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

  • From: Albert Manfredi <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2014 19:41:57 -0400

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> I personally know (and work with) people who do this. If you want to watch

> ESPN's most valuable content on a mobile device you need to enter valid

> authentication credentials.

I've quoted more than one article in which *even* ESPN has indicated that they 
are considering to change, and changing, this way of operating. And the best 
you can do is repeat your own interpretation of the status quo of 20 year ago. 
Argue with John Skipper, if you must. I quoted him directly.

Plus, I've already suggested to you more than once that "bundles" with OTT 
sites can be totally different from the MVPD bundles. Remember? For instance, 
that individual congloms can now create their own bundles, unimpeded by other 
congloms. You of course disagreed. But surprise surprise, this too is coming to 
pass, as you see with the Viacom deal with Sony. Viacom is offering a 
Viacom-exclusive bundle, and it's not clear whether this has any impact on the 
other congloms and what deals they can make with Sony (or anyone else). So it's 
not just "the bundle" switching from MVPD broadcast to IP OTT. It's a totally 
different game. Argue with Sony and Viacom, if you must.

> What it is NOT, is a threat to the ESPN business model that is built around

> "the bundle.

Again, facts contradict what you say. It's *not* "the bundle," for one. It's a 
different type of bundle entirely, or no bundle at all. And, as I already said 
before, it does NOT take a huge viewership drop before these folk change their 
modus operandi. Don't believe me? Listen to John Skipper, then. His words 


"[John Skipper] added that while he could not imagine more than 10 percent of 
pay-TV subscribers cutting the cord, 'big numbers don't have to flee the system 
to have a profound effect on ESPN.'"

Remember when I said that it's the first derivative in viewership numbers that 
matters? ESPN and HBO get this, Craig. This does not sound to me like someone 
mired in old business models. The best you can come up with is older articles 
that explain how lucrative sports coverage on TV is. But I'm showing you direct 
quotes from ESPN, and HBO for that matter, and more than once, from very 
recently, that show these guys are not stuck in the mud as you seem to be. Both 
of these franchises have lost viewership, and therefore both of them are taking 

> If ESPN does change their business model in the future, it will not be a free 
> ad

> supported service. It will be a pay service like Netflix.

John Skipper himself is more flexible than your imagination makes him. He has 
directly mentioned ESPN not bundled with any other content, he has directly 
mentioned ESPN ad-supported. No one is disputing that some or even most of the 
stuff will come with a subscription fee.

Give it up, Craig, especially when I'm quoting the people who actually make the 

You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts: