The HD Ultimate issue...

M

M Sparks

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Sep 15, 2005
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To HD Ultimate subscribers...

How do you feel about the HD Ultimate pricing stucture now? It has gone from $10 for 19 channels to $10 for 7 channels.

Regardless of how much you valued or didn't value Voom, what's your reaction to this?

As a reasonable, logical person, I understand how dropping Voom to make room for more "popular" channels makes perfect business sense. Yes, I know they didn't REALLY need to make room, but they need to make room for MORE "in the coming weeks" (AKA Soon :rolleyes:) And realistically, I'll probably be happier, once some of these channels start getting more HD on the air. I just hadn't been watching much Voom lately. In the long run, it'll be a good thing.

But as an HD Ultimate subscriber, I'm pretty ticked. That particular $10 block of my bill now buys very little.

What could they do to fix this? There just aren't very many standalone channels they can put in there to fill the gap. Mojo? What's left?

I really think they need to knock off a couple bucks, even if just as a gesture. $5 would be nice, since that what I USED to pay for Voom. But they have added NHL, Smithsonian, & MGM...I guess even $2 off would help "heal".

The Dish Essentials people got more for their money, and the people with HD Only package really got a good deal. I mean , if I wasn't getting Cartoon Network at all, I'd be happy to trade Animania for Cartoon Network, even if it's not really HD.

But the HD Ultimate subscribers...the ones spending the most money...get hosed.

Constructive opinions? Do you care?
 
Jolard

Jolard

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Feb 9, 2004
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I care

:)

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am thinking of dropping the Ultimate and just adding a premium movie package. It is about the same price (just a few bucks more) and now definitely seems like more of a value. I just don't see the value in the ultimate package any more.

If it is any consolation, I would bet any new HD is added to that tier. They have a real problem right now, and adding it to the lower tier would be hard to continue expecting $10 extra for the Ultimate subscribers.
 
J

jpconway451

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Feb 23, 2007
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I wish they hadn't lied, but their customer service people sometimes treat you like an idiot when you ask questions. I only watched Monsters, Equator, & Film Fest. But I will miss them until I get used to the new HD fare. If it is really HD content.
 
M

M Sparks

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 15, 2005
1,946
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I care

:)

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am thinking of dropping the Ultimate and just adding a premium movie package. It is about the same price (just a few bucks more) and now definitely seems like more of a value. I just don't see the value in the ultimate package any more.

If it is any consolation, I would bet any new HD is added to that tier. They have a real problem right now, and adding it to the lower tier would be hard to continue expecting $10 extra for the Ultimate subscribers.

The problem is, there's just nothing else to add at that level! Mojo and...what? I've been asking this all over, and no one seems to have an answer. The only thing I can think of is that they could add channels that AREN'T already avalable in SD. But there aren't many of those either. They could have waited until Chiller HD came out and made that an HD exclusive. Maybe Fuel, but that's a Fox channel.

The "lower tier" is really just the HD enabling fee + a couple older HD-Only channels. Adding HD to this package costs them nothing but the uplink. If you're paying for the SD version in the AT package, you're already paying for the programming. There may be a few cases where the HD feed costs a bit more, but it's a tiny amount. For example...(and these are totally hypothetical.)

ESPN SD only- $2.00
ESPN HD Only- $2.10
ESPN SD AND HD- $2.20

The HD Only tier is the one that will eventually have to go up in price. Everytime you add a channel, you increase the cost to DISH. I suspect they overpriced from the start so they could grow into it.

As far as I'm concerned, these are their options...

1)Lower the price of HD Ultimate. Turn a negative into a positive.

2)Move HD Theater, HD Net, and MHD into the HD Ultimate package. This will irritate some people, but it's more of an enticement to move up. It still doesn't solve the issue of us getting less than we were before, but it would justify the price a bit more. It would also make the packages clearer...HD Essentials simply turns on the HD versions of channels you already get...nothing more. Contracts may prevent this from working.

3)This one would make me happiest. Make HD Ultimate TRULY HD Ultimate. You should get EVERY HD channel no matter what AT package you have.

For example, let's say you subscribe to AT100, but you also subscribe to HD Ultimate. Right now, you STILL don't get NFL HD, Bravo HD, Science Channel HD, ect.

I wouldn't even mind if they did a price differential. Make HD Ultimate $25 with AT100, $20 with AT 200, and $15 with AT250. Just make it actually "ultimate"!
 
