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ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
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djsuperfly Offline
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Post: #61
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-25-2022 01:04 PM)Scoochpooch1 Wrote:  
(05-24-2022 11:24 AM)Wedge Wrote:  
(05-24-2022 11:05 AM)CardinalJim Wrote:  ESPN / Disney has already started diversifying. You can get the ESPN, Disney, ESPN+ bundle on Premium Hulu at an additional cost.

Subscribers to "Hulu + Live TV", Hulu's streaming TV competitor to YouTube TV, get the "Disney Bundle" including ESPN+ at no additional cost. https://www.hulu.com/Live-tv

Too bad the Hulu Live TV service sucks compared to its peers.

Well, I'd consider YouTubeTV to be it's only peer, so not "peers."

The DirectTV streaming option can't compete on price, Sling sucks, and FUBO doesn't carry the Turner networks.
(This post was last modified: 05-25-2022 05:51 PM by djsuperfly.)
05-25-2022 05:48 PM
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quo vadis Online
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Post: #62
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-25-2022 02:17 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(05-25-2022 11:42 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  Well first, I think we are still in the "cable bundle era", in that I think most people are still subscribing to cable bundles. I am, for what that's worth.

75 million households are still in the bundle era. 25 million households are not. So for ESPN (and any cable network or media conglomerate), we're 25% of the way out of the bundle era.

Quote:The problem isn't that cable carriers are using leverage to force down ESPN carriage rates, it's just that fewer people are subscribing to cable and paying those rates. That's a different problem, IMO.

It's an intertwined problem. It's not that carriers are forcing ESPN's prices down, it's that we're probably close to the limit on how much ESPN (or Fox News or your local RSN) can jack that price up. DirectTV and YoutubeTV and the other cable-bundle-alternatives have all ditched the Sinclair / Diamond Sports / Ballys RSNs. And what it ESPN but an RSN that covers the whole country?

Quote:Nobody knows what will happen, but I don't really believe that ESPN's profitability is *mostly* dependent on millions of grannies with no interest in sports being forced to pay $10 for ESPN in order to get the cable channels they do want.

Well, you SHOULD believe it. ESPN has 75M subscribers. ESPN's top rated program in 2021 was the OSU-Clemson CFP semifinal. 19M viewers.
https://sportsbusinessjournal.com/Journa...tings.aspx

75M minus 20M is 55M. 55M non-sports fans. So about 73% of ESPN's subscriber revenue is coming from people who didn't watch the CFP semifinal.

Advertising is not that big a piece of the pie. Fox's financials are a lot easier to untangle than ESPN-Disney, so I'll use Fox with Fox News as vaguely comparable to ESPN. For Fox's cable operations (which basically means Fox News), advertising revenue was 22%, subcriber fees were 72%. (The rest is "Other", so IDK)

Heck, for Fox's TELEVISION operations, subscriber fees were 40%, advertising was 52%.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases...15732.html

Quote:Actually, I suspect the opposite is at least equally true - I'd much rather just pay $30 a month for all of my sports channels and shed the other non-sports channels that get bundled with them, but on balance its a good deal for me. So I suspect (with no data admittedly) that there are as many sports fans getting socked via cable with being forced to watch non-sports as there are people who don't want sports but are compelled to buy ESPN. We all get socked.

Except the programming the sports fans get socked for is cheap and easily replaceable. HGTV programming can be replaced with TLC programming very very easily.

IMO, you can't look at the Clemson - OSU 19.5 million as a marker for ESPN. Not everyone who watches it cares about college football.

E.g., one of the channels I get in my cable bundle is CW. Apparently, their most popular show is something called "Supernatural". I have never seen an episode of that show and never plan to. I tune in to the CW for "Riverdale", which is apparently a low-rated show. So the real audience for CW isn't just peak viewership for "Supernatural", it's everyone who watches something on it and feels it is worth having it on their channel roster.

I have zero data to back it up, but I suspect that the large majority of those 75 million cable subscribers like having ESPN in their bundle. Because they watch something on it occasionally. Might be CFB, might be MLB, might be NFL, but something that makes them glad it is in their bundle. I also suspect that of the 25 million cord-cutters, many of them have shifted to services, like YouTube TV, Sling, etc that have ESPN.

I could very well be wrong, but I think ESPN will navigate the changing delivery modes and models and emerge strong and profitable. Maybe not like the peak-halycon days of 100 million pure cable subscribers of 2011-2012, but profitable enough for Disney. No company is super-profitable forever. Microsoft doesn't dominate the computer industry like it did in the 1990s, but it is still one of the world's most valuable companies and very profitable today.

Also, going back to the OP, I'm not sure what the implications of this are. Let's say the most Bearish ESPN critics are correct, that ESPN is shackled to a dying cable-subscription business model that is shrinking away, and that streaming can't possibly replace the profits. ESPN has a terminal condition, it's only a matter of when. OK, so what? If ESPN is doomed, IMO the proper Disney strategy is still to just keep milking the Cash Cow for as long as it is still generating positive cash. Then when it turns unprofitable, you close it down.

But if that happens, does that mean college football games on TV and streaming go away? IMO no, no moreso than NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC etc will go away, because the demand is there for it.

We'll see.
(This post was last modified: 05-26-2022 07:43 AM by quo vadis.)
05-25-2022 07:00 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #63
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-25-2022 02:17 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  DirectTV and YoutubeTV and the other cable-bundle-alternatives have all ditched the Sinclair / Diamond Sports / Ballys RSNs. And what it ESPN but an RSN that covers the whole country?

No, it's not the same. RSNs are in trouble because each has 4 hours of live sports on a good day, no live sports on half the days or more, and everything but a live sports broadcast has as close to zero viewers as you can possibly get. There's no value there. Sinclair or Bally or whomever charges cable companies a premium price for 3 or 4 hours of live sports 100 to 200 days a year. ESPN channels offer far more live sports, and what they offer has more general appeal to sports fans. There's no comparison.

You are probably right that ESPN, Fox, and everyone else who charges cable/satellite/streaming providers more than about $1/month/subscriber has hit their ceiling or very close to it. Per-subscriber prices won't rise and the number of subscribers will keep on dropping. But as others have said, that's a dilemma for every broadcaster, not only Disney.

