Pay TV - A Rant!!

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Pay TV - A Rant!!
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Jim Hillier
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April 18, 2011 - 5:46 pm
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Here in Oz there are just two Pay TV providers; Foxtel services the larger, more densely populated areas via a mix of cable and satellite, Austar services the smaller, rural areas via satellite only.....and never the twain shall meet. Both services offer pretty much identical channels, terms and conditions.

This means that no matter where you live, you have no choice of providers, there is no competition. Where I am, in rural Queensland, I can have either Austar or Austar.

I've had the Austar service for may years now, almost from when it first began operations. In those days it was pretty reasonably priced and the number of ads was absolutely minimal. Today, that price has almost trebled and the number of ads is bordering on free-to-air TV proportions.

Subscriber numbers have increased substantially since those early days, the number of ads has increased astronomically, which all exponentially increases the provider's income YET the cost to the consumer has risen by 300%....it does not compute!!

We are also stuck with 'packages'; similar channels are grouped together and sold to consumers as a package deal. Packages usually consist of 5 to 7 channels and generally cost between $13 and $16 each. A lot of the packages will contain just one desired channel and the remainder are all rubbish, yet to get that one channel you have to pay for all the unwanted channels as well.....what a rip off!!!

I do not see why they cannot provide a channel by channel service where the consumer would pay, say $2 or $3, per individual channel. That way we would get just the channels we wanted and also save a bundle of money.

The last straw: Austar has always been terrific for its customer service, I don't know who trained their staff but whoever it was deserves a medal. They were always prompt, polite and efficient. NOW we have to endure the dreaded recorded voice and automated menu system, and it's a bl**dy nightmare...........so much for "service"!!!

So, why don't I just cancel the whole thing? Well, because I love my sport. Sport on free-to-air is practically non-existent here now, it has got to the stage where if you haven't got Pay TV you haven't got sport; and that's the only reason I keep the service going. I have cut it back to the quick; no more movies, no more extraneous packages [excepting Sport of course].

I saved roughly $40 per month by doing that and have no regrets, if not for the sports channels I would cancel the whole shebang right now!!!!!

I've addressed all these issues with Austar, they remain stoically indifferent. And with very good reason; a monopoly suffers zero competition, there is nowhere else to go so they can do pretty much whatever they like. I am a mere drop in the ocean in their eyes and of no significance to them whatsoever.

Extremely disgruntled Pay TV customer......Jim

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David Hartsock
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April 19, 2011 - 6:46 am
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Same situation here! Cable/Satellite promised more programs with less commercials. I actually blame a lot of this on the channel providers. You would be amazed at some amounts the service providers have to pay to the channel providers - even if you, the viewer, never watch that channel! A case in point would be ESPN here in the States. They charge a service provider around $10 per subscriber even if the subscriber NEVER watches. The disparity between channels is pretty screwed up also. A local network affiliate might only get $0.01 per subscriber. I won't even tell you what my cable/internet bill is a month, but it burns me to pay it each and every time!

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Chad Johnson
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April 19, 2011 - 7:54 am
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I cut the cable nearly two years ago now. I've gone solely OTA. I realize this doesn't work for a lot of people so I'm not preaching it as THE answer, but between Netflix, Hulu, and um...other sources....I can catch pretty much whatever I need to that my DVR misses from the Antenna.

I just couldn't pay anymore to be advertised to. It galled me to pay hundreds of dollars a year and still be watching the same crap commercials that I was watching on my free OTA channels (the local affiliates).

I've used Dish Network, I've used Comcast, I've used Verizon - it's all pretty much the same rubbish for the same high price. Dish Network's new thing is to guarantee pricing for a year, then hand you a 2 year contract and hope you don't notice. I just got tired of the whole scene.

I do miss out on some football (American style) and the occasional baseball game I might watch. For me, it wasn't worth the premium.

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Jim Hillier
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April 19, 2011 - 8:30 am
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[quote:1w0pa9sg]I actually blame a lot of this on the channel providers. You would be amazed at some amounts the service providers have to pay to the channel providers[/quote:1w0pa9sg]
Agree Dave. It might be a bit different in your country where there are maybe [say] 3 or 4 Pay TV providers; if one of them supplies a certain channel then they will all have to, in order to remain competitive. But here, there is just one Pay TV provider so they [i:1w0pa9sg]must [/i:1w0pa9sg]have the upper hand. It's not as though the channel providers can peddle their wares around and settle for the highest bid. There is only one outlet, so if that lone Pay TV provider refuses to purchase a channel at the asking price, the channel provider has nowhere else to go. Under those circumstances one would think the Pay TV people should be able to pretty much dictate terms.

[quote:1w0pa9sg]and um...other sources[/quote:1w0pa9sg]
Yes Zig, it's those "other sources" I am utilising more and more. Zero cost and zero ads!!

As I said, if it wasn't for the sport content, Pay TV would be gone completely from the Hillier household.

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Chad Johnson
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April 19, 2011 - 11:47 am
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I'm not opposed to ads - which is why I use Google and why I use Hulu and watch over the air television.

I am opposed to having them forced on me after I paid for a product (DVDs anyone?)

And the local bar / pub always has games on TV.

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FLBoy
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August 31, 2011 - 7:03 am
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If you can afford a DVR,you don't have to watch commercials. I record all my sports programs and when i watch them, i just fast forward through all the commercials. Problem solved.

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Jim Hillier
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August 31, 2011 - 3:00 pm
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Hey FLBoy - Yep, that's one way around the annoying ads. Doesn't help though if you want to view sporting events 'live'.

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