Dish Drops OLN - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinch
same here... OLN is on ch71 in Comcast (Union/Verona as they call it)
correct it was moved to analog this summer
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post #62 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInBerlinNJ
OK, that makes sense. But they'd need to do that for ALL providers. Not just the ones they don't like (ie Comcast-related entities).

So, when Dishnetwork drops ESPN along with OLN... I guess THEN I'd stand up and cheer for them. Right now, they're being 2-faced. Which is really my problem with this "attaboy Dish, way to drop OLN and stand up for our subscriber rights" stuff. It's just BS until they unload the biggest offender too.
Nobody can afford to drop ESPN now. If D*, E*, Comcast, and the other large cable systems were renogotiating at the same time - maybe. But the way it worked out, dropping ESPN early on would have meant mass defections from people wanting SNF. As each MSO renegotiated, they were faced with the same dilemna.

E*'s not looking at "subscriber rights" as much as they are unwilling to add programming costs that they have no way of recovering. OTOH, if OLN were actually in high enough demand that subs bumped up to a higher tier just to get it, moving it to a lower tier could actually result in people reducing their subscription fee - a double hit.
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post #63 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa
But the basic question in this case is simple: why should 299 people have to pay extra so that each single NHL fan can enjoy his/her games on OLN?
Because that's the way pay television works. I'm sure everyone on these boards can rattle off a list of channels that they are paying for yet never watch. I'll bet I could name 50 of them.
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post #64 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan
I believe the above to be true about the cable companies carrying OLN. On Comcast's very own cable systems, a digital tier is required to receive OLN!! I don't know how they can demand basic carriage with other carriers while not doing it with their own system.
Jim,

I realize that Santa Rosa is the bastard child of Comcast, however I believe that many other Comcast markets receive OLN in a standard or expanded basic package. Sacramento and surrounding areas, as an example, has OLN in the expanded basic package.
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post #65 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 01:00 PM
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Did Dish carry any OLN games in HD. If not then this does not belong in this forum.
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post #66 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightowl
Jim,

I realize that Santa Rosa is the bastard child of Comcast, however I believe that many other Comcast markets receive OLN in a standard or expanded basic package. Sacramento and surrounding areas, as an example, has OLN in the expanded basic package.
No doubt about Santa Rosa.. :D In fact almost 16% of the SF bay area is in a similar situation.

Being on the Standard or Expanded Basic tier is still not basic, and those tiers will cost over $40 a month, at the least.
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post #67 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm145
Did Dish carry any OLN games in HD. If not then this does not belong in this forum.
OLN has announced plans for an HD channel - that makes this topical.
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post #68 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RemyM
Because that's the way pay television works. I'm sure everyone on these boards can rattle off a list of channels that they are paying for yet never watch. I'll bet I could name 50 of them.
Correct, the big corporations have used the tactic to perfection -- until now.

How many new channels can you name which were added in the past year at extra cost to cable/satellite companies without impacting the sub fees?

But in today's marketplace OLN is simply not worth an extra 30 cents a month per sub to Dish (or to anyone else), if the reason for the doubled subscriber fees is programming viewed by an infinitesimal number of viewers.

ESPN got away with it because it provided NFL programming that 7-10 per cent of its subs regularly watched. The NHL is a long, long way from that.

And by the way, I would bet the number of channels which people "are paying for yet never watch" which cost satellite/cable companies 60+ cents a month per sub are pretty small. Especially if they are on the level of OLN's ratings and its proposed cost.
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post #69 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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A little further research on fees charged by cable networks:

From Kagan Research LLC
“…Our research shows license fees grew almost 14% in 2004 to nearly $13.7 billion. The rate of growth has declined from 15% in 2003 and 18% in 2002, however. Only 19 networks generated more than $200 mil. in affiliate revenue…â€