For that matter, cable will hang on for longer than we think because there are a certain number of diehards who won't switch, ever. It's like big supermarket chains -- why haven't they died out, given that groceries are (a) much less expensive at Walmart, Target, and Costco, and (b) better quality at some specialty food stores? The answer is that there are people, mostly older people, who have always shopped at Safeway or Kroger and don't buy groceries at big-box stores. Those people keep supermarkets and cable companies going.
05-25-2022 07:20 PM
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Post: #64
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-25-2022 10:01 AM)DoubleRSU Wrote:  
(05-25-2022 09:10 AM)goofus Wrote:  If ESPN is eventually turning into a streaming service, I am going to want to see the same options I get with Netflix, HBO or Hulu. Meaning...

1. An option to pay a higher price to get all content without ads and without commercial breaks. This also includes the option to start watching a game late, from the beginning.

2. Option to pay a cheaper price for content that does have ads. There are different ways to do this. You can cut away from live action to show commercials, then show replays when you get back. But mostly what you are watching is still live. Or another option is you watch the ads and resume watching where you left off, meaning you will be behind the live action. The streaming service should give you either choice.

For a live event, you just want a shot of midcourt instead of commercials? You don’t look at your phone already during commercials? How would ESPN make money to employ people if they can’t sell commercials to Bud Light and Pizza Hut?

Your higher price, would be astronomically high. What would you be willing to pay?

Obviously if there is a short break in the action, and there are no commercials, I want the network to entertain me somehow. Show a replay or highlight of another game like they normally do now. Then get back to the live action as fast as they can.

As for what I am I willing to pay, I expect to pay what I pay for other ad-free streaming service like Netflix and HBO. $15 a month for ad-free service. $5 a month with ads. You say that won't work? Well, that's not the question. The question is what would I pay?
(This post was last modified: 05-25-2022 07:41 PM by goofus.)
05-25-2022 07:40 PM
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Post: #65
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
That is why it won’t be an option, because you want it for $15.
05-25-2022 08:05 PM
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Post: #66
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-25-2022 07:00 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  But if that (ESPN Doooooom) happens, does that mean college football games on TV and streaming go away? IMO no, no moreso than NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC etc will go away, because the demand is there for it.

We'll see.

The implication is less money for sports leagues, or at least no more increases. There's no new money coming in from Fox--they pretty much break even on their non-Fox News operations. Similar situations at CBS and NBC. HBO Max Warner Turner Discovery? I don't think they're interested in a "lose half a billion dollars over 5 years and see it pay off in 10 years" strategy.

So if ESPN is running low on discretionary money, everyone is.

Unless, of course, Amazon rolls in and starts throwing money around.
05-26-2022 12:17 PM
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Post: #67
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-25-2022 07:20 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(05-25-2022 02:17 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  DirectTV and YoutubeTV and the other cable-bundle-alternatives have all ditched the Sinclair / Diamond Sports / Ballys RSNs. And what it ESPN but an RSN that covers the whole country?

No, it's not the same. RSNs are in trouble because each has 4 hours of live sports on a good day,
There's your misunderstanding. You're seeing "live sports" as a more-or-less fungible commodity. You turn on ESPN without looking, and you maybe see NBA, maybe MLB, maybe NHL, maybe Duke basketball, etc etc etc.

that's not where RSNs have their leverage. They live and die with fans of their local sports team. For a St Louis Cardinals fan, Royals games or Cubs games or Yankees games are not a comparable substitute. Much less Mizzou Tigers basketball or St Louis Blues hockey or MAC football.

Quote:no live sports on half the days or more, and everything but a live sports broadcast has as close to zero viewers as you can possibly get. There's no value there.

Doesn't really matter. BAllys Sports Midwest has their beloved St Louis Cardinals, and they want to watch the Cardinals games. Or their beloved St Louis Blues, or Yankees or Lakers or whatever. The point is, it's a unique product and if they don't get THAT product, they will raise hell, call the company, jump up and down, cancel cable, switch to satellite, learn to pirate streams, etc etc etc.

Quote:Sinclair or Bally or whomever charges cable companies a premium price for 3 or 4 hours of live sports 100 to 200 days a year.

Not just mostly-fungible "live sports". YES network charges a premium price to watch the New York Yankees games. Not live sports--Yankee games. not MLB--Yankees games.

Quote:ESPN channels offer far more live sports, and what they offer has more general appeal to sports fans. There's no comparison.

You are probably right that ESPN, Fox, and everyone else who charges cable/satellite/streaming providers more than about $1/month/subscriber has hit their ceiling or very close to it. Per-subscriber prices won't rise and the number of subscribers will keep on dropping.

And the biggest targets there are the ESPN family, Fox News, and the RSNs. The RSNs are the first to hit the wall, but the graph is the same for ESPN. Fox News has more leeway, because their costs are much lower--gotta pay Tucker Carlson, but everyone else seems pretty replaceable.

Quote:But as others have said, that's a dilemma for every broadcaster, not only Disney.

In other words, what is ESPN but a big RSN -- a network that, up to now, has extracted a very high per subscriber cost because they command a militant fanbase who will cancel cable if they lose ESPN/RSN/Fox News.

Quote:For that matter, cable will hang on for longer than we think because there are a certain number of diehards who won't switch, ever. It's like big supermarket chains -- why haven't they died out, given that groceries are (a) much less expensive at Walmart, Target, and Costco, and (b) better quality at some specialty food stores? The answer is that there are people, mostly older people, who have always shopped at Safeway or Kroger and don't buy groceries at big-box stores. Those people keep supermarkets and cable companies going.

Oh cable isn't going away. Radio is still around. But ESPN and RSNs and Fox News extracting economic rents based on the cable bundle is something that's going to end or reduce etc etc.
(This post was last modified: 05-26-2022 12:30 PM by johnbragg.)
05-26-2022 12:29 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #68
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-26-2022 12:29 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(05-25-2022 07:20 PM)Wedge Wrote:  Sinclair or Bally or whomever charges cable companies a premium price for 3 or 4 hours of live sports 100 to 200 days a year.

