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Thread: Sale of Android boxes To Obtain "Free TV" Is Now Illegal In Canada. Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2019-05-15 03:23 PM
Inglewood Sports leagues (especially in the UK) are driving up costs spectacularly. I for one have stopped following different sports because the cost is out of control - not just for TV, but for tickets and other merchandise.

When I was younger, almost all Blue Jays games were free on Baton/CTV with the odd game on CBC or TSN (which was something like $7 extra for all the cable channels at the time). Now you can't even watch baseball (except for the odd game on FOX) without Sportsnet. I barely watch MLB anymore.

I barely watched the NFL as a kid - however, I can watch games on OTA for free now. I watch it all the time.

There are a lot of articles about the demise of boxing with the costs associated to watch it. I assume other sports will follow.

Once a sport gets to expensive, or convoluted (you have to subscribe to multiple pay channels to watch it) I give up on it. Indycar is a good example - use to watch every race. Try and find them this year without paying a fortune.

WWE (if you want to consider it a sport - I do since like gymnastics, it takes skill to put together a routine) has had ratings cut in half the last few years, but they are moving to FOX in the U.S. for a weekly show. It will be interesting if they bounce back. I for one may watch again.

Everything is changing at the moment anyways - DAZN will have more sports competitors, leagues are setting up there own OTT services, and even Facebook/Twitter has live games. OTT services like Netflix that are bleeding entertainment content may need to get sports rights to keep subscribers, and there will always be illegal ways to stream any of these services.

I hope we don't end up like the UK for sports - eventually, it will kill traditionally popular sports in Canada and new ones will emerge - but eventually go through the same cycle. In the UK, studies for various sports show that every year that passes, the average age goes up a year of the fans of those sports - that is not sustainable. The CFL has that problem in Canada - a league that is completely on paid subscription TV.

I know a lot of people enjoy sports, including myself - however, at one point you need to realize they are a business, and if you aren't getting value for what they are providing, you have to move on. Instead of "stealing" the games, sometimes you have to move onto a sport that treats fans better (for now...)
2019-05-15 02:31 PM
ExDilbert As I mentioned before, the problem is that the same small group of corporations have interests in the entire group of companies involved in sports. They own teams that benefit from increased rights fees, paid by broadcasters that benefit from increased prices passed on to BDUs that benefit from price increase passed on to consumers who must often pay for sports channels they don't want and don't watch. It's called vertical integration. When the number of vertically integrated businesses in a particular sector is sufficiently small, it can result in a de facto cartel. That can result in inflated prices and artificially high costs to consumers.

Due to high costs, live sports events are one of the most bootlegged types of programs. It's so bad that the UK has passed oppressive laws that allow broadcasters to monitor and block the IP addresses of bootlegged programs in real time. So far, the Canadian government has refused to allow such actions but it could happen if bootleg servers and illegal consumer boxes cannot be eliminated by other means.
2019-05-14 06:20 PM
TorontoColin
Quote:
Originally Posted by 57 View Post
I disagree. The end customer is the one who decides what price they are willing to pay. They are the ones who are paying huge prices for game tickets, for Centre Ice, DAZN, or all the other stuff that they want.

It is a corporation's duty to maximize profits. That is in their charter. The end customer (and sometimes the government) is ultimately the one that decides the price they are willing to pay.
End users have paid more and more for those premium cable channels, which has resulted in more money for rights fees for Bell and Rogers. But if they could pay less for rights, they absolutely would do so and still charge the most they could for their premium cable channels. Just as the teams would pay players less if they could, and still charge as much as they could for rights fees.
2019-05-14 04:08 PM
Inglewood @ExDilbert - I agree...when I was growing up we thought it was crazy to go from antenna (we got 2 channels reliably - Global and CHCH, and on most nights CTV and CBC) to cable with 12 channels - 1 was SRC in French, one was just text on the screen. All we got was 2 CBCs, 2 CTVs, CHCH, Global, PBS, ABC, NBC, and CBS. I can remember when we got a convertor and could get another set of American networks, CITY, TVO, and CFMT.

No VCR, no way to watch the show if you missed it, and my whole family had one 22" TV until we got a 14" Black and White as a second TV.

