April 18th, 2013 01:30 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: CBS, ESPN, FOX, SEC
The Big Ten Network doesn’t have what the SEC Network will have. The Pac-12′s networks don’t have it, either. Not Texas and it’s ESPN-owned Longhorn Network. Heck, not even the NFL Network.
Right now, you’re probably thinking I’m talking about super-duper, A1, top-o’-the-line college football. But that’s not it.
Perhaps you think the SEC’s new channel will be a big success because of the passion of its fans. That might help, but that’s not what will set the network apart.
ESPN is what will set the network apart. More specifically, the SEC’s all-around partnership with ESPN will set the network apart.
As you know, the key to making money with a cable channel is tied more to subscribers than it is the highly volatile world of television ad sales. Ad sales are seasonal. Ad sales are impacted by ebbs and flows in the economy. Subscription prices are steady.
To make the most money in the current environment — before all programming becomes a la carte via internet connections — a network must get carriage on as many cable and satellite systems as possible. Working out deals with those providers has been the biggest pain in the neck to date for anyone and everyone who’s tried to launch a brand new channel.
In simple terms, the owner of the new network sits down with Comcast, Time-Warner, DirecTV and others to hammer out monthly fees that those providers must pay the owner for the right to carry its network. Many times the providers don’t even want the network. So when the owner overprices the channel — and that’s always part of the game — the providers quickly balk at overpaying for something they don’t want in the first place.
That’s where you enter the picture.
The owner of a network will begin to put programming it believes you want on its channel. The more quality programming it can put on its channel, the more you’ll want it. Theoretically, the more you want it, the more you’ll call your own cable or satellite provider to demand it.
Even better from an owner’s perspective is when, for instance, one satellite-provider agrees to carry the new network while a competing provider refuses. If you, the viewer, decide to switch providers in order to get the network you want, oh, that’s a big help. Let a provider start to lose subscribers to the competition and changes can come quickly.
Boil all this down and the plan is simple: Good programming goes on network… viewers want that programming… viewers demand their cable and satellite providers carry the programming… providers pay for the network and the programming in order to retain their clients.
At that point the providers pass the price along to you, of course, by way of monthly subscriber fees. Maybe the new channel becomes part of your provider’s “sports pack” or maybe it’s a stand-alone entity. Either way, your monthly bill will go up a little bit because of that new network.
So the absolute must in all of this? Put good programming — games in a sports network’s case — on the new channel.
This is where the SEC’s monster deal with ESPN comes into play.
|Post Comments »||Comments (4)|