Not just mostly-fungible "live sports". YES network charges a premium price to watch the New York Yankees games. Not live sports--Yankee games. not MLB--Yankees games.

The Yankees are an outlier. They have the largest fan base in the largest TV market, in a part of the country where people are more willing to watch every game on TV (as opposed to, say, doing something outdoors once in awhile). That's why YES wasn't sold off the discount rack like the RSNs now owned by Sinclair/Bally. It has value.

But other RSNs lost their bet when satellite and streaming TV providers dumped them. Sports fans in Denver or San Diego or Miami or Kansas City didn't riot or move en masse to cable when their providers dumped the local RSNs. They decided that getting every single one of the local teams' games on TV is nice but not essential. If thousands of subscribers of Dish or YouTube TV in each of those markets had switched to cable when the RSNs were dumped, then the TV providers would have caved in and reinstated the RSNs. That didn't happen, even though in some markets the RSNs have been unavailable on every provider except dinosaur cable for at least two full seasons.

ESPN is different, in that a TV provider that dumped ESPN channels (if they could even do that without also losing ABC and Disney's other channels) would see lots of subscribers switch to a competing provider.

If ESPN ever gets to the point where a majority of sports fans don't care whether they can watch live sports on TV any more, then ESPN would be in the same boat as the RSNs are today. But we are a long way from that happening. And that would have other major effects, like a complete crash in the economics of college sports and possibly some pro leagues as well.
05-26-2022 12:53 PM
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Post: #69
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-26-2022 12:53 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(05-26-2022 12:29 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(05-25-2022 07:20 PM)Wedge Wrote:  Sinclair or Bally or whomever charges cable companies a premium price for 3 or 4 hours of live sports 100 to 200 days a year.

Not just mostly-fungible "live sports". YES network charges a premium price to watch the New York Yankees games. Not live sports--Yankee games. not MLB--Yankees games.

The Yankees are an outlier. They have the largest fan base in the largest TV market, in a part of the country where people are more willing to watch every game on TV (as opposed to, say, doing something outdoors once in awhile). That's why YES wasn't sold off the discount rack like the RSNs now owned by Sinclair/Bally. It has value.

I wrote and deleted a couple of times. You have a point, the Yankees are just different. Amazon bought a piece of YES to experiment with streaming. Even if YES ends up losing money every year based on the contracted payments to the Yankees and Nets, it's still a worthwhile business to be in at the $3B price tag.

The rest of the RSNs for the $20B asking price or the $10B sale price--not a good business to be in.

Quote:But other RSNs lost their bet when satellite and streaming TV providers dumped them. Sports fans in Denver or San Diego or Miami or Kansas City didn't riot or move en masse to cable when their providers dumped the local RSNs. They decided that getting every single one of the local teams' games on TV is nice but not essential.

Quibble: If you lose the RSN, it's not that you can't watch "every single game". It's that you can't watch the vast majority of them. But the key factor is still--is watching your beloved Coastal City Cannons important enough to switch from Dish to cable or cable to DirecTV or whatever.

Local MLB and NBA and NHL wasn't enough to keep them on DirectTV and YoutubeTV and whoever else was trying to be a lower-cost-but-mostly-the-same alternative to cable.

Quote:If thousands of subscribers of Dish or YouTube TV in each of those markets had switched to cable when the RSNs were dumped, then the TV providers would have caved in and reinstated the RSNs. That didn't happen, even though in some markets the RSNs have been unavailable on every provider except dinosaur cable for at least two full seasons.

"Dinosaur cable" sparks a thought--I suspect that the local-pro-sports viewership skews to dinosaur cable, as it's kind of a dinosaur pastime, isn't it?

Quote:ESPN is different, in that a TV provider that dumped ESPN channels (if they could even do that without also losing ABC and Disney's other channels) would see lots of subscribers switch to a competing provider.

I'm not sure it's THAT different though. RSNs locally and ESPN nationally were/are the highest priced component of a bundle that's hitting the limit of how much they can raise prices, and seeing customers bleed away to lower-cost options. And both are burdened with more-or-less long-term contracts that mandate big fat payments to sports leagues and teams.

Sinclair and their RSNs were exposed, because they weren't bundled with other properties like ESPN is with Disney channel, like the Fox Sports Nets were with BTN and Fox News. Sinclair negotiated with the cable-substitute providers, and blinked, sacrificing the RSNs to protect their local TV stations.

Losing the cable-bundle-substitutes accelerated the process, but it's still the same core problem of your revenue source hitting a ceiling (we seem to be at the tolerance level of people to pay for cable without switching to lower price models) while your expenses (sports rights fees) are still escalating.

I suspect that Diamond SPorts Group hits Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the Bally+ app does unimpressive business this summer and fall, and most of the RSNs end up owned by the teams, who are basically the largest creditors as well as the biggest assets, and in a half-dozen cases equity partners. Meanwhile MLB will acquire clear, uncontested title to the local streaming rights. No more in-market, out-of-market distinctions.

Quote:If ESPN ever gets to the point where a majority of sports fans don't care whether they can watch live sports on TV any more, then ESPN would be in the same boat as the RSNs are today. But we are a long way from that happening. And that would have other major effects, like a complete crash in the economics of college sports and possibly some pro leagues as well.

Re-iterating, ESPN is a few years away from the point where the RSNs are now, more or less. It's not an exact parallel, because ESPN is under the protective shadow of the Disney empire, while the RSNs are owned by Sinclair through an expendable holding company, Diamond Sports Group.

And as you and others have said, everyone on the TV dial and cable lineup is on that same road, to some degree. Even the OTA networks and TV stations get a lot of their money from cable subscriber fees, or the cable-substitute equivalent.
(This post was last modified: 05-26-2022 02:06 PM by johnbragg.)
05-26-2022 01:50 PM
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quo vadis Online
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Post: #70
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-26-2022 12:17 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(05-25-2022 07:00 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  But if that (ESPN Doooooom) happens, does that mean college football games on TV and streaming go away? IMO no, no moreso than NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC etc will go away, because the demand is there for it.

