Comcast drops Big Ten Network from some out-of-market areas

UConn Dan

Not voldemort; I lurk & I like
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#26

Conspiracy Kitty says: Comcast will not provide BTN coverage outside of the Big Ten footprint. Will the Big Ten respond by expanding footprint? Could this have anything to do with First we see UConn just sanding down the conference logo at Gampel? LBM will neither confirm nor deny. Is something BIG about to happen? Will continue to press him details.
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could this be any more of a sign? ;)
 
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#29
If you like drama, here's an excerpt from an interview with Mark Silverman at the B1G Conference Football Meetings:

Moderator: "It sounded like you said that Comcast did not even respond to you. So I'm curious, how are you negotiating if they're not talking to you? If it doesn't make sense financially for them, did they give you any reason whatsoever?"

Mark Silverman: "I don't know what makes sense financially for Comcast. We are -- I'm feeling with a little over five weeks left before football season, we should be much further along than we are. It's extremely concerning. I've gone through this with them 10 years ago. And I can't predict what their motivations are. I don't know what their motivations are."

:eek: :D

Full transcript.
 
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#31
BTN discussion: >>The nearly 11-year old Big Ten Network was a genius idea, creating a channel for original programming and then jamming it on the basic cable packages of every house inside the Big Ten footprint. A decade ago, nearly everyone had at least basic cable, so the network served as a Big Ten tax of sorts. People were paying nearly $10 a year even if they never watched it, knew it existed or could tell a Badger from a Boilermaker. That led the league to expand its membership in search of additional homes – Nebraska came first, then the odd fits (other than money) of Maryland and Rutgers.<<

>>But what if conference television networks are no longer such a smashing success? Cable television is not a growth industry, with cord-cutting dropping the number of basic cable consumers blindly paying in, and cable providers mindful of keeping bills low as to not scare away existing customers.<<

>>Comcast isn’t just the No. 1 cable provider in the country; it’s No. 1 in the 11 Big Ten states – five of those (Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and New Jersey) rank in the top 11 nationally and have a combined population alone of 56.1 million. If the channel stops being carried, not only will fewer fans be able to watch games through cable television, a lot fewer dollars will come into the Big Ten.<<

and then...
 
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#37
They can pick up those 3.5M people in Oklahoma. I’m sure everyone there has cable.
The Point I was making is that the population in Oklahoma is about the same as CT. The market there is split between U of Oklahoma and OKST. If the revenue move is towards a conference network, we compare in revenue potential produced in-state.
 
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#39
What does unilaterally even mean in this context?

Did the B10 think that this should be a mutual decision?

Comcast: "We want to pull BTN from out-of-market areas?"

B10: "We agree that it should be pulled from those areas."
That's a plea telling fans to switch providers.
 
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#41
https://www.lansingstatejournal.com...-parties-btn-included-couch-column/977338002/

BTN is asking for a significant increase in the fee to carry its programming, according to the folks at Comcast.

Here’s the good news:

“We usually get these kind of deals done,” said Comcast vice president of financial communications John Demming. “Out of thousands of agreements, we’ve only dropped two, one major network, the Yankees network, which is YES.”

And now the bad:

Comcast and YES came to terms after more than a year and one full Yankees season (2016) unavailable to almost a million customers in three surrounding states.

Big Ten football fans might be a drop in the bucket to Comcast, which is worth about $147 billion. But Comcast is about to lose plenty of them — me included — if the two sides don’t come to an agreement. If I can’t fire up BTN on my television, phone and laptop as part of my ridiculously overpriced but unbelievably convenient cable subscription, I’m out. I’ll either join the increasing mass of cord-cutters or go with another bundled cable or cable-like option.
 
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#42
Can someone explain to me why cable companies cannot go to a la carte programming for this type of network? The amount they pay to the conference would be directly related to the number of subscribers. No more bundling. It would reduce cable fees for the majority of the cable company clients and perhaps stem some cord cutting. People who want to watch a network can get it, and those that find the network irrelevant if they don't have a school from their state involved don't have to be forced to pay because of bundling.
 

CL82

Trust the process
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#43
Can someone explain to me why cable companies cannot go to a la carte programming for this type of network? The amount they pay to the conference would be directly related to the number of subscribers. No more bundling. It would reduce cable fees for the majority of the cable company clients and perhaps stem some cord cutting. People who want to watch a network can get it, and those that find the network irrelevant if they don't have a school from their state involved don't have to be forced to pay because of bundling.
They could but bundling is more profitable to them.
 
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#44
Can someone explain to me why cable companies cannot go to a la carte programming for this type of network? The amount they pay to the conference would be directly related to the number of subscribers. No more bundling. It would reduce cable fees for the majority of the cable company clients and perhaps stem some cord cutting. People who want to watch a network can get it, and those that find the network irrelevant if they don't have a school from their state involved don't have to be forced to pay because of bundling.
Cable companies probably would like a la carte very much for this type of network. They would love it if sports networks would be offered like HBO because such sports networks are typically the most expensive basic cable channels.