(Assuming 60 million subs each, (and that is way low for the top cable nets) that would equate to an average of 40 cents a month per sub for the top 19 networks in 2004. You can see some of the prime-time household ratings below. Comcast wants to charge an average of 60 cents a month for OLN. That is more than CN charges, and close to douible what Fox News Channel is getting. It is about 22% of what ESPN charges for MLB, NCAA football, NCAA basketball, NBA basketball and NFL football along with numerous SportsCenters and sports-specific programming.)

http://research.kagan.com/keo/databo...?DatabookID=72

Prime-Time Cable Net Ratings
By Households, Week Ending October 16)
Rank/Network/Households
1 USA 1,921,000
2 TNT1,846,000
3 ESPN 1,525,000
4 Nick At Nite 1,371,000
5 Fox News Channel 1,248,000
6 Toon Network 1,210,000
7 Lifetime 1,188,000
8 TBS 1,186,000
9 Spike 978,000
10 MTV 896,000
11 History Channel 867,000
12 A & E 814,000
13 FX 813,000
14 Comedy Central 794,000
15 Sci-Fi 790,000
16 TV Land 754,000
17 HGTV 744,000
18 AMC 718,000
19 ABC Family 706,000
20 Hallmark Channel 651,000
21 Court TV 631,000
22 Discovery Channel 619,000
23 CNN 602,000
24 The Learning Channel 536,000
25 The Food Channel 494,000


http://medialifemagazine.com/artman/...rticle_749.asp

(Note: OLN's hockey ratings fall far less than one-third of those of even the 25th-highest rated cable network. Yet it wants to vault itself into the top 20 based on fees charged to cable and satellite companies.)
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post #70 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 03:08 PM
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I think the Comcast boys may have forgotten how Charlie paid his way through college...

Poker, six nights a week.

Methinks and hopes Comcast will be the first to blink.
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post #71 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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(Some added details and comments from today)
EchoStar Pulls Channel In Dispute With Comcast

By Ellen Sheng Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

NEW YORK -- Number-two satellite TV provider EchoStar Communications Corp. (DISH) pulled Outdoor Life Network from its lineup Thursday after OLN's owner, Comcast Corp. (CMCSA, CMCSK), replaced National Hockey League games with shows about competitive barbecue and biographies of daredevils.

Starting earlier this month, on Oct. 10th and 11th, Comcast replaced NHL games on the OLN feed to EchoStar and Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC), provoking outcry. EchoStar said Comcast provided no prior warning. It also said the company had simultaneously requested that EchoStar put the OLN channel in a lower-tier package so it could reach more customers.

"Comcast is acting like the 800-pound gorilla here," said EchoStar spokesman Marc Lumpkin.

Best known for its coverage of the Tour de France as well lower-profile events such as professional bull riding, OLN signed a multi-year pact with the NHL in August to televise at least 58 regular season games on Monday and Tuesday nights. The deal sparked chatter that Comcast was aiming to transform OLN into a competitor to Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) ESPN. Though Comcast has denied having such lofty aims, the cable operator has worked to expand its programming assets.

OLN's addition of the NHL has Comcast trying to recoup its investment and make the channel more high-profile. "In the past year we've added a lot of programming and events - including the NHL - and changed the value proposition of the network," said OLN spokeswoman Amy Phillips.

Comcast says the recent programming changes are part of its attempt to get wider carriage for its OLN channel. In order to get NHL games, Comcast has demanded that distributors make OLN available to 40% of their customer base. EchoStar brings OLN to about three million premium subscribers, out of a total of 11 million users, so it falls short at about 27%. Cablevision, on the other hand, makes OLN available to just 22,000 of its three million subscribers through a special $4.95 a month sports package. This means it provides OLN to less than 1% of homes.

OLN says it has been in talks with Cablevision. It isn't known if it has initiated talks with EchoStar. OLN, in a statement, said it was "surprised and disappointed that Dish unilaterally chose to stop providing OLN to its customers without warning."

NHL spokeswoman Bernadette Mansur, in a prepared statement Friday, said the league is "confident that Comcast will successfully resolve any OLN distribution issues."