We'll see.

The implication is less money for sports leagues, or at least no more increases. There's no new money coming in from Fox--they pretty much break even on their non-Fox News operations. Similar situations at CBS and NBC. HBO Max Warner Turner Discovery? I don't think they're interested in a "lose half a billion dollars over 5 years and see it pay off in 10 years" strategy.

So if ESPN is running low on discretionary money, everyone is.

Unless, of course, Amazon rolls in and starts throwing money around.

IMO, the amount of money sports leagues are getting isn't that much of a function of ESPN having a pile of money lying around from grannies forced to pay $10 to ESPN for their cable. Whether I have a huge pile of money or not, I'm not going to just give some of it away. IMO, the rights-fees boom is mostly a product of how much the sports leagues are worth. IIRC, circa 2005, ESPN was making a ton of money, but they weren't spending much of it on the SEC and B1G.

For example, in Europe, the soccer Champions League just signed a new TV deal with the media companies over there and it is 40% higher than the last deal, it's now about $6 billion per year. Those media companies aren't collecting ESPN cable rights fees from unwitting grandmas here in the USA, they have their own sources of revenue and to them, the league is worth that much.

That's why I think that the real issue here is the popularity of sports, the real demand for sports as evidenced by the sport's fans interest in watching and willingness to pay. IMO, those remain strong.

All of that said, I do think rights fees will level off soon, because IMO for a long while they were undervalued, especially at the college level. So the past 10+ years we've seen a catch-up in that regard, and once the catch-up has been achieved, things will level off.

So maybe we get to the same place, just via different mechanisms.

Just my take, I'm usually wrong about this stuff.
(This post was last modified: 05-26-2022 06:56 PM by quo vadis.)
05-26-2022 06:25 PM
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Post: #71
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-26-2022 06:25 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(05-26-2022 12:17 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(05-25-2022 07:00 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  But if that (ESPN Doooooom) happens, does that mean college football games on TV and streaming go away? IMO no, no moreso than NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC etc will go away, because the demand is there for it.

We'll see.

The implication is less money for sports leagues, or at least no more increases. There's no new money coming in from Fox--they pretty much break even on their non-Fox News operations. Similar situations at CBS and NBC. HBO Max Warner Turner Discovery? I don't think they're interested in a "lose half a billion dollars over 5 years and see it pay off in 10 years" strategy.

So if ESPN is running low on discretionary money, everyone is.

Unless, of course, Amazon rolls in and starts throwing money around.

IMO, the amount of money sports leagues are getting isn't that much of a function of ESPN having a pile of money lying around from grannies forced to pay $10 to ESPN for their cable. Whether I have a huge pile of money or not, I'm not going to just give some of it away.

Well, ESPN didn't just *give* it away. They invested it. They bought sports TV rights that they used to build ESPN2 and ESPN-U and the SEC Network into billion dollar properties. They were working on building the ACC Network and ESPNews into money-machines when the bloom started to come off the rose.

Consider all the TV sports properties that moved from network TV to ESPN in the 1990s and early 2000s. That's not because of the value of sports--it's pretty much the same event, the same eyeballs and advertisements on CBS as on ESPN. But ESPN was able to leverage the sports fans to tax the grannies. (And how Fox News uses the Fox News fans to tax the rest of the cable audience)

I don't know much about the structure of European cable. I know--well I think I know--that Sky Sports in Britain is a pay channel
(This post was last modified: 05-26-2022 07:01 PM by johnbragg.)
05-26-2022 06:59 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #72
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-26-2022 06:59 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  I don't know much about the structure of European cable. I know--well I think I know--that Sky Sports in Britain is a pay channel

It is, though IIRC both Sky and the competing BT Sport offer packages that include other channels and broadband internet as well as the broadcasts of Premier League and other sports, and even the bundles with broadband cost less than I pay for broadband internet alone. 03-banghead
05-26-2022 08:20 PM
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Post: #73
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-25-2022 07:57 AM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(05-25-2022 07:37 AM)GTFletch Wrote:  Ok so ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021, but how many streaming subscribers did ESPN gain. For example my house cut the cord, but we subscribe to Direct TV Stream to get ESPN/Fox/RSN/CBSN networks. I wonder how many cord cutters subscribe to streaming spoting content. My guess is alot.

That's counted in the 75 million, I think.

Quote: By cutting the cord I only pay $150 for internet and Streaming Services and my sons who attend college can also watch Direct TV stream with no increase cost. If I pay for cable or satellite I would spend over $200 per month for my house and then have to pay for cable at both universities. I believe streaming saves families money.

You worked the angles and shaved a few dollars off the bill. But you still pay up, because they have the content you want (ESPN, Fox, RSN, CSBN). ESPN only works (and Fox News) because they can compel everyone who watches cable to pay (and pay a lot) for their channel. Because of ESPN or Fox News goes dark on a cable system, that cable system is going to lose a LOT of subscribers in a hurry.

It's not switching from cable to a high-priced stream that's ESPN's problem. You're still paying ESPN their $10 a month. It's the people who just get internet for say half the price of the cable & internet package. Then they get a streaming service for $10 a month.

My offspring, 17, 14 and 14 do not watch "television." That's not about us being good parents and limiting their screen time. They get TONS of screen time, as much as us Gen X latchkey kids ever did. But all the 14 year olds watch is stuff on youtube. (Exception: my 17 year old watches Criminal Minds on Netflix and movies, usually on Disney+).

Not sure where you have gotten your information, However the 75M figure(which is wrong by 1M at the end of 2021) does not include streaming. Let me try to explain, you can also verify my info via links I provide below.

ESPN's past, present and future: Cable TV collides with streaming
Dec 8, 2021



TV: 76 million pay-TV subscribers have access to ESPN, per Disney's annual SEC filing. That's a 10% decrease from 84 million at the end of fiscal 2020 — and a 24% drop from a peak of 100.1 million in 2011.

Streaming: ESPN+, which launched in 2018, ended the fiscal year with 17 million subscribers, up 66% year-over-year.

