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Author Topic: A warning from the NHL  (Read 2124 times)
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Desmond
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« on: May 21, 2006, 12:10:51 AM »

This year, the National Hockey League resumed play after a one-year break due to a lockout.  The league took on two new television networks in the U.S.--NBC and OLN, formerly Outdoor Life Network.  OLN replaced long-time network ESPN, which had set the standard in NHL coverage but was tired of losing ratings and money on the sport.

In an instant, the NHL went from a channel available in 88 million TV households to one in only 58 million households.  Worse, OLN was not available on Dish Network until the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs and is not available to all subscribers on certain cable systems.  On these systems, one must upgrade to digital service and pay an extra fee per month.

A columnist for the San Jose Mercury News complained that he had to listen to certain playoff games of the San Jose Sharks on the radio because OLN was not available in his house.  Here in the Los Angeles area, where the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are still in the playoffs, only 55 percent of local cable households get OLN.

Why am I writing about this on a NASCAR forum?  Because next year, it's our turn.

As part of the contract signed in December 2005, Speed Channel will televise both the Nextel All-Star Challenge and the two qualifying races leading up to the Daytona 500, starting in 2007.  Speed Channel's availability on cable is just as problematic as that of OLN.  For example, here in Lakewood, it's for Speed that one must pay five dollars more per month from Comcast, not OLN.  Therefore, local residents relying on Comcast, who can watch tonight's all-star race on FX, will miss next year's unless they pay extra.

I wonder if Brian France and his TV negotiating team thought of this before signing the contracts.  Will he listen to the many fans he boasts about when the compliants start flooding in after next year's race?

Naaah... Sad
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Benson23Fan
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2006, 12:45:15 AM »

The exact same concerns were brought up in the first year of the current contract with FX. It was not nearly as widely available as it is now and FX showed 4 Cup races and a whole chunk of Busch Series races. I do not see this being a major concern.
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Cheryl
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2006, 12:20:29 AM »

From what I hear, there are still a lot of folks without FX, TNT or Speed channel.  

Cheryl
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Benson23Fan
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2006, 04:39:33 AM »

Just as there were a lot of people without ESPN 2, TBS and TNN back in the 90's.
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Desmond
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2006, 05:39:05 PM »

Quote from: "Cheryl"
From what I hear, there are still a lot of folks without FX, TNT or Speed channel.


I don't have exact numbers, but I bet there are far more households that can get TNT and FX than Speed Channel right now.  FX gained a lot more households a few years ago when it gained clearance from DIRECTV and Dish Network.

My point is, just as fans are getting more coverage of races with the addition of these channels to their lineups, another network comes along they can't see. Sad
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Cheryl
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2006, 05:45:36 PM »

Quote from: "Desmond"
Quote from: "Cheryl"
From what I hear, there are still a lot of folks without FX, TNT or Speed channel.


I don't have exact numbers, but I bet there are far more households that can get TNT and FX than Speed Channel right now.  FX gained a lot more households a few years ago when it gained clearance from DIRECTV and Dish Network.(


I have no knowledge of what channels are on Dish, but I'm pretty sure we've had FX, TNT, Speed and ESPN2 ever since I got DirecTV (back in Aug 95).  So I have no idea what you are talking about with regards to "clearance."  Basically, all cable and satellite operators must negotiate deals with networks to carry them.  This involves agreeing on what fee the carrier will pay the network.  Some networks demand a higher fee (like ESPN) and that's why some carriers don't offer them.  For instance, we were getting several HD channels included in our package with DirecTV until they negotiated a deal with ESPN for their HD version which came out in 2004 I believe.  After that, DirecTV started charging $10.99 for the HD package.  It's pretty clear, this charge is directly attributed to the high cost of carrying ESPN-HD (which in my opinion carries very little original HD content - just a rebroadcast of the same stuff on regular ESPN - not in HD).

Cheryl
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Vivian
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2006, 01:49:08 AM »

Desmond wrote re Brian France

Quote
Will he listen to the many fans he boasts about when the compliants start flooding in after next year's race?


No, he won't.  Remember he doesn't hold his finger up in the air to see what way the fans are blowing.