In place of the OLN channel, EchoStar now has a statement up accusing Comcast of "unreasonable demands" that would force subscribers to pay more. As a replacement for OLN, EchoStar is suggesting its subscribers flip to channels such as the Outdoor Channel and the Men's Channel.

"Most of our customers have made the decision they do not want to pay the additional cost of watching that channel," EchoStar's senior vice president of programming, Eric Sahl, said in a statement Thursday. "We work hard to provide choice for our customers and to keep prices low."
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post #72 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kib
I think the Comcast boys may have forgotten how Charlie paid his way through college...

Poker, six nights a week.

Methinks and hopes Comcast will be the first to blink.

I am with you, kib, in hoping for Comcast to blink.

But the Roberts family doesn't usually fail -- we can only hope for a repeat of their abortive attempt to take over Disney. Sometimes they have been known to bite off a bit too much.
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post #73 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 03:21 PM
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When FoxNews started, they paid $10 per sub for carriage. Now we have OLN paying the NHL and to recoup they are "demanding" 40% carriage? Why does the MSO take on the responsibility for OLN recovering their programming costs?

Seems like things have gotten backasswards.
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post #74 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Among quite a handful of others, Animal Planet and Cartoon Network also initially paid for carriage.
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post #75 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 04:34 PM
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imagine, using NHL hockey, a sport nobody watches, to try to bully carriers. NBA and NASCAR fans can't even get TNT-HD on D*, and people watch those sports, why would Dish pay extra for hockey.

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post #76 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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You are right, Alan, it seems pretty stupid.

But, this whole debacle could just get Comcast even more determined to get that end-of-season NFL contract as well as an MLB deal -- so they could go ahead and charge $1.50 a month for OLN.

That would be about $1.5 billion a year, which would pay for a lot of sports rights.
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post #77 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 06:15 PM
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True, and if OLN ends up picking up NFL & MLB it will make it an entirely different can of worms... but at this writing that ain't the case.

BTW - Back on thread - Does OLN produce NHL on HD ?

FYI - Years ago I was a center ice cameraman doing hockey and I always thought HD would be the thing that turned it around for hockey on TV (Yes, the puck is a bitch to follow as a cameraman, let alone the viewer... sorry guys we're doing the best we can)
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post #78 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kib
I think the Comcast boys may have forgotten how Charlie paid his way through college...

Poker, six nights a week.
Yup, Charlie loves this kind of stuff, and is usually successful, but Comcast may be a different kind of opponent.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #79 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kib
BTW - Back on thread - Does OLN produce NHL on HD ?
Yes, the Monday game is in HD. Right now, it appears the only source for it is INHD2 on Comcast, where it replaces regularly scheduled programs.

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post #80 of 121 Old 10-21-2005, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa
No, it is saying it needs to be paid for ever single digital sub on a system. Since cable often is far less than 50% digital, that equates to a much lower charge than for all of Dish's almost 12 million subs or DirecTV's almost 16 million, because all 28 million satellite subs are digital, no matter how low the tier.
I think you have your INHD and OLN articles confused. DirecTV isn't paying anything extra and they are getting all the games.

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And the irony is, of course, that on (virtually) every cable system digital delivery is on a higher tier!

It is just more of the same BS the InHD folks are using in their own pricing scam -- designed solely to keep satellite out.
Not exactly. But in the same vein certainly.

Quote:
For someone who sees the dark side in everything DirecTV does or says, PRMan, you seem oblivious to what Comcast (50% bigger than D* and potentially growing even more when it swallows a good portion of Adelphia) does.

These are the same people who refuse to show Washington Nationals games on MASN because they "don't want to raise subscriber costs".

Yet they want to more than double what providers pay for OLN, and make it a basic channel...just so they can cover the costs of their NHL contract.
I'm not oblivious nor defending them, just explaining the situation. I agree that extortion by another name is still extortion and sports fans all know how evil Comcast can be (especially in Philadelphia and San Diego). It's just a different extortion scheme than the INHD debacle.

