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6 years ago this question was asked on the old board by a poster and the answer was an unanimous NO. With smart TVs, smart boxes, smart phones and tablets dominating what many are watching now, could ESPN open up their networks and allow users to pay them directly per month for access on their devices?
I think pay cable and satellite TV is a dead man walking.
12177 Post before moving here. 10/29/11 will live forever in our hearts (plus 50 votes in the last 3 hours)
If anyone could do it, I think it would be ESPN. They are very powerful and would seem to have a huge subscriber base.
I'll have an order of erin andrews with a side of samantha steel?
I would imagine the espn family of networks could cost $50 per sub
Signature for rent
Watch ESPN app. Basically already exists.
You still need a cable subscription.
I would say 75 a year. Even charging 5 a month, they would be making more per subscriber then they are now.
No. Programmers won't agree to this. For instance if you bought "ESPN" ala carte, it would probably require you to buy ABC, Disney, A&E, Lifetime, etc.
Plus, I could see them charging like 8 dollars a month per channel. That could add up quickly and be more expensive than the current subscription model.
This post was edited by Keith Stone 15 months ago
The Cable Companies don't want it, Congress doesn't really want it (yet...last hearing I went to on this issues Trent Lott said it wouldn't be that way much longer, but then he dropped an n-bomb or something and is no longer in Congress), The FCC doesn't really want it and Broadcasters don't really want it.
The only people that actually want ala carte cable are subscribers/consumers but guess who doesn't give a shit about those people because they keep buying TV anyway?
Intel is doing this
The democratization of content.
I was talking $50 per month. You assume that everyone will buy ESPN. I would estimate 25% of current cable subscribers would buy ESPN.
Something has to give, either you stop paying a billions dollars for programming rights or the rates keep going up. I'll assume the latter will happen.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Kerndaddy 15 months ago
There has been various reports that it won't happen either because of licensing issues.
The current model, ESPN gets 4 a month per cable subscriber. To compete, they have to make prices affordable and get advertisers to sign on, which wouldn't be an issue. I own a Roku and a iPhone, and the only things that is keeping me from cutting cable completely is ESPN and BTN. Even WWE offers their programs ala cart now via wwe.com.
This post was edited by tJYD 15 months ago
ESPN and BTN are the only two that could do it. If we move to a la carte programming, a LOT of other channels are going away. If we seriously wanted to go down this road, the following would happen:
- ESPN and BTN become streaming-only, and each one charges $25-30 per month.
- Cable television would lose about half of their subscribers overnight, as people adjust to paying for sports/Netflix/Hulu.
- Scrambling to cut costs and draw in viewers, almost every channel on cable television switches to reality programming.
- No more TV series (i.e. Walking Dead, etc).
Honestly, I'm ok living in that world, but most people wouldn't be. It doesn't matter, because it will never happen. You'd basically be asking ESPN and BTN to change their entire business model, for no extra revenue, because it "makes sense and is the right thing to do." They have nothing to gain, and in the case of ESPN, their parent company could stand to lose from the proposition.
Just pirate the content you want to watch online. We're reaching sort of a stalemate where the content industry sort of just concedes that's part of the cost of doing business, and in return, they get to rape the majority of viewers for $120 per month.
Exactly. Right now Disney has a little trump card in their pocket when negotiating rights fees. "Sure we won't charge you full mark up for ESPN but in exchange you have to take on all of these channels." If ESPN goes ala carte, quite a few channels owned by Disney would cease to exist.
I get ESPN3 through my internet provider. I don't need a cable/satellite subscription. I need my cable/satellite subscription for B1G Network To Go.
Can't watch Sportscenter, 30 for 30 or other ESPN programming with ESPN3 only.
I'm sure you're right, but the live sports is enough for me. If I were looking to cut the cable cord, Sportscenter wouldn't be enough reason for me to keep cable.
ESPN3 is different than WatchESPN. ESPN recently changed it so that if live sports are playing on ESPN's networks, you need WatchESPN to access it. ESPN3 has some exclusive stuff that isn't on WatchESPN.
Online registration through your TV service provider is required in order to access content on all networks. Non-participating TV provider customers have access to ESPN3 programming online only at WatchESPN.com or on WatchESPN on the XBox with a XBox LIVE Gold membership, as long as they subscribe to a participating high speed internet service provider
ESPN gets $4.69 per month for the main channel and another $1.13 for its other networks.
They could charge a premium above $4/ month to make the numbers work. They should pilot with wow or some smaller provider. Also, why can't the cable companies break out espn like they do hbo? I'm sure there's an answers here but just not sure why.
You mean charge extra for ESPN like they do HBO?
That price from my understand includes a cut for the providers as well. Basically, that is the price the cable company charges.
Difference being that HBO is entertaining
In 2016 the contract ends and if they want, ESPN could untether their ESPN Watch from requiring a cable provider subscription.
A dumb thing about the watchESPN and ESPN3 thing is that when you go to the site, it has a logo up in the corner that says "powered by AT&T" or something like that, but if you have AT&T Uverse, you can't watch the watchESPN stuff. So one part of the company sponsors the streaming of it, but another part of that same company won't allow you to access it. Stupid.
AT&T is too big and confusing for its own good.
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