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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Mad About the Cost of TV? Blame Sports

Your cable bill—$80 or $90, or whatever it is—is best understood as two prices. The programming (i.e. the channels you watch) and the distribution (i.e. the infrastructure and profits for the cable companies). Every time you pay a cable bill, the channels collect a small fee. It’s called an “affiliate fee.” The most in-demand channels tend to negotiate the highest fees. And those tend to be sports channels. Take a look.

By my rough calculation, if you pay $90 a month for cable, you are paying about $76 a year (about 7 percent of the total cost of cable TV) just for the NFL.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 02, 2013 at 12:21 PM | 118 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cable, espn, media

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   101. Paul D(uda) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 07:32 PM (#4403613)
If you want to use mlb.tv to watch your own team, or you're in Canada and want Hulu and US Netflix, check out media hint (only works in Chrome and Firefox)
   102. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 03, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4403623)
In any case, 200 GB is a HUGE amount of data. Even constantly streaming I don't think you'd hit that in a month.

If you streamed constantly you'd hit it, but not at 5 hours a day.
   103. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:05 PM (#4403656)
Hulu is a joint venture created by content providers (NBC, FOX, and ABC/Disney). Hulu's content providers can unilaterally deny content to netflix at will, or charge them an extremely high amount of money for the rights. Netflix can only deny content to others that it creates, or that it pays more than others are willing to pay for. There's no profit in the latter, and the former is high-risk.

Things like House of Cards are a step in the right direction, but they need many, many "house of cards" type series to catch up with what's available on Hulu. Hulu is basically a stress-free DVR, while netflix is a DVD store that sometimes has what you want, but you have to wait for it.

I actually rent more DVDs from Redbox than I get in the mail from netflix, because the USPS turn-around time is so bad these days. Lucky to get 2 movies a week from netflix, and it's just not worth the hassle.
   104. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:08 AM (#4403944)
If you want to use mlb.tv to watch your own team, or you're in Canada and want Hulu and US Netflix, check out media hint (only works in Chrome and Firefox)

Yeah I use that to watch the Daily Show and Colbert, which they block over here.
   105. jmurph Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:23 AM (#4403977)
Things like House of Cards are a step in the right direction, but they need many, many "house of cards" type series to catch up with what's available on Hulu. Hulu is basically a stress-free DVR, while netflix is a DVD store that sometimes has what you want, but you have to wait for it.


The other thing with Netflix, if we're really talking cordcutting, is that their streaming movie catalog essentially doesn't exist. The vast majority of new releases from the past 12-18 months aren't available to stream. Even many older releases have disappeared, due to their deals expiring with the various providers. I value the ability to catch up on old TV series like the rest of you, but I'm just not convinced that a significant number of TV watchers see it as a real alternative to cable.
   106. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:37 AM (#4403986)
The other thing with Netflix, if we're really talking cordcutting, is that their streaming movie catalog essentially doesn't exist. The vast majority of new releases from the past 12-18 months aren't available to stream. Even many older releases have disappeared, due to their deals expiring with the various providers. I value the ability to catch up on old TV series like the rest of you, but I'm just not convinced that a significant number of TV watchers see it as a real alternative to cable.

This is what I felt when I was with Netflix. They always seem to have one recent movie (usually a decently performing movie but not a hit) that they hype endlessly. So for a while you saw a ton of ads that said "Watch the Expendables!". But that was the only recent movie that they could stream. Then it was Limitless. They just don't have the massive library of desirable movies that they seem to think they have.
   107. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:17 AM (#4404009)
I don't watch a whole lot of movies, so the lack of titles on Netflix doesn't bother me that much. I would certainly like to see a greater number of older titles, however.

I'm currently a cord cutter, and I'm one of those people who don't own a TV (in my last two apartments I had roommates who owned decent sized flatscreens, so I stopped lugging around my crappy old CRT). But I do have Netflix and Hulu Plus, and access HBOgo through family. Along with channels like IFC putting up shows like Portlandia on their own websites, the only show I find myself stealing is Archer. Generally, if I do pirate something, it's due to lack of access online and/or because the legitimate point of access isn't working (e.g. a few days ago the Daily Show was regularly restarting a couple seconds into the show, and a reboot didn't immediately fix the problem so I downloaded a pirated copy of that episode). The only thing I'm really bad about is watching European sports feeds of games I want to see. It's also why I'll end up buying a TV and getting a cable subscription again at some point. I watch enough sports to make it worth the price, especially when the quality of an HD television feed is so vastly beyond that of any pirate feed.
   108. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4404016)
I do notice that as a DVD-only subscriber to Netflix, I'm paying less than I would if I subscribed to their streaming only.