Quote:
Based on the ratings we have seen so far, about ten times as many people in Washington want to see the Nats as national cable subs want to see OLN's NHL coverage.

Personally, I think DirecTV should follow Charlie's lead in this case and tell Comcast to shove it.
Not following you. They get the games, didn't pay more and will probably pick up subscribers because of it. Why would they cut off their nose to make a point right now? Especially a point that helps Charlie?
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post #81 of 121 Old 10-22-2005, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRMan
Not following you. They get the games, didn't pay more and will probably pick up subscribers because of it. Why would they cut off their nose to make a point right now? Especially a point that helps Charlie?
fredfa is operating under the assumption that OLN's new policy is 40% carriage and a doubling of their carriage fee. When D*'s current contract expires, or if OLN tries to renegotiate mid-stream, D* should tell them to take a hike before paying double.

Obviously if the terms for D* do not change, there would be no reason for D* to do anything at this time.
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post #82 of 121 Old 10-22-2005, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa
My point about digital subs is that most cable companies have their digital subs on a higher priced tier -- and, as far as I know, Comcast isn't penalizing them for that -- it is just demanding that Dish and DirecTV have OLN on basic, so every single sub gets charged.

If DirecTV is carrying OLN (and, of course, it is) one would have to assume it is
a) paying OLN's fee for all its subs
b) either paying the higher sub fees demanded by Comcast, or agreeing to pay them in the future.

Since I haven't seen the DirecTV-OLN contract -- or read any report on it -- I just don't know.

If I were DirecTV, I'd drop OLN immediately, add every freakin' FSN regional NHL game to the CI package, and work to assure that all subs would get their own regional FSNs in HD ASAP.

And then I would take evidence of this episode, (along with details on Comcast's refusal to carry Washington Nats games to its DC area subs, the lengths Comcast goes to keep some of its sports networks "exclusive", and the InHD satellite pricing scam) and send my highly-paid Washington lobbyists to the FCC to do everything possible to stop the Comcast/TW takeover of Adelphia's 5+ million subs.
Agreed!! Its about time this issue is out in the open. I have been complaining about this NHL/OLN thing since day 1; furthermore, we have suffered over 10 years in the Philly and NYC areas with local sports teams not shown on D*TV due to cable owners (Comcast in Philly; Cablevision in NYC) "owning" the rights and trying to force us to get cable!!!
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post #83 of 121 Old 10-22-2005, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInBerlinNJ
OK, that makes sense. But they'd need to do that for ALL providers. Not just the ones they don't like (ie Comcast-related entities).

So, when Dishnetwork drops ESPN along with OLN... I guess THEN I'd stand up and cheer for them. Right now, they're being 2-faced. Which is really my problem with this "attaboy Dish, way to drop OLN and stand up for our subscriber rights" stuff. It's just BS until they unload the biggest offender too.
Just wondering...do you work for Comcast???? If not, how can you defind their stance that the only way Philly sports fans can watch most local sports (baseball, basketball, hockey) is ONLY on cable, not on D*TV??? Yes, I know all about terrestrial rights, etc., etc. They have gotten away with this for over 10 years!!! They would have gotten away with this when they bought HTS (Baltimore/Washington sports) BUT D*TV was grandfathered in!!!!

Comcast deserves the spotlight and exposure for its hypocritical sins and maybe finally will pay for it getting a little too greedy with its NHL contract. We have been suffering with this crap for over 10 years and FINALLY its getting some national attention...TOUCHE!!!!
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post #84 of 121 Old 10-22-2005, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Dropping the gloves over OLN

By Tony Gnoffo Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer Oct 22, 2005

For some fans of the NHL who expected to watch this season's games on Comcast Corp.'s OLN, last season's lockout continues.

That's because OLN is engaged in a gloves-off brawl with two of its distributors.

