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O's / Nationals MASN TV Fees (2 of 2)


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#601 dude

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Posted 19 April 2023 - 06:48 PM

Apparently when Leonsis was trying to buy the Nats he also offered to buy all of MASN. The Orioles told him it wasn't for sale.

 

https://www.washingt...gton-nationals/

 

In the same vein, they need the MASN agreement as leverage for one gate.  They don't want to resolve any of this until they transition the team.  They need it as a chip versus MLB.



#602 weird-O

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 08:13 AM

That’s what I’m trying to get at here - what is that tipping point. Losing 2 million subscribers in 5 years is huge. At what point does it make more sense to make that transition? It has to be getting there based on those attrition numbers. And yes, they wouldn’t get 12 months worth of subscription fees, but could collect much more than the $3 and change they are getting now.

I'm looking at it from this angle. The O's get a few dollars from every account the TV service providers have. That's free money. And while they've seen a decrease in the amount of free money they get, they still get lots of free money. I can't see a reason why they would turn off that faucet. 


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#603 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 09:47 AM

I'm looking at it from this angle. The O's get a few dollars from every account the TV service providers have. That's free money. And while they've seen a decrease in the amount of free money they get, they still get lots of free money. I can't see a reason why they would turn off that faucet. 


They don’t want to see it go away any sooner than necessary. None of the teams do. It’s only happening for some teams now because Sinclair over-leveraged their subsidiary when they bought those networks. (How thankful must Disney be that federal regulators forced them to sell those off back when they bought most of Fox?).

 

But MLB is, wisely, setting its strategy in motion for the day when the other teams are facing the same fate as the ones on the Bally’s RSNs.



#604 weird-O

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 09:58 AM


They don’t want to see it go away any sooner than necessary. None of the teams do. It’s only happening for some teams now because Sinclair over-leveraged their subsidiary when they bought those networks. (How thankful must Disney be that federal regulators forced them to sell those off back when they bought most of Fox?).

 

But MLB is, wisely, setting its strategy in motion for the day when the other teams are facing the same fate as the ones on the Bally’s RSNs.

This sums it all up for me. No reason to jump off the free money train, but make plans for when you do.


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#605 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 12:08 PM

I'm looking at it from this angle. The O's get a few dollars from every account the TV service providers have. That's free money. And while they've seen a decrease in the amount of free money they get, they still get lots of free money. I can't see a reason why they would turn off that faucet.

You can’t? I get not choosing to, but it’s kind of hard for me to see how you can’t see a reason to pivot, to be honest, but that’s fair, it’s all good.

For me, you are turning off one faucet, one that is drying up inevitable and quickly. And in doing so, it allows you to open up another one.

This type of fear based thinking is why good, mature businesses eventually decline.

Why would Blockbuster turn off the faucet of in store rentals (closing some of their stores), to adapting streaming and turning on another, new faucet?

#606 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 12:09 PM

I mean, this is clearly where the market is taking this. So again, it’s inevitable, there are benefits to getting out in front of this rather than being a laggard. Just my viewpoint on it, but we can agree to disagree here.

#607 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 12:54 PM

For me, you are turning off one faucet, one that is drying up inevitable and quickly. And in doing so, it allows you to open up another one.

 

Couple things to unpack there. The first being the question of how much you have to charge the people who want to sign up for your standalone service to make up in revenue for all those people who paid for your RSN and never/seldom watched games? And with MASN, a network that airs nothing of value from Oct-Mar, you'll either have customers bailing after baseball season or you'll have to force them to pay an annual subscription for something they'll only watch for half the year. And the more you have to raise the price to avoid losing revenue, the more you will price out people who may want it. It's going to be a delicate balance.

 

The second thing is that streaming services aren't exactly what you could call a success at this point. The only profitable one out there is Netflix, and they were the first ones in that space and, notably, do not broadcast or intend to broadcast any live sports, which are the most expensive form of programming out there right now (though they're also the most valuable programming for advertisers). But it's still a relatively nascent platform, so maybe once these other services have been around longer they'll figure it out.

