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View Full Version : Court ruling makes NESN and YES very nervous


Fenway
05-11-2007, 08:45 AM
The NFL Network lost a court case in Manhattan yesterday and it clears the way for Comcast ( and other cable companies ) to end the gravy train of some of the big regional sports networks.

The NFL wanted the NFL Network to be on basic digital but Comcast has moved it to a special sports tier.


This is a landmark ruling and with basic cable costs going out of control the cable companies would love to bump networks like NESN and YES (and maybe ESPN?) to a sports tier

For example every cable home in New England has to pay $2.25 a month for NESN even if they don't watch it. If Comcast moved it to a sports tier you might only see 25% of the homes pay it.

Stay tuned
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/11/sports/football/11cable.html

daveeym
05-11-2007, 08:54 AM
That was a pretty brief blurb but it seemed like a contractual issue so I doubt it would effect either network.

Fenway
05-11-2007, 08:58 AM
That was a pretty brief blurb but it seemed like a contractual issue so I doubt it would effect either networks.

Trust me it will become a big issue when the the current contracts expire.

Comcast wants nothing more than to close down the team owned networks and move everything to CSN's nationwide. Look they didn't buy FSN-New England for big money just for the Celtics. They have a end game in mind.

Comcast controls the vast majority of cable home in Massachusetts.

daveeym
05-11-2007, 09:17 AM
That may be, I was looking at it more through the court case and as a legal issue. Comcast consolidating and growing, thus increasing their leverage, is going to be what it comes down to.

Fenway
05-11-2007, 09:34 AM
That may be, I was looking at it more through the court case and as a legal issue. Comcast consolidating and growing, thus increasing their leverage, is going to be what it comes down to.

Comcast has the homes....RCN and Verizon are still bit players.

Cable companies want "al a carte" pricing badly as it would reduce bills but would not hurt profits. ESPN for example is nearly $5 on everyone's bill even though 70% of cable homes never watch it.

The only chip NESN has is that on most summer nights it is the highest rated station in New England, out rating the networks. That isn't the case in most other markets.

beckett21
05-11-2007, 09:43 AM
I'm sure that means that Comcast is going to lower their rates now.

:rolleyes:

Iwritecode
05-11-2007, 09:43 AM
Cable companies want "al a carte" pricing badly as it would reduce bills but would not hurt profits.

I would love to have "al a carte" pricing. I get somewhere around 70 channels and probably only watch about half of them.

Irishsox1
05-11-2007, 09:47 AM
I read somewhere that eventually the FCC wants to get to the point where people pay for just the channels they want...like and on-demand thing.

Who knows if that will ever happen. but if it happened, I would most likely have only 9 channels. NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, WGN, WCIU, Comcast, ESPN. As much as I like TNT, VH1, ESPNews or the NFL network, if I had to pay extra, I probably wouldn't get them.

downstairs
05-11-2007, 09:50 AM
Cable companies want "al a carte" pricing badly as it would reduce bills but would not hurt profits. ESPN for example is nearly $5 on everyone's bill even though 70% of cable homes never watch it.


Anyone know what is preventing this? If a cable company wants to do it, why don't they just do it?

beckett21
05-11-2007, 09:52 AM
I read somewhere that eventually the FCC wants to get to the point where people pay for just the channels they want...like and on-demand thing.

Who knows if that will ever happen. but if it happened, I would most likely have only 9 channels. NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, WGN, WCIU, Comcast, ESPN. As much as I like TNT, VH1, ESPNews or the NFL network, if I had to pay extra, I probably wouldn't get them.

You know Comcast, hypocrites that they are, will fight that tooth and nail in the interest of their customers.

Not that I have any contempt for big cable companies or anything like that...:redneck

Fenway
05-11-2007, 09:56 AM
Anyone know what is preventing this? If a cable company wants to do it, why don't they just do it?


because Turner, Viacom and Disney won't allow it. But now COX says they will drop ESPN the time the contract expires. Once COX does it Time-Warner and Comcast will be right behind.

HotelWhiteSox
05-15-2007, 12:48 PM
Got a message on my box today that NFLNet is going to the sports package. I'm sure they'll now lower the price of the package I have now then right? My ass

Paulwny
05-15-2007, 01:02 PM
[quote=fenway;1569236]
For example every cable home in New England has to pay $2.25 a month for NESN even if they don't watch it. If Comcast moved it to a sports tier you might only see 25% of the homes pay it.


Same with the YES Net in WNY, I'm not sure of the monthly fee but every family pays.
That's why he's known as King George.

chaerulez
05-15-2007, 01:06 PM
I'm no fan of Comcast, but how do these networks even have a case? Comcast is paying them aren't they? So why shouldn't Comcast be able to offer the channel in whatever way they wish?

Paulwny
05-15-2007, 01:10 PM
I'm no fan of Comcast, but how do these networks even have a case? Comcast is paying them aren't they? So why shouldn't Comcast be able to offer the channel in whatever way they wish?

I'm not sure of comcast, but the YES Net will only allow their station to be carried in an area if all subscribers in that area receive and pay for the station.

daveeym
05-15-2007, 01:44 PM
I'm no fan of Comcast, but how do these networks even have a case? Comcast is paying them aren't they? So why shouldn't Comcast be able to offer the channel in whatever way they wish?That's what's confusing about the blurbed article. It's not really anything more than business negotiations rather than a "case" or any law. Pro sports, the Yankmees and Blow Sox in particularly, are big business for cable providers so they can hold them hostage a little bit. Comcast is basically saying that they're now big enough and doing well enough to say, "Yes and NESN, you're going to be tiered or not carried by us."

