Internet without cable TV

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I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 15

Re: Internet without cable TV

Yes, I'm aware of the issues. I just want to get my word in. If enough customers want something then there's a lot more chance of it happening.

Thanks for paying attention to my beefs.

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 928

Re: Internet without cable TV


@WhitbyPhil wrote:

Anyway, I do realize I'm talking to the wrong people. It seems like poor business practice on the part of the TV stations and networks (not Rogers) to only allow access to the current episode of any particular show.

The advertisers, who actually pay for most of the current TV content, could only gain by forcing the TV stations to open up access to all the episodes of shows, rather than merely the current one. Then they would have a whole larger audience for their advertising.

 


Except that the TV show owners get to make money from 1) licensing the older episodes to Netflix/Shomi/etc, and 2) selling DVD/bluray box sets with older episodes. There's no obvious benefit to them spending the money on technology infrastructure that lets you view older episodes for free..

 

And the advertisers - well, they don't really care if you see their ad from 4 months ago. Lots of advertising is time sensitive, e.g. political advertising, any advertising mentioning specific sales/discounts, etc.

 

So, really, that's your answer: the TV networks only give you the current episode because that's what the advertisers want you to see. The advertisers from 4 months ago... aren't going to pay them more so that you can see obsolete advertising in a 4 month old broadcast.



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 15

Re: Internet without cable TV

Because I don't have a signin, I've never actually seen the advertising that comes along with older episodes of shows.

But I find it hard to believe that an 18 month old episode of the Blacklist would be interrupted with 18 month old advertising. I'm sure the website programmers can do better than that.

I would imagine the advertising is fed into the video app, not attached to the actual video of the show. It might be  chosen according to content - a show like The Big Bang or Twilight might have quite different advertising to, say, This Old House. But I can't believe the ads are hard-wired to the actual video copy being shown. I'd fire a programmer that built it like that.

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 928

Re: Internet without cable TV


@WhitbyPhil wrote:

Because I don't have a signin, I've never actually seen the advertising that comes along with older episodes of shows.

But I find it hard to believe that an 18 month old episode of the Blacklist would be interrupted with 18 month old advertising. I'm sure the website programmers can do better than that.

I would imagine the advertising is fed into the video app, not attached to the actual video of the show. It might be  chosen according to content - a show like The Big Bang or Twilight might have quite different advertising to, say, This Old House. But I can't believe the ads are hard-wired to the actual video copy being shown. I'd fire a programmer that built it like that.


Okay, so let's say you want to offer current advertising. That means the advertising sales department has to go out and find advertisers who are interested in advertising on back episodes, unless... you want to give that for free to people who buy ads for the current live broadcast?

 

The fundamental thing you seem to be ignoring is that there is NO business motivation for TV networks to make it easier for you to get older episodes online. They've decided that they will do it for subscribers of 'friendly' cable TV operators (at one point, I don't think CTV, owned by Bell, let Rogers subscribers get back episodes...) presumably to enhance the value of (otherwise-endangered) paid TV services.



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 15

Re: Internet without cable TV

Surely the broadcasters have the say about what is shown on a particular channel but the cable company is the one that puts together the cable TV packages they offer.

I'm proposing a package option where customers can fill the slots in their package with the channels they actually want, that's all.

As I said in earlier posts, I'm not interested in sports (I just wasn't born with that particular gene). So I'd like a package option that's aimed at people like me, where sports are options the customer can choose to add, if they want them, rather than the other way around. I got fed up of packages where half the content on offer was stuff I had no interest in. So I cancelled cable.

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 15

Re: Internet without cable TV

Like any business, broadcasters are in business to make money. The TV content is merely the vehicle they use to do that. If they feel it's a pain in the butt to actually get their sales people to go out and secure advertising, perhaps they should consider a different line of work.

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 928

Re: Internet without cable TV


@WhitbyPhil wrote:

Surely the broadcasters have the say about what is shown on a particular channel but the cable company is the one that puts together the cable TV packages they offer.

I'm proposing a package option where customers can fill the slots in their package with the channels they actually want, that's all.

