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View Full Version : Directv: What am I missing in this biz practice



Bball
01-19-2009, 12:11 AM
I hardly ever buy a PPV because I think 4.99 is too much all things considered (I think I've purchased 1 PPV in the past 12 months. I have Netflix. A Redbox is about 3mi from here.

But tonight I was about to purchase a PPV when I saw 5.99 was now the price.

IMHO the price should be going down, not up. Yeah, it's just a dollar more than I was already expecting to pay... but it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I paid 7.00 the other night to watch Gran Torino at the cinema.... 5.99 is over the top for a PPV.

I can't imagine how much business they could be doing at these prices considering the competition. Movies hit DVD before they hit PPV so they can't even claim you can see them there first. You can generally work your Netflix titles to have a new DVD title in your mailbox the same day it hits store shelves if your time your returns properly.

I have no idea what cable is charging for PPV these days and it might be the same ballpark but IMHO if these entities are serious about these services they need to rethink their pricing.

And while I'm complaining.... I was also going to add another premium service to my account (and probably drop HBO in the near future). Well, Directv wouldn't let me add a new premium to my current package because it's 'outdated'. It was worded in a way to make it sound like it wasn't technically possible and I'd have to update to a new package before it could be added. What BS. Of course it's possible.... The gist of it is, I have some grandfathered HD channels that I would LOSE if I upgraded my package and would have to pay more than I am currently paying to get a new pkg and then need to add these back (since they aren't included in any normal pkgs and are an add-on even if you pay the 10.00 HD access fee).

So, Directv didn't get 5.99 from me tonight nor did they get 11.00 for the new premium add on.... and they didn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling about their business practices either...

duke dynamite
01-19-2009, 01:50 AM
I've never had a problem with them...I feel for you. PPV is worthless and expensive, and I too have Netflix and frequent Redbox.

Every three months I call and ask for a Showtime 3 month trial. They give it to me with me telling them of intentions to purchase a premium package in the future, "I just want to see if it's worth it." Is what I tell them. I've had Showtime for free for the past 9 months. The downside to this is that Showtime is the only available package they can provide me for a free "trial".

Since Flight of the Conchords is back, I was thinking of actually purchasing it. But, their programming (Movies) I've noticed really stinks IMO. I'm thinking of just downloading the episodes every Sunday evening.

Other than that, try calling them back and telling them that, "The last person you spoke with told you it was possible to add on a package without upgrading your plan."

It works with us and getting XM at $9.99/mo every year, since it's actually $12.99/mo now.


FYI: We have 2 HD receivers, 1 SD receiver. 250+ channels, pay only $60 if that helps you.

Spicoli
01-19-2009, 10:18 AM
I hardly ever buy a PPV because I think 4.99 is too much all things considered (I think I've purchased 1 PPV in the past 12 months. I have Netflix. A Redbox is about 3mi from here.

But tonight I was about to purchase a PPV when I saw 5.99 was now the price.

IMHO the price should be going down, not up. Yeah, it's just a dollar more than I was already expecting to pay... but it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I paid 7.00 the other night to watch Gran Torino at the cinema.... 5.99 is over the top for a PPV.

I can't imagine how much business they could be doing at these prices considering the competition. Movies hit DVD before they hit PPV so they can't even claim you can see them there first. You can generally work your Netflix titles to have a new DVD title in your mailbox the same day it hits store shelves if your time your returns properly.

I have no idea what cable is charging for PPV these days and it might be the same ballpark but IMHO if these entities are serious about these services they need to rethink their pricing.

And while I'm complaining.... I was also going to add another premium service to my account (and probably drop HBO in the near future). Well, Directv wouldn't let me add a new premium to my current package because it's 'outdated'. It was worded in a way to make it sound like it wasn't technically possible and I'd have to update to a new package before it could be added. What BS. Of course it's possible.... The gist of it is, I have some grandfathered HD channels that I would LOSE if I upgraded my package and would have to pay more than I am currently paying to get a new pkg and then need to add these back (since they aren't included in any normal pkgs and are an add-on even if you pay the 10.00 HD access fee).