 

I think what you're going to see from MLB is trying to spread out more of their content among different services. We're already seeing it with their exclusive deals with AppleTV+ and Peacock. So what's going to happen is that in addition to signing up for an MASN streaming service, you will have to sign up for 3 or 4 other services if you want to see *every* Orioles game. And the cost overall might end up being pretty steep, but because the cost spread out among several different services, they're banking on people not noticing how much they're paying in total.



#608 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 01:01 PM

Here's a good Post article that goes into the background on RSNs and their decline, and mentions MASN's subscriber losses. Interesting thing I learned is the Dodgers were contemplating pay-per-view broadcasts way back when they were still in Brooklyn. I never would have guessed the technology existed at that time to do it.

 

https://www.washingt...ptcy-sports-tv/



#609 weird-O

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 01:38 PM

You can’t? I get not choosing to, but it’s kind of hard for me to see how you can’t see a reason to pivot, to be honest, but that’s fair, it’s all good.

For me, you are turning off one faucet, one that is drying up inevitable and quickly. And in doing so, it allows you to open up another one.

This type of fear based thinking is why good, mature businesses eventually decline.

Why would Blockbuster turn off the faucet of in store rentals (closing some of their stores), to adapting streaming and turning on another, new faucet?

From the way you've been phrasing things, it sound like you believe that Comcast, Dish, Direct TV et al. will inevitably declare bankruptcy. That's not going to happen. Direct TV lost me and countless other subscribers, because they refused to provide an ala carte plan. They would rather lose my $100 a month, rather than still get $50 a month from me, for the channels I want. Why would they do that? Because everyone would change to their ala carte plan, and they'd lose more money than they make with their forced, existing plans. So no, the well isn't going to dry up for MASN.

 

And I'll mention this again, they aren't dinosaurs refusing to change. Direct TV offers a streaming package already, so does Comcast. I'm sure others do as well. If the day comes when a cable is absolutely no longer necessary to watch TV, people will still pay Comcast and the rest. People in their 40's and older will continue to pay for TV they don't fully utilize. Maybe some day, when the millennial generation are the retirees of our culture, there may be a change. Until then, the shift isn't going to be super drastic. Historically speaking, streaming live programs started happening in 1995. I was surprised to find that out. Interestingly, the first ever live stream was a NYY vs Mariners game. How fitting to our conversation. :)  


Good news! I saw a dog today.


#610 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 01:58 PM

Direct TV lost me and countless other subscribers, because they refused to provide an ala carte plan. They would rather lose my $100 a month, rather than still get $50 a month from me, for the channels I want. Why would they do that? Because everyone would change to their ala carte plan, and they'd lose more money than they make with their forced, existing plans.

 

A major part of the reason that DirecTV, Comcast, etc force customers to pay for a huge bundle full of channels they don't watch or want is because the owners of those channels leverage their more popular ones to get the carriers to put their less popular ones on the basic tier.

 

Another hidden cost in cable bills, and one that's increasingly on the rise, is retransmission fees paid to local broadcast stations. Of course a big reason for that is the local stations are having to pay more and more for the network's content they show. But because enough people still want the convenience of being able to watch local stations in the same ecosystem as cable channels - even though many could pick them up with an antenna and watch for free - the stations can keep raising their price. Just like with RSNs, that may have hit the tipping point....or will very soon.


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#611 weird-O

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 02:13 PM

A major part of the reason that DirecTV, Comcast, etc force customers to pay for a huge bundle full of channels they don't watch or want is because the owners of those channels leverage their more popular ones to get the carriers to put their less popular ones on the basic tier.

 

Another hidden cost in cable bills, and one that's increasingly on the rise, is retransmission fees paid to local broadcast stations. Of course a big reason for that is the local stations are having to pay more and more for the network's content they show. But because enough people still want the convenience of being able to watch local stations in the same ecosystem as cable channels - even though many could pick them up with an antenna and watch for free - the stations can keep raising their price. Just like with RSNs, that may have hit the tipping point....or will very soon.

The relationship with local stations has been an interesting evolution. When cable services first started up, local channels feared getting left for dead, so they asked the cable companies to add their stations free of charge.

