Trying to keep up with local sports via streaming was a failure - Reusse

Iceland12

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FSN has disappeared from YouTubeTV and Hulu, meaning cord-cutters of all ages are unable to watch their favorite teams. This columnist has had it..

The deal was, I'd been dumped from a daily radio show for the odd reason that the ratings reeked, which eventually cut into the family income and increased the volume of my monthly shout, "What in the name of Philo Farnsworth* is this?" when opening the cable bill.

That bill now was coming with the fancy-Dan name Xfinity, but I couldn't be fooled. I knew it was still the old sparring mate, Comcast, and finally and with great angst early in 2020, I became a streamer..

FSN has disappeared from YouTubeTV and, apparently, Hulu. And don't send me suggestions for switching to another streamer that will have a deal with Sinclair for the next 15 minutes and then have it blow up.

The heck with the Timberwolves. The heck with Gophers hockey (even if I'm a Bob Motzko fan and the Gophs are unbeaten). The heck with those seven, eight minutes I watch of several Wild games (even more minutes in the playoffs) every season.

I'm not going into various menus on these "too smart for their own good" TVs to change everything. I'm not going begging to the Woofs, Gophs and Wild. They have to come back to me.

Here's the 2021 resolution that finally can be kept: I'm giving up FSN.

At least until April, when the Twins are scheduled to start. Then, I have a problem … like cream cheese wontons to the New Year's diet.


 

#2Gopher

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Getting more expensive all the time to watch games on cable.
 

WAGopher

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It’s been many, many years since I’ve wanted to read a Reusse article, or anything from the Strib. So I click on the link and discover the online paper is almost entirely behind a pay wall.

Just a mild irritation, but I wonder how that business model is working for them? Some papers offer 3 or 4 free articles a month, and sometimes I pay for more. But that’s not going to happen today.
 

Gophers09

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It’s been many, many years since I’ve wanted to read a Reusse article, or anything from the Strib. So I click on the link and discover the online paper is almost entirely behind a pay wall.

Just a mild irritation, but I wonder how that business model is working for them? Some papers offer 3 or 4 free articles a month, and sometimes I pay for more. But that’s not going to happen today.
Kind of ironic, given the content of the article’s rant 😂
 

WhoFellDownTheGopherHole?

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There are free streams out there for just about everything, but you have to keep up and put a little work in your search game.
 

Spaulding!No!

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Reusse got dumped from the radio show cuz his price tag was too high. And now...
 

short ornery norwegian

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I used to find a lot of "free" - i.e. illegal - streams on Reddit. then that thread went way.

according to a co-worker, there is a site called crackstreams that does something similar. haven't tried it so can't vouch for it.

this co-worker also has some kind of a deal going with a fire stick plan that allows him to get NBA league pass and stuff like that - or so he says.
 

paulser21

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Get a friend’s log in information for his tv provider, download an app, plug said password into your phone, enjoy games.
 

MplsGopher

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Get a friend’s log in information for his tv provider, download an app, plug said password into your phone, enjoy games.
This will work, for some more time going forward.

But as more and more of payTV transitions its customer base to streaming, you don't honestly think they don't know this is happening, who's using who's credentials, and won't put a stop to it?
 

MNBadgerGuy

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Get a friend’s log in information for his tv provider, download an app, plug said password into your phone, enjoy games.
I'm seeing more of this requiring you to be on your home Wifi network, at least with Xfinity, which if you're borrowing a buddy or family member's login you will not be on their home Wifi network.

I just started YoutubeTV and really like it, but not having FSN stinks for wolves/wild/etc.
 

Breakin' The Plane

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And also keep in mind it's illegal and exposes you to malware. But to each his own.
I don't know if it passed or if it was removed, but part of that bill resulted in the stimulus checks included legislation that made it a felony for someone to distribute a stream of copyrighted content. So that kind of stuff could get much harder to find.
 

