TVPredictions.com says "Voom Is Still Doomed"

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NSaco

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Voom Is Still Doomed

News Analysis
Voom Is Still Doomed
Despite an impressive lineup of HDTV channels, the new satellite TV service doesn't have a chance.
By Phillip Swann

Washington, DC (March 4) -- Voom, the satellite TV service launched last October by Cablevision, just revealed that it has signed up 1,627 subscribers to date.

That's only 1,627 customers after five months. To put it more starkly, Voom is signing up an average of 325 subscribers a month -- or just 10 a day. In a nation of more than 200 million people, only ten people are walking into a store every day to buy Voom.

I think you could get higher numbers if you were selling posters of Osama Bin Laden.

Voom, which provides more than 30 channels of High-Definition TV -- three times the amount found on any other cable or satellite system -- is being closely watched by the high-def industry. Many HDTV enthusiasts are hopeful that Voom's potent lineup will pressure cable operators and other satcasters to expand their high-def offerings.

But the embarrassing sub totals, which contributed heavily to Cablevision's $197 million loss in the fourth quarter, should not come as a surprise. In a column last October, I predicted that Voom would be a failure for three reasons:

1. Voom is targeting the wrong audience:
Approximately 8-9 million people have HDTV sets, and perhaps less than two million actually have the digital tuners required to receive hi-def signals. Although the HDTV numbers are growing, Voom's target audience is too small.

2. Voom will be co-opted by DIRECTV and EchoStar:
DIRECTV and EchoStar are expected to expand their HDTV lineups later this year. Voom's biggest selling point could be wiped out by year's end.

3. The satellite TV business has matured:
DIRECTV and EchoStar, which have been in business for a decade, now have more than 20 million subscribers combined. Although satellite TV officials are loath to admit this, there may be only 15 million to 20 million potential subscribers still out there. (Many viewers cannot get satellite service because they either live in apartments or do not have a residence with a clear southern view of the sky.) DIRECTV and EchoStar, which have spent billions on marketing and branding, would seem well positioned to get the lion's share of new subs. For Voom to succeed, it would have to take subscribers away from the existing services or somehow manage to leapfrog them in marketing awareness.

To be fair, Voom is just now launching a national advertising campaign, which it hopes will improve sales in the coming months. In addition, company officials say they are considering new "pricing alternatives" designed to entice HDTV owners. For instance, Voom now offers a monthly $9.50 leasing plan for the set-top; the "limited offer" is designed to remove the "sticker shock" of buying the system, which has been priced at $749. (Cablevision also plans to spin off Voom as a separate company next month.)

But the early numbers seem to confirm that Voom is barking up the wrong tree. As I predicted last October, I believe that Cablevision eventually will sell Voom's assets to either DIRECTV or EchoStar, perhaps as early as the end of the year.

That is, if they have any assets.
 
squicken

squicken

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I kind of have similar concerns. I have been watching Voom for a few months, hoping they would help push HD. I did not get Voom until they started offering a leasing setup instead of making us buy the equipment. Hopefully there are more people like me out there, at least for Voom's sake, to drive up the subscriber base. DirectV still wants you to lay out $750 for a HD receiver, then $1000 if you want the HD DVR. I'd be with DirecTV in a flash if they would lease their equipment. I think Dish Network has a leasing program, but you would need a seperate HD decoder for OTAs.
 
A

andrzej

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I never pay attention to what Swann is saying. He's been proven wrong so often...
 
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dclark

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Mar 14, 2004
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Take away the VOOM "exclusive" stuff (same old movies and clips played over amd over) and what do you have? An expensive way of getting some of the same SD channels that DISH and Direct offer. That doesn't bode well.

The VOOM exclusive stuff is better suited as demo channels at the TV store, not the living room.
 
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andrzej

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dclark said:
Take away the VOOM "exclusive" stuff (same old movies and clips played over amd over) and what do you have? An expensive way of getting some of the same SD channels that DISH and Direct offer. That doesn't bode well.

The VOOM exclusive stuff is better suited as demo channels at the TV store, not the living room.

Before you post such nonsense you should take a look at the Voom's lineup and program.
 
S

Sean Mota

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Sep 8, 2003
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dclark said:
Take away the VOOM "exclusive" stuff (same old movies and clips played over amd over) and what do you have? An expensive way of getting some of the same SD channels that DISH and Direct offer. That doesn't bode well.

