Re: whack a mole
I learned years ago - if the price isn't something I'm willing to pay, I'll find something else to watch.
I'm not a sports fan at all, but I apply it to all the things I'm passionate about. I will literally just stop watching/buying/collecting whatever it is when they start taking the piss.
Sure, I "suffer", but there's other stuff out there to do, and they are at the end of the day a luxury. Purchasing them blindly is only encouraging them to continue screwing you over. I'd honestly rather wean myself off the habit, do something else, and give money to people/services who are being reasonable.
I know of people who don't actually watch much sport at all who are still paying £120+ per month for their TV services. I can't justify that, not on top of the prices of things like the TV itself, the Internet connection to make it work, etc.
There comes a time when you just have to say "No, that's fine, I'll do without" and spend your money on something better.
My TV consists of a second-hand projector, a Raspberry Pi, and a DVB hat on it. Total cost: £60 (the projector was a throwaway). With a £20/month Internet connection that means I can watch and record all the normal channels, timeshift, and stream live and recorded TV remotely over 4G and the ongoing cost is nothing more than I'm already paying for mobile phone/Internet (which is a pittance, really, because I got right away from fixed line broadband because of the same problem - £20 for the Internet, £18.99 rental for the phone, £120 install costs, etc. etc. etc.).
Now given that this time last year I had TVPlayer as my primary TV, with Netflix and Amazon Prime for other content, I literally cut them off... I paid £30 for a YEAR of TVPlayer. And it never worked reliably, it constantly logged me out (usually at a two hour cutoff from login, right in the middle of your program), and half the channels either were unavailable (e.g. blocked when they were showing a movie) or were actually for Ireland (all kinds of Irish adverts with Euro prices). When that year's deal ended and they wanted a regular monthly payment, it was cheaper to build the RPi.
Netflix I got on a similar deal. Tried it out, watched quite a few things on it. Well... I did... until I "caught up" with all the programs that everyone was crowing about. Then there was nothing on there but old cruft, and the same movies repeated over and over in my recommendations list (even after trying to find new things by doing everything I could think of). I cancelled it when I realised that for 3 months I hadn't used it at all.
But I out-TV-Playered TVPlayer with a RPi because of content restrictions and pathetic implementation. Netflix and Prime were just a cycle of the same dross after a while (but I kept Prime for other benefits, so it's a nice diversion that doesn't cost me extra). I don't use iPlayer unless I actually missed a program through forgetfulness because it's just a pain to integrate into the TV (even with Chromecast, RPi, Kodi, etc.)
The TV and movie industry dictated how I could watch their content. So I implemented a low-cost niche usage for myself and did other things instead, legally. To me, the alternative if that goes south is to not watch them, not watch illegally. But I can understand why others make a different decision.
When a guy in Denmark with a bunch of DVB-S/DVB-T cards and one subscription can distribute your content worldwide cheaper, more reliably, more easily, more searchably, to more people, and show all the stuff that you don't than the actual broadcast networks can... you have a problem with your business model that isn't going to go away.
Regional restrictions are fake. Not being able to show content that you're BROADCASTING FOR FREE ON TV at the same time, that's fake. Not having your archives that are full of material I might want to watch, online, on demand, so I can buy/watch that material and literally pay all the rightsholders necessary, that's fake (congratulations Channel 4 for just putting your archives on YouTube all that long time ago). Putting some events on premium subscriptions and then padding them with dross for the other 23 hours of the day, that's fake.
While you're being fake, you're pushing me and others away to alternatives. Which include the guys in the article as well as "just not caring". We're in an information age. I can find content I'll enjoy online, legally, somewhere. It may not be the Game of Thrones that everyone in the office talks about, but such things are short-lived anyway. You are easily replaceable.
The irony of watching New Amsterdam on Prime because I saw an Amazon advert on TV for it.