNet based on the fact that D* had moved HDNet into a HD tier with a number of other HD channels, so by D*'s own actions they defined HD Access as an HD tier, so that they could pay HDNet the reduced fees that the contract allowed whenever an HD tier was created.

    D* can't have it both ways. If the $9.99 HD Access package was a tier which allowed D* to pay reduced fees to HDNet for being placed in an HD tier, they can't now claim that HD access isn't an HD tier so they don't have to include HDNet in it. Can you say weasels? I'll bet you can!
  16. Nov 8, 2007 #96 of 473

    cartrivision Hall Of Fame

    Jul 25, 2007
    Which will bring D* to the next chapter in this saga.... the class action lawsuit that claims that D* subscribers were fraudulently induced into two year commitments when D* knowingly made false statements promising that no extra fees would be charged for HD programming beyond the $9.99 HD Access charge.
  17. Nov 8, 2007 #97 of 473

    SamC Hall Of Fame

    Jan 20, 2003
    IMHO, HDNet is pretty worthless. It seems to be that if somebody had a channel called "Color Net" in 1960, and all it showed was Grade Z programming, but in COLOR!!! Fine. Early adopters have to have something to watch, and the store has to have something to put the sets on to show that the technology actually works. But by 1965, the regular networks are in color and everybody forgets about Color Net.

    Same thing here. There is no reason to watch anything on HD Net other than its in HD. In another 5 years, when everything except Mexican Home Shopping and preacher channels are in HD, no one will care.

    However, this is, as described above, just a "lovers quarel". HD Net needs DirecTV, and DirecTV needs HD Net for a few more years. The whole thing does not strike me as a long term venture.

    I love the hype of lawyers nowdays. The whole complaint is a basic contract case. It could have easily been covered in three pages.
  18. Nov 8, 2007 #98 of 473

    mtnsackett Legend

    Aug 22, 2007
    well D* Has already publicly stated that they have negotiated HD carry rights at the same time they get SD carriage rights so the HD access fee is a cash cow kind of like a customer who adds the Protection plan. It is all about money if you owned a DVR why do you have to pay for a DVR Service fee not like they do anything but collect your money… unless something goes wrong and you have to call the joke of a CSR who really knows nothing about anything other then what their computer tells them. Sorry will get off my soap box:soapbox:
  19. Nov 8, 2007 #99 of 473

    Billzebub Godfather

    Jan 1, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'm not really concerned with mark Cuban's financial position (unless, of course he buys the Pirates) and I think he'll be alright no matter how this plays out.

    Also, I know Directv is a business and they sell stuff. It's up to me to decide what I'll buy and if it's worth the cost.

    However there is one issue here that concerns me.

    I have no idea if the accusation about liberty media channels receiving preferential treatment is true or not but I'm going to assume it is for the purposes of discussion.

    If HDNet is being moved in feature Liberty Media Corporation programming as claimed in the lawsuit I think it illustrates the danger of one entity controlling both the programming and the delivery system. It reminds me a lot of Comcast charging us more for internet service if we don’t have their cable service or refusing to put Comcast Sports net Philadelphia on satellite. Again, I’m not worried about how this affects Mark Cuban but how it affects the consumer.
    Isn’t this what anti-trust laws were designed to protect?
  20. Nov 8, 2007 #100 of 473
    Ken S

    Ken S RIP

    Feb 12, 2007
    So...why isn't Discovery HD Theater placed in the HD Extra pack? Funny about that.
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