The VOOM exclusive stuff is better suited as demo channels at the TV store, not the living room.


If you subscribe to the VAVA VOOM package and you take away the exclusive you still have

HBO-HD EAST
HBO-HD WEST
CINEMAX-HD EAST
CINEMAX-HD WEST
STARZ-HD EAST
STARZ-HD WEST
SHOW-HD EAST
SHOW-HD WEST
TMC-HD
NFL-HD
BRAVO-HD+
DISCOVERY-HD

Soon ENCORE-HD...


CINEMAX, ENCORE, TMC AND BRAVO-HD, you won't find in E* or D*.

About the exclusive channels --- One man's trash is another's man gold!
 
compurocker

compurocker

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Mar 25, 2004
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I paid no money down and signed no long term contract. The way I see it, if VOOM is doomed, who cares?

By signing up with them on their highest programming package I am supporting their efforts and hopefully I'll get to see more HD content because of it. If VOOM sticks around and gives us more/better HD content, DirecTV and Dish Network should follow suit for competition's sake. Then we all win no matter which satellite provider we subscribe to.

If VOOM dies perhaps it will get picked up by DirecTV or Dish Network and it will be like getting their HD services without the huge up front cost. Or if VOOM dies and no one picks them up, oh well. It's not like I threw any money out the window.
 
squicken

squicken

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TCM-HD. Is that only available with VAVA Voom?
 
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Sean Mota

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cyuhnke said:
TCM-HD. Is that only available with VAVA Voom?

I am sorry I meant TMC-HD (The Movie Channel).. Not Turner Classic Movies (TCM). and the anwser is yes for TMC-HD.
 
squicken

squicken

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TCM. TMC. I always get those confused. To clarify my position, I am not saying the 21 exclusives are throw aways (that gallery special on the beach with HD resolution of the unclothed female upper-torso region is something no one should miss), I just love ESPN, and want to make a good thing great.
 
banoonish

banoonish

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I think the no money down deal that Voom has just started will help get more subscribers. I know that is what made my mind up.
 
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Trouthead

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Jan 8, 2004
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It was no risk

I've had VOOM for 72 hours. Lots of movies, most of the "cable" channels, a pile of exclusives which I have yet to "get into", but still missing mainstream sports, like ESPN, FOX SPORTNET etc.

If it dies my risk and cost was almost non-existent. $10.00 a month for equipement, $80.00 a month for programing, and a free install.

If they go belly up and no one buys them, I got a stealth sitting there and new cable run from the dish and antenna.

IT WAS A NO BRAINER, and no risk.
 
R

red ufo

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Mar 25, 2004
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There is no way voom will die if they stick it out for 2004. Word is getting around about a 3rd major satellite network by word of mouth now. If voom continues on the path I see now. It will kick Dish TV ass in no time.

The HDTV are selling left and right and people are hungry for content. Voom seems to be in the right place at the right time. It could become the 'google' of startups, because its a growing market that can't die anytime soon. HD is here to stay and if Voom fails another will pickup the demographic.

I wish they did sell stock because I see this exploding in the next 1-2 years.
 
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Seanb61

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Mar 4, 2004
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red ufo said:
I wish they did sell stock because I see this exploding in the next 1-2 years.

Rainbow (aka Voom) will file for an IPO next month and after the 60 SEC period they will begin to sell stock in the form of an IPO - -only you may not be able to get a piece of the action. If you have a large account with a broker involved in the deal, then yes you may buy some stock for the IPO.
 
M

Mr. Biggles

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Mar 6, 2004
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That article is old news. So is the author.
 
Juan

Juan

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I guess you guys never experienced the torture of having cablevision as your local cable company> If you had none of you would have evre signed up for their subrate overpriced satellite service
 
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Seanb61

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juan said:
I guess you guys never experienced the torture of having cablevision as your local cable company> If you had none of you would have evre signed up for their subrate overpriced satellite service

I believe that there are quite a few who had Cablevision, and still they decided to give voom a shot. Tell me, is there any other service that can give you ALL the HD movie channels that are currently out there? Voom does, and that doesn't even count a single "exclusive"! Subrate STB box, first rate HDTV supply that will keep building.
 
Stargazer

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If Voom would advertise by paying the HD manufacturers to advertise on or in their box where the consumer can find the literature about their service that it is actually available, then that would help. If they are going to target a limited audience then that limited audience needs to at least know that the service is available.
 

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