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Sports Channels/Networks not offered by DirecTV

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by joshadam84, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Apr 9, 2013 #141 of 170
    Beerstalker

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    That's what everyone thinks now, but I believe if they try to keep increasing their price year after year eventually someone will try it. And I think it may actually end up working. If say Dish were able to have a package that contained all the same channels as Choice Extra except the ESPN channels, and it was $10/month cheaper, I think a lot of people would be tempted to switch from DirecTV to Dish. Maybe enough to offset the number of people that would drop Dish to go to DirecTV.

    As far as Disney/ABC forcing you to get ESPN to get the other channels I don't know that anyone can truly prove that. I mean Dish still doesn't carry some Disney channels, but they have ESPN, so obviously you don't absolutely have to buy them all. Not to mention the recent Cablevision lawsuit with Viacom that is looking to break up that packaging anyway.
     
  2. Apr 9, 2013 #142 of 170
    cmasia

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    Keeping or dumping ESPN is simple math for the provider.

    Which number is higher?

    A) The number of subs who cancel because ESPN costs too much?

    Or

    B) The number of subs who cancel because ESPN is not available?

    I'd say it's B...in a landslide.
     
  3. Apr 9, 2013 #143 of 170
    KyL416

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    Cablevision's lawsuit isn't going to stand. They don't carry all of Viacom's channels, they have picked up individual Viacom channels voluntarily outside of the renewal period over the past decade, and they renewed their contract last year and weren't forced to add any additional channels like Epix.

    Not to mention they made the big mistake of naming the channels they are targetting, VH1 Classic, Palladia and MTV Hits, channels that happen to be in direct competition with another music channel the Dolans own, Fuse.
     
  4. Apr 9, 2013 #144 of 170
    Beerstalker

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    I don't know about that. Bars and other businesses yes. Homes, I'm not so sure. How do ESPN's average daily ratings compare to other cable channels? I can't seem to find them.

    Not to mention I don't know if you could ever find out how many people cancel because ESPN costs too much, since pretty much nobody really knows exactly how much it costs. But there is a growing trend of people dropping pay TV altogether, and most of that is because of the increasing costs. Most of the increasing costs are because of sports channels like ESPN.

    I can tell you one thing. I hardly ever watch ESPN. About the only thing I ever do watch on there is Monday Night Football, and half the time I watch that at a bar with a bunch of my friends. If DirecTV gave me the option of dropping it I would in a heartbeat. I think there are a lot of people out there are the same way.
     
  5. Apr 9, 2013 #145 of 170
    tonyd79

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    Daily ratings don't matter if you are a fan of a sport or a team and ESPN is how you get it.

    You just proved the point. If you are an NFL fan, you want ESPN for MNF. Daily ratings mean nothing when you have a spread of individual products that people want to watch.

    Somehow, I don't think there are enough who would drop it to make it worth it or it would happen. Since every provider thinks they need it, I doubt it is just a game of chicken. All of them cannot be wrong.
     
  6. Apr 9, 2013 #146 of 170
    cmasia

    cmasia Icon

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    Beerstalker,
    Thanks for the reply, but I've got some issues with what you're saying...

    You said: <<<I'm not so sure. How do ESPN's average daily ratings compare to other cable channels? I can't seem to find them.>>>

    I don't think that has anything to do with the argument for why a provider would drop or keep a mainstream basic cable channel. Just because TNT or USA may have higher every day ratings, ESPN's live sports make it worth carrying 24 / 7, justifying their massive spending tying up sports rights.
    And the argument for live sports is even stronger for cable companies who sell local ad spots during live events.


    You said: <<<Not to mention I don't know if you could ever find out how many people cancel because ESPN costs too much, since pretty much nobody really knows exactly how much it costs. But there is a growing trend of people dropping pay TV altogether>>>

    Again, dropping ESPN would be counterproductive. ESPN costs about $5 per sub, per month. Let's stretch and say the provide marks it up 50% ( they don't, but.. ), so ESPN costs $7.50 out of an average cable bill of $82.
    The provider would have to lower the user's total bill by way more than the 9% ESPN represents.
    Even if a provider took out all the sports, RSN's, NBCSN, CBSSN, etc, the total cost of all sports programming only amounts to about 10 - 12% of the total bill.
    I just don't see most subs changing providers for that.

    And I certainly don't see providers gambling their entire sub base on the above premise.

    As to your point about dropping pay TV altogether, that is an entirely different argument. I'd even argue if it weren't for sports channels, especially live sports, there would be an even greater move away from cable and satellite, as movies, series and information are more readily available on other platforms.

    Cheers,
    cmasia

    PS: Great name!
     
  7. Apr 9, 2013 #147 of 170
    Gloria_Chavez

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    Moffet disagrees with you.

    And wait until we're paying 100% more for the Turners cable stations within three years, since, as of next year, they are about to exclusively broadcast The Final Four.

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    About half of cable-TV bills go to sports

    http://articles.philly.com/2012-11-19/news/35187681_1_sports-channels-cable-tv-bill-college-sports

    Dish Network's Charles Ergen, chairman of the nation's third-largest pay-TV company, spoke in August during an analysts call of the possibility of a $2,000-a-year TV bill during a conversation on higher sports costs.

    Craig Moffett of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyzed average per-channel costs in the TV bill and said in a September 2011 e-mail to investors that "sports easily accounts for more than half of the cost of a pay-TV subscription." Moffett used widely accepted SNL Kagan data in his analysis.
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  8. Apr 9, 2013 #148 of 170
    tonyd79

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    That doesn't happen until 2016 and it alternates back and forth between CBS and TBS.
     
