July 19th, 2015 at 9:01 PM ^

It may not be OTas this change in viewing habits has the potential to be a big game changer down the road for all of college football.  When Delaney brought Maryland and Rutgers into the B1G, people were already talking about how viewing would change....kind of makes you wonder if Delaney's decision was short sighted.


July 19th, 2015 at 9:08 PM ^

These responses remind me of when my 3 year old yells at my 2 year old for not following the rules he sets for building duplos.

EDIT: for clarity.


July 19th, 2015 at 9:09 PM ^

I'll go a step further. The Big Ten's media rights are up for sale in 2017, and that has a huge impact on both the conference at large and Michigan's budget. The finances of college athletics and specifically cord cutting are a recurring front page topic as well.

This seems as on topic as most other stories in July.


July 19th, 2015 at 11:42 PM ^

Absolutely.  There is nothing OT about this topic at all.  

This is how the B1G gets a big chunk of its money . . . based on a model of distribution (bundling things like the BTN and ESPN in a monthly bill that everyone has to pay even if they don't watch them) that is falling apart. 

When it falls apart, it will be a double whammy for most of us:

1) There will be less money for the conferences which pays for facilities, coaches, player "cost of attendance", etc.

2) Ala carte fees will be higher for people like me that will want to piece back together ESPN, BTN, ABC, etc. so that I can always see Michigan or games that affect Michigan.


July 19th, 2015 at 9:18 PM ^

In fact... I'm a bit concerned about the future B1G Media Agreement in light of this recent trend and appreciated the post.  

Black Socks

July 19th, 2015 at 9:20 PM ^

I will pay for ESPN. What I won't pay for is fake or made up news, which is spoon fed to the uninformed every day. It's like McDonalds for your brain.


July 19th, 2015 at 9:24 PM ^

This is a good opportunity for B1G.  I seriously do not understand why they are not offering a subscription & app to people.  I would buy a sub if I could get it on a Roku device.  

Cable's business model, like so many others (the post office, physical music CDs, etc) has become outmoded due to technology.  Right now they are banking on their ability be the internet bandwidth provider as a stop gap.  But in 5 years we're going to see a revolution in bandwidth just like we've seen in subscriptions.

Cell phones will be the next domino as with nationwide bandwidth becoming cheap and easily available phones will utilize wifi everywhere to make calls instead of proprietary bands owned by phone companies.

Can't wait these guys have been overcharging us for years!


July 19th, 2015 at 9:54 PM ^

Maybe.  But someone owns those cables, and while speeds will increase you are still going to be charged a decent rate to get on the network.  I mean, yeah the Postal system isn't the best, but that's as much a legislative hamstringing as anything else (the fact you can get a letter delivered across the country for $.42 isn't represenative of market rates).  I mean, DHL, FedEx, and UPS seem to be doing just fine in the parcel delivery business, and they charge an arm and a leg.

The delivery method may change, but the overall services (and the gatekeepers who control them) don't, at least not to a significant degree for the consumers.  Sure, maybe Best Buy stopped being your music source, but you're just paying Apple for it now.  The music industry itself is still making gobs of money and people are still paying lots of money for access.  Hell, I still pay $10/mo for Spotify, and they could absolutely jack the price up 50% and I'd still pay it.

No matter how much broadband gets installed in major cities, there will still be areas with limited or no coverage where you'll need to fall back on radio towers and/or satelites.  Phone companies, who often own the broadband cables as well, know this.  Going to WiFi might save them some money, but I'm not sure if consumers will see massive savings especially when you leave densely-populated areas.  And you'll absolutely want phone service when you are driving between Ann Arbor and Detroit and your car breaks down, which may have some decent-sized pockets of spotty WiFi coverage.  

Again, I agree with the general premise that more choices are coming and that people will be able to have more say in what they pay for and consume.  But they broke up Ma Bell and I'm still paying through the nose for phone service, and we have a multitude of computer providers and yet I still see people paying $1600+ for a MacBook.  Most people aren't going to want to spend hours setting up multiple services, slingboxing local sports from across the country, and everything else that seems to be the wave of the future.  I expect cable to become more fractured, but I also don't think Google or whomever is going to kick Comcast, Time Warner, and everyone else out of the way easily, or that we'll see any tangible cost benefit if they do.


