Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Here’s John in Queens as we head back to the phones. John, I’m glad you waited. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello, sir.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, how you doing?

RUSH: Very fine. Thank you.

CALLER: Well, I’ve actually been thinking about this for a while, a way to limit media influence. You know, Canada passed a law a few years ago prohibiting cable companies from bundling their stations. Like in New York, for instance, I want the YES Network, I have (unintelligible) Yankees are on, I have to take everything. (Unintelligible) to get the max amount of programming, almost every station just to get that one channel. So, if it was offered a la carte, I think that would have a big impact on cleaning up cable TV, just drop MSNBC —

RUSH: It is interesting that you say this because doing show prep today, I encountered a story by a guy named John Nolte, and I think — I don’t remember where the piece was published. He may have his own website. I think I’ve heard of him. I know I have. I know I’ve mentioned his name before, but it’s exactly what you’re talking about, John. His theory, his premise was how to destroy CNN.

And he said, “Look, folks, CNN doesn’t have any audience already. So driving down their audience is not the way to do it. The way to damage CNN is to take money away from them.” So he asked the question: If CNN has a small audience — and they do. They’re now behind MSNBC. A national cable network with a cume audience of under a million total persons through much of the day, it’s embarrassing. And yet CNN doesn’t care. Well, I say they don’t care; I’m sure they’d be hoping to reach more people. But the problem is, the fact is they are still earning money as though they have an audience of 70 million. And it’s exactly because of what John’s talking about here.

They’re on cable. They’re a cable network. And, as such, they get a fixed amount of money per subscriber from every — it’s the Daily Wire. That’s right. It’s Ben Shapiro’s place. We talked about this with ESPN and how they’re hurting. ESPN has the highest subscriber rates in all of cable TV. ESPN is paid by cable companies around the country almost $7 per subscriber, before they sell a single commercial.

Even people that don’t watch ESPN are paying that because they’re buying a basic cable tier or maybe a bundle package here, a bundle package there. And as long as CNN is in one of the bundles, they get whatever their subscription fee is. And I think in CNN’s case, wild guess, I think CNN’s around $1.50, $1.75, two bucks. I mean, ESPN’s way, way, way above anybody else. So his theory was the way to really hurt CNN, because the advertising agencies are gonna still throw money at CNN ’cause they’re all liberals and they’re gonna give them money no matter what just because of, you know, ideological support and unity.

But if you really want to hurt CNN, or if you really want to hurt MSNBC, cancel your cable and find a way to get the networks you want by paying for them. And don’t buy CNN. Now, we’re getting to the point where people can do this. DirecTV Now is an online streaming service. They have three different tiers. And each tier offers more channels. They don’t have any local networks, but they do have CNN, ESPN, Fox News. But you can buy one of the tiers in DirecTV.

Now, I think that does not carry CNN or Fox or whatever, I’m not mistaken. But you can go a la carte, you could cancel everything. If you’re really into this, and really wanted to effect this kind of change, you could cancel your cable and replace it with online and streaming, and you go out and buy apps or whatever of the stuff you want to watch. At the top of everybody’s list there would be Netflix. With Netflix you’re practically covered on any you want entertainment-wise. For nine bucks a month you can by CBS and watch anything including their archives, CBS All Access.

NBC has an app; same thing. ABC has an app; same thing, if you want. CNN has an app. Fox News has an app, Comcast has announced a streaming service they’re gonna have just like DirecTV Now, which is AT&T. They’re gonna have theirs starting later this year. This is called cord cutting and it is very popular among Millennials who hate cable, they despise it ’cause they think cable companies are ripping people off, and they don’t watch. You have to spend X per month for 200 channels and they watch five. So they’re finding a way to only get those five channels, and in case of an emergency, being able to access a cable news channel if they need to or find a way to get it without paying for it. Piracy is a big deal.

Anyway, Nolte’s point was that we can’t hurt CNN any more than they’ve already been hurt by driving audience away ’cause they don’t have any, and you can’t hurt CNN by boycotting sponsors because the liberals that work in ad agencies are gonna send ’em money anyway. They’re gonna buy advertising for clients anyway. The only way to really do damage to CNN — and this is one example — is to eliminate the subscriber fee income they get from being on all these cable systems.

Now, I don’t think it’s realistic yet in this day and age, ’cause I don’t think we’ve gotten to the point where anywhere near, not even half the population even knows what cord cutting is, much less would go for it. Cable or satellite is still too easy. You call ’em up, you have ’em come out, they wire you up, you get your cable box, your DVR, and you’re set. But there is becoming a greater awareness of this now. And the awareness is the focus people have on how much they’re paying for what they don’t watch. How many of you have a cable system and a plan where you have access to a hundred channels, 150, 200, and how many of them do you actually watch? I mean, you don’t even surf through them all.

You have the five or six or whatever number it is that you watch and that’s that, but even the ones you’re not watching your monthly bill consists of how much that cable company has to send to CNN and ESPN and Fox News for these subscriber fees, whether you watch it or not, which is Nolte’s whole point. So John here in Queens is on to something. And again, we’re just at the leading edge inform. And I guarantee you these broadcast networks and properties and cable systems are highly aware of what’s going on. They’re already planning to battle with it.


RUSH: Yeah, it’s what I said. ESPN’s subscriber fee is $7 per subscriber. Per month! So multiply $7 times however many millions of people have ESPN in their homes on cable. It’s $7 times that number of millions per month; then do that times 12. Now, ESPN’s losing subscribers out the wazoo right now, and that’s why ESPN… You’ve seen the stories about how much money they’re losing. That’s why. It’s not that they’re losing advertising revenue. They’re losing subscriber fees.

They now might be faced with lowering that fee from seven to five or some such thing. It hasn’t happened yet. Now, I don’t know what CNN’s fee is. I don’t know what Fox’s is. I think Fox is around a couple bucks. But all of these premium channels, that’s why your cable bill is high. The cable company has to pay Fox, ESPN, whatever for the right to put the programming on the cable system. You can hate the cable companies all you want, but there’s another player here in how much it all costs, and that’s the providers — the content providers.

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