Jolard

Jolard

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Feb 9, 2004
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I like your HD Ultimate idea, make it truly ultimate. That would definitely make it worth the money. Right now it just isn't worth it.

I like HDNET Movies, that is about the only thing I will miss. But it isn't worth $120 a year.
 
dangue

dangue

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M Sparks,

Your option two is not an option. It doesn't result in Ultimate subs getting more channels. It just takes three channels away from Essential subs. That would be a bonehead move sure to just piss people off. I know it wouldn't make me feel any better if they told me "hey, we took away 15 channels from you; but don't sweat it, we took away three from the essentials sub."

IMO, they either need to add more channels, reduce the package price (perhaps even altogether) or truly make it ultimate as you mentioned. That is in fact what I suggested in my email to CEO last night.
 
jacobm69

jacobm69

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 3, 2006
258
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Kent County, Delaware
I called today to drop from the Ultimate down to the Essentials package. I just couldn't justify the extra 10 bucks for the programming in that tier. The customer service rep said they have been getting calls all day with people upset about the loss of the voom channels. The $5 programming fee charge was waived as well.
 
M

M Sparks

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Sep 15, 2005
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M Sparks,

Your option two is not an option.

It's not an option anyone would actually want, but I wouldn't put it past them to try it :)

After all...from their viewpoint, the problem is not irritating people. The problem is people dropping to a lower package...or leaving alltogether.

There just won't be that many people to leave alltogether, so they don't care. But let's say a lot of people cut their bill $10 a month. They might not be so quick to cut it if they were going to lose HDNet and HD Theatre. And it may lure new customers to the higher package.

It's an awful option, but it's probably the one that looks most attractive to the suits. That said, I don't really think it would ever happen, and I doubt contracts would allow it. But I bet someone's prepared a PowerPoint presentation on the pros and cons. :D
 
M

M Sparks

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 15, 2005
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BTW...if they hadn't changed their package prices, this wouldn't even be an issue. If everyone was still paying $20, then no one would really have a leg to stand on.
 
jdr01930

jdr01930

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I called today to drop from the Ultimate down to the Essentials package. I just couldn't justify the extra 10 bucks for the programming in that tier...

ditto - I just did the same thing for the same reason.
Also dumped DHPP too while I was at it so my bill just went from $82.94 to $66.95 per month! All in all, I'm happy.

While I liked Rave, Rush, and Monsters, in reality I rarely watched them. Can't justify $10 for Uni. Just checked out MGM and Smithsonian - not much I'll watch there either.

In effect, Dish saved $$ by canning Voom, and has inadvertanly passed the savings on to me.
 
M

M Sparks

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Sep 15, 2005
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In effect, Dish saved $$ by canning Voom, and has inadvertanly passed the savings on to me.

:) Me too, though probably not in the same way. I've been thinking about dumping the AT250 channels for a while to save $10. (I'm on DVR Advantage). Realistically, I'm holding onto it for a couple channels I watch and a couple channels my wife watches. I do like Encore, but 95% of the time, I'm just watching the main channel which I get with Starz anyway.

Now I'm faced with paying $20 for 4 SD channels and 4 HD channels I like. It's likely the SD will go first. We'll see if DISH manages to pump up the HD package at all.

BTW...I foolishly added Cinemax back, thinking I couldn't pass on a package that had THREE HD Movie channels up. I guess I thought they were adding MoreMax, since that was on a list last month. But instead I got two feeds of the same thing and an upconvert. So if they don't get that straightened out by next month, I'll drop that too. Scott said more HBOs might be coming in HD anyway.

At this point, HD movie channels are of the greatest value to me. They keep me away from PPV, Netflix, and the video store. I still go to theatres often, but if I miss something, I just wait until it comes on a premium channel.
 
AriesGodofWar

AriesGodofWar

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Dec 22, 2007
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Fenton, Mo
I like your HD Ultimate idea, make it truly ultimate. That would definitely make it worth the money. Right now it just isn't worth it.


+1:up Maybe Scott should mention that at Team Summit. Somebody had better ask the hard questions. I am still trying to figure out what to do. Might drop to essentials and upgrade to AT250 so I can get National Geo. but still debating. If they made HD Ultimate really Ultimate, that would make my decision real easy. Would just keep AT200 and lick my wounds from losing MonstersHD.
 
dangue

dangue

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It's not an option anyone would actually want, but I wouldn't put it past them to try it :)

TOUCHE.