State of play: Cable subscribers pay nearly $10 per month for ESPN and ESPN2, while ESPN+ subscribers pay $6.99 per month. So you can understand why Disney is in no rush to exit the cable business.

But that approach conflicts with Disney's overall content strategy, which is to go "all-in" on streaming. In fact, some analysts have even questioned whether Disney should spin off ESPN due to this strategic misalignment.

Put it this way: Disney makes more money from non-sports fans via streaming (Disney+, Hulu) than cable (entertainment networks like FX don't command high ad rates). The reverse is true for ESPN, which makes more money from cable subscribers than ESPN+ subscribers, not less.

What they're saying: ESPN probably won't consider a direct-to-consumer service until the pay-TV bundle falls below 50 million U.S. households, (72.2M as of 2Q 2022) which could happen in the next five years, CNBC reports.

The big picture: ESPN launched in 1979 as a TV network but has since expanded far beyond the living room and become a multi-platform behemoth — from the web to radio to fantasy sports.

Digital: ESPN Digital attracted a record 120 million unique visitors in October, including 95.2 million to ESPN.com alone.

Social: ESPN is Disney's largest social media brand, generating 63% of the company's total actions on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

What to watch: ESPN will have to figure out how to make up roughly $3 billion in annual lost pay-TV revenue that's coming in the next few years.

The plan, per CNBC, is to incrementally raise the price of ESPN+ as it adds more content, while maintaining its contractual pay-TV obligations (exclusive content like MNF's "ManningCast"). Disney will also "aggressively" pursue sports betting, which is now legal and operational in 30 states, plus D.C. "We have to seriously consider getting into gambling in a bigger way," CEO Bob Chapek told investors last month. A future "ESPN Sportsbook" seems likely.

Of note: Disney has said it may consider bundling ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu into a single service. In the meantime, it just added ESPN+ and Disney+ to its Hulu live TV bundle ($72.99 per month).

The bottom line: Traditional TV is a leaky bucket that will eventually run out of water. But it's going to be a slow bleed, with networks like ESPN clinging to the cable bundle until the bitter end.

Link
https://www.axios.com/2021/12/08/espn-st...ble-disney

UPDATE: ESPN+ subscriber numbers in the U.S. 2019-2022

The Walt Disney Company announced that its sports streaming service ESPN+ had around 22.3 million U.S. subscribers at the end of its second fiscal quarter of 2022. The service accumulated a good number of subscribers since Disney's first fiscal quarter of 2019, growing its subscriber base from 1.4 million to approximately 22.3 million since then.

Link
https://www.statista.com/statistics/1054...criber-us/

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
72.2M plus 22.3M ESPN has 94.5M total subscibers, which is not anywhere close from losing 8 Million, in fact they are closer today at getting back to 100 total subscribers that they had in 2011 then they were in 2018 when they launched ESPN+.

Also as of August 13, 2021 Disney nears 174M subscriptions across Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. Not all areas of Disney’s streaming business are on an upswing,Hulu’s pay-TV subscriber base has shrunk from 4 million subscribers, as of Jan. 2, to 3.7 million subscribers, as of July 3. That correlates pretty closely with Disney raising the monthly subscription price of Hulu’s pay-TV service from $54.99 to $64.99 in December 2020 and the loss of RSN channels at the same time, IMHO.

Link
https://digiday.com/future-of-tv/cheat-s...-and-hulu/
(This post was last modified: 05-27-2022 06:16 PM by GTFletch.)
05-27-2022 06:06 PM
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Post: #74
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-27-2022 06:06 PM)GTFletch Wrote:  [b]The bottom line: Traditional TV is a leaky bucket that will eventually run out of water. But it's going to be a slow bleed, with networks like ESPN clinging to the cable bundle until the bitter end.[/b]

(bunch of snipping)

About the bolded, IMO this is the best strategy for Disney. Milk the cash-cow of ESPN cable subscribers as long as it lasts, meaning until the # of subscribers falls bellow profitable levels, meaning it's no longer a cash cow. And use that milk to fund other options, like streaming.

I disagree with the notion that because cable is a leaking bucket for ESPN, with no patch to be found, that this means Disney should jettison ESPN now. That IMO would be foolish. It is still generating tremendous positive revenue.
05-27-2022 09:05 PM
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Post: #75
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-26-2022 06:59 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(05-26-2022 06:25 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(05-26-2022 12:17 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(05-25-2022 07:00 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  But if that (ESPN Doooooom) happens, does that mean college football games on TV and streaming go away? IMO no, no moreso than NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC etc will go away, because the demand is there for it.

We'll see.

The implication is less money for sports leagues, or at least no more increases. There's no new money coming in from Fox--they pretty much break even on their non-Fox News operations. Similar situations at CBS and NBC. HBO Max Warner Turner Discovery? I don't think they're interested in a "lose half a billion dollars over 5 years and see it pay off in 10 years" strategy.

So if ESPN is running low on discretionary money, everyone is.

Unless, of course, Amazon rolls in and starts throwing money around.

IMO, the amount of money sports leagues are getting isn't that much of a function of ESPN having a pile of money lying around from grannies forced to pay $10 to ESPN for their cable. Whether I have a huge pile of money or not, I'm not going to just give some of it away.

Well, ESPN didn't just *give* it away. They invested it. They bought sports TV rights that they used to build ESPN2 and ESPN-U and the SEC Network into billion dollar properties. They were working on building the ACC Network and ESPNews into money-machines when the bloom started to come off the rose.

Consider all the TV sports properties that moved from network TV to ESPN in the 1990s and early 2000s. That's not because of the value of sports--it's pretty much the same event, the same eyeballs and advertisements on CBS as on ESPN. But ESPN was able to leverage the sports fans to tax the grannies. (And how Fox News uses the Fox News fans to tax the rest of the cable audience)

I don't know much about the structure of European cable. I know--well I think I know--that Sky Sports in Britain is a pay channel

About the bolded, the problem I have with that logic is IIRC that everyone else - CBS, NBC, FOX Sports, TNT - is paying a lot more for sports rights than they were 10-15 years ago too, and they aren't funded by grannies like ESPN, right?

