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Intel to Offer A La Cart?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by ssm06, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    But linear distribution is actually the cheaper mechanism than heavily burdened Internet with large buildout costs and the need to develop a large caching infrastructure, etc. broadcast is cheaper. So, you example actually works against you position when viewed from cost.

    And for your ota comment in another post. In the digital age, fewer people get clean reception than ever. Urban areas have huge multipath problems and signals are not going as far with enough stability as did with analog. Analog, you got ghosts and fuzziness until the picture was so bad you couldn't see it. Digital rejects at a higher level and you get nothing.

    With analog, I got far more channels (not counting subs) from a greater distance with an indoor antenna than I can with digital. And I live close between to major cities.
     
  2. Tubaman-Z

    Tubaman-Z Godfather

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    Based on my own, personal standard of television content value (your mileage may vary) I did see increased value from D* in 2012 and already in 2013. In addition to the national HD channels that were added in 2012 (someone else can provide the specific list if that is necessary) D* added my locals in HD. While I have a deep fringe antenna on a 20' mast on top of a 2 story home with a pre-amp and a rotor the D* supplied locals do come in more consistently (I'm in a wooded valley in a rural area). That in and of itself provided the value to offset the increase. And now in 2013 they've already added 8 HD channels, 6 that are in my tier.

    Those changes easily comprise enough value to offset the increase. The functional changes to my HR20? Eh, not so much. I still don't have YouTube working and I dislike what they've done with the To-do List and closed captioning enable/disable. Yes, I am still looking at alternatives and will likely be down to 1 DVR from 3 by mid-year. But that doesn't mean that I think that D* has not increased their YtY value. It just means that I'm cheap. And I plan to keep the 1 DVR due to live sports viewing.
     
  3. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    Agreed that the technology is cheaper and more efficient. In fact, it can be made much more so. Take what I've said about internet DVRs and apply to satellite. Imagine every unique show is pushed out over satellite 2 or 3 times - just for redundancy. Live stuff wouldn't change. What fraction of satellite equipment would be required to deliver the same content?

    It's a few content distributors that are pushing this to the breaking point with their draconian business tactics.
     
  4. James Long

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

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    Are you sure? Do you have a valid trusted source that says that no portion of the cost of carrying premium channels is paid for by non-premium channel subscribers? Not once cent?
     
  5. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    You are missing the huge difference. Manufactured goods can be cranked out in an assembly line along with man power being replaced with automated machines or cheap outsourced labor. TV is not just distribution, those shows you enjoy require a cast and crew. Even things early in the development cycle cost money. For every Game of Thrones there's The Corrections. Even if a show never makes it to air or is cancelled after several episodes the people involved in making the pilot and all the unaired episodes still get paid. The iTunes's, Netflix's, Vudu's and Amazon Prime's don't get their content until after the development is done and they're a proven success on television or when it comes to the failures, if they're included as part of a bulk deal with someone like 20th Century Televison or Warner Bros.
    The revenue Turner generates from other networks like TNT and TBS are shared with CNN, which you mentioned you do watch. (Some money generated from HBO gets in the mix further up along the Time Warner line too)

    The media companies do not isolate the revenue from each network, the revenue Discovery generates from Shark Week on Discovery Channel and Honey Boo Boo on TLC is shared with BBC America, Science, Military Channel and Velocity. The revenue MTV gets from Jersey Shore and Teen Mom and Nickelodeon gets from Spongebob and iCarly is shared with their other networks to develop and acquire series for their cheaper digital nets like TeenNick, Nicktoons, Nick Jr, Logo, VH1 Classic and Centric.
     
  6. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    Nobody that knows the answer is going to say. (And no, I don't know.)

    In the big picture do I pay more for ESPN that I don't watch than a non-premium subscriber pays for premiums? I can't see how the answer can be anything other than yes.

    If the answer is no then I wager there are a whole lot more non-premium subscribers that should be even more upset.
     
  7. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    I am well aware of that. I continue to contend that I could pay more for the programs I watch that would provide the same level of funding for the shows I watch and cost me less overall.

    The easiest comparison is movies. The hits pay for the flops there to. Yet each and every one is priced separately.

