I'm pleased to be joined once again by Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group, for the 127th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for Mar. 30, 2012. First up this week we discuss Comcast's controversial assertion that streams from its Xfinity app running on Xbox won't count against subscribers' 250 gb/month data cap because they're running on Comcast's "private network" (note: Comcast has deleted "private network" references in its Xbox FAQ).
Colin argues strongly that this is an inappropriate policy in that it essentially creates a "fast lane" for Comcast's own traffic, while disadvantaging other video streams - basically the same concern raised by net neutrality advocates. Colin makes compelling points about the shared nature of broadband access and the longer-term implications of a "private network" model. For my part, I'm still curious the use case for the Xfinity Xbox app; unless it's used for TVs where a set-top box isn't present, it feels somewhat redundant to what's already available via Comcast's VOD.
Next we turn our attention to this week's mega-deal for the Dodgers. As I wrote yesterday, I think the deal will lead to even higher Regional Sports Network licensing fees, which in turn means even higher subsidies by non-sports fans to make the deal work. This is a problem throughout the pay-TV world, and the new Dodgers owners are betting non-fans will continue to pay ever-higher rates for sports they don't watch. Colin and I discuss the implications for over-the-top services and the pay-TV multichannel bundle.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 45 seconds)
This week's eye-popping $2.15 billion acquisition of the Dodgers officially makes Los Angeles ground zero for the most egregiously anti-consumer aspect of today's pay-TV multichannel bundle: the massive annual subsidization by non-sports fans of hyper-expensive sports programming.
This is a topic I have written about previously in "Not a Sports Fan? Then You're Getting Sacked For At Least $2 Billion Per Year" and "Why Albert Pujols is Over-the-Top's New Best Friend." A confluence of factors, some particular to L.A.'s sports market, is bringing this little-understood issue into the spotlight, in turn raising the question of whether non-sports fans will revolt, seeking out less expensive over-the-top alternatives.
Topics: Los Angeles Dodgers