IceBoxGopher

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Yeah it's certainly been a problem. I remember first signing up to YouTube TV, and it was great! I believe it started just over $40 and had FSN and BTN, meaning all of my sports options were covered. That's a good thing because they were really the only reasons I was keeping cable in the first place. I was happy to see a cheaper option come along.

Over the years since I signed up, YouTube TV started to increase its subscription cost and I wasn't really seeing a benefit. The only thing I watch on TV is sports, and as a film buff, award ceremonies.

Adding other channels featuring shows that aren't really for me or can be easily substituted wasn't really worth the price increase. If I want to watch something about cooking, for example, I can skip Food Network and find a ton of recipe and cooking channels for free on YouTube.

So finally when YouTube TV went above $60, I dropped it, because it was basically what I was paying before with cable. So I signed up for Hulu Live, which was still a bit cheaper, and included FSN and BTN. Then Hulu jacked up its price, and now both YouTube TV and Hulu Live have dropped FSN.

So now the two major options for streaming TV is the same cost as I was paying for cable with less options. I know there's options like Sling, but the offerings are limited.

Not really sure what the answer is. I think pressure will probably ramp up on Sinclair since regional sports networks carry the majority NBA, NHL, MLS, MLB and college games for so many teams. What comes after they likely get added back to streaming services, though, I'm not sure.

I mean for sports fans, what's the point of cutting cable if the streaming options are just as expensive? Maybe one solution, considering how streaming is becoming more popular, teams themselves will make season packages available to just watch instead of using a regional sports network route.
 

MplsGopher

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The answer is like this: are you willing to pay $40/mo for a standalone ESPN+ service that includes all of the current content that is packaged as ESPN, 2, U, News, SEC, ACC, etc. channels?

Mind you, you'll probably need to pay another $20-40/mo to then get access to an equivalent standalone service for all the FOX sports content.

The main adversarial forces in providing live TV are being bared:
- providers make more profit when they put more channels in their bundles and thus charge each subscriber more per month for the "additional benefit" they're receiving
vs.
- most people only care about live TV these days for sports ... or there are some people who are willing to pay a little for a live TV bundle that doesn't have any sports (because they don't watch sports)


You can already see each major content creation studio scramble to roll out their own standalone streaming service, so they have an avenue to go direct to subscribers, if/when the traditional live TV pathway starts to really crumble.


People have always bemoaned the inexorable slippery slope of the channel bundle, with prices creeping up ever higher for additional content they didn't care about.

But how much better is the alternative, where you're paying $10-15/mo for each of 10+ different standalone subscriptions just so you can get all the shows and/or sports you want??
 
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Livingat45north

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FSN has disappeared from YouTubeTV and Hulu, meaning cord-cutters of all ages are unable to watch their favorite teams. This columnist has had it..

The deal was, I'd been dumped from a daily radio show for the odd reason that the ratings reeked, which eventually cut into the family income and increased the volume of my monthly shout, "What in the name of Philo Farnsworth* is this?" when opening the cable bill.

That bill now was coming with the fancy-Dan name Xfinity, but I couldn't be fooled. I knew it was still the old sparring mate, Comcast, and finally and with great angst early in 2020, I became a streamer..

FSN has disappeared from YouTubeTV and, apparently, Hulu. And don't send me suggestions for switching to another streamer that will have a deal with Sinclair for the next 15 minutes and then have it blow up.

The heck with the Timberwolves. The heck with Gophers hockey (even if I'm a Bob Motzko fan and the Gophs are unbeaten). The heck with those seven, eight minutes I watch of several Wild games (even more minutes in the playoffs) every season.

I'm not going into various menus on these "too smart for their own good" TVs to change everything. I'm not going begging to the Woofs, Gophs and Wild. They have to come back to me.

Here's the 2021 resolution that finally can be kept: I'm giving up FSN.

At least until April, when the Twins are scheduled to start. Then, I have a problem … like cream cheese wontons to the New Year's diet.