I get that if you have 'excess cash' thanks to some kind of favorable rent situation, like ESPN taxing grannies on cable, that you have to do something with it, like invest it. But you don't necessarily have to pay a lot for what you buy. How much you pay depends on its value.
(This post was last modified: 05-27-2022 09:29 PM by quo vadis.)
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Post: #76
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-27-2022 09:22 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(05-26-2022 06:59 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  Consider all the TV sports properties that moved from network TV to ESPN in the 1990s and early 2000s. That's not because of the value of sports--it's pretty much the same event, the same eyeballs and advertisements on CBS as on ESPN. But ESPN was able to leverage the sports fans to tax the grannies. (And how Fox News uses the Fox News fans to tax the rest of the cable audience)

I don't know much about the structure of European cable. I know--well I think I know--that Sky Sports in Britain is a pay channel

About the bolded, the problem I have with that logic is IIRC that everyone else - CBS, NBC, FOX Sports, TNT - is paying a lot more for sports rights than they were 10-15 years ago too, and they aren't funded by grannies like ESPN, right?

I get that if you have 'excess cash' thanks to some kind of favorable rent situation, like ESPN taxing grannies on cable, that you have to do something with it, like invest it. But you don't necessarily have to pay a lot for what you buy. How much you pay depends on its value.

All of those channels are taxing John's granny. It's not just ESPN. All the networks bidding on college sports own multiple cable channels in addition to broadcast networks, and all have warchests made fat by cable subscriber fees.

ESPN gets more per subscriber revenue from cable, but the others get plenty. Even broadcast networks charge cable now -- as of 2020, CBS was getting an average of $1.59 per subscriber per month, NBC $1.40, Fox $1.39, ABC $1.29. And that's just their broadcast properties; all of those networks own other cable channels that also reap per subscriber fees every month. Fox News ($1.72) gets more from the grannies than Fox OTA does. TNT was at $2.20 in 2020, and other channels now owned by Discovery (including CNN, TBS, Discovery, etc.) collectively get hefty fees. CBS owns Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and many other cable channels. NBC/Comcast owns several, and obviously Disney does as well.
(This post was last modified: 05-27-2022 10:43 PM by Wedge.)
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Post: #77
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-27-2022 06:06 PM)GTFletch Wrote:  
(05-25-2022 07:57 AM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(05-25-2022 07:37 AM)GTFletch Wrote:  Ok so ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021, but how many streaming subscribers did ESPN gain. For example my house cut the cord, but we subscribe to Direct TV Stream to get ESPN/Fox/RSN/CBSN networks. I wonder how many cord cutters subscribe to streaming spoting content. My guess is alot.

That's counted in the 75 million, I think. Things like "Hulu+ Live TV", YoutubeTV. If it has an ESPN live feed as one of 20-2000 "channels", then I'm pretty sure it counts in the 75M.

What you did is like switching from cable to Dish Network satellite TV. You're still paying for the bundle. To coin a phrase, its a cable-clone. If you punch in a number on your remote to change the channel to ESPN, you have replaced cable with a cable-clone, but ESPN is still getting your subscription fee.

It may not be accurate, but when people say "Yeah, we got rid of cable, cut the cord, All we watch is on streaming anyway" they mean that they don't get ESPN anymore, watch Netflix, Disney+, stuff on Youtube. Any sports they watch have to be on OTA TV. (Digital antenna, or a cable-clone that came with their smart TV that has the local channels)

Quote: By cutting the cord I only pay $150 for internet and Streaming Services and my sons who attend college can also watch Direct TV stream with no increase cost. If I pay for cable or satellite I would spend over $200 per month for my house and then have to pay for cable at both universities. I believe streaming saves families money.

You worked the angles and shaved a few dollars off the bill. But you still pay up, because they have the content you want (ESPN, Fox, RSN, CSBN). ESPN only works (and Fox News) because they can compel everyone who watches cable to pay (and pay a lot) for their channel. Because of ESPN or Fox News goes dark on a cable system, that cable system is going to lose a LOT of subscribers in a hurry.

It's not switching from cable to a high-priced stream that's ESPN's problem. You're still paying ESPN their $10 a month. It's the people who just get internet for say half the price of the cable & internet package. Then they get a streaming service for $10 a month.

My offspring, 17, 14 and 14 do not watch "television." That's not about us being good parents and limiting their screen time. They get TONS of screen time, as much as us Gen X latchkey kids ever did. But all the 14 year olds watch is stuff on youtube. (Exception: my 17 year old watches Criminal Minds on Netflix and movies, usually on Disney+).

Not sure where you have gotten your information, However the 75M figure(which is wrong by 1M at the end of 2021) does not include streaming.

To be specific: the 75M or so number includes things like your Direct TV Stream that you described. If it has an ESPN channel on it, you're paying for it--I believe that that's included in the $75.
Quote:Let me try to explain, you can also verify my info via links I provide below.

ESPN's past, present and future: Cable TV collides with streaming
Dec 8, 2021

TV: 76 million pay-TV subscribers have access to ESPN, per Disney's annual SEC filing. That's a 10% decrease from 84 million at the end of fiscal 2020 — and a 24% drop from a peak of 100.1 million in 2011.

Streaming: ESPN+, which launched in 2018, ended the fiscal year with 17 million subscribers, up 66% year-over-year.

State of play: Cable subscribers pay nearly $10 per month for ESPN and ESPN2, while ESPN+ subscribers pay $6.99 per month. So you can understand why Disney is in no rush to exit the cable business.

The gap is actually bigger, because a lot of ESPN+'s subscribers are not paying the full $6.99--they're paying the bundled price, $13.99 for Disney+, Hulu+ and ESPN+.


Quote:But that approach conflicts with Disney's overall content strategy, which is to go "all-in" on streaming. In fact, some analysts have even questioned whether Disney should spin off ESPN due to this strategic misalignment.

Put it this way: Disney makes more money from non-sports fans via streaming (Disney+, Hulu) than cable (entertainment networks like FX don't command high ad rates).The reverse is true for ESPN, which makes more money from cable subscribers than ESPN+ subscribers, not less.

