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So much for this whole column's supposedly insightful logic: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57619979-93/directv-reportedly-in-talks-with-disney-for-internet-deal/
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Dish Network Making Hay With Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend Strategy
I love this site and the commentary, but it is just woefully ignorant of the entire Provider/Programmer dynamic in these negotiations, as well as the pay TV industry as a whole. The reason DISH got the deals for Longhorn and SEC is because their ESPN/Disney deal expired at the end of last year. DTV will follow suit when their contract is up, I believe later this year. Comcast/TWC may be behind DTV depending on their current ESPN contracts and how the merger affects negotiations. Based on the timing of their contract with ESPN, DISH is now in a good position to attack everyone else in the SEC footprint, as well as the greater Austin area. Of course they have had that same advantage in the PAC12 footprint for the last 3-4 years and it hasn't meant much to their overall sub count. Not really a surprise when you realize that only around 20% of pay TV viewers care about sports programming. Hard to believe for us sports fans, but it is the truth.
What is going on here is that every provider, is handicapped by ESPN's monopoly on live sports programming. You see DTV making stands on the one-off programmers (e.g., Weather Channel, PAC12, Comcast Houston, et al.) that cause small and very limited impact to their total, national subscriber base. Really only DTV and DISH (soon Comcast/TWC) can play this game because they have national footprints. Many traditional cable companies run their franchises (e.g., city or local area where the cable company has the rights to use the infrastructure) as individual profit centers. Therefore you will see someone like Cox move very quickly to sign a PAC12 deal for fear that they lose most of the Arizona market, which is the biggest part of their business.
This is all a very long way of me saying again that reading silly opinions that DTV doesn't like PAC12 because of their agreement with DISH should tell any informed reader that the author has no clue about what is really going on.
Dear Lord, this is just posturing. Much like with DISH and every other provider, this will get resolved when the next round of ESPN negotiations come up. The only real interesting industry part of this would be if ESPN started running ads about dropping DTV when ESPN is in most, if not all of DTV's 20+ million households. Would the mothership really submarine their current agreement for its offshoot venture with the SEC? Doesn't seem like great business when SEC Net prob will go for $1.00/sub/month in market (2-5 mil subs in SEC footprint???) and $.25 for the rest of the country vs $5-8.00 for ESPN alone, plus the host of other affiliated channels (e.g., ESPN2, Classic, et al.). Going to be interesting. Also, I would think the Comcast/TWC merger would put a hold on any chance of those two having SEC Net at launch this summer.
5 months ago on Will or Won't DirecTV pick up SEC Network?
Also, I'm really excited for all the posts about how people got sweet deals with DISH or DIRECTV or whatever provider because they weren't carrying some channel and the customer called in. On behalf of all readers to these future trolls, "Good for you!!!"
6 months, 2 weeks ago on The SEC Network is going to cost a lot of money
The part that SEC Network has going for it, which PAC12 does not is that ESPN is running SEC Network. They are getting providers to take SEC as part of larger ESPN/Disney/ABC Networks negotiations. Truly helps to have it not as a standalone negotiation like PAC12.
You have to dig deep, but my all time favorite is an early Erin Andrews in-game interview with Trisha Yearwood. Back when Andrews was doing Braves' games, I think on TBS. Just fantastic with Yearwood correcting Andrews on multiple Braves player's names throughout the interview. Sign of things to come. Wish I had a link.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on The most awkward in-game celebrity interviews
I hope you were referring to the loss of 14m subscribers from ESPN and not DISH. Look at the numbers. While very important, ESPN is not a necessity for the vast majority of TV viewers. The idea that all of DISH's subscriber base is going to drop because of a programming dispute, which is very common these days, is silly.
What do you expect Ergen to say in the middle of a negotiation? That they can't live without ESPN? Same exact thing with DTV and PAC12; this is a negotiation and they are all posturing. My money is on this getting resolved right at the end of the month and ESPN getting their full $8/sub/month from DISH. Will probably have to start airing ESPN37 or Disney Channel 14, targeting only 3 year olds whose favorite color is magenta, but it will get done.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Dish threatens to pull ESPN
@not_fooled One last thing: my initial point was and is still that claiming 'pride' and hurt feelings were the reason DTV customers cannot watch PAC12 is naive at best and stupid at worst. Love this site, but this was a bad article.
10 months, 4 weeks ago on The Real Nonsense Between The Pac 12 And DirecTV Stalemate
@not_fooled ha - I'm glad that pointing out content owners are charging more and more every year and reducing margin for providers makes me a DTV shill. DTV, DISH, TWC, Comcast, everyone is in the same boat. I just find it hard to entirely blame the big bad cable/sat company for not immediately paying top dollar for every new channel that launches. To your point not_fooled, most people probably only care about/watch a handful of channels. Why would a provider eat into its revenue share over a channel that so few people really care about?
Let's do some basic math. If PAC12 wants $1/sub/month from DTV and carriage on all packages, that's $20m/month. That's a lot of subscriber loss that DTV can absorb before this becomes an issue.
My point is just blaming providers misses what I believe to be the larger issue: programmers want your money just as much as providers. They create more channels for more ad inventory and more advertising dollars. Every programmer gets paid by the providers, then sells ads on top of it. Hence why the utopia of a la carte programming is merely a pipe dream today.
Make no mistake. PAC12 is a money grab in and of itself. Larry Scott or whoever is running that co. knows he needs DTV and its 20 million eyeballs to justify conference expansion and growth.
My only advice is to drop DTV or whatever provider you have if they are not carrying your desired content. If enough people agree with you, DTV will respond.
I will now return to shilling for DTV on as many sites as I can find. That is only if I can step away from my altar to the DTV Genie - all hail Hannah Davis!
Blaming 'pride' and pretending DTV's feelings are hurt because someone signed with a competitor first is just naive and misses the larger issue of the constantly rising cost of programming. First, programming agreements happen all the time. DTV is not always first, but as one of the two largest providers, is usually where programmers start. Get volume, get ad revenue; not difficult to understand. Second, the programmers caved to ESPN in the early 90's and have been paying for this ever since as ESPN has gone from pennies/month, to now in excess of $5/month. I guarantee you that with ESPN's new long-term deals with SEC, Big10, NFL, NBA, et al, that $5/month will be closer to $10/month by the time the next negotiations take place. Finally, if you know the industry, you will see that DTV's CEO is a very vocal supporter of fighting ever-rising content costs. He lead a tough stand against Viacom just last summer and cost DTV a lot of subs. Additionally, he has come out in support of TWC (a major competitor) vs CBS. This is not hurt feelings because PAC12 didn't come to DTV first, this is a negotiation. Until enough customers start leaving DTV specifically for PAC12, they can either sell their content for what DTV will pay or pound sand. But what do I know? DTV may just refuse to have any content because ESPN renews their deal with DISH next month.
11 months ago on The Real Nonsense Between The Pac 12 And DirecTV Stalemate