 

After I cut the cord, I picked up Sling for Oct, so I could watch all the playoff games. One year I was about to reactivate my subscription, but I found out the local stations had been removed. That was a bummer, because I lived in Baltimore and my TV was in the basement. Even with a powered digital antenna, it was hard to get Fox to come in clearly. I remember one game, I had to stand near the small basement windows and hold the antenna in just the right position. The sacrifices I make for this sport :D   


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#612 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 02:35 PM

The relationship with local stations has been an interesting evolution. When cable services first started up, local channels feared getting left for dead, so they asked the cable companies to add their stations free of charge.

 

After I cut the cord, I picked up Sling for Oct, so I could watch all the playoff games. One year I was about to reactivate my subscription, but I found out the local stations had been removed. That was a bummer, because I lived in Baltimore and my TV was in the basement. Even with a powered digital antenna, it was hard to get Fox to come in clearly. I remember one game, I had to stand near the small basement windows and hold the antenna in just the right position. The sacrifices I make for this sport :D   

 

Sling is the one pay TV service that doesn't offer locals (with a few exceptions in some cities) to keep costs down.

 

They do at least make an effort simplify getting those stations OTA and somewhat integrated into their service so that you can not only watch local stations live, but also DVR while watching, program to automatically record shows, and stream to devices other than your TV. But you have to buy extra pieces of hardware to do all that, get them set up and connected, plus I'm not sure if the streaming part will work outside of your home wifi network.

 

So given how people watch TV nowadays, the local stations do have some leverage.



#613 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 20 April 2023 - 06:01 PM

Cable TV is absolutely a dinosaur which will soon be extinct, even if some of the companies survive. Steaming services will likely find more profit when cable is a relic of the past, and consumers are willing to pay more for their desired steaming services. What makes streaming an alternative in the first place, is it’s price point. Once streaming becomes more “mature”, so will it’s profitability.

#614 ivanbalt

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Posted 21 April 2023 - 06:39 AM

Cable TV is absolutely a dinosaur which will soon be extinct, even if some of the companies survive. Steaming services will likely find more profit when cable is a relic of the past, and consumers are willing to pay more for their desired steaming services. What makes streaming an alternative in the first place, is it’s price point. Once streaming becomes more “mature”, so will it’s profitability.


I'm still a dinosaur, but cable does provide me all/most Orioles, Caps and Liverpool games plus NFL and other sports on cable channels.  To replicate that alone I think I'd need 3 streaming apps.  No thanks.



#615 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 21 April 2023 - 09:34 AM

Old forms of media don’t completely die off as quickly as many people think they will. Print newspapers and terrestrial radio have been on the decline for a couple decades now, but both are still hanging on. Cable TV probably will too.



#616 weird-O

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Posted 21 April 2023 - 09:45 AM

Cable TV is absolutely a dinosaur which will soon be extinct, even if some of the companies survive. Steaming services will likely find more profit when cable is a relic of the past, and consumers are willing to pay more for their desired steaming services. What makes streaming an alternative in the first place, is it’s price point. Once streaming becomes more “mature”, so will it’s profitability.

How soon do you think cable will die? I'm trying to get a sense of the timetable you're envisioning. 


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#617 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 25 April 2023 - 08:12 AM

Court rules 6-0 in favor of the Nationals.  Not a surprise.  Now on to the 2017-21 fees!

 

New York court rules in favor of the Nationals and against the Orioles in yearslong MASN financial dispute – Baltimore Sun



#618 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 25 April 2023 - 10:57 AM

Court rules 6-0 in favor of the Nationals.  Not a surprise.  Now on to the 2017-21 fees!

 

New York court rules in favor of the Nationals and against the Orioles in yearslong MASN financial dispute – Baltimore Sun

 

Actually it sounds like the next step might be whether MASN/Orioles will owe any non-payment fees on the 2012-16 amount the Nats should soon be collecting. As always, the only winners here are those with billable hours.



#619 bmore_ken

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Posted 25 April 2023 - 02:51 PM


I'm still a dinosaur, but cable does provide me all/most Orioles, Caps and Liverpool games plus NFL and other sports on cable channels.  To replicate that alone I think I'd need 3 streaming apps.  No thanks.

I don't think there's anything wrong with those of you who still have cable. I just got tired of paying Xfinity $200+ a month for a bunch of channels I wasn't watching. 



#620 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 25 April 2023 - 06:20 PM

Yea I mean cable — minus the price — is fine.

There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

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