I work with a guy who grew up in Edmonton and claimed they had American networks, but they were delayed a whole day - so you would get Friday's programming from ABC/NBC/CBS on a Saturday. I believe they flew in tapes to replay...

I remember to that if you stole cable, they would have your name in the local paper and you would go to court...families who did steal would open up the boxes, connect the wire to their house, and hope not to get caught...
2019-05-14 03:59 PM
Inglewood At my work they supply coffee for free but coffee drinkers come in the morning with Starbucks/Tims/McDs, go out at lunch to the same places for another coffee, and get one in the evening. They complain about the cost of gas going up a cent, and the cost of cable, but don't seem to mind paying 12% interest on the financing for their Mercedes or brag about the crappy interest rate they got on a HELOC or 4th mortgage. They will easily spend $100's on gambling and meals at a casino, but can't bear to spend $100 on cable/satellite service.

They will spend $40 per person + snacks to see the latest Marvel movie at the theatre, and pay the same for their whole family, but when another movie comes out, they have to steal it illegally because paying $7 to stream it is too expensive.

People have weird priorities - I personally don't get it...stealing TV signals just seems to be one thing that is accepted by them, even though they are overpaying for other things willingly.
2019-05-14 01:41 PM
ExDilbert
Quote:
Here's a short clip of the good ole days of free hockey on TV for nostalgia.
Call that nostalgia? I was expecting a clip from the 1960s which was so blurry that the puck couldn't be seen most of the time. Go Bobby Hull!

Quote:
My point is, which seems to have been missed is that personal incomes have not kept up with the rising costs of living.
... or peoples' expectations. How many people would would go back to a black and white TV with just one or two channels? How many people would go back to rotary phones tied to the wall with a 6 foot cord and $3 per minute long distance (with inflation that would be $30/min today.) No smartphones, no PCs, no cable, one TV channel, one car per family and walking, riding a bicycle or taking the bus everywhere was how I grew up. There are many more many things that are expected or considered a right today that did not exist or were unattainable luxuries 50 or 100 years ago. A 6 transistor AM radio, Seabreeze record player with 7" singles and the family huddled around a 20" black and white TV that could only receive the CBC was entertainment when I was a youth. It was much more difficult to steal TV (unless it was stealing cable with its 12 channel lineup) or music (suitable tape recorders were very expensive.) Cheap technology has changed all that.
2019-05-14 01:30 PM
57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoColin View Post
...Here in Canada, the rise of rights fees can be directly correlated to competition between Bell and Rogers to fuel their premium cable channels, and the leagues and teams are only too happy to play along, because why wouldn't they?
I disagree. The end customer is the one who decides what price they are willing to pay. They are the ones who are paying huge prices for game tickets, for Centre Ice, DAZN, or all the other stuff that they want.

It is a corporation's duty to maximize profits. That is in their charter. The end customer (and sometimes the government) is ultimately the one that decides the price they are willing to pay.
2019-05-14 01:15 PM
Gentleman Here's a short clip of the good ole days of free hockey on TV for nostalgia.

Molson Leaf Hockey on Global Wednesday February 26, 1997 with Mike Murphy interviewing Cliff Fletcher on the sad day Doug Gilmore was traded to the New Jersey Devils.

https://youtu.be/7e0-M6vPZcs?t=143

Cheers,
2019-05-14 12:49 PM
andrew.r By far the highest monthly bill I have is with Bell and no it is not Hydro.

They are now not willing to provide any incentives/loyalty programs and the "Loyalty Department" no longer exists where you could reach out and talk about possible discounts. Now it has been extended to each employee who answers your phone call who is now "loyalty program trained" and they simply state we have nothing available at the moment ... for you. Or tell you to go to My Bell to see if there is any offer available and there never is for existing customers. Great training!!

The logical cut for me would be TV since it would provide a significant saving and I watch very little TV and could not care for the majority of the specialty channels even if they were offered for free. Then there is the home phone which is convenient except it calls back often when you hang up and this is almost making me cancel and go to cell phone.

Then we haven Internet which can be had from many ISPs at reasonable price. Bell offers an insignificant discount for downgrade to a significantly reduced speed.

