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Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by PBowie, Aug 6, 2013.
Take if off the air or make everyone pay for the premium movie channels too.
Allow me to be clear: there are probably six or seven channels total that I subscribe to pay television to get. ESPN and ESPN2 are two of them. If Charlie decides that the best move going forward is to dump ESPN - and that is entirely his right to do so - then he will gain some customers (those who don't follow sports) and lose others (those who do.) I will be in the group that depart Dish and go with a different provider that still carries the 7 channels I care about.
I have long felt that a national provider needs to dump ESPN. Then the market will prove whether ESPN is so vitally critical. But because Disney owns ESPN and many O&O ABC stations, I do not see this happening. People who don't want ESPN do want their local ABC stations, or Disney channels. And Disney will hold the entire package hostage over ESPN. If anyone has the guts to stand up to the monolith, it's Dish and Charlie, but even so, I don't think either side really wants a divorce.
That's fuzzy, though I would hope so.
Consider the old AMC dispute... when AMC came back, we also ultimately got IFC and Sundance in HD as well... channels that Dish had not had in HD before.
So... I would expect any new Disney/ABC agreement would also gain us ESPNHD as well as the missing HD feeds of ABCFamily, ESPNNews, Disney, and Disney XD.... I would also think WatchESPN would be rolled into that as well since Dish is really pushing the "Dish Anywhere" stuff and giving away iPads as promotional items... Watch ESPN would go well with that.
Longhorn and SEC are fuzzy to me... because while they are ESPN "family" they are highly specialized... and I suspect Dish will try to negotiate those the same way that they negotiated Big 10 and Pac12... I do hope Dish carries Longhorn and SEC... besides enjoying college sports of many of the teams that would include... I also figure ACC network is coming sooner rather than later and I would like the precedent to be set so that I feel confident I'll get it... Also, with DirecTV still no closer to Pac12 Network than they were a year ago... this would be a good thing for Dish to poke the bear and sign up.
I wouldn't say those are "locks"... but I think Charlie is ultimately smart... and if he can get some headway on DirecTV with sports while nailing down the ESPN/ABC/Disney deal... I think he will.
FYI... I know you know this... but for those who don't know... Technically speaking, Dish did not "drop" the HD feeds of those Disney/ESPN channels. The problem there was... Dish thought they had the right to carry them for free, so they were taking the feeds provided to them and NOT paying for them... Apparently Disney noticed after a year or two and said "hey, where's our money?" and Dish didn't want to pay... so Disney cut the feeds and then took Dish to court over the lost revenue.
So... Dish is most likely in the wrong on this one... but to be fully accurate, Dish didn't drop the feeds... Disney cut them off for not paying. End result to subscribers is the same though.
Unless multiple contracts with multiple companies are up at about the same time, then i don't think anyone could hold out long enough to affect real change. But if directv, twc, comcast and dish all had contracts up within a couple months of each other, then they'd have a chance.
Don't forget, Fuse also returned to Dish Network when the AMC Networks dispute was resolved.
Returned is an important part of the equation. It is easier for AMC to demand a channel be returned than to demand several additional channels be carried.
ESPN has a bit more pull than AMC ... but do they really want to see their main channels pulled over new channels?
If ESPN is dropped, I will drop after 13+ years like stink on a skunk. I like College football; I am a LSU fan and they have several game on ESPN and Pro Football , The New Orleans Saints.
I like sports; I say lets drop the Movie Channels and make all movies PPV. Actually, I would miss HBO programming like Boardwalk and Game of Thrones
See there's the difference though, you can choose to have HBO or not already and pay extra for it if you think it's worth it. It's very hard not to choose to pay for ESPN whether you want it or not. I'm one myself who would choose to pay for ESPN, even if I wasn't a sports fan myself my wife is even a bigger one and would probably divorce me if we didn't have ESPN. However I do see the point where it would make sense to have all the sports channels in one package that people could either choose to pay for or not. For that matter any channel that demands a high per viewer fee should probably have an "opt out" clause or something that allows customers to not receive nor pay for expensive channels they don't want.
Man, that would be nice. Not having ESPNU as well as the Disney family (e.g. Disney XD) in HD are my only beefs with DISH. It would be awesome to get this Disney stuff squared away as well as the FS1 questions. I would be willing to pay a few extra bucks to get this fixed.
What really needs to happen is the FCC, justice department, or whathaveyou stepping in and prohibiting force-bundling of packages as well as dictating a maximum bundling discount that can be applied vs individual carriage contracts.
This is already ridiculous, and it's only going to get worse as the big companies spawn more and more channels that they force carriers to buy and pay for... not because they're channels anyone wants, but because they can't say no to the popular channels and it's an all-or-nothing situation.
The thing about "forced bundling" is that it didn't start out that way.
Bundling comes from people having a choice between individual channels and bundles for a cheaper per-channel price... In the early days, people overwhelmingly chose bundles over individual channel offerings... to the point that companies saw that people preferred bundles.
How many people on here like their TV/phone/internet bundles? The "triple play" as it were... Or how about those "value meals" at restaurants? People like to bundle things and save money.
