1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

I'm tired of DIRECTV's Creative Ways of Digging into my pocket

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Spike, Aug 11, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Aug 12, 2013 #61 of 164
    Gloria_Chavez

    Gloria_Chavez Godfather

    543
    27
    Aug 11, 2008
    Athletes are paid so outrageously in large part due to ESPN. And that's because every PayTV subscriber has to pay ESPN 5.50 a month, even though 80% of subs never watch a sporting event. Without this subsidy from the NonSports Sub to the Sports Fanatic, ESPN would have to charge 30 dollars a month in order to honor their financial commitments to the sports leagues.

    And since this scenario isn't viable, athletes' pay would immediately decline.
     
  2. Aug 12, 2013 #62 of 164
    HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    7,386
    196
    Nov 16, 2005
    Los...
    The problem though is that the round-robin blame game of finger pointing doesn't stop with providers like ESPN.

    As they will no doubt complain just as vehement and passionately before congress that they are the ones being fleeced by the sports teams demanding ever higher prices for broadcasting rights to their games and therefore need this additional revenue from having them placed in the base packages of the various distributors.

    There aren't enough sports viewers to sustain their operating costs with a optional sports tier model.

    And of course the sports franchises will certainly argue with equal vehemence and passion to congress, that they have to charge these rates to cover the costs of operating their clubs.

    So this vicious cycle of greed everywhere just never ends, and I agree is just heading toward its own demise for sports and most all other programming as well.
     
  3. Aug 12, 2013 #63 of 164
    Spike

    Spike Legend

    198
    2
    Jul 4, 2007
    Where they "would" run into a problem is when we the consumers don't place a value on what they place a value on! And I for one do not value their mirroring fees. Place a price on the programming content and let me purchase the hardware to watch it. Force them to "Cost provide" and not "Value provide." If we, as the consumer have the power, I say exercise it and make them deliver what we want to use. If they don't like it, let the industry restructure itself into something new. The entire broadcast industry may very well be slowly transforming anyway. Look, even the head of Directv is talking about a possible merger with Dishnetwork (yes, I know. We've heard that before). With the internet's impact on viewing options plus other programming venues, how can this industry stay as it is long term anyway? I, personally, doubt that it will. Let me put it this way. Is it easier to string coax through a house or to install a wireless router for the whole house?
     
  4. Aug 12, 2013 #64 of 164
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    15,386
    585
    Dec 2, 2010
    Winters,...
    Many folks, the majority here, don't want to watch much on little screens and low resolution. Yes, the tide is shifting on that as more folks die and younger viewers come into the market, the latter being used to and o.k. with computer monitor viewing. (Or those who have major setups with broadband-> TV.... but how many get 1920 pixels?
     
  5. Aug 12, 2013 #65 of 164
    Spike

    Spike Legend

    198
    2
    Jul 4, 2007
    I stream 1080p to my television all the time.
     
  6. Aug 12, 2013 #66 of 164
    wingrider01

    wingrider01 Hall Of Fame

    1,764
    2
    Sep 9, 2005
    One thing to remember with uverse, the number of streams (the number of concurrent shows being watched) you get are dependent on the distance you are from the vrad AND you only get one DVR with pathetic storage space

    I have 13 tuners available (Genie + 4 dvrs w/ 1tb externals on all), when the Uverse people call me or stop me in a store, I point that out to them the 13 recordings and 5TB of storage then just shut up and turn away. with 5 kids, my wife, myself and a foreign exchange student sometimes 13 tuners are not enough
     
  7. Aug 12, 2013 #67 of 164
    wingrider01

    wingrider01 Hall Of Fame

    1,764
    2
    Sep 9, 2005
    Sorry the PP is not "a complete waste of $$" or the genie and the 4 dvr's I have the only one that is leased is the genie, without the PP I have to get a leased one to replace my owned units, three have been replaced over the years. Something that is called a "waste of money" is in the eye of the end users, just because you think it is, does not mean other don't. Just like I take the protection plan out on any big ticket appliance or tv, have won more then not when the 4th repair was called in or the unit was deemed not repairable, my 60 inch LG cost me 500.00 when the 4 1/2 year old 45 inch gave up the ghost under a protection plan and that was just because of the ghost for another 5 year protection plan.

