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Bad news for cable companies

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Dish is offering a on-line subscription service of dubbed Sling TV, that will launch in a few weeks and include channels from Disney, Scripps and Time Warner's Turner. About 20 channels will be available, such as the Disney Channel, ABC Family, the Food Network, HGTV, the Travel Channel, TNT, TBS and the Cartoon Network."
    Oh, and the ESPN tier.
    For about $20 a month.


    I'm going to be all over this.
  2. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    Time to jack up Internet prices!
  3. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    "A la carte" TV has been a long time coming, so let's hope this is the first step. I'd gladly pay a couple of bucks a month each for the 20 or so channels my wife and I watch regularly, and I suspect a ton of other folks would too.
  4. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    I think a lot of people are over-optimistic about how much a la carte TV will save them. In my instance, for example, I pay about $90 a month mainly for live sports (principally my regional sports network, but also ESPN et al.). Now, my TV provider doesn't get charged $90 by those content companies for that content. I think ESPN/ESPN2 go for about $7 a subscriber, and regional sports networks wholesale for about $2 to $3 a subscriber. So, conceivably, I could get that small set of channels for about $10 a month. The thing is, though, I am already willing to pay around $90 a month to get them. So I doubt that unbundling cable packages is going to lead to my getting those channels at that price.
  5. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I read in the Atlantic (Maybe, I don't remember now) that ESPN would cost roughly $30 a month if bundling went away and the regional sports networks would essentially vanish since they don't have year around interest and people willing to pay the money that would be necessary to support.

    People like to say that TV is in a golden age right now given the number of high quality shows scattered around smaller networks and I tend to think that's true but if AMC becomes a $15 a month option would you be willing to pay that just to watch Mad Men and The Walking Dead?

    So many options exist because so many people pay for cable/dish but when that goes away, the number of channels will have to drop. The numbers aren't there to sustain them.
  6. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Here's a fairly sound take on the economics of TV content bundling:


  7. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    Doesn't Google have something in the works that's supposed to launch in a year or two that is going to blow cable and satellite out of the water?
  8. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    I make my living in sports and I'm not sure I'd miss ESPN if given a choice of what stations and networks came into my living room. I don't watch soccer or the NBA, it's been 20 years since I sat down and watched an entire baseball game, and SportsCenter generally is worthless nine days out of 10.
  9. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    I went a year without it and I missed it less than I thought I would. Dish did something about five years ago where you had to upgrade your package to keep ESPN. It was an extra $20 a month. When college football season came around, we started to really miss it. I called up and said we were going to cancel unless they upgraded us for free, which they did.
  10. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Always ask the providers to jump, they'll say "how high?" At the start of the football season our local NBC affiliate was in a dispute with DirecTV and it threatened the season opener of SNF, in which the local boys were playing. Everyone knew the dispute would get resolved in time, but when it was still in doubt I called DirecTV and, bending the truth a little, said I'd cancel if I missed the game. I figured I'd get $20 off a bill or something. They gave me a year of NFL Sunday Ticket for free.
  11. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    Yeah, in May, I called Dish and told them I was going to cancel. They then offered me $20 off a month for three months to stay.

    By the end of the call, I got a year at $40 off per month, free HBO/Starz for three months, free upgrade to the Hopper and the Joey, which is the smaller version for the other rooms in the house. Five months earlier, I had called to get The Hopper and was told it would be $200 plus another hundred in installation. I didn't a dime to upgrade.

    I'm constantly stunned when I hear of people who call their providers to complain and get nothing. I always get something, usually pretty significant, with pretty minimal effort. You just have to ask for the manager when you get through.
  12. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    I left Dish becauae they offered me jack shit to stay. I don't miss it. Most things I watch are on Hulu. I don't need ESPN because I use my parent's cable login for WatchESPN. They don't understand Internet TV enough to ever give up cable. And WWE Network is beautiful to me.
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