By and large, the people who are willing to pay monthly for TV are people who watch a lot of TV... and hence want more channels... and history says they will pay for a bundle to save money and get some extra channels that they otherwise couldn't afford.
So that's where we are now... except people have suddenly forgotten that the bundles were chosen for savings over individual channels... and now people seem to think (incorrectly) that IF they could buy these channels separately that they could pay $1 or less for them... That will not happen.
ESPN being popular and getting $5 or more in a bundle is why your 50-cent channel can exist... Take ESPN out of that tier and then watch people drop those tiers and then your 50-cent channel wants more money OR goes away.
Companies like to overcharge for certain items and then call it a discount when one bundles.
The theory is that the tier system would stay the same with ESPN and other expensive sports channels removed. (With FS 1 wanting to be ESPN they would remove themselves from the tier system.) One would still need to subscribe to a package of 100+ channels to get any of those channels or upper tiers.
(The channels in the upper tiers would be affected as people make the choice between a higher tier of 50 more channels or ESPN/FS RSNs/FS 1 packages.)
For many years we kept cable along with Dish in order to have access to the Yankees (YES network) and the Rangers (MSG). However, the cost of the sports packages got so outrageous that we dropped cable. I for one, would object to a sports package on Dish as we would have kept cable if we could have just have had access to those two teams. Instead, the sports package on cable included pro basketball of which we are not fans and the Mets, Devils and Islanders, all of whom we honestly do not have time to watch. Point being, packaging sports into one on Dish may not be the ideal solution as ESPN fans may wind up paying for a lot of other sports programming that we do not need.
What you really are asking for is price fixing, like what happened to the railroads. The US is still reeling from the loss of rail as a viable means of transport for many industries. Because banning bundling only works if you can fix the price.
Example: You have three channels you want to sell. Channel A is very popular. Channel B is somewhat popular. Channel C is a niche channel. Right now, you sell the three channels for (say) $2.99/subscriber. The FCC steps in and says, "You can't force bundles." Okay, you say. Here's your choice. You can have Channels A, B and C for $2.99/subscriber, just like always, or you can just have one of the three for $2.99/subscriber, or two of the three for $5.98/subscriber. You pick.
What the FCC would have to do is say, "You were charging $2.99/subscriber. You must now offer Channel A for $1.49/subscriber, Channel B for $1.00/subscriber and Channel C for $0.50/subscriber." And then require permission to raise prices for any channel, and have to provide justification for the price hike, just like the public utilities do. Such an arrangement would almost certainly lead to programmer bankruptcies, as governments don't always care or listen to the needs and concerns of businesses when regulating them.
You better be ready if it happens or change providers
... or it would give them more incentive to make the programming on Channel C better so they could charge more for it. When everything is bundled, they don't really care about the quality of the programming, just so they have a few channels, like ESPN and Disney Channel that are must haves for many people. That gives them the ability to create a bunch of crap channels that no one really likes, but they have to be carried at an inflated price along with the must have channels.
What happened is the government deregulated everything and allowed companies to become too big and powerful with much less competition so they can price gouge while not caring much about quality. Programmers try to put out the cheapest programming that is just slightly less crappy than their competition so they get more viewers. There is little ability for a smaller programmer to break into many cable/satellite lineups and compete with the large companies. Some programmers deserve to go bankrupt while others deserve a chance to grow.
I hope Charlie can stick it to Disney and not allow them to gouge Dish customers. However, others are right, Dish would end up loosing subscribers without ESPN & Disney Channel and Charlie has to keep that in mind.
I like the "opt out" clause idea. I opt not to pay for hbo,showtime, starz, and cinemax, even though I like watching movies. Too expensive. If Encore held dish hostage [ have the 250 package] I say DUMP THEM, replace with cheaper channels.
I don't want to pay more. We already had a price increase this year.
At the end of the day, how much is our sub going up? If it's a dime a month more, I'll absorb it, but more than that for channels I don't watch or want, no thanks.
Please, do not hold my feet to the fire for something I do not watch or want.
Economics 101: It is the job of a producer to charge as much money as possible for as little (or lowest quality) product as possible. It is the job of the consumer to demand as much product (or quality) as possible for as little money as possible. With polar opposite goals, exchange seems impossible, yet both sides typically reach a compromise point (in common parlance this is called "price") and both sides end up better off. With cable channels, this relationship is further confused because there are two sets of customers and producers, with Dish having to be both the customer and the producer.
I don't think we can blame deregulation. While there are restrictions on how many broadcast stations a company can own, I know of no instance of a restriction on the number of cable channels a company can own. Because they aren't using the limited spectrum of the public airwaves, I don't think there's any reason or cause for such a regulation in the first place.
It is hard to start your own channel. This isn't because it's hard to get spectrum. It's because if you come up with quality programs, the temptation to sell it to one of the existing channels is too great.
Have you looked a Roku lately, Zillions of channels in addition to Netflix, Amazon, PBS, etc.. That is why CBS and Time-Warner are two dying dinosaurs fighting to their death.
Actually after I said that I realized afterwards we'd probably be ok w/out ESPN. As it turns out the most important games to my wife are actually generally on either regional sports channels or major networks. I suppose occasionally we'd miss something but for the most part we'd be ok, so I guess I don't have that much to worry about after all.