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Universal Sports will be first sub-channel fatality if Comcast/NBC deal goes through?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
"Comcast's Versus and Golf Channel already receive about $400 million in yearly subscription fees, according to industry estimates. In addition, Comcast could try to push paid distribution for NBC's fledgling Universal Sports channel."

WSJ - Comcast Seeks NBC Sports Muscle

So in other words, no more Universal Sports as a free OTA sub-channel. It would become a cable only channel requiring (obviously) a paid subscription to cable television to receive.

Yet another reason why Comcast and the cable TV industry in general is a piece of garbage, and why a Comcast/NBC deal will be very bad news for consumers.
post #2 of 26
I'd have no problem with that at all (since the channel looks so bad here that I can't even watch it, anyway) - if they gave the bandwith back to the main channel.

Of course, we know that it never works that way.
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I'd have no problem with that at all (since the channel looks so bad here that I can't even watch it, anyway) - if they gave the bandwith back to the main channel.

Of course, we know that it never works that way.

Well I DO have a problem with it because A) I like Universal Sports, and B) I dumped cable because it was a waste of money with no value to me, and I'm not going to go back to throwing money down the drain to have TV piped into my home.

Cable TV = Rip off waste of money.

Cable companies would like nothing better than to kill free OTA television entirely.
post #4 of 26
Good, maybe if they try to make it paid there'll be something worthwhile on there most of the time...
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by commodore_dude View Post

Good, maybe if they try to make it paid there'll be something worthwhile on there most of the time...

There is plenty of worthwhile programming on Universal Sports. If you're looking for MLB Baseball, NFL Football, NBA Basketball or NHL Hockey, look elsewhere, the channel is not for you. Universal Sports is an Olympic Sports channel. Swimming, Diving, Track & Field, Gymnastics, Triathlon, Cycling, Speed Skating (both long and short track), Skiing, Figure Skating, Bobsled, Water Polo, Marathon, Fencing, Table Tennis etc etc, the list goes on.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCLA* View Post

Well I DO have a problem with it...

I think the only time I ever watched it was when they showed some of that World Hockey Tournament a year or two back.

I *might* watch it occasionally if it looked better here. But it's just a blurry, soft mess whenever anything moves fast (and pretty much everything you've mentioned above is fast-moving. The water sports are the worst).

Might actually be watchable now if it moves to cable - not that I'm going to subscribe just for it, anyway.
post #7 of 26
What we're seeing is not much more than frustration that as consumers we cannot get what we want, how we want it, for the price we want it. This is a very natural perspective for consumers. However, it is an unreasonable view of the business. The business, as all business, is predicated on the trade-off of price and value. The more value offered (the more something is something that we want), the higher the price should be expected to be.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

What we're seeing is not much more than frustration that as consumers we cannot get what we want, how we want it, for the price we want it. This is a very natural perspective for consumers. However, it is an unreasonable view of the business. The business, as all business, is predicated on the trade-off of price and value. The more value offered (the more something is something that we want), the higher the price should be expected to be.

And Comcast or any other cable company will not get what it wants from me - a paid subscription to cable TV. I will not ever subscribe to cable TV again, as long as I am able to receive a decent OTA signal. I was paying nearly $1000 dollars a year for cable TV. I can think of a lot better things to do with $1000 per year than have TV piped into my home. If free OTA broadcast television goes away, I'll be saying bye-bye to television. I have the internet for news and information.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCLA* View Post

"Comcast's Versus and Golf Channel already receive about $400 million in yearly subscription fees, according to industry estimates. In addition, Comcast could try to push paid distribution for NBC's fledgling Universal Sports channel."

WSJ - Comcast Seeks NBC Sports Muscle

So in other words, no more Universal Sports as a free OTA sub-channel. It would become a cable only channel requiring (obviously) a paid subscription to cable television to receive.

Yet another reason why Comcast and the cable TV industry in general is a piece of garbage, and why a Comcast/NBC deal will be very bad news for consumers.

I completely disagree. The single line quote about Universal Sports is nothing more than the author's opinion; nowhere did any of the sources make that comment.

It's all about Versus & Golf Channel benefiting from the rights NBCU has for various sporting events.
post #10 of 26
Topic title edited - '?' added, and topic moved to correct forum.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

I completely disagree. The single line quote about Universal Sports is nothing more than the author's opinion; no where did any of the sources make that comment.

It's all about Versus & Golf Channel benefiting from the rights NBCU has for various sporting events.

Oh yeahhhh, sure, sure, you think Comcast, as a cable TV company wouldn't like anything better than to kill off as much free OTA television as possible?
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCLA* View Post

Oh yeahhhh, sure, sure, you think Comcast, as a cable TV company wouldn't like anything better than to kill off as much free OTA television as possible?

?

Not at all, it's not in their best interest to kill Digital TV. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure I've ever heard anything so ludicrous.

If Comcast and NBCU are all the same company, it would be like committing hari-kari to get rid of over-the-air TV; the lost revenue would be in the billions.

Here's how you are specifically wrong about Universal Sports: In Detroit, 3 of the local DTV stations have subchannel programming carried by Comcast.