July 19th, 2015 at 10:33 PM ^

I pay Spotify as well.  But then you are just renting those files, so you are kind of at the whim of Spotify's pricing (and them staying open).  My point is that if you are buying music, you just pay someone else (Apple, Amazon, etc.) for that right.  


July 19th, 2015 at 10:46 PM ^

Fine, I was off by a bit.  I don't mail much, and I just have books of "Forever" stamps that I absolutely bought at $.42/$.43 a stamp.  

I know that the USPS's operates with a profit, but by official bookkeeping they are running a loss because they have to pay for future retiree health benefits, which is congressionally mandated and is dumb.  But still, it isn't like they are making mountains of profit, and they've had to cut services that other carriers have not.

There is absolutely competition for that service, it is just in a different form.  If I want to send a document from NYC to LA, I can use a FedEx Envelope and get it there by Thursday for a little under $10.  Corporate rates and all might make it cheaper if I did so in bulk, but there is no way I could get a letter across the country for $.49 without the USPS.  We don't view FedEx and UPS as options because they are so grossly different than those offered by USPS, but without the postal service I'm guessing that the other carriers would provide a similar service for mail, but at a much higher cost.  And the USPS is in competition with the other carriers for packages; witness all of the marketting to that effect when you move.  That's what I mean by "market rate"; there is an artificially-low rate being charges by USPS to get your mail across the country or even bulk mailings locally, and that is a societal good attached to that.  But if you actually charged what it cost to get said mail out, it would be more than the rates people pay and what the USPS can charge.


July 20th, 2015 at 7:34 AM ^

Same can be said for no competition for Cable or satellite. They claim competition because you can get either or, but it isn't really. The reality is companies over charge and will until consumers fight back by not buying the product. Really Michigan sports is the only reason I have anything, and I have DISH because it is the cheapest option.


July 19th, 2015 at 9:26 PM ^

Did this in the spring. Replaced my comcast boxes with Rokus and I'm MUCH happier. More content and better overall viewing experience. Unfortunately the sports options are still somewhat limited. I was able to get through march madness ok but for football season I plan to reactivate my comcast service for a few months.


July 19th, 2015 at 9:28 PM ^

Is calling a few people for anecdotal information really research? How about implications for programming that doesn't draw viewers? Not addressed...


July 19th, 2015 at 9:38 PM ^

For the record, I don't honestly care if this is marked OT or not.  The fact that about half the responses here are about this utterly meaningless distinction shows how played out this cord-cutting topic is.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - you can cut down on cable offerings but Time Warner, Comcast, etc. are still going to extract their money from you somehow.  Net Neutrality isn't going away as a battleground, and at some point you have to figure there will be more pronounced tiers for data usage.  I mean, cell phones used to have unlimited data plans and now most people are paying the same price for 2-4GB plans, with pretty signifcant overrun costs.  Cable companies now subsidize a decent amount of the actual data transfer bills via bundles and the like, but if they find that people are backing out of the cable plans they'll just raise the price of high-speed data to offset.  And the rights holders for the content, whether it be HBO, ESPN, CBS, etc., will raise the costs your Sling TVs, you Hulus, your Netflixes pay for access to that content.  Now, maybe some won't pass all those costs along to the consumer (I get a sense that Amazon is fine running deficits on streaming content because they make up for it elsewhere), but I doubt that Netflix will stay at $8.99 a month forever.  And then you wind up paying $25/mo for the 20-ish channels offered by Sling, then $15/month for HBO Now, then $10/mo for Netflix/Hulu Plus/Amazon etc.,  throw in BTN during football and basketball seasons, and all of a sudden you are maybe saving $5-$10 a month while jumping through multiple hoops.  

And for some people, I think that's fine.  If you don't care about sports and don't really care about your premium cable channels, then you can probably get a decent deal on internet-only (Optimum in NYC has a 50M plan for $45/mo for the first year) and you can keep your viewing bill under $75-80/mo.  Or you can signup and drop services as necessary, paying for ESPN during football season and dropping it over the summer.  But for me, I love stumbling over new movies or some random channel with a show I haven't seen before, or an older movie that I'd love to sit through and isn't available on Netflix or Amazon.  But that's me, and I don't begrudge others.  But I've been hearing about all this cord cutting for years, and outside of people who probably never really needed cable to begin with or those who love to save money almost as a point of pride, I haven't seen the mass exodus of users outside of your coastal cities where everyone just steals their parents Netflix and HBO passwords.