What they're saying: ESPN probably won't consider a direct-to-consumer service until the pay-TV bundle falls below 50 million U.S. households, (72.2M as of 2Q 2022) which could happen in the next five years, CNBC reports.

The big picture: ESPN launched in 1979 as a TV network but has since expanded far beyond the living room and become a multi-platform behemoth — from the web to radio to fantasy sports.

Digital: ESPN Digital attracted a record 120 million unique visitors in October, including 95.2 million to ESPN.com alone.

Social: ESPN is Disney's largest social media brand, generating 63% of the company's total actions on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

What to watch: ESPN will have to figure out how to make up roughly $3 billion in annual lost pay-TV revenue that's coming in the next few years.

The plan, per CNBC, is to incrementally raise the price of ESPN+ as it adds more content, while maintaining its contractual pay-TV obligations (exclusive content like MNF's "ManningCast"). Disney will also "aggressively" pursue sports betting, which is now legal and operational in 30 states, plus D.C. "We have to seriously consider getting into gambling in a bigger way," CEO Bob Chapek told investors last month. A future "ESPN Sportsbook" seems likely.

Of note: Disney has said it may consider bundling ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu into a single service. In the meantime, it just added ESPN+ and Disney+ to its Hulu live TV bundle ($72.99 per month).

The bottom line: Traditional TV is a leaky bucket that will eventually run out of water. But it's going to be a slow bleed, with networks like ESPN clinging to the cable bundle until the bitter end.

Link
https://www.axios.com/2021/12/08/espn-st...ble-disney

UPDATE: ESPN+ subscriber numbers in the U.S. 2019-2022

The Walt Disney Company announced that its sports streaming service ESPN+ had around 22.3 million U.S. subscribers at the end of its second fiscal quarter of 2022. The service accumulated a good number of subscribers since Disney's first fiscal quarter of 2019, growing its subscriber base from 1.4 million to approximately 22.3 million since then.

Link
https://www.statista.com/statistics/1054...criber-us/

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
72.2M plus 22.3M ESPN has 94.5M total subscibers, which is not anywhere close from losing 8 Million, in fact they are closer today at getting back to 100 total subscribers that they had in 2011 then they were in 2018 when they launched ESPN+.

I'm going to point out that two different things are being measured. When we talk about total subscribers, we talk about how many customers a channel can reach. If that's what we're measuring, we can't jsut add ESPN and ESPN+ subscribers, because most ESPN+ subscribers also have ESPN. You're double-counting those customers.

But if we're talking money, then they're paying twice, so they count twice.

Quote:Also as of August 13, 2021 Disney nears 174M subscriptions across Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. Not all areas of Disney’s streaming business are on an upswing,Hulu’s pay-TV subscriber base has shrunk from 4 million subscribers, as of Jan. 2, to 3.7 million subscribers, as of July 3. That correlates pretty closely with Disney raising the monthly subscription price of Hulu’s pay-TV service from $54.99 to $64.99 in December 2020 and the loss of RSN channels at the same time, IMHO.

Link
https://digiday.com/future-of-tv/cheat-s...-and-hulu/
(This post was last modified: 05-27-2022 11:47 PM by johnbragg.)
05-27-2022 11:36 PM
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Post: #78
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-27-2022 10:41 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(05-27-2022 09:22 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(05-26-2022 06:59 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  Consider all the TV sports properties that moved from network TV to ESPN in the 1990s and early 2000s. That's not because of the value of sports--it's pretty much the same event, the same eyeballs and advertisements on CBS as on ESPN. But ESPN was able to leverage the sports fans to tax the grannies. (And how Fox News uses the Fox News fans to tax the rest of the cable audience)

I don't know much about the structure of European cable. I know--well I think I know--that Sky Sports in Britain is a pay channel

About the bolded, the problem I have with that logic is IIRC that everyone else - CBS, NBC, FOX Sports, TNT - is paying a lot more for sports rights than they were 10-15 years ago too, and they aren't funded by grannies like ESPN, right?

I get that if you have 'excess cash' thanks to some kind of favorable rent situation, like ESPN taxing grannies on cable, that you have to do something with it, like invest it. But you don't necessarily have to pay a lot for what you buy. How much you pay depends on its value.

All of those channels are taxing John's granny. It's not just ESPN. All the networks bidding on college sports own multiple cable channels in addition to broadcast networks, and all have warchests made fat by cable subscriber fees.

ESPN gets more per subscriber revenue from cable, but the others get plenty. Even broadcast networks charge cable now -- as of 2020, CBS was getting an average of $1.59 per subscriber per month, NBC $1.40, Fox $1.39, ABC $1.29. And that's just their broadcast properties; all of those networks own other cable channels that also reap per subscriber fees every month. Fox News ($1.72) gets more from the grannies than Fox OTA does. TNT was at $2.20 in 2020, and other channels now owned by Discovery (including CNN, TBS, Discovery, etc.) collectively get hefty fees. CBS owns Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and many other cable channels. NBC/Comcast owns several, and obviously Disney does as well.

Eh, ESPN is getting $10, not $1.79 like CBS or whatever. That's a big difference, IMO.

Not every dollar or cent earned on cable can IMO be called a "tax on grannies". If it was, grannies, not being dumb, wouldn't pay it.

(Edit: I snipped a bad example about the Disney bundle after Johnbragg replied below)

Regarding ESPN, I wonder if there is a difference between cutting the cord (cable) and cutting ESPN? I imagine that a lot of cord-cutters subscribe to streaming services, like YouTube TV and Sling, that carry the ESPN channels. IOWs, some, maybe a lot, of those 25 million (so far) cord-cutters are cutting cable not to escape a tax on them for getting ESPN that they don't want, it's cutting the cord to escape non-ESPN channels they don't want. ESPN fans who feel they are being 'taxed' on cable to pay for channels the grannies like, LOL. I don't know.
(This post was last modified: 05-28-2022 10:47 AM by quo vadis.)
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Post: #79
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-28-2022 07:06 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(05-27-2022 10:41 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(05-27-2022 09:22 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(05-26-2022 06:59 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  Consider all the TV sports properties that moved from network TV to ESPN in the 1990s and early 2000s. That's not because of the value of sports--it's pretty much the same event, the same eyeballs and advertisements on CBS as on ESPN. But ESPN was able to leverage the sports fans to tax the grannies. (And how Fox News uses the Fox News fans to tax the rest of the cable audience)

I don't know much about the structure of European cable. I know--well I think I know--that Sky Sports in Britain is a pay channel

About the bolded, the problem I have with that logic is IIRC that everyone else - CBS, NBC, FOX Sports, TNT - is paying a lot more for sports rights than they were 10-15 years ago too, and they aren't funded by grannies like ESPN, right?