On the ABC affiliate WXYZ, they have 3 subchannels, ABC HD, RTN, and Doppler Weather.

On the NBC affiliate, they have 2 subchannels, NBC HD, and This TV.

On the PBS affiliate, they have 3 subchannels, PBS HD, PBS Create, PBS Digital Service.

Comcast's carriage agreements with 3 of the 4 stations with subchannels include all subchannels, and the other 3 local DTV stations do not have subchannels. ION is the sole exception with subchannels Comcast does not carry.

As opposed to your prediction, a much more likely approach by a newly created Comcast / NBCU corporation is for them to include Universal Sports on all of Comcast systems where existing affiliates carry it, and tell prospective Universal Sports affiliates across the country they'll get Comcast carriage for all subchannels if they add it as a subchannel. That would be a much more appealing scenario, since it would increase the number of stations, increase cable carriage, increase viewers, increase revenue.

Let's assume the WSJ story has it right, and Comcast would push for wider cable /DBS / fiber / IPTV carriage of Universal Sports; it does not mean they would want it off local stations, that makes no sense at all.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCLA* View Post

There is plenty of worthwhile programming on Universal Sports. If you're looking for MLB Baseball, NFL Football, NBA Basketball or NHL Hockey, look elsewhere, the channel is not for you. Universal Sports is an Olympic Sports channel. Swimming, Diving, Track & Field, Gymnastics, Triathlon, Cycling, Speed Skating (both long and short track), Skiing, Figure Skating, Bobsled, Water Polo, Marathon, Fencing, Table Tennis etc etc, the list goes on.

100% Agree. If you like Olympic sports, Universal Sports is great.
post #14 of 26
This has nothing to do with CECBs, anyway.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

This has nothing to do with CECBs, anyway.

No, but this also the forum where SD subchannels is discussed.
post #16 of 26
Sounds like a header change is in order. Or three.

HDTV....HDTV Technical...CECB -- obviously people find this section by an alternate route.
post #17 of 26
I would really like Universal sports(I like Olympics sports) but not at the expense of NBCs nice 1080i picture, and if they bit starve Universal I wouldn't like that either. Ion Life is a good example of that, most of the time the picture is so macroblocked I can't stand watching it.
Now if FOX, MY TV or CW would get rid of their useless SD simulcast I could see Universal on any of those channels, but I'm sure that's not going to happen.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

Sounds like a header change is in order.

Already being considered.
post #19 of 26
If they're prelim events or tournaments, I could see it, but if they're showing old Olympic replays, I wouldn't have any interest at all.

From what I've seen when I occasionally go by, they do show recent events - but they seem to be well after they've already taken place (if it's more than a week later, I consider it "well after").

(It does look pretty bad here, jjeff - even worse than ION Life a lot of the time, because it's much blurrier to begin with).
post #20 of 26
We get Universal Sports on CW. I am so glad it is not coming through NBC; they can't produce a decent subchannel. People complained about the Olympics diving events, but I don't have any problem on CW.

The quality depends on whether it's letterbox. Full screen is bad, they use that for most biking events, and marathons. But indoor sporting events are usually letterbox; I've watched diving and swim competitions, speed skating, gymnastics, equestrian events -- those have occasional motion issues. I won't watch a blurry full screen event, unless I am desperate for the content. Yes they have daytime ads, but then so does ABC.

I've seen a few events that were only a day old.
post #21 of 26
I wonder if the quality problem is the network or the locals? I've seen my NBC subs get blurry but clear up after a 'complete' retune (change to another RF main and then back). I think the ABC subs here have exhibited the same problem but less frequently.
post #22 of 26
If you're talking about NBCs Wx sub channel and you're watching on a CM-7000 CECB, the blurry channel seems to be a bug with the CM, it happens occasionally on my CMs. I'm not sure but I think the reason it seems to happen mostly on the Wx sub channel is because it's easiest to notice the fuzziness on a channel with lettering like the Wx channel.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

The more value offered (the more something is something that we want), the higher the price should be expected to be.

How does that apply here?

Say Comcast moves Universal Sports to paid distribution. That would mean tens of millions of cable subscribers would be forced to subsidize it. Yet only a few thousand want to watch this channel, even though it already has widespread availability.

BTW, I think we subsidize it anyway via retrans consent on the master NBC affiliate.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCLA* View Post

Oh yeahhhh, sure, sure, you think Comcast, as a cable TV company wouldn't like anything better than to kill off as much free OTA television as possible?

Those wimpy digital signals are killing OTA television enough as it is.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

If you're talking about NBCs Wx sub channel and you're watching on a CM-7000 CECB, the blurry channel seems to be a bug with the CM, it happens occasionally on my CMs. I'm not sure but I think the reason it seems to happen mostly on the Wx sub channel is because it's easiest to notice the fuzziness on a channel with lettering like the Wx channel.

Yep, that's the scenario although I thought the main stayed clear. I also see it on that sports sub that this thread is all about. I'll have to play around with my other brand boxes to see if it occurs (my CM is my main box, others for VCRs and other TVs).
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

Yep, that's the scenario although I thought the main stayed clear.

It does.
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