Content is king.

There’s a reason ESPN charges all that money to watch.  We want to pay it.

The risk for distributors is losing subscribers who will leave to find live sports provided by a competitor. More than one-third of consumers would cancel their pay TV service if they lost ESPN, the top cable channel for viewer loyalty, according to a 2012 survey by Lazard Capital Markets.

Even in an a la carte era, that’s not going to change.

Pilson said he thinks bundling will probably become the subject of a Congressional inquiry over the next five years. The New York Times recently reported government intervention doesn’t seem likely since the Federal Communications Commission has ensured telecommunication companies can compete in the TV business and empowered programmers in negotiations with cable distributors.

“Over a period of time, I think we can expect all cable bills to go up,” Pilson said. “There seems to be a public acceptance of (higher) bills right now. I think cable is viewed as a necessity in most homes.”

When it comes to sports programming, we live in a whatever the market will bear world.  And the content providers know it.

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12 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness

12 responses to “Content is king.

  1. The FCC needs to screw the Cable Companies like they use to screw the Phone Companies.

  2. Jeff Sanchez

    Yep. Live sports (and especially glorious CFB Saturdays) are the only thing keeping me from cancelling cable / dish / whatever.

    • pantslesspatdye

      I would agree whole-heartely, if I weren’t married. There’s only about 4 channels I watch sparingly outside of football season. Even looking at the entertaining shows out there, I have other pursuits I prefer to discovery channel specials and life in a duck call-making family. The wife on the other hand is a different story.

  3. Dante

    I want to pay ESPN for live sports programming, but they’ll no longer take my money. This is my 9th year without cable or satellite. Back then, ESPN offered a GameDay package that was streamable and offered a la carte game purchases on it. Then they moved to ESPN360 which was good when it first started up but you can’t get it if you don’t subscribe to a participating ISP and it has steadily eroded in both streaming quality and restrictions since it first launched. On top of that, there are streaming sites of ill repute that will gladly stream you any ESPN feed for free with halfway decent quality. And they’re getting better and better at it. So even without cable or satellite I haven’t had many gaps in college football viewing, but ESPN is so afraid of losing their current model that they’ll no longer offer me a way to purchase their content.

    CBS on the other hand is awesome. They’ve been offering a pretty decent stream of all of their SEC games for a couple of years now along with their free broadcast of the event. I really don’t get how CBS can completely give away the best SEC game every single week while ESPN needs hidden cash coming in from anyone and everyone they can shake down in order to do something almost sort of similar.

    • WarD Eagle

      I’ve watched the CBS stream in the car on the way to the beach many times. It is very good.

  4. Joe Schmoe

    @Dante – I have had somewhat the same experience with major league baseball. I am a huge Braves fan, but since I moved to North Carolina, I cannot get the games as Fox Sports South has a separate sub region for the Carolinas that shows womens lacrosse instead of the Braves (I really cannot fathom why they would do this since they are already paying for the rights to the games and I have to believe people would rather watch the Braves, but I digress). Fortunately for me, now that I am out of market, I can but MLB.tv for a little over $100 bucks a season and stream all of the games. I am so happy that I live out of market so that I don’t have to buy a whole sports package through my carrier in an attempt to get a few of the games.

  5. dawg

    Im not sure that “cable is a viewed as a necessity in most homes”. Thats bologna. I hear of more and more people all the time who dont watch TV or even have TV, much less cable. Like Dante said, there are more ways to watch now with the internet. I found Falcons games this past season streaming on some Russian website for free, when they were showing the Panthers on Fox.

    • You are correct. Now if we can get more people to do that, not only will the world be a better place, children will be less brainwashed. I used TV as a baby sitter for my Son, but only Peter Pan videos and
      Wrestling. NO COMERCIALS.

      • Dog in Fla

        When it comes to babysitting kids, I can’t think of anything better for them than commercial-free exposure to Tinkerbell and professional wrestlers

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Watch your mouth DIF! I used to date Tinkerbell back when I was wrestling professionally.

    • Dog in Fla

      “I found Falcons games this past season streaming on some Russian website for free,”

      Redistribution, Russian-style

    • Mattie Ice-ski is hot in Kazakistan-stan-stan.