That's largely because of the difference in how streaming licenses and physical media rentals are handled. If digital files could be loaned in the same manner as physical media then streaming would likely be the same price as DVD-only, as Netflix would only have to buy one copy of the digital media and would then be able to stream it to subscribers without needing to pay the copyright holders a licensing fee. I would be intrigued to see the first sale doctrine extended to digital media, but it doesn't look likely.
   109. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4404018)
Man, I'm kind of lukewarm on Netflix but the gf will kill me if I ever got rid of it. She loves British costume dramas and Netflix is balls deep in British costume dramas. There's so much about Netflix that frustrates me. I get that they can't get many recently run movies, but it seems they could be offering so much more. I do think they offer a good selection of tv shows and docs, though.
   110. CrosbyBird Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4404019)
I think I'm the sort of person that cable really is good for. I watch about 75% premium channels, 15% cable non-premium, and 10% network.
   111. jmurph Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:37 AM (#4404036)
I do notice that as a DVD-only subscriber to Netflix, I'm paying less than I would if I subscribed to their streaming only.


I'm pretty sure that's not a thing anymore. I just rejoined a couple months ago, and I believe the only options were streaming only (for 7.99ish) or streaming + 1 DVD for about 14.99ish. DVD-only people are grandfathered in, I guess, but I'm pretty sure they don't offer that plan anymore to new customers.

I'm also only in for the reasons Shooty described, though in my wife's case it's british murder mysteries, not the costume dramas.
   112. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:48 AM (#4404045)
I get that they can't get many recently run movies, but it seems they could be offering so much more


The content doesn't really bother me. What bothers me about Netflix is all the simple stuff they could do to make things easier that they don't. Like allowing you to organize your content into folders so its not just one big freaking queue. Or allowing you to delete history so if you watch a movie with a racy cover image, your 5 year old doesn't see it in "Recently Watched" on your IPad as he turns it on to watch Thomas the Tank Engine. Or even allowing you to set up separate users on the same account for different devices (like my kid on the IPad, me on the Roku)

I think the content is fine. We can watch TV shows, documentaries, and indie movies on streaming, and we have the mail-based service which has first-run movies (and we really don't have the time to sit and watch many movies anyway).
   113. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:53 AM (#4404049)
Or allowing you to delete history so if you watch a movie with a racy cover image, your 5 year old doesn't see it in "Recently Watched" on your IPad as he turns it on to watch Thomas the Tank Engine.

I will admit that there are certain movies I won't watch because I know the gf will make fun of me. I like 80's sex comedies but she'll think I'm just watching them for the tits. I'm totally not!
   114. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4404058)
I have the opposite problem. I entertained my five-year old niece a few months ago, and she watched cartoons on my Netflix. Some weeks later, I had a lady friend over to watch a movie, and I caught some ribbing because as we were picking out the movie, all my Recommendations were "Because you watched Strawberry Shortcake...."
   115. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4404071)
"Because you watched Strawberry Shortcake...."

Just say, "You think I'm only watching for the tits. I'm totally not!"
   116. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4404123)
Just say, "You think I'm only watching for the tits. I'm totally not!"

I can only use that excuse so many times.
   117. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4404128)
I can only use that excuse so many times.

Wait now, there's a limit? Ruh roh...
   118. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4404134)
Man, I'm kind of lukewarm on Netflix but the gf will kill me if I ever got rid of it. She loves British costume dramas and Netflix is balls deep in British costume dramas. There's so much about Netflix that frustrates me. I get that they can't get many recently run movies, but it seems they could be offering so much more. I do think they offer a good selection of tv shows and docs, though.

I like old movies a lot better, so this doesn't bother me. Probably 75% of the last 50 movies we've watched have been Film Noir from the 40's and 50's.
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