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Pay TV distributors not pleasing sports fans

Specialized sports channels like the Dodger Channel and the Pac 12 Network have really taken the joy out of watching sports.

I was at one time a big sports fan who used to religiously watch my teams play, but that is all in the past now because of corporate greed.

What really torques me is that I can’t watch my favorite NFL team when I want to unless I either buy the NFL package or go to a sports bar. That really blows.

The Wall Street Journal says that sports have become 20 percent of Pay TV distributors’ operating costs.Sports has become expensive to cover and Pay TV distributors have long been passing the fees off to the consumer in the form of sports fees, which are around $3-$5, depending who you subscribe to. People pay the sports fee whether they watch a sport or not.

Greed has always been a driver of sports and especially today when you have players and coaches making millions and of course who suffers, the sports fans.

The ticket sale prices go sky high and now in my opinion they have invaded the home and taken away my TV enjoyment.

I am using football as an example, but it is happening in every sport and even college sports.

I used to be able to catch my favorite college team, the California Bears, in the past more often than now. The reason I can’t now is the Pac 12 Networks.

The fight with the TV distributors over TV packages has been going on for some time now. Pay TV distributors have long since felt that they know what TV consumers like to watch and they bundle their packages accordingly. Of course more and more people are leaving these same distributors because they want to pick and choose what channels they want and are finding Netflix allows them to be able to do this.

Now the battle is being fought over sports. I think the distributors will find themselves losing even more customers if they are not careful.

The team channels like the Dodger Channel are not the wave of the future. Dodger fans suffered last season when their team got to the finals and no one watched them on TV. For the past few years, Dodger fans have been in the dark and unable to afford to watch their team because it is available to only about one third of the market. This is due to the TV distributors not willing to pay the prices and raising the cost of cable.

Again, people are telling the TV companies what they want with sports by not signing up in droves for the Dodger Channel, despite the Dodgers almost making the World Series.

Ratings for the team plummeted and about 55,000 viewers watched the Dodgers’ last few weeks this year. This is compared to the average viewership for games the year before with Prime Ticket, which was 228,000 viewers, according to Prime Ticket and Dodger Channel numbers.

People like me don’t want to pay the higher cable TV bills just to watch a game.

I for one am a big Dodger fan and I simply went without. I can live without it just like I live without my NFL games.

The Pac-12 Networks also met similar resistance.

The Wall Street Journal said, “The high price tag to carry Sports Net LA (the Dodgers) puts it among the most expensive regional sports networks in the country at a time when distributors are trying to lower content costs.”

The TV distributors are not giving people what they want in sports and they didn’t listen when it came to what people wanted to pay for as far as channels.

These companies are slow to change and slow to listen. People want to watch their regional team without paying exorbitant prices. A fair price is all we ask.

Perhaps they will come up with a Sports Netflix, where fans can watch their favorite team and just pay a flat fee each month. That will never happen, because it’s fair.

-Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @venrheepvt

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