Internet provides endless content and viewing whether it be YouTube or whatever else you find or choose. So as they lose customers who downgrade or cancel it does not work out well for those who pay and pay we do.
2019-05-14 12:28 PM
TorontoColin The leagues/teams charge what the broadcasters are willing to pay. The players (who are the product) should be getting their fair share of that. Don't think for a second that if every player on (for example) the Montreal Canadiens took a 50% pay cut that ticket prices or rights fees would decline by a single penny. Here in Canada, the rise of rights fees can be directly correlated to competition between Bell and Rogers to fuel their premium cable channels, and the leagues and teams are only too happy to play along, because why wouldn't they?
2019-05-14 12:01 PM
Gentleman
Quote:
Originally Posted by 57 View Post
...back in the day there was one hockey game per week on Saturday night.
Correct if you go back to the "Original six". However with league expansion, Global carried every weeknight leafs game. I was overjoyed when the Global Paris transmitter was put into service.

My point is, which seems to have been missed is that personal incomes have not kept up with the rising costs of living. At some point, people look for less costly options and unfortunately, piracy is one of them.
2019-05-14 11:58 AM
57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDilbert View Post
Sports celebrities that hold out for 7 figure contracts don't help the pricing issue. The money has to be raised somehow and that's by charging high prices for game tickets and TV programming.
There's the real issue for sports. Some contracts are now 8 and 9 figures, which is ridiculous. Unfortunately, there are enough people willing to pay exorbitant prices for game tickets, even paying scalpers more (or high-end TV options), which ruins it for others. When something gets to the price point which is higher than I wish to pay, I don't watch, but I don't steal either.
2019-05-14 11:42 AM
ExDilbert
Quote:
Then along came, I'll call him, Mr. Greed. ...
It's the sports leagues and franchises that put the greed name into pro sports. They charge huge fees to broadcasters and BDUs who must turn around and try to pay for those rights. They cannot do it with OTA stations and networks alone due to falling advertising revenue. A lot of the current day sports programming options were not available "back in the day." Things like season passes were not available and there were not enough channels to carry the dozens of sports channels that are currently available.

What irks me the most is that BDUs put dozens of sports channels into their standard packages. Some of them are the most expensive in terms of wholesale prices and they inflate the cost of BDU services dramatically. Since BDUs often also own sports teams and clearly stand to profit from forcing all subscribers to take sports channels, whether they want them or not, is clearly a conflict of interest that harms consumers. Even so, the CRTC and other regulators fail to address the issue directly. It's little wonder that consumers are looking for an alternative.

Sports celebrities that hold out for 7 figure contracts don't help the pricing issue. The money has to be raised somehow and that's by charging high prices for game tickets and TV programming.
2019-05-14 11:19 AM
57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentleman View Post
57
While I agree with your comments in general and I don't condone piracy, I think a little history might be worthwhile to show why piracy exists.

Back in the day...
...back in the day there was one hockey game per week on Saturday night. If, however, you wish to watch many more games per week, or have your choice of games, you'll need to pay for that privilege. Things change and that change is no excuse to steal TV.
2019-05-14 11:11 AM
Gentleman 57

While I agree with your comments in general and I don't condone piracy, I think a little history might be worthwhile to show why piracy exists.

Back in the day, I was able to watch every Toronto Maple Leafs game without "additional" costs. The CBC carried HNIC and when Global TV was born, Global carried all the weeknight Leafs games. Same for MLB and NFL. You could catch almost any MLB or NFL game on network television. Low and behold those leagues were profitable back then without the twinkle of TSN in Ted Roger's eye.

Then along came, I'll call him, Mr. Greed. The BDUs figured out how to make an amazing return on investment by taking pro sports out of the public domain and into the hands of private corporations. Today my sports viewing consists of HNIC (streamed on CBC's flimsy platform), the rare televised NFL game on U.S. networks, or my subscription to MLB.TV. Honestly, I cannot afford any other sports subscriptions as I'm now retired but unfortunately, have the time now to follow sports more closely.

The way I see this is eventually the cost for these services will be out of reach to most Canadians. A recent report from Stats Can showed that almost half of Canadians are only $200 a month shy of insolvency doesn't bode well either.

The demand is there for these services. They just need to be priced competitively so most Canadians can afford them. Otherwise piracy will never cease.

Cheers,
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