[opendtv] Re: Sony To Take Viacom Over-The-Top | Multichannel

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:39:58 +0000

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> They (the content and MVPD oligopolies) have been milking this business
> model for thirty years, through multiple technology transitions.

And the "technology transitions" have now reached a step which permits a 
different way of operating entirely. This is relatively new, with the advent of 
two-way packet switched IP networks and streaming protocols. So, holding on to 
technological restrictions of the past makes no sense, and of course, consumers 
are responding with their wallets, accordingly.

> And you call this an act of desperation!

Of course. And even John Skipper knows this. Not Craig, though

> So the issue becomes quite simple. Can the congloms continue to
> protect "the bundle," as they transition their content networks
> to a VOD consumption model.

"The bundle," as you call it, was basically TECHNICALLY mandatory, in the days 
of analog one-way broadcast cable systems. Now it's not. The congloms know 
this, Craig, and are advancing new models.

> [Adding value to MVPD bundle, by adding a streaming option.] To me
> it is real Bert. I use these authenticated services frequently,
> especially Watch ESPN.

So, you're satisfied with half measures.

Here's what this "added value" amounts to. Go back to the early 1900s, when 
cars started being introduced. With your idea of "added value," the guy running 
the stables where you keep your horse would say, I'll continue to charge you 
for the stable hands and other services we provide you, to tend to your horse. 
But as "added value," we'll set aside a small corner of the barn where you can 
park your car.

Wow. What a deal! Especially for the guy who decides maybe he doesn't need that 
horse anymore!

> There is no ala carte "leakage." There is a shift in premium
> streaming services like HBO to OTT VOD services.  But HBO is
> not part of the bundle.

Keep telling yourself that, Craig. The realities are, (a) that people are 
showing more flexibility than you give them credit for, wrt what content 
they'll watch. And (b) HBO is considering and testing/offering, as we speak, 
direct to consumer OTT service. In Scandinavia. And please don't pretend you 
forgot about that too.

>> You must have missed the part where ESPN is losing viewership.

> Where did you come up with that one.


"ESPN's viewership numbers plunged earlier this year [2013], and that was 
before the debut this month of Fox Sports 1, a 24-hour network funded lavishly 
by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. Fox Sports 1 is likely to shape up as 
ESPN's most formidable head-to-head rival.

"All of this, particularly consumers' move away from pay TV, is reverberating 
in Bristol. 'This is the most complicated environment we've faced in a long 
time,' said John Skipper, the president of ESPN."

"Consumers are fleeing pay TV at a quickening pace: 898,000 in the past year, 
nearly twice the number in the previous year, the analyst Craig Moffett said. 
And in the past two years, ESPN has lost more than one million subscribers.

"What's more, ESPN ratings plunged 32 percent in the quarter that ended in 


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