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Fwd: Re: RE: Arbitrends for Boston Up

 One small difference:  ESPN is part of the 
Disney Empire.  Cable systems have to carry 
the ESPNs to get The Disney Channel (and in
some markets the ABC O&Os);  NESN is a 
standalone and AT&T could have some wiggle 

--------- Forwarded Message ---------

DATE: Sat, 26 May 2001 17:08:16
From: "Mark Laurence" <mlaurence@mindspring.com>
To: <lglavin@lycos.com>, <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>

As I understand it, AT&T Broadband in Eastern Massachusetts is one of the
very last places in the country to keep the local pro team channel as a pay
channel.  The audience may be less than a majority, but it's got to be one
of the largest constituencies for any channel on our cable systems.  For
$1.40 a month, it's not a bad bargain.

The real crime is how the NFL has caused our cable rates to increase.  ESPN,
TNT, and other channels have engaged in huge bidding wars which their
captive audiences (us) pay for with spiraling bills.  It costs a lot more
than $1.40 a month to see these neutral-city games that hold little interest
for anyone who's not betting on them.

It's a breakdown of the free-market economy.  The channels need the games
for their survival, because few people will watch any of their programming
otherwise.  So they bid up the prices astronomically, and cover the costs
with monthly fees to the cable companies.  There's just enough interest so
the cable companies feel forced to provide the channels, and they pay the
ever-increasing fees...with our money.  Since the channels are contracted to
be basic cable, we never have any opportunity to say "cancel my ESPN, it's
not worth it anymore."


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