“I think eventually ESPN becomes a business that is sold directly to the consumers.”

Mickey is clearly warning its broadcast partners that the times, they are a-changin’.  Think they’re paying attention?

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23 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

23 responses to ““I think eventually ESPN becomes a business that is sold directly to the consumers.”

  1. If it weren’t for live sports I would have ditched Comcast years ago. I hear about my friends and family streaming content and think if I wasn’t a football fan I’d be right there with them.

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  2. Gaskilldawg

    To answer your question, no.

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  3. PTC DAWG

    Good luck with me synching up 2-3 HD tv’s on the same game trying to steam content. It ain’t happening in my abode.

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    • 3rdandGrantham

      Then you either have horribly poor infrastructure or are paying for a very basic, bare bones service. HD streaming is roughly 3-3.5 mbps, with some Netflix programs in the 4.5 range. Most cable packages start at 20 mbps all the way up to 100+.

      Streaming 3-4 tvs at once should be nothing. We do it all the time and never have had issues.

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      • doiknowu

        Up here in the NEGA mountains we’re mostly at the mercy of Windstream and its generally mediocre DSL lines. And, as you know about DSL, the further away from the switches, the slower the signal. I’ve got friends and co-workers who struggle to get 1.5 mbps, which helps to explain the abundance of Dish and DirecTV dishes dotting the moutainsides. It’s nice that you can fast internet where you live, but the FCC now defines broadband as 25 mbps and that’s not available to us mountain folk, whatever we pay. Thanks for the blanket statement, though. Cable cutting remains but a dream to most of us here.

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        • 3rdandGrantham

          Yep, our second home in the VA mountains is the exact same, thus working remote from there often is a crap shoot at best. Satellite is an option, but with data caps we’d easily exceed, we’d probably pay $150 a month for that.

          I wasn’t making a blanket statement at all—I said poor infrastructure (which is you/me based on location), or purposely choosing a budget internet plan. Not exactly sure how that’s some myopic generality.

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        • Macallanlover

          Right there with you doi, but mine is DSL from TDS. Checked my speed today and it was just over 5. Not a real problem as I can stream Netflix but it is a come down from the fiber optics in Chattanooga that I left.

          I am happy with satellite TV but would prefer to pay ESPN $30-50 a month during CFB season and bowls. After that, I could do without a cable satellite group. I don’t watch network programming except on DVR, don’t need it. I am paying $200+ to Direct with no pay channels, currently looking to switch to Dish and save about $75 a month after the promo period.

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      • PTC DAWG

        I can never get them to synch up…I am talking the same game….yeah, it is easy to do different games..I Get about 90 mbps dl from FYI.

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  4. Skeptic Dawg

    What will this mean for the SEC Network and the tens of millions (40m?) distributed to each SEC school? I do not watch the SECN now, no way I am shelling out $30 bucks a month for Paul and their crappy conference games. If packaged with ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Classic, then I couls justify $30 a month. It will be interesting to see if the NFL, MLB and NCAA continue to get in bed with the four letter network.

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  5. reipar

    So just about the time they are going to be forced into truly paying the players the money will have dried up 😉

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    • JCDAWG83

      Of course, the “…the programs and the networks are making billions and the players are getting nothing” argument will die along with the revenue.

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    • Skeptic Dawg

      It’s not like the COA payments are going to come from TV money or bowl payouts. The actual COA payments will come from the fans in the form of increased ticket prices, increased cost of concessions, increased cost of gear. Wherever these bright individuals leading the way can grab an extra dollar from us, they will most certainly will. All in an effort to offset the cost of paying these kids.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        The majority of sports revenue comes from TV advertising. As for ‘grab(ing) an extra dollar from us,’ nobody is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to buy tickets, popcorn, apparel, or anything else of the sort. You do retain a choice in the matter.

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      • JCDAWG83

        That will be a fair way to do it. Ask the people who actually buy the product to pay. At that point, the customer can demand results from the people he is paying. Under the current system, so much of the money in the system comes from people who have no connection other than subscribing to cable tv that the ADs really don’t have to care much about the ticket buyers opinions.

