This week‚Äôs FizzCast we griped about the ridiculousness of Time Warner Cable subscribers unable to watch SU-Akron game on television or the internet where its being broadcast on ESPN3.com.
Fans in Central New York or anywhere else across the country can‚Äôt watch – so your best bet seems to be the (gulp!) radio.
This whole deal has got to leave you scratching your head and asking, ‚ÄúWhy the f*ck can‚Äôt I watch this game in 2010. Doesn‚Äôt this technology exist yet?‚Äù
Of course it does, but not everyone thinks its worth enough for the game to get to you. Why? Because Time Warner and Disney are stuck in a battle – over a dime.
‚ÄúDisney is seeking a fee of about 10 cents a month per Web customer for ESPN3.com, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the talks haven‚Äôt concluded. Time Warner Cable is resisting the fee, both people said.
ESPN, the most-profitable unit of Burbank, California-based Disney, has honed a strategy of buying sports broadcast rights and charging cable systems industry-leading fees for games. An agreement with Time Warner Cable would add more than 9 million paying customers to the website.‚Äù
That means dollars and cents wise, ESPN would be picking up $900,000 a month just for charging you to have¬†access to ESPN3.com. The problem is does anyone even want to watch their programming?
‚ÄúESPN3.com is the first and only site to charge Web-service providers a subscriber-based access fee. The cable operator has previously said it doesn‚Äôt agree with ESPN3.com‚Äôs business model, which requires payment based on the total number of Internet subscribers. Although Time Warner Cable has said it acknowledges the site‚Äôs appeal, its Internet customers shouldn‚Äôt have to pay for programming they may never watch.‚Äù
ESPN is trying to do monetize their website like they‚Äôve done with their regular channels. Their primary channel adds about $4.00 per month to your cable bill, which you‚Äôre probably fine with. But are you willing to pay the additional fee for a channel that can only become less appetizing (in the eyes of SU fans) after it broadcasts Syracuse-Akron?
It‚Äôs easy in this case to point fingers at Time Warner as the villains here. But they‚Äôre actually looking out for your best interests by trying to tell ESPN/Disney to screw off for trying to charge for a crap channel on the internet.
This should be a call to all entrepreneurial SU students living in dorms. The university has a deal that allows all computers hooked up to its network to watch the game. Throw a banger, charge two bucks a head, buy some cases and you‚Äôre golden. Make sure to pay off your RA too because you really don‚Äôt need any Judicial Affairs nonsense in the first week.
So are you worth a dime to ESPN/Disney? We‚Äôll find out soon enough.
Posted: Mike Couzens