    You know, come back when DirecTV has price increases like my local sewer company - 15 to 20 percent a quarter, then complain about it, and they DO have to go through a regulation board hearing to get the increase to pass
     
  8. Aug 12, 2013 #68 of 164
    SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

    1,952
    137
    Dec 28, 2007
    You've had 3 DVRs die? What the heck are you doing to them? I've had a HR20 running forever. I've had to replace the fan in it twice and I upgraded the hard drive to a 1TB. Hard drive obviously not covered... but certainly replacing the fan myself is a lot cheaper then paying $8/month for the PP. Took me all of 5 mins.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Aug 12, 2013 #69 of 164
    Tubaman-Z

    Tubaman-Z Godfather

    536
    6
    Jul 30, 2007
    Interesting perspective and one I largely agree with. However, you can't lay it all at the the feet of the content cost. If DirecTV were to not have live sports programming how much per month would a package such as Choice Plus cost? $30 $40? $50? Whatever it would be it would be more than the $7.99/month that Netflix charges. Or throw in a year of Amazon Prime (including Instant Streaming) and that's about $14.67/month for a LOT of content. (I consider the internet access a sunk cost, needed for other things.) DirecTV has substantial infrastructure charges that must be covered - same with Dish. These do not exist for Netflix (yes - they have their own infrastructure to deal with but theirs is not..ahem...rocket science).

    If it's true that content costs so much because of the viewers and fans it will be interesting to see what happens as new models continue to develop. Netflix-original series got Emmy fourteen nominations - which sounds like it could lead to a cost increase.

    To the OP - if you have high-speed internet I suggest you check out the combination of Roku, PlayOn/PlayLater, Netflix, and Amazon Prime (with Instant Streaming) as an alternative. If you are a big live sports fan it won't be sufficient. If not - it may well do.
     
  10. Aug 12, 2013 #70 of 164
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    15,386
    585
    Dec 2, 2010
    Winters,...
    OK, what programming (in general)? What is the source? What is the cost? Do you get sports via this method?
     
  11. Aug 12, 2013 #71 of 164
    Spike

    Spike Legend

    198
    2
    Jul 4, 2007
    Laxguy, I stream with a Roku player and Apple TV. The Roku has Hulu, Amazon, MLB, & Netflix etc. I've been really happy with Amazon in particular. We are big Doctor Who fans. Amazon has a lot of episodes of that program. I'm looking at other Internet based content as well. The problem is, I'm only just learning what programs are provided by which streaming service. Once my daughter begins college, I plan on cutting way back on Directv/cable/or Uverse and increasing my streaming content. She has shows that are not available by way of streaming through the internet, so I am going to respect her viewing habits until she leaves. I'm also thinking about the possibility of putting up the old OTA antenna and using a TIVO in place of Directv's DVR service. I am also taking the advice of one of the posters here and learning about PlayOn. I've got a huge learning curve to overcome. I'm not sure where I'll end up in the end.
     
  12. Aug 12, 2013 #72 of 164
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    15,386
    585
    Dec 2, 2010
    Winters,...
    Sounds like you're on a nice journey! I've several Apple TVs, and like 'em. But they don't carry enough content that I want, mainly sports, news, new series, and movies- the latter I don't really know about, as I haven't done a comparison, but DIRECTV has plenty of film I haven't seen and would like to (or stuff I've seen and want to again.)

    Netflix has made a good foray into new fields, but it remains to be seen if that'll spread. Fingers crossed.

    Thanks for the reply....
     
  13. Aug 13, 2013 #73 of 164
    Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    2,117
    293
    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    Without sports programming, it is true, any programming tier would be less expensive. But without entertainment programming, sports programming would be less expensive. Blaming one genre of programming for the high cost of cable/satellite TV is an exercise in futility. If your bill is $100/month, roughly $40 of it is directly tied to the cost of content. Take out sports (ESPN, RSNs and a couple,of other channels) and the cost would drop about $15. But if someone wanted sports only, to compliment OTA and/or IPTV, then the cost for that person would drop $25. But all of that doesn't account for volume. Unbundling would not yield a 1:1 reduction in cost because the numbers of viewers would go down, and almost by definition, the ones that are left would be willing to pay more since they would be getting only what the really want. So, take out all the sports and your remaining entertainment channels would be about $8 cheaper. Your $100/month bill becomes $92/month, give or take a buck or two. Meanwhile the sports fan's bill goes from $100 to $88 or so.

    The problem isn't confined to one channel or group of channels...it is across the board for EVERY channel and genre. ESPN gets a lot of attention because it is the single most expensive channel. But it also delivers the greatest value within the realm of sports programming because it is more densely packed than any other channel. Again, the value it provides is proportional to the cost. It is the costing model itself that is out of control.

    Take any professional sport...since it's summer, let's take baseball, but this applies to all sports. The AVERAGE baseball salary is $3.2 million per year. The MINIMUM is $480,000. Multiply that by all the players on all the teams and you are talking big numbers. Now figure in the cost of all the other team employees, operating cost for the stadium, marketing, ticket sale processing, etc.. A baseball team needs to take in several billion dollars just to break even. So, they turn to TV rights as a source of revenue.