    We watch very little CNN and if it cost me $1/mo I wouldn't watch it at all. We never watch TNT or TBS. So there are some of the high-end wholesale costs involved in forced packages.
     
  8. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    I used to do engineering in a very large high-tech R&D company. Those products that come off those assembly lines also had a massive investment and risk to develop with no guarantee they would be successful.

    The cost of a typical "TV" show from pre-development to distribution is peanuts compared to the lifecycle cost of developing - and supporting - most technology products. Especially if you consider how technology builds upon prior technology over and over and over again. If you were to sum together the cost of all that development it would be shocking.

    Do you think the creative process is any different for coming up with and evolving new technology products? It's actually much harder as there are far more details and real hard limits of physics, etc.

    When you talk about manufacturing of technology products you are looking at the cheapest stage. Similar to distributing a TV program.

    There is no reasonable argument that entertainment should be treated completely differently.
     
  9. pfp

    pfp Whatever

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    I'm curious how much TV the average homes without a DVR watches.
     
  10. pdxBeav

    pdxBeav Godfather

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    So true. I find it amusing how some people think that the total cost associated with making a widget is the cost of the actual manufacturing process. This false belief is what leads people to erroneously think that the TV industry is somehow different than other industries. Because if the final product is something you can't touch then it must be magic! :lol:
     
  11. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Ignorance is seldom amusing..... R+D, testing, QA are all part of the cost to get something out and into the market place, but after a few million units, those costs have been pretty well absorbed in the unit price.

    The TV industry is not like all other industries, nor is it totally unique from all others. One reason why most analogies fail.
     
  12. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Manufacturing, with its associated R&D, engineering, marketing, etc. costs has absolutely nothing to compare with TV production and distribution. Ok, there are a few similarities. Marketing. The pitch.

    After that, think about doing all the R&D and engineering necessary to develop and produce a new product EVERY week. Or every NIGHT! There is no economy of scale as there is in manufacturing. You can amortize all that R&D across many products, each with a manufacturing cycle of many thousands or millions of units to be sold.

    TV is human intensive, just like the R&D and engineering portion of product development. But once the robots get it, there is very little human knowledge worker involvement. Sure, a few people on the assembly line, but no knowledge worker required. Just people who are patiently able to do the same thing again, and again, and again, and again, thousands of times a day.

    Tell me you can product a whole new product 22 times a year. The script is empty. The page is blank every new week.

    And every week CBS has to make 38 new products: 7 news products, 21 prime time products, plus 10 late nite products. Every one of them is brand new, 22 weeks out of the year. (Some 52 weeks.) Tell me how your R&D started with a blank page every week. There is no comparison.

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  13. pdxBeav

    pdxBeav Godfather

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    No difference. You can amortize the TV show over many thousands or millions of TV viewers watching each episode.

    Once TV production is done then the computer gets it and it's broadcast with little human knowledge worker required. Just people who are trained to make sure the broadcasts get transmitted hour after hour after hour.

    I don't think anyone would argue that writing scripts is hard work, but so are most other jobs. Nobody has shown why it's harder or more challenging to produce TV content than other widgets.
     
  14. Hoosier205

    Hoosier205 Active Member

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    Once again, an attempt to compare industries that are not even remotely the same. Let's compare potatoes and water buffalo while we are at it. How about fishing line and mayonnaise next? :rolleyes:
     
  15. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Excellent points.

    Yet...

    Yes, easy to write a script. Seems like everyone writes one script or novel in their lifetime.

    Hard to write a great script. One that would be a single episode of Big Bang Theory and garner millions in ad dollars. That is where it's tough.

    Then the acting, directing, costumes, score, etc., etc. Every week.

    Everyone can play football. Few can play well enough to be in the NFL.

    Whereas manufacturing is about making millions of units.

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  16. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    Live sports / live TV needs a lot more work.
     
  17. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Again I find myself going back to a point made many pages ago...all the comparisons to high tech manufacturing, supermarkets or even water buffaloes (that one made me giggle, thanks Hoosier) miss the most important salient point: we, the viewers, are not the real customers.