  9. Apr 9, 2013 #149 of 170
    Beerstalker

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    What I'm saying is how many people out there are actually sports fans, and how many of them really care about ESPN. Average daily ratings instead of one time ratings for certain events gives you a better idea on those numbers.

    I am an NFL fan, but I would have no problem losing ESPN. I would just go to a friends house or a bar to watch MNF. I think I could easily deal with that 16 times a year, especially since I already probably do it 10 times, so it would only be 6 more times. I'm betting there are a lot of others that could do the same.

    Yeah maybe ESPN only costs $5 now (it very well might cost more) but when you look at the package prices you realize that can be as much as 10% of the package cost. And is that for all of the ESPN channels or just the main one? Also it may only cost $5 now, but next year it might be $6, then $7, etc. Meaning it is then 12% of the package cost, then 14%, etc. At some point it will reach a cost to where it is way too expensive to keep in the package since it's cost rises so much faster than all the other channels.

    I'm not saying this is going to happen this year, or next year, or even 5 years from now. But I think if something doesn't change soon ESPN (an the other sports networks) are going to end up pricing themselves to a point where there is a huge backlash and someone will drop them.
     
  10. Apr 9, 2013 #150 of 170
    cmasia

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    <<<About half of cable-TV bills go to sports>>>

    Sorry, Gloria, that's not what the article says.

    It says sports make up about "half of programming costs". Not the total bill. You're paying for a lot more than "programming costs" every month.

    Even if you agree with the guy who said $21 goes to sports, ( I don't ) that's about 25% of the average monthly bill.

    Cheers,
    cmasia

    Edit: And what exactly do you expect guys like Ergen to say when pleading about the high cost of channel carriage???
     
  11. Apr 9, 2013 #151 of 170
    tonyd79

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    I am saying they do not. Channels like ESPN are event driven. Not day to day watching driven. They peaks and valleys are tremendous. Look at NBC. They stink on a daily basis, but take away NBC the year they carry the Super Bowl and people will scream like greased pigs.

    The same even holds for some regular channels. AMC's demand is almost totally driven by a couple of TV shows, not every day ratings.

    I don't have the numbers but I do remember that the main ESPN channel was much higher than the rest. The rest are more in the range of Viacom channels.

    While ESPN is the whipping boy and they have set a trend of making sports expensive, they pay their way, so I will not pick on them for their price. The problem is not with ESPN. It is with all the RSNs that think they are worth as much or more than ESPN. The problem was set in place more by the Yankees and YES rather than ESPN, which delivers good value as an across the board station. But now we have the Lakers channel and the Dodgers channel and the Astros channel....and all of them think they are invaluable.
     
  12. Apr 9, 2013 #152 of 170
    James Long

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    ESPN may not care about Longhorn enough to leverage the other networks.

    The evidence of the bundle is which channels go away (or threaten to) when there is a dispute. Some channels are separate (perhaps purchased or launched later and not yet bundled) but I'd expect that ESPN's bundle is not just sports.
     
  13. Apr 9, 2013 #153 of 170
    tonyd79

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    They may not but Occam's razor says if there is no evidence of forcing bundles, it didn't happen.

    I'll bet they offer a big bundle but making it a requirement is a but different.
     
  14. Apr 9, 2013 #154 of 170
    JoeTheDragon

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    ESPN / pac12 / big10 / Longhorns and other College networks should be in choice in market and sports pack out side of it.
     
  15. DawgLink

    DawgLink Woof Woof Woof

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    I agree with the P12, B10, etc...but I do think ESPN should be where it is at
     
  16. JoeTheDragon

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    I meant ESPN Longhorns
     
  17. May 7, 2013 #157 of 170
    Gloria_Chavez

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    Final Four to be televised by TBS in 2014. Championship game will remain on CBS, for now.

    Look for TBS to extract significantly more per subscriber in the near future, because sports fans will not be denied.

    Even if it means that PayTv subscribers continue to shoulder price hikes significantly above inflation.


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    Men’s Final Four Is Moving to TBS

    By RICHARD SANDOMIR

    Published: May 7, 2013

    TBS will start televising the Final Four of the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament in 2014 and ’15, advancing the schedule contemplated in its 14-year, $10.8-billion contract with CBS that went into effect three years ago. In those years, CBS will continue to carry the championship game.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/sports/ncaabasketball/ncaa-tournament-final-four-is-moving-to-tbs.html?_r=0

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  18. May 7, 2013 #158 of 170
    tonyd79

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    I don't buy that three games will make a big difference in year round fees.
     
  19. May 7, 2013 #159 of 170
    tjguitar

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    I don't either. Turner most likely already got a bump when they placed the majority of first two rounds on TBS, TNT and TruTV.
     
  20. May 8, 2013 #160 of 170
    Gloria_Chavez

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    Maybe. But I believe it will.

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    Heard on the Street

    Overheard

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424127887323687604578469343434241564.html?mod=ITP_moneyandinvesting_8

    The Final Four is coming to cable.'s Turner will televise the NCAA basketball semifinals in 2014 and 2015, with broadcasting the national championship game, the companies said Tuesday. Turner has been showing games from only the tournament's first three rounds on TBS and its other cable channels since 2011, while later games have all been on CBS.

    Under a 2010 deal, Turner was to begin showing the Final Four in 2016, alternating every other year with CBS until 2024. The two say this remains on track and speeding up the transition was always an option. But the decision to do so likely owes much to Turner renewing many deals with pay-TV providers in the next few years. Airing must-see sporting events provides more power to raise fees.
    As for splitting the games, that may have been a concession to CBS. It has its own plan to boost fees from pay-TV companies to $1 billion by 2017. Considering the NCAA deal's roughly $10.8 billion price tag, investors should hope it helps both companies score.
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