Future of Commercial TV

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March 23rd, 2013 at 9:57:39 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 773
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The original I love Lucy episodes had an minutes of episode to minutes of commercial ratio of roughly 8.5 to 1. Today the ratio is closer to 4:1 .

Look at the extreme popularity of this 2 minute clip.


Soon you could mix these clips into and episode to commercial ratio of 2:1 ratio and people will sit around and watch it. And all of this without the need to make new video. It will be like spending a million dollars to make an old movie into 3-D and then re-releasing to make another $20 million in ticket sales.

I don't know if it's true, but I was told that some countries would show the entire episode of a TV commercial, and then all the commercials at once with little funny bits in between to keep people watching.

People are going to have the attention span of a tse-tse fly before long.
March 25th, 2013 at 7:20:18 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 50
Posts: 5376
Many people are already repackaging old shows and old movies into YouTube feeds that have several commercials interspersed in them. Its free content and an audience that somewhere is being purchased by someone even if its not for much.

I find myself no longer watching much TV because the shows are no good and the commercials are too loud, too numerous and too annoying.
April 28th, 2013 at 11:23:06 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 773
Posts: 9162
Quote: RCN Cable Company executive
Thank you for your email. Recognizing your frustration, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to your concern.

RCN has an agreement with Comcast to carry Comcast SportsNet, the primary sports channel that they own in the Philadelphia market. The majority of Flyers, 76ers, and Phillies games are available for our customers to enjoy on Comcast SportsNet. When multiple sports are playing, on occasion and sometimes with little notice, Comcast elects to migrate games to The Comcast Network (TCN). We are subject to their decision-making as they are fully aware that not all companies carry TCN.

When RCN assesses the addition of cable channels, the merits of a network's year-round programming schedule and the expense, along with customer requests, are primary factors taken into consideration. Evaluation of TCN's monthly fees and lack of other desirable programming (putting aside the overflow Phillies games) has not presented a strong business case to add this network. Our programming offerings are reviewed throughout the year and we are always mindful of customer channel requests.


This e-mail illustrates a typical problem. Comcast (a Philadelphia cable company) owns the Cable channels that broadcast the Philadelphia Phillies baseball games, One channel (CSN) is widely available over all the local cable companies, and the second (TCN) is not widely available to the other cable companies. COMCAST elects to migrate games from one channel to the other, which causes hatred among viewers of the cable companies that don't carry the second network.

Sports, in particular, demand some kind of universal ability to view, even if for a fee. It isn't fair that some fans simply can't watch a game at home, even for a fee.
April 29th, 2013 at 3:26:43 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 7500
Quote: Pacomartin


Sports, in particular, demand some kind of universal ability to view, even if for a fee. It isn't fair that some fans simply can't watch a game at home, even for a fee.


I think we would have to define "fair." Before the 1970s you didn't get home NFL games, period. Sellout or no sellout they were blacked out. Sports teams are privately owned, even if they have some sort of publicly traded stock. Ownership has a right to maximize their revenue and make their product available as they like. That being said, you would think an owner would not want to PO much of the fan base by limiting game availability.

I am of the school of thought that sports interest in the USA peaked about 5 years ago but nobody has noticed yet. Not everything is declining yet, but some things are. One is attendance at NFL games, off a few percent. The parabolic revenue growth snce 1980 is near over. What happens next will be fun to watch, though I will be watching less and less.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
April 29th, 2013 at 4:39:40 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 50
Posts: 5376
I have a feeling that certain sports teams have a viewer profile quite similar to a casino's demographics: aging.

Many people want channel packages and want their favorite teams but its a declining market that is already topheavy with geriatric subscribers.
April 29th, 2013 at 7:00:43 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 773
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Quote: AZDuffman
I think we would have to define "fair."


I suppose you are correct. Many people thought that the decision in 2006 to move Monday Night Football to ESPN making it unavailable to the 10% of TV households who do not have cable. In contrast to that decision, the decision to move some overflow baseball games to a channel that is not universally available to all cable customers is very small.

When Disney acquired Capital Cities in 1995, the headline grabbing part of the acquisition was that Disney now owned the ABC network. Now 18 years later it is very clear that the real gem of the acquisition was ESPN. Now many people complain that the extremely high affiliation fee that the cables pay for ESPN is "unfair" to the cable customers who are not interested in sports.