BTW...I foolishly added Cinemax back, thinking I couldn't pass on a package that had THREE HD Movie channels up. I guess I thought they were adding MoreMax, since that was on a list last month. But instead I got two feeds of the same thing and an upconvert. So if they don't get that straightened out by next month, I'll drop that too.

At a penny a year I say keep it and give them the year to add the rest of the HD feeds. Even a penny for a single HD channel is a steal. Way less than what you're paying for anything else anyway... :rolleyes:
 
M

M Sparks

Thread Starter
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Sep 15, 2005
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At a penny a year I say keep it and give them the year to add the rest of the HD feeds. Even a penny for a single HD channel is a steal. Way less than what you're paying for anything else anyway... :rolleyes:

I've seen reference to this penny deal, but never an good explanation. Plus, I thought it had expired.

As far as I know, I'm paying $10. :(
 
dangue

dangue

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I've seen reference to this penny deal, but never an good explanation. Plus, I thought it had expired.

As far as I know, I'm paying $10. :(

Damn. I think one of the requirements is that you have not had Cinemax for the past 6 months. But it might be worth trying to get it anyway. CSR roullette might pay off.

Basically, you need to sign up for autopay and paperless billing and then request the 1 penny cinemax deal. You get cinemax for a penny for a year so long as you keep autopay and paperless billing. Good through Feb next year, renewable through Feb 2010.
 
D

DishSubLA

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Apr 9, 2006
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While I did watch a fair number of the Voom channels and have come to love a few of them, what really bothers me is that as an HD ultimate subscriber I have so few channels to show for it. Dish had better add some channels exclusive to HD Ultimate REALLY SOON or I will downgrade. However, it is clear that all the growth in HD channels is with the same channels that already have SD services. In other words, it looks like almost all the channels to be added by Dish will continue to be services like MTV, etc. any of the well-known services in the 100-199 channel range. That means the value of all the lower HD levels go up, and HD Ultimate value will go down.

Dish was able to crow at the last quarterly conference call that they had subscribers increase their monthly bill. Now with the deletion of VOOM and the possibility of replacing VOOM with 15 other 24/7 HD channels exclusive to HD Ultimate not likely, Dish could very will experience a decrease in subs monthly bills.

However, I feel the future at Dish is extremely bright because the satellite man is back: Charles Ergen, who created the satellite revolution in those lean and hungry (desperate to succeed or go broke) years has returned to the day-to-day operations, whose every business decision was copied by Direct TV. Those were the days. When Charlie stepped back from day-to-day to focus on the restructuring of Dish/Echostar, it is not just a coincidence that that is the exact same time that Dish started to slip and Direct TV passed Dish by. The right CEO, a single individual, makes all the difference in the world for a company's success. I think we are going to see a more aggresive Dish that will surpass Direct TV again (innovation, the most and the first) and repair its sometimes unfriendly treatment of customers (two Executive Office CSR's had snotty attitudes) and get the installs closer to being right more often.

Charlie, get some more exclusive HD Ultimate content NOW, or lose my extra $10 a month!
 
Jim5506

Jim5506

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I dropped from Ultimate with AT100 to the HD Only pack - saved me $25 per month.
 
M

M Sparks

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Sep 15, 2005
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I looked at Direct seriously yesterday for the first time in years. I didn't see any compelling reason to switch. If it was zero hassle and zero installation costs, I would. But the differences are now negligible.

Anyway, I see that "HD Extra" is only $5 with Direct. Basically the same channels, but DISH includes NHL and NBA. Direct has both of those, but they are in the lower package.

Anyway, we know DISH was paying Voom $3.50 per subscriber, maybe more. How about we split the difference Charlie...you knock off $2 and we'll call it even.
 
M

M Sparks

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Sep 15, 2005
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Now with the deletion of VOOM and the possibility of replacing VOOM with 15 other 24/7 HD channels exclusive to HD Ultimate not likely...

I really don't see how they could even come up with 5.

They could have done Chiller as an HD exclusive, but now it would just be an SD simulast. (Chiller HD was supposed to be up last month, don't know what the holdup is)

They could do Fuel HD and Fox Business Channel HD only if they ever get this Fox crap straightened out.

They SHOULD have had MHD in Ultimate instead of Essentials to begin with, now there's no going back without pissing more people off. (Direct is tiered this way...HD Theatre and HDNet are in their most basic package...it must be a contractual thing. But MHD is in the "Extras" pack.)

Mojo is all that's really left.
 

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