        The people wanting the players to be paid also want them to be exempt from the “employer/employee” relationship dynamics. They want the stipend or pay to be something of an entitlement that they deserve simply for showing up. If the players are going to share in the revenue, they also need to share in the risk. If they don’t perform, they should be able to be “fired”. If the fans are asked to pay the cost of paying the players, the fans should be able to vote with their pocketbooks whether the coaches or players keep getting paid.

        Everyone in the pay the players discussion loves to talk about revenue and profit, they never seem to want to talk about expense and loss. If it’s going to be a business, with business relationships, all aspects of business need to be in play.

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        • SSB Charley

          Rent seeking by the networks from non-interested cable subscribers is the BTN and Pac12N’s modus operandi. It’s probably the SECN’s to a lesser extent, but given the population and general disinterest by many of the people paying for the BTN and P12N in their geographic footprints, I think it’s a much bigger part of their revenue model. It was the only reason for adding Rutgers and Maryland. the funny part will be when the money dries up because of the ala carte services for those networks and the Big Ten is stuck with two mediocre to horrible athletic departments for whom none of their fans (other than maybe Penn State) have any interest in playing.

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  6. JCDAWG83

    If it happens, I think it will be the beginning of the end of the big money in college sports. Think of how many female headed households and households with people who are not big sports fans and you probably have a majority of households in the country. Add to that, people like me who really only care about being able to watch their team’s away football games and you further reduce the number of people willing to pay for ESPN. I’d simply go to a bar or somewhere that carried the game 6-8 times a year before I’d pay ESPN.

    I imagine the $30 a month figure is calculated if the same number of subscribers they are broadcasting to today signed up for ESPN, I don’t think that would be the case. Within a few years, I would guess the amount would climb to closer to $75 a month. It will be interesting to watch if it happens.

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    • 3rdandGrantham

      Sports keeps rapidly growing in popularity and will continue to do so regardless. You mentioned women—do you know which demographic is the most rapidly rising viewer of the NFL? Women, that’s who. Women also are gravitating to other sports as well, like soccer. Studies have shown that they love watching very fit, attractive guys running around.

      Back in the day, bars on weekends were mostly packed with guys screaming at TV, with an occasional disinterested wife/girlfriend in tow. nowadays its 40% women, most of whom are wearing jearseys of their favorite player, screaming at the TV too.

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  7. 3rdandGrantham

    As far as I’m concerned, it already has. It’s called SlingTV. For $20 a month, you get ESPN, ESPN2, U, and 7-8 other stations like CNN, HGTV, Travel, TNT, etc. We dropped cable 6-7 months ago and went to 100% streaming (with HD antennas), and haven’t looked back.

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    • JCDAWG83

      I’m curious, what would you do if ESPN informed you they were not going to be on SlingTV any more and offered you their service for $50 a month for all of their channels?

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        Depends how much I could get a total package for, to be honest. $50 doesn’t mean much of anything to me, but it would be a principal thing to be honest (i.e. whether I want to fork over $50 to ESPN monthly for football).

        As it stands now, I’m saving approx. $80 a month with sling+antenna, so I’m more than happy. If I can milk that for a few years, that’s $2,000 I saved instead of paying for all those garbage stations/shows I never watch anyway.

        My main concern at this point is data caps being put into place by ISP’s like Comcast…they’re already doing so in markets they clearly dominate, especially in the deep south. That, and/or making internet so absurdly expensive by itself that ‘bundling’ with TV for $25 more will pretty much render SlingTv and the like mute. Fortunately, I live in an area with a slew of competition, including Google Fiber, so I should be in good shape. But those who live in rural areas or smaller cities, I feel for you.

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        • Americus Dawg

          Yep … living in a rural Southwest Georgia town sucks as far as getting decent internet service. I live on the outskirts of Sumter County, GA and our only choices for internet/tv are a small cable company or Dish/Direct TV. I miss the days when I lived in Raleigh, NC …

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    • PTC DAWG

      Big hill between me and the OTA’s out of Atlanta, no go over the air for me…

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