    The TV industry (the producers, creative teams, actors, directors, makeup artists, camera people, etc.) all work to produce a product that we never buy. Rather, it is sold to advertisers. The car companies, the fast food chains, the perfume makers, the household cleaner manufacturers, THAT is the industry's customer. They are in the business of selling advertising time. The content they produce is previewed to the advertisers and, if they think it might attract viewers, they buy the advertising space within it. We are no more the customers of the content producers than the bees are the customer of the bee keeper.

    The only influence we have is whether we watch a given program or not. If few people watch (if the bees don't colonize the hive) the network fails to deliver the promised "impressions" (no honey is produced) and the advertisers don't pay (no honey gets sold). The more households that receive a channel (the more hives that are built) the greater the chance someone in that household will watch the channel's show (the greater the chance bees will colonize a hive). That means that the only goal the network has for distribution is to insure that it can get into the greatest number of households.

    Al-a-carte pricing is like leaving it up to the bees to decide where to place a hive and how big to make it. While that's nice for the bees, it can't support a commercial honey industry. Likewise, letting viewers restrict the channels they might watch to only the channels they know they will watch can't support the TV industry since it limits the number of impressions the networks can promise to advertisers. This further erodes their revenue stream, already damaged by the "DVR discount" advertisers already factor into their buying decisions.

    Sure, we pay the MCOs to deliver all this programming, wrapped up in a nice service, with a program guide and all sorts of extra services, just like the bees go out and collect the pollen and bring it back to the hive. There is no incentive for MCOs to fight for al-a-carte since it will make their business more complicated and less profitable, just like beekeepers trying to harvest honey only from natural hives in the wild. In both cases, it is not a sustainable business model.

    What I have yet to see from anyone that thinks al-a-carte can work is for them to actually run the numbers. Take any of the widely distributed channels like TNT, or USA, or FX, or MTV and show how, in an al-a-carte world even really popular channels don't end up reaching a small fraction of the households and potential viewers they do today.

    Remember that the basic issue here is that even the most outstanding and amazingly entertaining program ever produced will make no money if it is on a channel that only 2 million homes receive. Therefore, new programming would end up being restricted to the handful of channels that every household would end up buying. We already had that model...it was called broadcast TV circa 1965.
     
  18. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Depends on how widely you look. ESPN is part of Disney Media, which is part of the Walt Disney Company which owns Disney Studios. So the money from ESPN, at least in part, helps support the production of films that you see on the premium channels.

    From a commercial point of view, the larger entertainment industry is an overwhelming success. The US exports entertainment in vast quantities. Our films, music, TV shows, books and magazines are eagerly consumed by people all over the world. The wealth of entertainment options available to the average American is the envy of the world. When you compare what we have, and what it costs, to the options available elsewhere, you'll soon find that what we have is a relative bargain.
     
  19. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    You assume that it's a physical product. You assume that one is made and then everybody other than manufacturing and distributing is done and goes home.

    I used to do software engineering. The "product" was a massive expensive pile of bits (just like TV/movies!). A version is released/distributed. Hundreds of people came to work in large buildings for years with massive infrastructure (labs - computers, networks, etc, etc). Many millions of dollars to produce one version. And after a release... start all over again with a lot of new innovation (creativity!) and hard/expensive work to produce the next version. The more successful the product is the more demands there are and the more people/infrastructure is needed for the next version. Innovative products don't come out of grunts writing code that does A+B. Creative people cost more in software too (although they DON'T get rewarded in any comparable way to entertainment). My particular case would be considered a hit (100's of millions of $ a year). Not so different from episodes.

    Guess where the "profits" go in software? It isn't to the people working hard to make the product. It goes to executives, middlemen, and shareholders. Not so different from entertainment industry.

    Continuing to say that entertainment is mostly different from the real world is just plain wrong. And please don't justify the greed of executives, middlemen, and shareholders with the fictitious expense of the workers making the product.
     
  20. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    Then the content should be free. You have said that the content is 40%+ of Premier subscription. And that doesn't make us a customer as well?

    At a high cost with little free market influence.

    Which also means ESPN helps put movies in the theaters. So what? By that logic, if I buy an HP computer I have helped support the production of Windows that you run. (Which I pay for even if I don't use Windows on it.)

    Replace entertainment with "software" and your statement holds as well. Still does nothing to justify anticompetitive business practices.
     

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