As far as Dish goes, I used to have it.  The more you pay each month the more channels you get.  You can get networks, tnt,speed,tbs, fx, fox, all espn's and all of them if you want to pay.  Same for direct tv.  The more you pay, the more you get.  Problem is that you also get many you may not care for.  As for cable, I have never lived in an area that had it available in the country so can't comment on that.  We originally went with Dish because Speed was not available on Direct in 1996.  It became available shortly after that.
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Cheryl
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2006, 12:19:41 PM »

Cable is the same way.  That's one reason I got rid of it and got satellite.  We were paying exorbitant prices and getting tons of channels we could care less about.  When we'd ask for certain channels, they didn't even care.  They were going to give us what they felt like giving us.  In 1995, Direct had more channels we wanted and was a better value for the money (plus the picture was SO much better).  From what I hear today, the prices are comparable with cable pricewise.  Last time I saw cable (in our area), the picture was still pretty crappy, though they claim to have upgraded to digital to compete with satellite.  

Cheryl
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old hot rodder
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2006, 05:27:39 PM »

We have had the super-duper cable package for some time now. I'm about ready to delete some of it. I have not had HBO or Cinemax or any of those since the kids were young, simply because of the content. And about 4 or 5 years ago, I was very adamant that we keep SPEED regardless. Now, I hardly ever watch it, although I did see a good story on Jeff Burton Saturday night. (I was bored with the "race" and just checked out Speed for no particular reason).
  Instead of checking the TV for race results like I used to, I just check on line, and find what I want more quickly and easier. :?
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Desmond
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2006, 05:53:02 PM »

Quote from: "Cheryl"
I have no knowledge of what channels are on Dish, but I'm pretty sure we've had FX, TNT, Speed and ESPN2 ever since I got DirecTV (back in Aug 95).  So I have no idea what you are talking about with regards to "clearance."


Clearance means the channel is available by means of a certain cable or satellite provider.  At first, FX was available only through cable systems, but eventually it relented and put the channel on satellite also.  Most of the major networks can be seen on both systems, although there are also some differences.  The biggest example is probably the NFL Sunday Ticket that is available only on DIRECTV.
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ronbarnes77
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2006, 11:07:18 PM »

Cheesy  Cheesy GOOD POINT DESMOND MY CABLE PROVIDER WON'T CARRY SPEED EVEN AS A PREMIEUM CHANNEL BECAUSE NASCAR HAS NO FANS IN NYC ESPECIALLY MANHATTAN.THAT'S WHY I MAY TO QUEENS OR BROOKLYN TO GET CABLEVISION. ALSO I DON'T HAVE FX DUE TO CERTAIN CONTRATUAL AGREEMENTS.
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Vivian
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2006, 01:06:29 AM »

You know, re-reading these posts and thinking about it all I think I need to re-evaluate my feelings.

Some of us are so fortunate to be able to get whatever channels we want and then watch whatever we want.  Seems very selfish that we constantly complain about the coverage when we look at the big picture and think about the big scheme of things, doesn't it?

I think I will make a resolution that I will not complain this weekend about whatever coverage I get and am able to watch freely.  Anyone want to join me in that resolution?
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sally
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2006, 04:11:18 AM »

I'm not as charitable as you are, Vivian.  I reserve my right to complain, carp, kvetch, and bitch.  I refuse to believe that I should be grateful for an inferior product, broadcast to me in an inferior manner.  If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.  I'm just sorry that NONE of us get excellent coverage of racing.

Sally
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Cheryl
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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2006, 12:32:49 PM »

Quote from: "sally"
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.


Excellent point, Sally!   :smt038

I'm sorry, Vivian, I just can't follow your lead in this...

But I am thankful, I have PRN to listen to this weekend instead of the babble from Fox.

Cheryl
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Vivian
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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2006, 07:35:41 PM »

Sally wrote:

Quote
I refuse to believe that I should be grateful for an inferior product, broadcast to me in an inferior manner. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. I'm just sorry that NONE of us get excellent coverage of racing.


I also agree with that statement.  I just want to have a positive weekend without complaints from myself.  And we know we will never get perfect coverage.  And we are lucky because some people get no coverage.
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