Wednesday, June 02, 2004

its business

I actually have a lot of things to blog about. I just came home from watching England vs Japan, and I am half dead. However, this has been bugging me for a long time, and I received something in my e-mail which I had to get off my shoulders before I tuck into bed.

Its this stuff about Astro. As most people might already know, Astro wants to increase their subscription fee. Of course, as consumers, we want the price to stay as low as possible. No matter how any company justifies their price hike, we want it to remain the same, if not lower. So, a lot of people get pissed off. We write letters to newspapers. We write hate mails to Astro. And we complain about it online in forums, devising 1853 ways that Astro can improve their service before increasing the price.

My family has had Astro in our house since 1997, one of the first few batches of people to get "dream tv". And yes, I feel ripped off that all the years of loyalty has not payed off. Of course those people who complained has warranted reasons. You can't watch the damn thing in the rain (Although that really isn't Astro's fault). There are quite a lot of advertisements (Although Sky TV here has tons of advertisements as well on certain channels - but nobody complains). They keep repeating shows it seems (Again, Sky TV does that too).

So yes, we are cheesed off.




Put yourself in Astro's shoes. If you have an open market knowing damn well that you hold the monopoly, and knowing damn well that people can't live on free TV (cuz the programs suck), then why don't you charge as much as you possibly can?

There are programs we can't live without - like football for me. Like golf for my dad. For kids, free TV doens't provide a 24 hour cartoon channel. And as much as people complain about the repeated movies, free TV, unlike HBO doesn't go uninterrupted without advertisements (last I checked) and sure as hell don't have shows as good as HBO Saturday (or is it Sunday) night premiers. So if you fully well know that you can get away with stealing the money of your customers without breaking any laws, then why not?

Its a no-brainer really. If you have no competitors, you squeeze the blood out of everybody and make as much money as you can, until a competitor comes along, then only do you start improving your services and dropping your prices.

So stop bitching about people who are smart asses when doing business. Its just business.

P/S: Just figured something out. If you are the type who complains about repeated programs, think about this:

24 hours a day, assuming one movie is 2 hours long. Therefore, if HBO does not repeat the programs, there would be 12 new movies everyday. 360 new movies every month. See where I am getting at? Ok, now allow them to repeat the movies, a maximum of 6 times. That still means, there are 60 new movies a month. Thats just on ONE channel. We have 3 movie channels, no? Can you think of 180 A-grade movies to show - a month. Think then of 2160 new movies to show every year. Possible? Yes, but they would have to show home-made movies, and movies dating back to 1952. Therefore, in order to keep showing A-grade Hollywood movies, they have to show it more than 10 times a month, and maybe for a few months. So, think about it before complaining ok.

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