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Newsweek on ESPN

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Inky_Wretch, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Covers a lot of the ground we talk about around here. But still interesting, especially the graph about how much of each and every cable or satellite bill goes directly to ESPN each month.

  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    This is a good story -- and a great reminder that for all of the fun that was poked at the low-rated BCS championship game, ESPN doesn't need to rely on advertising revenue and thus is making money hand over fist regardless of what its ratings are. Same deal on MNF, for which ESPN pays way more for one game per week and no playoffs than any of the networks pay for their slice of the NFL TV contract.

    Still think there could be an ESPN vs. Comcast fight in the offing that would force ESPN to threaten (and maybe go through with) cutting off the channel. That'd be a hoot.
  3. ESPN's deal is wonderful for sports fans, terrible for non-sports fans.

    With a la carte pricing, I'd gladly pay $70 for the ESPN channels. But that's $70 thrown away for everyone who doesn't like sports.

    Free. The. Market.

    (Just to be clear: I realize that a la carte pricing would make ESPN's subscription fees soar. But, right now, I'm paying less to ESPN than I would be willing to pay in a truly free market.)
  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Ala carte pricing may fast be arriving when the masses realize that $6 of their monthly cable bill goes to ESPN.
  5. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    This dual revenue stream (cable fees and advertising) was covered ad nauseam in the Jim Miller and Tom Shales book. It's the reason the network even exists.
    If fact, this Newsweek "piece" is a total rehash of that book.
  6. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    The book also addresses a la carte pricing and why it will never happen. It's not solely an ESPN thing. It's how advertising is bundled across networks and their cable arms.
    If you can get through the bog of history and self-aggrandizing, the book is a pretty informative look at cable programming.
  7. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Ala carte pricing will NEVER lower the average person's cable bill. If it did, why would cable companies ever decide to offer it?
  8. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Dish Network used to have a plan where you picked 10 channels for $15. Not a great deal when most channels still are less than a buck.
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    If a la carte pricing ever does happen, I will challenge myself not to watch ESPN. I think I could do it until my school got into a BCS game. As my school is Mizzou, I think I'd live a long time without ESPN.
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    When municipalities that regulate them start demanding it.
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Municipalities can't regulate anything but the limited basic tier.
  12. 1. It's a la carte. Not ala carte.

    2. It's difficult to bring into effect in part because of the historical franchise agreements between municipalities and cable companies that allowed the cable companies to start up with relatively low costs and no competition.

    3. Theoretically, a la carte pricing could help cable companies. People would be getting the same benefit out of the cable provider, while the cable provider is spending less money on bandwidth. The premium given to the cable provider should remain the same in raw dollars (and increase in terms of percent of subscription fees), while the cable companies reduce their costs by some degree.

    The biggest obstacle to a la carte pricing isn't the cable providers or the consumers: It's the networks' parent companies (Disney, Viacom, etc.).
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