However, there's a bit of a catch-22: the high cost of cable (often driven by sports channels) is causing cord cutting on the one hand... but sports are also simultaneously the biggest reason why remaining subscribers *don't* cut the cord on the other hand. That's why sports networks have been able to charge such high subscriber fees in the first place. Sports are unique in that they're live (AKA people actually see the commercials) and exclusive (AKA you can't just wait for episodes to come out on Netflix/Hulu/Prime). I can watch Better Call Saul in a lot of different ways as long as I'm willing to wait, but that is meaningless when it comes to live sporting events. So, are cable companies looking to get a broader base of less expensive customers but the non-exclusive programming is much more susceptible to competition from streaming companies, or are cable companies looking for a smaller base of more expensive customers that will pay for sports and other exclusive content? There's no right or wrong there - that's simply something that still needs to shake out in the marketplace.

At the same time, pretty much every cable network subscriber contract includes a most favored nation clause, which means that it cannot offer the channel on better terms to one cable company without having to changing its existing agreements with ALL other cable companies to reflect those same better terms. Therefore, as long as, say, BTN has an agreement in place with DirecTV, it can't offer better terms to Comcast (which would include the ability to go a la carte). It's the same situation for virtually every other cable network out there, which is why no cable network (sports or not) has even dared to have an a la carte offering outside of the ones that were already a la carte (e.g. HBO, Showtime, etc.). Cable networks can't create an a la carte model without immediately destroying ALL of their basic cable subscription contracts... and cable networks simply make a LOT LOT LOT LOT more with even drastically reduced numbers of basic cable subscribers compared to any a la carte model. Cable networks are probably still better off financially seeing basic cable subscriber numbers dropping to 25% or even less of where they are now than ever offering a la carte.

* Note that I would group streaming network bundles like PS Vue as effectively the same as a cable company - that's just the form being different (streaming as opposed to cable or satellite) as opposed to the substance (a subscription to a basic set of channels). In contrast, the substance and financial models of Netflix and Amazon Prime are substantively different than the cable companies.
 
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#45
Cable companies probably would like a la carte very much for this type of network. They would love it if sports networks would be offered like HBO because such sports networks are typically the most expensive basic cable channels.

However, there's a bit of a catch-22: the high cost of cable (often driven by sports channels) is causing cord cutting on the one hand... but sports are also simultaneously the biggest reason why remaining subscribers *don't* cut the cord on the other hand. That's why sports networks have been able to charge such high subscriber fees in the first place. Sports are unique in that they're live (AKA people actually see the commercials) and exclusive (AKA you can't just wait for episodes to come out on Netflix/Hulu/Prime). I can watch Better Call Saul in a lot of different ways as long as I'm willing to wait, but that is meaningless when it comes to live sporting events. So, are cable companies looking to get a broader base of less expensive customers but the non-exclusive programming is much more susceptible to competition from streaming companies, or are cable companies looking for a smaller base of more expensive customers that will pay for sports and other exclusive content? There's no right or wrong there - that's simply something that still needs to shake out in the marketplace.

At the same time, pretty much every cable network subscriber contract includes a most favored nation clause, which means that it cannot offer the channel on better terms to one cable company without having to changing its existing agreements with ALL other cable companies to reflect those same better terms. Therefore, as long as, say, BTN has an agreement in place with DirecTV, it can't offer better terms to Comcast (which would include the ability to go a la carte). It's the same situation for virtually every other cable network out there, which is why no cable network (sports or not) has even dared to have an a la carte offering outside of the ones that were already a la carte (e.g. HBO, Showtime, etc.). Cable networks can't create an a la carte model without immediately destroying ALL of their basic cable subscription contracts... and cable networks simply make a LOT LOT LOT LOT more with even drastically reduced numbers of basic cable subscribers compared to any a la carte model. Cable networks are probably still better off financially seeing basic cable subscriber numbers dropping to 25% or even less of where they are now than ever offering a la carte.

* Note that I would group streaming network bundles like PS Vue as effectively the same as a cable company - that's just the form being different (streaming as opposed to cable or satellite) as opposed to the substance (a subscription to a basic set of channels). In contrast, the substance and financial models of Netflix and Amazon Prime are substantively different than the cable companies.
Thank you for clarifying that matter for me!
 

whaler11

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#48
Feels like a net loss for b1g here. How many subscribe to the sports entertainment package?
Need the numbers to know if it’s a win or a loss. They came to a deal really quickly... that smells like a Comcast win to me.
 
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#49
Feels like a net loss for b1g here. How many subscribe to the sports entertainment package?
This is the exact same distribution that the BTN had previously with Comcast: basic cable in Big Ten states and adjacent markets with sports pack coverage in all other areas. They only noted the “adding” of BTN in sports packs in non-Big Ten markets because Comcast started taking the channel off of those packages several months ago. Essentially, it’s going back to the distribution that existed 12 months ago.
 
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#50
I’m curious of the contract details and can’t wait until they are released. If the B1G got what they wanted, that is a huge win for the conference.

Even if they didn’t get what they asked for, it is highly likely they got a decent increase as the previous contract was signed when BTN was brand new over a decade ago and not a proven ratings generator.

Unless the exact same terms were agreed to (highly unlikely), the B1G came out ahead on this. The only question is how much did they come out ahead?
 

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