As I said in earlier posts, I'm not interested in sports (I just wasn't born with that particular gene). So I'd like a package option that's aimed at people like me, where sports are options the customer can choose to add, if they want them, rather than the other way around. I got fed up of packages where half the content on offer was stuff I had no interest in. So I cancelled cable.


The CRTC has been trying to push that for the longest time.

 

But here's the problem. Let's say that right now, TSN charges Rogers $1/subscriber. If Rogers has 2 million subscribers who have TSN, that's a $2 million cheque from Rogers to TSN every month.

 

If they start doing a-la-carte, then maybe only 1 million people will want TSN. TSN doesn't want to lose half of their revenue... so they'll tell Rogers that the new price is $2/subscriber.

 

And then Rogers will raise their price, because they don't want to take the hit. So more people will cancel TSN. And TSN will raise the price again. And eventually you have a death spiral...

 

Basically, specialty channels are better off charging Rogers a small amount per subscriber to be included in a big bundle than charging Rogers way more to be marketed individually...

 

Is this system consumer-friendly? No. Is it also hurting the pay TV industry in the long run? Sure.



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 15

Re: Internet without cable TV

Interesting, Vivien. Thank you. I'll have to mull on that a bit. I do know that the system isn't as simplistic as I outlined.

But channels like TSN should surely have to live by their merits, rather than merely being something that's just bundled into a package.

Maybe nobody wants TSN. Maybe most people do. Maybe TSN should find out what it's public really wants and deliver that. Being bundled into a package makes the provider lazy.

Fox News, for example, has managed to build itself a reputation as the most trustworthy news source in the US, even though it is realistically one of the least trustworthy sources. What Fox News does is tell people what they want to hear.

Donald Trump may well win the US presidency by 'telling it like it is' - which really translates into telling people what they want to hear as well, rather than what actually 'is'.

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 928

Re: Internet without cable TV


@WhitbyPhil wrote:

Interesting, Vivien. Thank you. I'll have to mull on that a bit. I do know that the system isn't as simplistic as I outlined.

But channels like TSN should surely have to live by their merits, rather than merely being something that's just bundled into a package.

Maybe nobody wants TSN. Maybe most people do. Maybe TSN should find out what it's public really wants and deliver that. Being bundled into a package makes the provider lazy.



But I think you figured out EXACTLY why the owners of specialty channels (and TSN, which, while it may not appeal to you or me, has broad appeal, which may make it the wrong example compared to many more niche specialty channels) like the status quo.

 

And look at who owns most specialty channels - big media companies. Those owners are far better off collecting a few cents per specialty channel (many of which may still be SD, not even HD) in a widely-sold bundle rather than investing a lot of money to try and convince people to subscribe to their channel on an individual basis.

 

As I said, the CRTC tried to shake this up with the 'skinny basic' package requirement. Not sure how well that's working out right now...



I'm an Advisor
Posts: 764

Re: Internet without cable TV

Hello all,

Just tossing in my 2 cents.  @VivienM hit it on the head...if channels are "unbundled" and offered a-la-carte, we will see a drastic increase in price since the total number of subscribers would be lower than it is now.

 

We will see some services (APTN, Out TV, etc) become cash-starved due to low subscriptions - which might 'kill off' those less popular (but important) services.  Those channels are an important voice for the audiences they target, but might not survive the transition to an "a-la-carte" subscription model.

 

As it stands, you can opt to purchase an Over-the-Air antenna (Channel Master!) and appropriate hardware (recommendation: Viewsat HD 9000 - $100 on Kijiji) to receive and record OTA content.  While this does limit your choices (8-12 stations in my area, depending on weather and time of year), you will get major networks (CBC, CTV, CityTV, Fox, CHCH, etc) and see broadcast network content with full EPG.

 

Finally, the true a-la-carte channel purchasing option is coming...and is expected to arrive by the end of 2016.  When it arrives, you can purchase "Skinny Basic" then add any other channel for an additional fee.  I suspect it will still be cheaper to keep "Basic Cable"...but the option will exist for those who want it.

 

Hope this helps! 🙂