    Meanwhile, from the fan's point of view, compared to the cost of a ticket, parking, snacks, and dealing with the guy behind you yelling obscenities at the players, $5/month for ESPN sounds like a bargain. This demand for baseball coverage leads ESPN to be willing to pay huge amounts of money to MLB because they know there are enough people willing to pay that $5 or $6 per month, and to demand basic tier inclusion because they know there are a lot of people that will watch one or two games a month, justifying the cost of the channel.

    A similar analysis can be done for HBO, AMC, TNT, NBC or any other channel. The number of households willing to get off the escalator and cut the cord is simply not significant - at least not yet. Anyone that is unwilling to pay the cost of a bundled service can put up an antenna, subscribe to online coverage of most sports, and get movies and TV series from Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. Sure, your can't get everything that way...but that is the core issue. People WANT everything. And to get EVERYTHING, you have to pay for it. Until enough people decide that they don't really NEED to see every sporting event live in HD, and that they don't NEED to have 100 plus channels to choose from, the current system will keep going and keep making money and keep raising prices.

    From the content providers' point of view, if they can get 90% of households to pay $100 per month or more, why disrupt the model, lower prices and cut profits just to get the other 10%? Until that 90% starts to seriously erode (down to 75% or so) there is no reason for anything to change.

    But it IS in the hands of viewers to drive that 90% down. It is just that (so far) no one wants to go first. Instead we keep paying the cable or satellite bill and then go online to gripe about it.
     
  14. Aug 13, 2013 #74 of 164
    JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

    4,676
    39
    Jul 21, 2008
    Comcast has a HD fee and some other systems hide the HD fee in the box rent fees.
     
  15. Aug 13, 2013 #75 of 164
    Tubaman-Z

    Tubaman-Z Godfather

    536
    6
    Jul 30, 2007
    Fair points - I tend to forget that I've gotten to a point in my life where I not only don't need it all, I really don't want it all. "All" just tends to complicate my life :) and add unnecessary cost.

    I do wonder how much the existing industry is paying attention to the increasing number of viewers turning to alternative sources largely based on cost - or the future generation of viewers who are already getting most/all of their content online as that is "what they know". Our daughter is a 19 year old college sophomore. I can say with 90% certainty that on her own she will never pay for satellite or cable delivered content. That should scare the heck out of the existing industry.

    http://money.msn.com/now/post--high-cable-prices-are-doing-what-netflix-alone-cant - This article discusses the increasing cost of "triple-play" packages whose price hikes have increased the cost of triple play by 20%, or $46 per month, since 2010. The average bill for those services in the U.S. is now more than $273 per month (deemed "unsustainable" by Marcquarie Capital analysts). Content is usually the largest part of the cost. While the article recognizes streaming as an alternative it also notes that streaming sources "...have finite content, few new shows and almost no sports. They're not a viable point-for-point alternative, especially with popular networks including HBO limiting their streaming content to cable or satellite subscribers." ("Finite" is somewhat relative in this context - there is more content on-line than I could - or should - consume in my remaining lifetime :) )

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/05/cutting_the_chord_as_sports_br.html - This article is largely about unbundling but does hit on the impact of sports programming costs. "It's estimated that more than half of viewers' monthly cable TV costs are due to sports programming. Cable prices increased 3.3 percent over the past year and have steadily gone up through the years." is balanced with "More than one-third of consumers would cancel their pay TV service if they lost ESPN, the top cable channel for viewer loyalty, according to a 2012 survey by Lazard Capital Markets." Very telling (and concerning I would think to the existing industry) are the following excerpts:

    "In 2012, 100.4 million homes received video from cable, satellite or telecommunication providers, according to the research firm SNL Kagan. That's 84.7 percent of all households, down from the peak of 87.3 percent in early 2010.
    According to a recent report by the Toronto-based Convergence Consulting Group, an estimated 4.7 million households that previously paid for TV will have "cut the cord" and dropped pay TV by the end of 2013, up from 3.74 million in 2012."

    "Earlier this year, for instance, Netflix's "House of Cards" was delivered over the Internet with no cable required. Netflix reported that customers watched four billion hours of the show's streaming video over three months, a figure that BTIG Research calculated would make Netflix the most-watched cable television network."

    I believe that the increasing costs of the current delivery models (and the content behind them), the absolute ease of connecting a one-time cost device such as a Roku (or PS3 or Xbox or whatever), and increasing quality, availability, and knowledge of on-line content will force a significant shift as more consumers are (1) unwilling to pay more when wages aren't increasing AND (2) alter their viewing habits to what's available vs. needing to have "all access".