One is Cablevision, the Long Island-based cable network that provides OLN to 22,000 of its 3 million customers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The other is Dish Network, which provides OLN to 3.3 million of its 11 million subscribers nationwide, many of them in the Philadelphia area.

The two distributors have declined to abide by OLN's new requirement that at least 40 percent of their subscribers receive OLN. For both companies, that would mean moving the network to a less-expensive package of programming.

"We believe hockey is a major sport that deserves to be seen by as many fans as possible," OLN spokeswoman Amy Phillips said yesterday.

OLN also needs to make a return on its considerable investment in hockey. Providing the network to a bigger audience would make that easier.

In August, OLN entered a three-year contract to carry 65 NHL regular-season games, the All-Star Game, and the first two rounds of the playoffs. People familiar with the deal said OLN paid a total of $207.5 million for those rights.

A bigger audience would help OLN in two ways. First, it could charge more for advertising. Second, cable and satellite operators pay a fee for every subscriber who receives the network; if the number of subscribers grows, so does the amount paid to OLN.

Phillips said the network wanted Dish to move the channel from its $47.99 per month "America's Top 180" tier to the $37.99 per month "America's Top 120."

Cablevision was asked to remove OLN from a special sports package that costs $4.95 per month and put it into a package with a broader audience.

When they refused, OLN starting giving them a network feed that did not include the hockey games.

"Our customers tuned in for hockey, and they got a fishing show," Dish spokesman Marc Lumkin said.

On Thursday night, Dish's corporate parent, EchoStar Communications Corp. of Englewood, Colo., said it was dropping OLN altogether.

Lumkin said OLN's demands "indicate that Comcast is using their market leverage to force our customers to pay for something that they don't want."

The situation, he said, is not unlike another sore point in the relationship between satellite TV providers and the nation's largest cable-TV provider - Comcast's refusal to allow Dish or DirecTV to carry its SportsNet channel in the Philadelphia area.

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/s...printstory.jsp
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post #85 of 121 Old 10-22-2005, 10:03 AM
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"We believe hockey is a major sport that deserves to be seen by as many fans as possible," OLN spokeswoman Amy Phillips said yesterday.

...."So we decided to pull the NHL games from the Echostar feed" :rolleyes:
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post #86 of 121 Old 10-22-2005, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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(Not mention doing everything possible to keep the Flyers games off DBS.)

And given its stance with the Washington Nationals and MASN, I guess we have to assume that Comcast doesn't believe MLB "is a major sport that deserves to be seen by as many fans as possibe".
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post #87 of 121 Old 10-22-2005, 12:44 PM
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The difference in the Philly market is that Comcast owns the Sixers and Flyers. They bought the teams and the arenas for the sole purpose of starting CSN and keeping it exlcusive to cable as part of a strategy to keep market share in the Philly area. Recall that Comcast was nowhere near as big back then. The Phillies are also 13% owners of CSN.
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post #88 of 121 Old 10-22-2005, 03:54 PM
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Was the huge "NHL on OLN is on DirecTV" banner on OLN's homepage before E* dropped them?
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post #89 of 121 Old 10-22-2005, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan
I believe the above to be true about the cable companies carrying OLN. On Comcast's very own cable systems, a digital tier is required to receive OLN!! I don't know how they can demand basic carriage with other carriers while not doing it with their own system.

I think DirecTV should tell them to shove it as well.

This is FALSE, I have comcast, and we get OLN with just extended cable, you don't even need digital to get OLN. OLN is NOT a digital only channel.
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post #90 of 121 Old 10-22-2005, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTBoy
This is FALSE, I have comcast, and we get OLN with just extended cable, you don't even need digital to get OLN. OLN is NOT a digital only channel.
Yes, it's been established that on some Comcast systems OLN is available with a Standard Cable(basic + extended) subscription.

Comcast could easily add to the sub numbers they want by putting OLN in the entry Basic Cable tier, but somehow I don't see them doing that.
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