TDog
05-15-2007, 01:59 PM
...
Cable companies want "al a carte" pricing badly as it would reduce bills but would not hurt profits. ...

I'm not sure if what the cable companies really want is what would be best for the consumer. There are people in Congress who want consumer-sympathetic ala carte pricing, and there are cable companies lobbying against that.

I have no problem with buying a television or a radio. I wouldn't even have any trouble paying to get White Sox games. But if I'm not going to pay for 100 channels that include White Sox games in the mix, especially if I may have only six to eight hours a week in which I am free to watch television. And I'm not going to pay for a service that blacks out games.

Consumers often get what they deserve. If they refused to pay the increases in their cable bills or refused to subscribe to a delivery system to televise baseball with the possibility of blackouts they wouldn't have to deal with outrageous bills and blackouts.

If the evolution of television is that all sports be on a pay-per-view basis, I know I would see more televised sports than I do today. And I wouldn't have to pay for stuff I didn't watch.

Flight #24
05-15-2007, 02:01 PM
I'm not sure many cable companies want ala carte pricing, and if they did, you can be it wouldn't be done in a way that would be attractive to the consumer. There are people in Congress who want consumer-sympathetic ala carte pricing.

The idea of paying for a bunch of television stations I don't watch, or even a bunch of radio stations I don't listent to, is abhorrent to me. I have no problem with paying for a television or radio.

What that does is encourage consolidation in media and/or provide significant barriers to entry for new stations. That IIRC is the reason why the current system is in place. For example, it's highly likely that in a true ala carte setup, channels like the History channel or the Discovery channel wouldn't be able to afford to remain in existence because they'd have so few people subscribing to their channel. As it currently stands, they're able to put out high quality programming and because they're on the basic cable tier (or whatever tier they're on), they make enough from he general public to pay for it.

Yes, it sucks to pay for something that you don't use, but as a member of the public, you benefit from the general access to diverse viewpoints and programming. Plus, the same issue may well hit the favorite niche channel of any individual viewer.

It's one of the reasons why pre-cable, there were so few networks and once cable hit, things proliferated. A big part of it was the consolidated delivery mechanism which eliminated the need for a channel to have its own broadcast ability. But the tiered pricing played a significant role as well.

Paulwny
05-15-2007, 02:02 PM
That's what's confusing about the blurbed article. It's not really anything more than business negotiations rather than a "case" or any law. Pro sports, the Yankmees and Blow Sox in particularly, are big business for cable providers so they can hold them hostage a little bit. Comcast is basically saying that they're now big enough and doing well enough to say, "Yes and NESN, you're going to be tiered or not carried by us."

If comcast tries to tier these stations and the stations refuse the tier system, comcast risks losing 20-25 % of their subscribers ( bosox and yank fans). This happened in WNY when then Adelphia wanted to tier the YES Net and threats of discontinuing service by yank fans caused Adelphia to cave into YES demands.

daveeym
05-15-2007, 02:22 PM
If comcast tries to tier these stations and the stations refuse the tier system, comcast risks losing 20-25 % of their subscribers ( bosox and yank fans). This happened in WNY when then Adelphia wanted to tier the YES Net and threats of discontinuing service by yank fans caused Adelphia to cave into YES demands.

That's quite possible but that 75% Comcast still has is coveted by YES. That's the whole point, who blinks first here.


Yes, it sucks to pay for something that you don't use, but as a member of the public, you benefit from the general access to diverse viewpoints and programming. Plus, the same issue may well hit the favorite niche channel of any individual viewer.

It's one of the reasons why pre-cable, there were so few networks and once cable hit, things proliferated. A big part of it was the consolidated delivery mechanism which eliminated the need for a channel to have its own broadcast ability. But the tiered pricing played a significant role as well.
For those smaller stations the ability to channel surf them probably has a big affect on their success or not. It takes quite some time for something like Mythbusters to take off by word of mouth. But running across it by channel surfing will probably hook a lot of people. You're sorta damned if you do, damned if you don't in this situation.

TDog
05-15-2007, 03:18 PM
What that does is encourage consolidation in media and/or provide significant barriers to entry for new stations. That IIRC is the reason why the current system is in place. For example, it's highly likely that in a true ala carte setup, channels like the History channel or the Discovery channel wouldn't be able to afford to remain in existence because they'd have so few people subscribing to their channel. As it currently stands, they're able to put out high quality programming and because they're on the basic cable tier (or whatever tier they're on), they make enough from he general public to pay for it.

Yes, it sucks to pay for something that you don't use, but as a member of the public, you benefit from the general access to diverse viewpoints and programming. Plus, the same issue may well hit the favorite niche channel of any individual viewer.

It's one of the reasons why pre-cable, there were so few networks and once cable hit, things proliferated. A big part of it was the consolidated delivery mechanism which eliminated the need for a channel to have its own broadcast ability. But the tiered pricing played a significant role as well.

I understand the arguments in favor of the current state of cable television and even agree with many of them on an intellectual level, but I'm still not going to pay for programing I don't watch.

Hokiesox
05-15-2007, 04:57 PM
Anyone know what is preventing this? If a cable company wants to do it, why don't they just do it?

Congress and the FCC. They regulate the cable companies.

Frontman
05-16-2007, 06:09 PM
Congress and the FCC. They regulate the cable companies.

You mean the same people who try to keep the oil companies in check?

Man, I'll need to fork out big money for all my sports soon enough.:wink: