New ESPN/ABC programming prompts complaints | iLounge News


New ESPN/ABC programming prompts complaints

Apple’s iTunes Music Store has been updated with new programming from ESPN and ABC Sports. The new content includes “Best of the X Games” highlight clips, “SportsCentury Shorts” with famous athletes, “Streetball” episodes, “The 2006 Winter X Games” highlight programs and six quick SportsCenter television advertisements.

The pricing on ESPN’s “This Is SportsCenter” commercials irked some iTunes users. “Seriously? $1.99 for 30 second or less commercials. Come on now. With the exception of the ‘Card Sharks’ one, you can watch them streamed in the preview. There has to better content from ESPN than commercials,” said one user in the customer reviews section. “ESPN and ABC should be ashamed for charging this much for so little. Yes, the commercials are funny, but not worth $2 for 30 seconds of video,” said another user.

There were also complaints about the shortened “SportsCentury” features. “The full SportsCentury episodes would be worth $1.99. Why not offer those instead of these abridged versions?” asked another iTunes user. The Gordon and Marino episodes are bad enough at around 15 minutes, but $1.99 for less than 10 minutes of Agassi and Roddick ridiculous.” [via Micro Persuasion]

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I see this as further experimentation by content distributors as to what the market will bear. Will people pay $2 for a 30 clip? If so, why not sell it to them? If nobody buys it, they’ll stop selling it and try something new.

Posted by bipto on January 30, 2006 at 9:57 AM (CST)


Since when did the length of something become the measurement of value? Trust me, I will get far more enjoyment out of a 30 second ESPN clip then a full Desperate Housewives episode. But I guess since one is 30 seconds and the other is 40 something I should buy the Desperate Housewives because it’s ‘better’ or of more ‘value’.

I guess I should buy In-a-gadda-da-vida over any other song because I get more song from my 99 cents.

I guess I should only watch Titanic because I get more movie for my money.

The whole thing is silly, if you don’t want to buy it don’t but don’t come in here with some conspiracy, corporations are evil, the world is coming to an end theory. You just look like a whinny consumer.

Posted by nosedive51 on January 30, 2006 at 10:31 AM (CST)


They should be selling all of them for $2.  The flat pricing model breaks for content like this.  The low end (short clips) and high end (whole seasons of TV shows) do not work at 1.99 a video.  People are already complaining about season set prices for TV shows which cost more than the DVD sets.

I mean, if it’s cheaper to sell a DVD set than downloadable files then something is seriously out of whack here.  Bandwidth is pretty cheap - audible lets you re-download anything in your library.

Posted by They should package it on January 30, 2006 at 10:41 AM (CST)


You guys asked for it, and now you’re getting it. 

Consumers were so eager to ride this wave of paying Apple for what they can get for free, that now it’s reached it’s logical extreme. 

It used to be that commercials made the broadcast free to the viewer, but now the viewers are so brainwashed they not only pay for the show, but they have proven they are willing to pay for the ad.

Here’s how an episode of ‘Lost’ will hit you in the future…$1.99 for the show and $1.99x36 for the commercials…grand total of $73.63 for an hour of mediocre TV.

Posted by Talking Madness on January 30, 2006 at 12:50 PM (CST)


As stated above, the flat model pricing does not work for that type of content.  There are songs on iTunes that sell fo 99 cents but are only 30 seconds long (usually movie audio clips in soundtracks.) 

Ideally, ESPN should have packaged their commercials in one lump sum rather than than making each commercial a separate purchase.

Posted by DoDoFett57 on January 30, 2006 at 12:52 PM (CST)


“Consumers were so eager to ride this wave of paying Apple for what they can get for free, that now it’s reached it’s logical extreme.”

I can get great video content I can watch anywhere anytime I like for free? Great, sign me up…

Your comment totally misses what people are buying from the iTMS. Namely, they’re buying the convenience of being able to consume their media wherever and whenever they want. Period. When I can transfer free, over-the-air television to my iPod from my DVR, then I will. Until then, I’ll buy it from Apple.

Posted by bipto on January 30, 2006 at 8:47 PM (CST)


Interestng argument about paying 1.99, we should only pay for the longest songs, or videos to get the most out of our money. However, these are commercials. Not shows, not music videos(though some could argue those are commercials as well) they are commercials. Not sure if i agree with paying for commercials….now that being said…

I did not hear about this until right now, and when I logged into itunes the sportscenter spots were free. So I am not sure if they were intially 1.99 or not but now they are free. So either apple heard the outcry or it was a big misunderstanding.

As far as paying the 1.99 for video content, I think it is a very fair price….but for just that…content….not commercials. Hopefully this is something we wont have to worry about. Just wanted to pass along that they are free now.

Posted by ranrek on January 30, 2006 at 10:05 PM (CST)


The commercials are now free.

Posted by j06 on January 30, 2006 at 10:12 PM (CST)



Dude, read my comment again, and maybe you will get it.  I didn’t miss the point. 

And, you’re point is very tired.  People are ‘buying the convenience’ is old news.  Everything is convenient now.  Tell me one thing you wanted and had to wait for…except for when you didn’t have the money for it.

My point is simple.  TV used to be free.  Then came cable and people started paying for what was free.  Then people started buying DVDs of shows they could easily see enough of in syndicated reruns.  Then came iTMS and people are paying more for what they’re already getting with their cable subscription just to see it a day later.  Finally, people are even paying $1.99 for the ads they were trying to avoid in the first place.

Am I being sarcastic?  Maybe a bit, but it’s a dangerous path were heading down as consumers.

Posted by Talking Madness on January 30, 2006 at 10:36 PM (CST)


Yeah, it’s all free now. I’m guessing any previous “Customer Reviews” on there complaining about the $1.99 prices got wiped out.

Posted by MICHAE2414 on January 30, 2006 at 10:55 PM (CST)


By the way, the quality of those commercials is terrible…even for free.  They have more artifacts than King Tut’s tomb.

Posted by Talking Madness on January 31, 2006 at 12:33 AM (CST)



You don’t get it! It was never free. You have always paid by watching the ad’s. Most people also pay for increased selection (cable and sat). So now you pay for the content (watching ads) and you pay for delivery.

iTMS (like DVD) offers you the chance to only pay for what you want, and offers it to you when you want. We are witnessing the birth of true video on demand. if you don’t understand why this is HUGE! your ether stupid or just don’t have any interest in TV programing.

Today shows compete for time slots and only shows that are deemed to be profitable enough continue to exist. When time slots become meaningless there will be opportunity for networks or even small production houses to take risks and try new things.  At the very least it offers a new avenue of competition.

Do the math. Lets say you watch 2 new season shows a night monday through friday. A season consists of around 25 episodes so that is 250 new shows a season or about $500/year which comes out to $42/month. I don’t know about you but my bill is closer to $60.

The difference being that I watched no commercials and I own the content (my own re-runs). Better yet I can share this content with up to 5 systems (in or out of my house) So say my parents and my brother do the same thing and we avoid overlap. Now we are talking about say 6-10 shows a night.

If the stations push the rest of the content online and Apple starts offering some HiDef options, DirecTV and Cox Cable have some serious competition on their hands.

Competition is good!!

Oh Ya! And if Apple and Disney want to really wow the world. They could easily offer HD versions of Pixar Films online before they are available on HD DVD or BlueRay. Talk about a coup.

Or at least that’s how I see it.

Posted by doug on January 31, 2006 at 3:10 AM (CST)


It’s Sat. afternoon and I’m looking for some decent sports activity.  What do I get but The Pan American games in Spanish. Reading is the solution.

Why are yoy doing this? We still speak English here!!!

Posted by Wayne Page on July 28, 2007 at 4:17 PM (CDT)


Dear ABC/ESPN Sports:  Enjoyed the documentary on San Francisco music on Saturday afternoon, November 1, 2008.  There must have been a mistake in the TV listings.  I thought it was supposed to be a football game between Cal Bears and the Orgeon Ducks.  But, I will say this, the music announcers during the documentary were well versed in music.  Fortunately I found the Cal/Oregon game on PBS.

Posted by Ken on November 1, 2008 at 5:04 PM (CDT)

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