So the Trib has a sportswriter that got fired from his backup job cause he had terrible ratings, has trouble paying his monthly bills, doesn't watch sports, and can't stick to a diet. Yep...
 

short ornery norwegian

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for a stand-alone service, it all depends on the price point.
I would probably pay $10-$15 a month for a stand-alone FSN service. that seems to be the price point for a lot of the 'single channel' services like Netflix.

FWIW, I have the Disney+ bundle - so I get Disney+, Hulu(basic version) and ESPN+ for about $13 a month. I watch a lot of boxing on ESPN+, I've watched a few movies on Hulu, and been watching 'The Mandalorian' and some other Star Wars stuff on Disney+, so I feel as if I'm getting good value for my money.
 

MplsGopher

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for a stand-alone service, it all depends on the price point.
I would probably pay $10-$15 a month for a stand-alone FSN service. that seems to be the price point for a lot of the 'single channel' services like Netflix.
Doing a live sports broadcast is a lot more complicated than serving on-demand content that has already been produced. The latter just takes a big computer and some good software.

To do live sports, think about all the things you need in your operation: you need a whole crew to run all the cameras and microphones, all that equipment, you need (possibly portable) satellite uplinks, you need a (possibly portable) production studio, you need on-air talent.

And you need to buy the rights to the games in the first place.

Maybe it would still come out to $10-15/mo, but it also depends on how many subscribers you're talking about. With traditional live TV, all the subscribers of the bundle effectively "subsidize" every channel, regardless if they watch it or not. That goes away when you only get the subscribers who actively want that content.


I'm just saying: ala carte is great as an ideology on paper. But I think what we're going to see is that a lot of us sports fans have had our channels subsidized by non-sports fans for a long time ....
 

MaroonShaft

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This will work, for some more time going forward.

But as more and more of payTV transitions its customer base to streaming, you don't honestly think they don't know this is happening, who's using who's credentials, and won't put a stop to it?
Been using your mom’s Netflix since 2008 so you tell me 🤣
 

Word

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Doing a live sports broadcast is a lot more complicated than serving on-demand content that has already been produced. The latter just takes a big computer and some good software.

To do live sports, think about all the things you need in your operation: you need a whole crew to run all the cameras and microphones, all that equipment, you need (possibly portable) satellite uplinks, you need a (possibly portable) production studio, you need on-air talent.

And you need to buy the rights to the games in the first place.

Maybe it would still come out to $10-15/mo, but it also depends on how many subscribers you're talking about. With traditional live TV, all the subscribers of the bundle effectively "subsidize" every channel, regardless if they watch it or not. That goes away when you only get the subscribers who actively want that content.


I'm just saying: ala carte is great as an ideology on paper. But I think what we're going to see is that a lot of us sports fans have had our channels subsidized by non-sports fans for a long time ....
The insane athlete salaries have been partially funded by those huge TV contracts. Maybe we will eventually see those salaries checked by the market saying they won't pay crazy fees to watch on TV (or in person).
 

short ornery norwegian

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as I was trying to say, the thing with a price point is that it has to be low enough that a high percentage of people are willing to sign up.

Sure, FSN could come out with a stand-alone streaming service, but if they are charging $30 or $40 a month for one channel, that is going to limit the number of people that sign up.

it's like the old ticket price argument for Gopher football.

is it better to sell 100 seats at $10 each, or 10 seats at $100 each? (yes, I know that comes to the same amount).

I would say more is better, especially for a TV product that is trying to sell advertising. Ad rates are dependent on the number of people who see the message. the more subscribers, the more eyes on the message, and the higher rate you can charge for ads.

most satellite and streaming services try to get customers signed up for a lower or introductory rate, get them hooked on the service, and then, they're more likely to stay with the service if the subscription rate gets increased at a future date.
 

GoGophersUMN

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With traditional live TV, all the subscribers of the bundle effectively "subsidize" every channel, regardless if they watch it or not. That goes away when you only get the subscribers who actively want that content.
That's the big issue. Here's an article with some good numbers:

Sports viewers are getting a really good deal from the current model because non-sports viewers pay the same for sports channels and help cover the high cost per sports viewer.
 
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