The New York Times has a lead story today regarding the ever present problem of the outrageous cost of sports programming on cable and how all of us have to pay for it.

I guess you see where my head is on this one. Nobody helps me pay for HBO or Showtime, why should I have to pay for something I never watch?

The dilemma, it is argued, is that if the cable systems charged back the entire cost to only those who watch, very few could afford to watch sports and we all know that already, attending sports events has gotten totally out of the reach of Joe Six-Pack and his family.

The fact that Time Warner just paid the LA Dodgers 7 billion–that’s right 7 BILLION-for the right to carry their games and that every subscriber in Los Angeles will have $4 to $5 added to their bill each month, just makes it more and more frustrating for those of us who already pay through the nose for premium channels.

Plus, some of the systems are planning to drop, “a few of their less popular”, channels in order to help pay for this. Great! Now we are approaching a cable landscape where only the big guys get to play and all of us have to pay.

Sound familiar??…….Bankers, Wall Street, AIG…….

It’s time that the industry treats the sports channels exactly like they do the premiums-you want ESPN? You pay extra for it. These guys are not even footing most of the bill for the broadcast, the sponsors are.

Hello Stupor Bowl….



I could say that I took time off for the holidays–which is true–but the driving reason for the hiatus of GonzoBLOG is that there wasn’t much out there that I saw as orbit-changing for the planet or that I could add anything of significance.

But I am back and besides observing that it looks like 2013 may be better advertising-wise, I believe that the recordbreaking box office for the movie industry–in the billions for 2012 (number of seats were up also) seems to be helping the TV industry as well.

The cost of a 30 on ABC’s Academy Awards Show is pushing toward 1.8 mil and late-comers may have to pay 2.0, which means audience estimates are up as well, the juxtaposition of “Lincoln” the movie and “The Abolitionists” the PBS mini-series seems to be timed to work together, and the fact that the “reality” craze is finally giving way, thankfully, to scripted fair on the tube all seem, to me, to be signs that movies will begin to influence television programming as they once did – as examples,  “M.A.S.H.”, “ Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (Mel’s Diner).

We see that cable has been, for the most part, immune to the success and hype of the reality shows.  I believe this to be a function of the quality of programming being closer to theatrical fair as opposed to the “Beverly Hillbillies” level of entertainment.  That does not say there aren’t bad movies.  There are plenty of those.  They just don’t hang around as long as the vapid TV fair.

Movies are better than ever and it looks like it may be rubbing off on the tube.

Happy New Year!