Monday Night Football going cable

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Retro, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    :nod

    I HATE DISNEY I HATE DISNEY I HATE DISNEY.

    Fuckin' Rat.

    I was a Cap Cities/ABC employee. Matter of fact, I was Cap Cities BEFORE we bought ABC. Lean and mean, well-run, well-principled. Took care of their employees if you worked hard--first thing they tell you when you sign on was "you're gonna be worked hard...but will be taken care of" and they were absolutely right. Had a hard-nosed approach to news to the point where it was so plain that (fewer fancy graphics, gimmicks, across the line) it was almost not competitive due to the lack of eyecandy but you slept well at night knowing you weren't being jacked around with some corporate agenda. When Disney took over they started moving news programs under the Entertainment Division. Think about that one. Same division that does cartoons, feel-good shows. GMA moved under the entertainment division and the morale plummetted OVERNIGHT--it essentially eviscerated the division. Instant mass exodus of news employees though a few have fought it tooth-and-nail for years.

    And nevermind what they did to the unions. You may not like 'em, but when pension funds were raided to pay off Ovitz, it was a precursor to Enron in its shadiness.

    We used to get memos from the higher-ups that had little Disney characters on 'em that said "Dear Cast Member". WTF? :huh

    Eisner and Ovitz are satan's spawn.

    I'll never forget that sadness...and eventual contempt...when Disney bought ABC. The clash of a lean-and-mean straightforward culture with the hype of hollywood and all its politics. The work of the devil.
    #21
  2. Retro

    Retro Just the Facts Ma'am Super Moderator

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    No, you're post is pointless Spanky. Unless you live in the franchise market you won't see the game on broadcast t.v. So, unless your local market team is playing Monday night, the game won't be broadcast on the local channel.

    Perhaps you should understand the issues before you post.

    Idgit.
    #22
  3. Rider

    Rider Moderator Emeritus Super Moderator

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    Indeed.
    Eisner and Ovitz, as you said, are the spawns of Satan.
    I'd like to read James Stewart's book but haven't gotten around to it yet ...

    [​IMG]
    #23
  4. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Me, either. From a purely corporate standpoint, Eisner has turned around Disney. I understand that.

    The heartache from the Disney takeover for me and my cohorts was that they didn't even pretend to insulate the news division from the machinations that were designed to turn around the entertainment division. Internally it was resisted and dealt with and eventually evened out to a sort of detente, but our attitude was that we shouldn't HAVE to explain that a news division should be insulated from that sort of thing.

    I teared up when I posted that first post about ABC today. Man, that really was a tough one for a lot of us.
    #24
  5. Rider

    Rider Moderator Emeritus Super Moderator

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    The Cap Cities/ABC/Disney conglomerate gives one pause when considering the power and influence of huge corporations. Some things are just better left small and simple and pure. :cry
    I've read a couple of excerpts from the book. Eisner comes across like a meglomaniac and Roy Disney looks very good.
    #25
  6. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Capitol Cities started out as a bunch of small stations that were located in (guess what?) capitol cities in the US. In '85 it bought ABC for $3.5 billion by Capital Cities' frugal way of pouncing on good opportunties and betting on using good fiscal management to turn things around.. Cap Cities did have a bit of mysterious past with then-CIA Director William Casey who was one of its founding investors. But CC was known for being frugal, with well-organized vertical divisions and a fairly conservative way of going about things, sorta like the old white-shirt/blue-tie of IBM.

    Under President Reagan, deregulation let networks go from 7 "owned" stations to 12. (those are called O&O's) and Disney/ABC currently has 10: WLS - Chicago, WJRT - Flint, KFSN - Fresno, KTRK - Houston, KABC - Los Angeles, WABC - New York City, WPVI - Philadelphia, WTVD - Raleigh - Durham, KGO - San Francisco, and WTVG - Toledo. That reach was combined with the affiliates which have broadcast agreements but aren't owned properties. Combined with technology advances, the way news was gathered and distributed changed a bit...more "feeding up" to the networks as opposed to the networks "feeding down". And, of course, there was media diversification--print holdings, etc. Back in the day, Cap Cities was doing well with their little "thrifty nickel" type local publications.

    Anyway. By the time the 80's were rolling around, the networks were really cutting back to make network news more profitable but some of that was due to internal demands, not so much demand for the bottom line from up top. Running foreign bureaus, covering wars, etc. tended to get really expensive and sometimes they just wanted to slap around some of the more offensive spenders--like no limos for the top anchors. :lol3 Cap Cities already had an edge because it was their corporate culture...so again, it was rather insulated because just by staying the course, they could remain lean and mean. However there was a big layoff in '85 (?) that let go a bunch of staffers--so it wasn't like everyone thought they'd be home free by being with Cap Cities.

    Bear in mind that the ABC sports division was doing terrific things not just with programming but with technology. Roone Arledge had made his mark with ABC's Wide World of Sports and again with Monday Night Football. WWS was innovative in that it took a deeper look at atheletes, not just sports scores. He moved over to the news division (with no journalism background) so there was some heartburn but only briefly--he came up with 20/20, World News Tonight, and Nightline and staffed them with the best people he could get, and again tried to push beyond headlines to get stories that dug a bit deeper into the human condition. This sounds flakey now but back then it was a bit of a rennaisance.

    Well, then comes Disney in '95 with its established entertainment divisions and snarfs up CC/ABC.