I get that if you have 'excess cash' thanks to some kind of favorable rent situation, like ESPN taxing grannies on cable, that you have to do something with it, like invest it. But you don't necessarily have to pay a lot for what you buy. How much you pay depends on its value.

All of those channels are taxing John's granny. It's not just ESPN. All the networks bidding on college sports own multiple cable channels in addition to broadcast networks, and all have warchests made fat by cable subscriber fees.

ESPN gets more per subscriber revenue from cable, but the others get plenty. Even broadcast networks charge cable now -- as of 2020, CBS was getting an average of $1.59 per subscriber per month, NBC $1.40, Fox $1.39, ABC $1.29. And that's just their broadcast properties; all of those networks own other cable channels that also reap per subscriber fees every month. Fox News ($1.72) gets more from the grannies than Fox OTA does. TNT was at $2.20 in 2020, and other channels now owned by Discovery (including CNN, TBS, Discovery, etc.) collectively get hefty fees. CBS owns Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and many other cable channels. NBC/Comcast owns several, and obviously Disney does as well.

Eh, ESPN is getting $10, not $1.79 like CBS or whatever. That's a big difference, IMO.

Not every dollar or cent earned on cable can IMO be called a "tax on grannies". If it was, grannies, not being dumb, wouldn't pay it.

I mean, if anything you pay for but don't watch is a "tax", then I imagine that applies to streaming too. But IMO subscribers don't see it that way. For example, I get the Disney bundle. I don't watch Hulu very much, would not pay $5.99 alone for it, but I pay a dollar less for the bundle with Hulu than I would if I bought Disney+ and ESPN+ separately without it, so the bundle is worth it to me, and I don't regard myself as being 'taxed' for Hulu.

Regarding ESPN, I wonder if there is a difference between cutting the cord (cable) and cutting ESPN? I imagine that a lot of cord-cutters subscribe to streaming services, like YouTube TV and Sling, that carry the ESPN channels. IOWs, some, maybe a lot, of those 25 million (so far) cord-cutters are cutting cable not to escape a tax on them for getting ESPN that they don't want, it's cutting the cord to escape non-ESPN channels they don't want. ESPN fans who feel they are being 'taxed' on cable to pay for channels the grannies like, LOL. I don't know.

yeah, a big question is what are the missing 25M doing.
did they say, " forget cable, all we watch is Netflix & YouTube and network TV anyway"
or did they switch from traditional linear cable with ESPN and CNN to nontraditional linear not-cable with ESPN and CNN.
I *think * the 75M includes nontraditional not-cablevtgat acts like cable with 100 channels. but I could be wrong
(This post was last modified: 05-28-2022 08:56 AM by johnbragg.)
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Post: #80
RE: ESPN loses eight million cable and satellite subscribers in 2021 - CFB implications
(05-28-2022 07:06 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(05-27-2022 10:41 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(05-27-2022 09:22 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(05-26-2022 06:59 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  Consider all the TV sports properties that moved from network TV to ESPN in the 1990s and early 2000s. That's not because of the value of sports--it's pretty much the same event, the same eyeballs and advertisements on CBS as on ESPN. But ESPN was able to leverage the sports fans to tax the grannies. (And how Fox News uses the Fox News fans to tax the rest of the cable audience)

I don't know much about the structure of European cable. I know--well I think I know--that Sky Sports in Britain is a pay channel

About the bolded, the problem I have with that logic is IIRC that everyone else - CBS, NBC, FOX Sports, TNT - is paying a lot more for sports rights than they were 10-15 years ago too, and they aren't funded by grannies like ESPN, right?

I get that if you have 'excess cash' thanks to some kind of favorable rent situation, like ESPN taxing grannies on cable, that you have to do something with it, like invest it. But you don't necessarily have to pay a lot for what you buy. How much you pay depends on its value.

All of those channels are taxing John's granny. It's not just ESPN. All the networks bidding on college sports own multiple cable channels in addition to broadcast networks, and all have warchests made fat by cable subscriber fees.

ESPN gets more per subscriber revenue from cable, but the others get plenty. Even broadcast networks charge cable now -- as of 2020, CBS was getting an average of $1.59 per subscriber per month, NBC $1.40, Fox $1.39, ABC $1.29. And that's just their broadcast properties; all of those networks own other cable channels that also reap per subscriber fees every month. Fox News ($1.72) gets more from the grannies than Fox OTA does. TNT was at $2.20 in 2020, and other channels now owned by Discovery (including CNN, TBS, Discovery, etc.) collectively get hefty fees. CBS owns Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and many other cable channels. NBC/Comcast owns several, and obviously Disney does as well.

Eh, ESPN is getting $10, not $1.79 like CBS or whatever. That's a big difference, IMO.

CBS OTA is getting $1.79, but as I mentioned, CBS also owns several other "cable" channels that get a per-month "tax" on every subscriber. So they have plenty of revenue from cable/satellite/etc. They have plenty of cash to spend if they want to spend.

What ESPN/ABC does have, more than any competitor for sports rights, is the ability to utilize a big, expensive sports property over many different channels and spread the cost out. Others are trying that with streaming services, but none of Peacock or Paramount or anything on Discovery is sports-only like ESPN+ is, and their "cable" sports channels like FS1, CBSSN, and the now-defunct NBCSN are weak competitors to the ESPN channels.

Much stronger competition for ESPN/ABC would exist if the same company owned both one of the OTA networks and TNT/TBS and all of their sports rights. But that hasn't happened yet.
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