Now that ESPN is valued at more than one-third of the entire Walt Disney Company, Disney is simply focusing fewer resources on copyright protection and more resources on simply keeping the cable bundle intact, so that they can continue to collect $70/year from people who don't care about sports but gotta have their Mad Men fix.
1.) The Comcast-NBCU merger practically prevents NBC from withholding its programming from other services, but even if it didn't, if Dish wants to settle on similar terms with NBC, Comcast can't afford to be viewed as a holdout. Any appearance that Comcast abusing their market position could convince regulators to block the buyout of TWC.
2.) Should Dish get this IPTV service off the ground, Charlie Ergen could go in front of the press (and Congress) and claim that Comcast's data caps are anti-competitive, because they prevent Comcast Internet customers from using Dish. That could force Comcast to concede on data caps to get the TWC acquisition through.
3.) In terms of the marketplace, Dish has a long-term partnership with Frontier Communications to be the TV portion of their "triple play" package, but Frontier can't offer that package to apartment dwellers who can't put up a satellite dish. If Dish gets this IPTV service working, that changes, and those renters who hate Comcast and TWC can have a legit alternative for TV service.
I don't know about you, but I'm okay with losing Auto-hop if it means either putting the kibosh on data caps, blocking the Comcast-TWC merger, or costing either of them a large number of customers.
Just because the guy who wrote YMCA decides that he doesn't want whoever the Village People are now to perform the song anymore, the whole concept of a song's copyright reverting back to the creator is suddenly a "dumb idea"?
I don't buy that. Think about all the songs that the major labels currently "own" that they're practically hoarding in a vault somewhere and not promoting at all. Musicians have far more avenues for promoting their compositions in 2013 than they did in 1978. Why shouldn't those musicians take those songs back and do something new with them? Why should the labels be allowed to keep those songs locked up in perpetuity?
One guy who doesn't get the concept does not invalidate the concept. Give the art back to the artists.
tl;dr : Because their current deal with cable & satellite carriers calls for a 6.5% carriage fee increase every year, ESPN's annual carriage fee income will continue to increase between now and 2020 -- unless the annual number of cord cutters increases by 50%, year over year. And that rate of cord cutting seems rather unlikely at the moment.
Also, if ESPN became a premium channel, the network would need 40.7 million subscribers at $14.95/month, or 30.5 million subscribers at $19.95/month, to make as much as it makes now in annual carriage fees -- about $7.3 billion -- from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPNEWS. And it probably couldn't get away with selling $3.3 billion in ads if it went premium.
So yeah, big media really isn't going to change until we all stop giving it so much money.
Team doctors are paid by team OWNERS, not players. There's a long history of team doctors bending rules to get players back on the field/court/ice too quickly. If Derrick Rose thinks the advice he's getting will hurt his career in the long-term (he's only 24), then I'm giving him a pass.
Besides, these Bulls are not beating the Heat with or without Derrick Rose, so why pin the blame solely on him?
I was just thinking the same thing, especially given Fox's 9-year, $10-billion deal with the NFL that goes into effect next March. Pretty sure Roger Goodell would remind Chase Carey of a few 11-figure cancellation fees in that contract if Fox shuts down its broadcast network. The NFL wants as many eyeballs as possible.
The NBA, on the other hand, makes all its money from ESPN and Turner. If ABC disappears, I'm not sure the NBA would miss it that much, save for Xmas-day hoops and the Finals.
It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Logan and Personal Audio were merely Big Media puppets at work here, trying to squash alternative programming. This might explain why Adam Carolla is the first target, beyond the fact that he's the biggest podcaster. After all, he rejected Big Media to strike out on his own. Wouldn't surprise me if they went after Glenn Beck next -- although Big Media *fired* him, which is a little bit different.
Say, does Newegg have a podcast? Think they could start one?
...is to shine more light on big media's attack on RSS, something that Aaron Swartz helped to develop. The owner of patent troll Personal Audio LLC has had contractual relationships with lots of big media companies.
Re: Re: The "challenge" of sports streaming is economic.
WatchESPN is a TV Everywhere package that requires you to have a cable TV subscription with ESPN in order to access it. It is NOT a stand-alone service, and for the reasons I put forth here, it probably never will be. As for ESPN3, it's a supplement to the mothership networks, not a replacement.
Could ESPN set up an online-only service, charge $19.95/month for it, and find millions of customers? Absolutely.
Will ESPN do that? No. And there are tons of reasons why.
1.) Subscriber fees. ESPN and ESPN2 alone are in 100 million homes, and ESPN receives $5.31/month from every subscriber. That adds up to about $6.37 BILLION/year. This money covers the TV rights to pretty much all the pro and college sports ESPN shows, and they still have about $2B left for production costs -- to say nothing of advertising and merchandising income.
Do 100 million people in the U.S. watch ESPN? Of course not. But they're all paying for it just the same. How many of those people would cut the cord for a stand-alone WatchESPN service? Probably not the 26.6 million or so they need to equal what they rake in from subscriber fees.
Which brings us to reason #2.
2.) Distribution. Pay-TV has a ready-made, high quality distribution network already in place. Setting up an online-only service of similar quality would cost a LOT of money. Why spend extra to duplicate what's already been done?
And speaking of distribution...
3.) Backlash. Pay-TV companies would tear ESPN apart if they introduced an online-only service -- starting with Comcast, which owns NBCU, which owns NBC Sports Network. You think Comcast wouldn't start breaking the bank to outbid ESPN for every TV rights contract up for renewal? You think Comcast wouldn't have its engineers do some dirty throttling tricks to make WatchESPN nigh-unwatchable -- and demand much lower subscriber fees in exchange for "clogging up our network"?
Those three reasons alone are why sports on TV is here to stay. Pay-TV has us sports fans by the balls, man.
The entire cable TV system is predicated on making sure the beast gets paid. Want to watch Monday Night Football at home legally? You'll have to pay for Fox News, TLC, and any number of other networks filled with programming you might find distasteful. Sorry. That's the bargain.
Which brings up a very important point -- HBO is owned by Time Warner, a bastion of old media thinking. Time Warner also owns Turner Broadcasting. Keeping HBO as a cable-subscription service allows Time Warner to earn more money for CNN, TNT, TBS, TruTV, Cartoon Network, and all its other cable properties -- many of which, incidentally, would also be vehicles for distributing WB-owned films, allowing those films to generate more revenue. (Even if they never make a profit, according to the official ledgers.)
Pay TV is a huge racket, and the handful of multinational corporations at the top of the heap -- Disney, Time Warner, News Corp., Comcast, Viacom -- can and will keep this racket going for as long as they possibly can. Sure, we'd be glad to pay for HBO and ESPN and certain other networks separately, but offering those services online would likely kill the beast, and these beasts aren't ready to die yet.
The cable companies and telcos that they're bypassing are also the ISPs, and they could easily throttle the online traffic HBO generates in retaliation. Whether that's legal or not won't matter much to them when they can afford the lawyers.
There's also the fact that HBO very likely makes a ton of money from people who forget to cancel their 3 free months of service and get billed for a month or two before finally canceling -- not dissimilar to Blockbuster's dirty "late fee" practices, which Netflix highlighted and used to bury Blockbuster. Netflix will have a harder time exploiting this weakness with HBO (and Showtime), though, because their primary business model doesn't hold HBO and Showtime as competitors -- not yet, anyway.