On my way home Saturday from my in-laws I was listening to the Washington vs. Seattle game when I kept hearing over and over again one commercial.
That commercial was a blast against the "greedy" Big Ten Network that is trying to take away college basketball from me. Literally folks they are trying to take "college basketball" away from me, not worthless non-marquee Big Ten games but the whole of "college basketball." The commercial though reassured me that "my" cable company would continue to bring me great basketball matchups along with ESPN/ABC and they would also once again be bringing me March Madness.
Well thank goodness, "my" cable company cares about me so much to bring me those games. Really folks, do the NFL and Big Ten Networks and Cable TV really think the consumers are so dumb? Well yes, and from some of the comments I have read on articles they are right. People are crying about the BTN and NFLN greed and how they just want to suck more money out of consumers. Well to an extent they are right, but folks cmon both parties in these stand-offs are looking to maximize profit. Welcome to capitalism and trying to maximize the bottom line. Cable companies don't want to pay a per-subscriber rate to the networks to carry them on basic tier packages not because they care about "you" the consumer, but rather because they don't want to absorb the cost to carry the network. In order to continue their profit margin they would either have to pass the cost on to all subscribers by raising their already ridiculous rates or they would have to absorb the cost. Both of those would more than likely drop their profit margins. Plain and simple. The "Networks" don't want to be put on a "sports-tier" package because they don't want cable companies to be able to maximize profits off their brand without adequate compensation because of the fear of cable slapping "unwanted" sports networks in the package at a higher rate off of the draw created by the "Networks" brand. It is easy to see that their isn't necessarily a bad-guy or good-guy in the argument. There are two parties trying to maximize profits and that is what this is about. No one party is right, no one party is wrong.
However, guess what Mr. or Mrs Consumer, you do have to suffer if you really want to see said games. It sucks for you, but welcome to capitalism at its best. If you want to see the brand, you have to pay for it. That is life, it sucks but that is life.
Now I have thought of a possible solution to the whole situation (I am guessing one that one of the parties in this dispute had to at least suggest). Why not offer said networks as a single channel add-on (ala-carte style) to the basic cable package. That way the "Network" knows that another company is not capitalizing on their brand without adequate compensation and cable companies don't have to absorb costs across a demographic that might not even be interested in said "Networks." What do you think folks? The NFL Network wants, I believe about $.65-$1.00 per subscriber. Why not meet in the middle, cable offers the channel ala-carte for say $1.50 per month while paying the NFL Network $1.00. Yeah the NFL doesn't maximize profit and obviously neither does Cable, but guess what they both win because they satisfy the consumer.
Just thoughts. I personally don't have much invested in the debate since I have DirecTv and have both networks already. We will see what the future holds.
In other news, I read one article on the net (I can't find the site currently) that stated cable-companies pay $3 per subscriber for ESPN. Now if I were a cable-consumer not interested in sports that would make me mad, but do you think Cable companies would dare take on ESPN? No way, especially now that ABC owns the entity and can use major leverage against cable companies. Captalism folks, Capitalism!