I do think that somehow every game should be available (at least as pay per view) on every cable company or on the internet.
April 29th, 2013 at 7:14:29 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 7500
Quote: Pacomartin
I suppose you are correct. Many people thought that the decision in 2006 to move Monday Night Football to ESPN making it unavailable to the 10% of TV households who do not have cable. In contrast to that decision, the decision to move some overflow baseball games to a channel that is not universally available to all cable customers is very small.

When Disney acquired Capital Cities in 1995, the headline grabbing part of the acquisition was that Disney now owned the ABC network. Now 18 years later it is very clear that the real gem of the acquisition was ESPN. Now many people complain that the extremely high affiliation fee that the cables pay for ESPN is "unfair" to the cable customers who are not interested in sports.

I do think that somehow every game should be available (at least as pay per view) on every cable company or on the internet.


And that ESPN fee is one reasoni became a car dropout. There has been talk of forcing ESPN to a higher tier on and off for years. Disney clearly has leverage to keep it at basic level. But that juice will not last. 10 million streaming devices are now in use. That is near critical mass. When that number hits 20mm it will be cutting into mainstream use. Cable providers will then be forced to either real al a carte pricing or really narrow the tiers to say 15 channels each.

Let me pick the 10 channels I want. Or give so many "points" as a budget and let me fill my tier (eg, I get 100 points. ESPN is 15 points, FNC 10, etc). Get the bill down to $20 or so per month. I e been on Roku nearly a month now and every day I ami see how little I need cable.

Sports? DEGAF
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
April 29th, 2013 at 7:45:42 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 773
Posts: 9162
Quote: AZDuffman
Get the bill down to $20 or so per month. I e been on Roku nearly a month now and every day I ami see how little I need cable.


I assume you are talking about $20 in addition to internet fee. I don't think anyone is that low. One local cable company charges $20/month for what they call "lifeline TV". These are the channels which you can theoretically pick up via antenna, but in reality most people here have problems with intervening hills. Many people don't want to mess with 25' antennas and associated expense, so it is reasonable.

Another local company offers 25 Mbs internet plus two setup boxes for standard definition TV for $40 (over the air digital channels included). For most people this option is better as you can put in a VOIP phone service and discontinue expensive landline, and you can buy Netflix or Hulu+. The cable company makes money since it is $10 for each HDTV, $5 for a router, and people watch pay per view movies.

They are also offering premium channels (Showtime/TMC/Encore/Stars/HBO/Cinemax) without the requirement to purchase ESPN/USA/etc. These offers only started two months ago, but I presume that sports channels like MLB ESPN FoxSoccer etc. will be available before long.
April 29th, 2013 at 8:12:45 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 7500
Internet would be a separate issue. I mean $20-25 for say History and its likes (Nat Geo, etc) Food Network, FNC and CNBC. Let me pick. As it is right now it is as if I just want a Danish and coffee but am told the only way to get it is with the champagne brunch.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
April 29th, 2013 at 9:36:34 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 773
Posts: 9162
Quote: AZDuffman
Internet would be a separate issue. I mean $20-25 for say History and its likes (Nat Geo, etc) Food Network, FNC and CNBC. Let me pick. As it is right now it is as if I just want a Danish and coffee but am told the only way to get it is with the champagne brunch.


The local cable company is now letting you buy the second tier for $13/month + $40 internet and skip over the first tier.
So instead of History, (Nat Geo, etc), Food Network, FNC and CNBC you get
History International, Nat Geo Wild, Cooking Channel, Fox Business Network,and CNN International.

You can also buy Showtime for $5/month.

This arrangement seems unusual, and it seems like the cable company is bypassing normal business practices. I think it might be a forerunner of a breakdown in the traditional arrangement where you are stuck with a giant first tier of channels most of which are of no interest.

It seems like a fairer system, much closer to ala carte. For $40/month (goes up $8 a year) they get the cable in the door with internet and over the air TV. Then you pay extra fees ($20 for VOIP phone with their system, $5 router, $10 per HDTV, different prices for different groups of TV, extra for Filipino or Indian or Spanish, extra for sports, extra for digital video recorders, etc.).
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