So, Directv didn't get 5.99 from me tonight nor did they get 11.00 for the new premium add on.... and they didn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling about their business practices either...


Gotta play CSR roullette. If you get to someone who knows what they are doing, you can keep your grandfathered package and add on a premium. I've done it a couple times. You just have to get to someone who knows what they are doing . . . you may have to ask the 1st CSR to escalate it to the next level. They are usually far more competent.

Unless they've changed things in the last year or so to where you have to upgrade? I hope that's not the case.

Also, I've never ordered PPV from them other than I think a UFC event.

travmil
01-19-2009, 10:44 AM
Comcast is still charging $4.99, but they do have a small amount of movies that are $6.99. The difference is that these more expensive few are independant films that are still showing in theatres. They also have another pricing tier that is $2.99 and these seem to be older movies.

Bball
01-19-2009, 12:57 PM
Methinks the convenience factor of PPV isn't going to be worth 5.99 to many people. Not only that but I doubt 4.99 did much to sell movies.

I wonder what they 'have' to charge to make the service profitable? Who is gouging who here? Do the studios gouge Directv first, and Directv then does what they have to, or pile on even more than they have to?

Somebody needs to rethink their business model. As I said, I'd think PPV rates need to be going down, not up. It may be they can sell 100 movies at 6.00 or 200 movies at 3.00... but I think the goal should be getting people to use the service at a reasonable profit.

I know I'd use it more at a more reasonable 2.99 rate. But no, I can't see spending 6 bucks when I can drive 5 mins and watch a new movie at the local cinema at 7.00.... let alone rent a DVD for a buck or so.

Bball
01-19-2009, 12:59 PM
I wonder if Directv is banking on a large portion of their customers being in rural areas where a trip to the cinema or the nearest Redbox is more of a hike? So they are looking to gouge those customers instead of trying to be competitive with these other services.

That only makes sense if they don't take Netflix seriously as a competitor.

heywoode
01-20-2009, 09:13 AM
Well, I think that bandwidth costs money, so they aren't too worried about how many people use the PPV feature. After all, they are in business to make money, not make cheap movies available to more people. My guess is they are fine with the number of people who choose PPV, and since that number is actually dropping, given the availability of Netflix, Redbox, downloading pirated movies for free, and actually going to the theater, the price had to go UP to justify offering the service at all. If more poeple used it, there would be higher costs to Directv to have hardware infrastructure in place to handle it, so why would they want to encourage that? Add in that they are at the mercy of the studios setting prices for making the movies available to PPV in the first place, and it is a very small part of their business plan.

Sorry to hear about the outdated package, and I feel your pain. I had to upgrade my package not long ago to add the sports pack, and I didn't really fight doing it. I got to actually save $2.00 a month because the channels I actually watch were in the lower tier package, so it didn't bother me too much.

Thanks Dukie, I will try that with Showtime. I usually call every few months and try to squeeze some free programming out of them. It is DEFINITELY roulette with the customer service reps. Some of them are incredibly inept. Others are fantastic and actually seem to ENJOY their job. Crazy, I know.

Bball
01-20-2009, 12:53 PM
Well, I think that bandwidth costs money, so they aren't too worried about how many people use the PPV feature. After all, they are in business to make money, not make cheap movies available to more people. My guess is they are fine with the number of people who choose PPV, and since that number is actually dropping, given the availability of Netflix, Redbox, downloading pirated movies for free, and actually going to the theater, the price had to go UP to justify offering the service at all. If more poeple used it, there would be higher costs to Directv to have hardware infrastructure in place to handle it, so why would they want to encourage that?

The bandwidth is already used though. It doesn't matter if 1 person is watching a PPV or a billion. The movie is already flowing thru the system to the bird. And they play on a schedule, not waiting for a 'buy' or a certain number of viewers before they start.

So there is no higher cost to Directv for people using the service. More people = more money for Directv. Not higher costs. We're not talking about "On Demand" here (plus the "On Demand" service uses the internet, not the satellites).

They could've cut back on the number of viewings and amount of shows playing at any one time if they were worried about bandwidth. Raising the already uncompetitive price even higher was the wrong tactic if they are needing more income to justify the service.




