Local retrans fees now over $20

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by slice1900, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    My new Mediacom bill came, the local station surcharge is now over $21/month, it has doubled in barely two years. In case you wonder why your Directv/Comcast/etc. bill keeps going up and up...

    Still don't understand why Directv doesn't break that out, being able to put blame on the local stations would take a little pressure off them when they announce their yearly price increase.
     
  2. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I suspect that the concern is that customers might want to opt out of local channels if they were a independent entity and that would require a paradigm shift in LiL carriage negotiations.

    I think the RSN premium is a better model for what could be done about local channels. I don't imagine that there's necessarily a 1:1 relationship between RSN territories and local channel markets so they probably couldn't easily explain combining the two into a single charge.

    To maintain dollar perspective, it must be noted that cable providers typically carry quite a few more local channels than DIRECTV does and that is not counting the PEG channels (often supported by a separate PEG/franchise fee).
     
  3. mitchflorida

    mitchflorida Godfather

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    You don't understand why Directv doesn't break out the local channels, making them optional? Maybe because they are stupid. There is no other explanation.
     
  4. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    As far as I know only Dish makes them optional... Not aware of anyone else doing that
     
  5. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Breaking out of the cost and making them optional are two different things. They might not make them optional because their contracts are based on the number of subscribers per DMA. If they wanted to allow people to drop locals, the station owner groups would ask for more money to make up the difference.

    Not breaking out the price is stupid. They would be able to get away with having little or no increase on their lowest end packages - all the increase would be for locals. In packages that include sports they'd still see some increases, but not as big as they are. It has to make them look worse when they say "package x increases by $7/year" every year, when they could say "package x increases by $3" and just have the local channel surcharge go up at random intervals whenever they have a new contract like Mediacom does.

    It would make customers a lot more understanding about how local channel outages, if they saw their price go up $2+ like mine did over a contract with a single station being renewed.
     
  6. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    And that may be one of the reasons why Dish has more local station outages than anyone else.
     
  7. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    That wasn't the recommendation. The recommendation was to make local channels a separate line item on the bill.
     
  8. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    That's perhaps not true if it shows the subscribers (and potential subscribers) that DIRECTV isn't trying very hard to keep costs down (although the monthly bill makes that abundantly clear). The more you break something down, the easier it is to pick apart where the money is going. I think people are happier when they take something like this in one gulp and they can't contemplate the components.
     
  9. James Long

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

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    DIRECTV showing a $20 breakout in a market where DISH has a $12 breakout? "Back in the day" when locals were added DISH valued them at $5 and DIRECTV valued them at $3 ... and for a time both companies included locals in their packages.

    Yet another non optional fee? Annoying when it is $5. More annoying when it is $10 (like the RSNs). Perhaps it is better buried in the base cost of providing service IF they are not willing to make locals optional.
     
  10. mitchflorida

    mitchflorida Godfather

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    What good does that do? I would rather save $21 a month and get the locals using Locast or an antenna.
    Just listing the cost doesn't accomplish anything.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  11. mitchflorida

    mitchflorida Godfather

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    Maybe that's why people are staying with Dish. Their retention numbers are much better compared to DIRECTV.
     
  12. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    Recently yes. But as a percentage overall they have lost more customers then Directv since 2015
     
  13. mitchflorida

    mitchflorida Godfather

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    I am talking about recently. :blush: I think Dish is keeping its costs down better than Dish. I would much rather use Locast for locals and all the diginets for $5 a month, than $21 a month for just the locals. Many others will use an antenna.
     
  14. James Long

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

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    AT&T|DIRECTV had 25.398 million customers at the end of 2015 and now (last report) have 17.783 million ... a 29.98% drop.
    DISH had 13.897 million and dropped to 11.423 million. A 17.8% drop.

    (Since AT&T doesn't break out satellite customers from other AT&T customers the entire customer base must be considered. DISH added 3 million streaming customers to partially compensate for their satellite subscriber losses. AT&T lost 2 million UVERSE subscribers before they stopped reporting numbers separately and had 683k "AT&T Now" subscribers at the end of Q3. And now they will all be rolled into one number.)

    It is possible that the satellite only losses are close to DISH's ... but DIRECTV has lost a LOT of customers since 2015. Perhaps if the sale goes through we will find out just how many.
     
  15. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Since 2015 isn't a particularly relevant metric if judging current and near-future direction is the desire. Quarter by quarter or this quarter versus a year ago's quarter are the metrics that investors use for insight into a company's direction. These are the data that you'll find in the FTC filings.

    Of course since AT&T and DISH both add in their streaming components to their subscriber numbers, it is even more complicated than that.
     
  16. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    It is pretty revenant considering that was the peak of Directv subscribers
     
  17. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Since AT&T will still be the majority partner in any of the deals I've seen and most accounts having at least Uverse going along with it, I wouldn't hold your breath on getting pure DIRECTV numbers.
     
  18. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Relevant to what?

    If you want to go back to 2015, look at what AT&T paid versus what they're being offered.

    Statistics are all about hiding the truth in a forest of numbers. That's why the financial reports don't speak to longer-term trends.
     
  19. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    Yup sure Ok
     
  20. James Long

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

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    Nope ... DIRECTV's satellite's peak (and AT&T's combined peak) was 4Q 2016. (DISH's peak was 4Q 2013 but they basically plateaued in 2007.)
    Here is a chart showing the percentage loss for each company rolling back from the last quarterly figures. AT&T's losses over the past two years were enough to make up for DISH's slower loss rate. (The negative loss in recent quarters reflects the subscriber gain.)

    losses203q.png

    And yes, turning a $49 billion investment into a $15 billion investment is relevant. But getting back to the topic:
    Recent years - the ones since DISH made locals optional again - do illustrate better retention by DISH, despite the loss of channels some might still believe a MVPD cannot live without. If giving people the choice of having locals or not helps a company retain customers so be it. Cable companies do not have that choice (by law). Even though I still willingly pay for locals, I am glad that it is an option. When I first chose a provider DIRECTV sold me on getting satellite but DISH got my money because they had lower priced options. I didn't subscribe to the lowest package ... but I liked having the option to scale back if the monthly charge ever go too high (without cancelling). Options are good.
     

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