    Warren Buffet was pleased...loved the combination of content plus distribution. Made sense from a corporate angle and seriously, from darn near any angle, it made sense. Of course, from the angle of corporate owned news, it was skeery, BUT bear in mind that within these news divisions you have people who will lay their life on the line to keep things pure...unless they are reassigned. (insert dramatic soundtrack here for appropriate foreshadowing)

    The small fish (Cap Cities) had eaten the bigger fish (ABC) and was now to be swallowed by the bigger fish--Disney.

    Disney comes in and immediately realigns things here and there. First major move was to put GMA (good morning america) under the entertainment division, which sent ripples through the ABC staffers. Morning news is actually quite serious...the first few hours are meant to give people the basic information needed to make business decisions for their morning. As the morning wears on it turns into "housewife news" but it was customary for ABC to throw their best resources into intelligent early-am news for the benefit of business folks grabbing a quick look at news before heading to work. As that "housewife news" started bleeding backwards into the morning hard news, the death knell was in the air. Charlie Gibson fought it like a tiger. Pissed off, I tell you. Stood his ground.

    I'll never forget the silence at one meeting as we pondered the announcement and one staffer spoke up: will we still have "ABC" on our pay stubs? Is it still our logo? Are we still "ABC"? It was like we lost our identity to someone we really didn't want to associate with, since we were living with what was gonna soon be a myth of insulation.

    But what was most important, IMHO, was that the employees suddenly knew that for all the percentage of corporate bullshit that they put up with to do broadcast news, that percentage of BS floating around that impacted operations or more importantly, content, just doubled or maybe tripled. You figured that yeah, you had to kowtow a certain amount but the news division was kept pure...fiscally accountable, but nothing like having to do a guest interview with Dopey or Mickey Mouse during am news. :bluduh

    Disclaimer: I'm not gonna bash the news division. I know that they're still fighting the good fight. I'm just giving a bit of background into the effect of having an entertainment company take over a company that had, for the most part, kept its news divisions somewhat shielded. As long as they came in under budget, no futzing around with them.
    #26
  7. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    #27
  8. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    B is for Billion
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  9. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

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    If you say soccer or hockey I'm riding to BC to kick you in the nuts :deal
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  10. Retro

    Retro Just the Facts Ma'am Super Moderator

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    When you get married, have children, and hold a regular job, these things are no longer part of the ritual.
    #30
  11. longwallman

    longwallman in the dark

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    Why not go with sat tv/internet till you get hard-wired. I used Starband for years till we finally got dsl. I still use sat tv as the picture/sound quality is better than the local Comcast cable.

    My costs for Starband + Dish were about $100/mos. After having broadband, dial-up will truely suck.
    #31
  12. w1ley

    w1ley hyperbolist

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    ??
    Isnt it going to ESPN? ESPN is on DirecTV
    #32
  13. Retro

    Retro Just the Facts Ma'am Super Moderator

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    I did some Internet searching on Directwave and Starband. I did not find one positive comment about satellite internet. I was already searcing ebay for used equipment when I decided against the satellite.

    Was your experience with Starband good? Even the people who said they were happy overall named several serious drawbacks to Starband/Directwave.

    I'd actually prefer to not have a satellite t.v. package. I've got kids in the house, so we try to limit not only t.v. time, but choices as well.

    I am dreading going back to dial up. So much of what I now take for granted, even some of the content on advrider will take too long.
    #33
  14. Retro

    Retro Just the Facts Ma'am Super Moderator

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    Don't have DirectTV. We don't even have ESPN on our cable. I only buy the $8.00 a month cable package that they don't advertise and don't like to sell.

    The predictions have been coming for a while that most professional sports would eventually move to PPV and subscription situations. This might just be the first move towards that end.
    #34
  15. longwallman

    longwallman in the dark

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    As you know, Armstrong County is a bit behind the times. The ony thing available locally was 28.8 dial-up. I wasn't wild about Starband but it was the only game in town at the time for broadband. Upload speeds weren't much better than dial-up, down load averaged around 750k. There were short, unexplained outages at times, and of course outages for heavy rain or snow. Overall I was happy with the Starband system since it brought me out of the communications blackhole I was stuck in. Cnet did a comparison on the sat internet providers and concluded they were all pretty much the same.

    Dish Network is suppose to bring their sat internet online this summer. It will be a bit faster than existing systems at about the same cost.

    Hopefully you'll have access to DSL or that new system through your AC outlets soon. My Altell DSL is currently cranking at 1.5 -2.1 Megs.

    Good luck.
    #35
  16. CA Stu

    CA Stu Steer with your face! Super Moderator

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    :cry

    Neither are the 25 cent beers, halftime wet t-shirt contests, all you can eat buffets...

    WTF was I thinking? :baldy

    Cheers
    CA Stu
    #36
  17. Retro

    Retro Just the Facts Ma'am Super Moderator

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    It is a far better thing to have debauched and reformed than to never have debauched at all.

    Rudyard Kipling
    #37
  18. CA Stu

    CA Stu Steer with your face! Super Moderator

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    What about debauching just every now and then?
    Kind of a tapering-off of debauchery...
    I'm gonna run that by the missus ... :fight :nah

    Nice quote, BTW

    Thanks
    CA Stu
    #38
  19. Retro

    Retro Just the Facts Ma'am Super Moderator

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    Nowadays it's a furtive leer at the Hooters waitress. :evil
    #39