    It will surely be interesting to see how all of this shakes out. Maybe we'll return to more ad driven revenue (fine with me if the content is free). But probably not like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuR_CVcM1tA
     
  16. Aug 13, 2013 #76 of 164
    Spike

    Spike Legend

    198
    2
    Jul 4, 2007
    Thank you so much for all of the research that you put into your post. And I really appreciate your final analysis posted above. Brilliant. And let me say this, I hope Directv and the other content providers are listening, because I truly believe long term change is in the air.
     
  17. Aug 13, 2013 #77 of 164
    wingrider01

    wingrider01 Hall Of Fame

    1,764
    2
    Sep 9, 2005
    1996 started with primestar the first was the original Tivo unit, then a R15 then a HR20. Not worth my free time to repair them myself. 8 bucks a month, can cover that by having one less cocktail at the bar, matter of perspective, my time is worth more then that.
     
  18. Aug 13, 2013 #78 of 164
    SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

    1,952
    137
    Dec 28, 2007
    You realize that you spent more then 5 minutes on it by going through the PP, right? :) Calling up DTV, being put on hold, talking to the PP people who probably want you to "try stuff" like reset the box first or talk to tech support. Then you are without a box for a few days waiting for the new one to come. Then you lost all your recordings, season passes, etc. You also have to deal with shipping the new box back. Oh wait...I thought your time was valuable??? :)

    Going through the PP cost you 2 to 3 days of your free time vs. the 5 mins to replace the fan.

    Also, 1996 was 17 yrs ago. Thats 204 months. At $8/mo or whatever it is, thats a cool $1632 you spent on the PP and you've used it a total of 3 times when you probably would have been eligible for free replacement anyways.

    BTW, if you are a customer in good standing, they will usually waive the service charge and do everything for free regarding the dish, switches, etc.

    Makes complete sense to me :).
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. Aug 13, 2013 #79 of 164
    unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

    787
    33
    Jul 9, 2007
    My son is similar.

    The TV industry will initially counter this loss of customers by increasing the prices for the rest of us. Everyone in the TV supply chain needs a certain amount of money, right? What happens if there is a 25% loss of customers and the remaining 75% pay 33% more?

    TV consumption is like an addiction. In Minnesota they keep raising taxes on cigarettes and the number of consumers is slowly declining. There doesn't appear to be a breaking point at which large numbers will quit. Obviously it helps the state financially and hurts the tobacco companies. What would be the downside if tobacco companies were collecting all that money?

    This won't stop until there is intervention to stop tying. ESPN, and the entire sports supply chain, (as an example) has to be made to negotiate with the customer directly.

    The way things are today, if large numbers start cutting the cord then ESPN (example) will figure out a way to get the cable companies to collect money on internet service for them. They can simply say that every customer that gets bits from the cable company has to pay for ESPN. Doesn't matter if it's cable TV bits or internet bits. Comply or lose ESPN for everything. It's just business :shrug:
     
  20. Aug 13, 2013 #80 of 164
    Tubaman-Z

    Tubaman-Z Godfather

    536
    6
    Jul 30, 2007
    I believe that would simply accelerate the erosion of the pay TV customer base, causing further increase to the remaining customers, causing further erosion, etc.

    Streaming content is a disruptive technology that will force change. Who would have ever thought that public pay phones or land lines in people's homes would go away? Cell phones were a disruptive change - the existing industry had to adapt or disappear. Who would have thought that Blockbuster would go bust? DVDs via mail and then via streaming were a disruptive change. What about film-based consumer cameras? I doubt that Kodak ever thought that they would be supplanted. It may be that TV industry costs will simply be passed along in a new manner - internet connection as you suggested, Netflix fees go to $45/month to cover their catalog access, whatever. Or there could be a large scale shake-up and the TV industry as it is today will be radically different in 20 years. I don't know what it will look like or what it will cost but I believe that it will be different. One could argue that the current model is too entrenched with too much consumer "addiction" to require change - that may be what the Big 3 Detroit automakers thought heading into the 1970's - before gas prices rose substantially and foreign manufacturers showed up with smaller, more fuel efficient cars. (Please, feel free to argue "apples and oranges" :) )

    <off topic>
    Re: MN and tobacco taxes - I also live in MN, near Rochester. The state's perspective on tobacco is really two-faced. They raise taxes to ostensibly reduce the number of new consumers but also to raise substantial revenue for the state. If the number of tobacco consumers went to zero that would be terrible for state revenue. So - raise tobacco taxes but not beyond what the market will bear. It will be interesting to observe the effects of this latest round of increase - will a significant amount of out-of-state tobacco make its way to MN?
    </off topic>
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page