Add in that they are at the mercy of the studios setting prices for making the movies available to PPV in the first place, and it is a very small part of their business plan.



This is an area I wonder about. I have no idea what the studios charge. It seems odd to me that renting DVD's could be so much more cheaper than PPV. For one things, DVD's are a physical piece of media complete with packaging and needing to be handled on the business side of things by a human to various degrees. Whether it's to reload the Redbox or man the counter at the video store...etc. But PPV is none of that.

DVD's already have the scoop on being first to market ahead of PPV so there is no argument that PPV let's you see the film first. And even if there was, what about once the DVD was released, shouldn't the price go down?

If the studio is dictating the price in any way, I'd think Directv should be balking and using their power to renegotiate. Pricing PPV out of the market is a short-sighted mistake.

-Bball

Erik
01-20-2009, 01:13 PM
With Comcast you get alot of free PPV stuff movies, t.v. shows, documentaries, etc. that are pretty decent. So if I'm feeling lazy i don't mind paying a high price once in a while for a new release (about 1 per month). I watch alot of their free stuff so I think it all works out in the end. And I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like most PPV HD looks a little better than some of the stuff I've played on Blu-Ray.:whoknows:

duke dynamite
01-20-2009, 03:40 PM
With Comcast you get alot of free PPV stuff movies, t.v. shows, documentaries, etc. that are pretty decent. So if I'm feeling lazy i don't mind paying a high price once in a while for a new release (about 1 per month). I watch alot of their free stuff so I think it all works out in the end. And I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like most PPV HD looks a little better than some of the stuff I've played on Blu-Ray.:whoknows:
Hmmm..........

heywoode
01-20-2009, 04:22 PM
The PPV movie isn't piped to you until you purchase it, so the bandwidth on the satellite is not being used until you pay for it to come to your house.

Bball
01-20-2009, 07:33 PM
The PPV movie isn't piped to you until you purchase it, so the bandwidth on the satellite is not being used until you pay for it to come to your house.

Not sure what you're talking about here. The Directv PPV shows are broadcast at regular intervals on the schedule. They are flowing thru the birds and to everyone's home (with a dish). If you pay for it, the receiver opens it up so you can view it instead of a blank screen.

You seem to be talking about "On Demand" style PPV. Directv does have that but it's sent over the internet so it isn't a bandwidth factor for the satellites. The rest of the PPV is not piped directly to anyone, it's there for the viewing (if you pay the $$$ to open it up). The bandwidth is being used whether I (or anyone else) buys the movie or not.

Not only that, but if what you say was true, I could view a selected PPV any time I want. I have to select my PPV before it starts (or in the first few minutes) or I have to wait until the next showing.

It's no different than Showtime or HBO... They are active and using bandwidth all the time whether I subscribe or not. The only difference is, if I subscribe they open up 24/7 for me instead of just one day/showing only (like a PPV).

And lastly, Directv even goes ahead and sends some PPV's to your DVR where, if you pay, you can view them off the internal HD. Once viewed, it deletes itself. In that way you can watch something on your own schedule, but it didn't just pipe the show to me, it went to everyone with a DVR (new box).

Pig Nash
01-20-2009, 09:41 PM
U-verse's On Demand is generally 4 dollars for a 24 hour rental, some older movies are 2 dollars instead, some indie movies are 6 dollars.

Erik
01-21-2009, 06:22 AM
Hmmm..........One example I'll give is Pirates of the Carribean. We have it on Blu-Ray, and it looks good. My daughter was watching it on Starz one day (not PPV, but the same quality from the same box) and to me, it looked a little better. I'm not saying that's they way it is for all movies, some stuff I've watched on Blu-Ray looks unbeatable. I'll also mention that the cable version was full-screen as opposed to the letterboxed Blu-Ray version, maybe that helps with the whole "darkness" of that movie, I don't know.

Unclebuck
02-10-2009, 01:20 PM
Directv is doing rather well

http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/02/10/directv-has-best-subscriber-growth-in-three-years-adds-301000-subs-in-q4/12502