While Pay per View is understandable and okay by some of us, we as a community seem to think that it is too much too soon.
The Sudden change in the business model MLG seems to be taking is very much a shock to us. We are used to getting free content and we are used to paying for content. However, making a very sudden change so close to an event is creating quite a bit of controversy.
Last year MLG offered free ad supported streams and paid streams without ads. We as a community understood this and some of us paid for single events, others paid for a Gold membership.
In 2011 the MLG had a very rocky start and some of the events were poorly streamed and MLG spent quite a bit of time trying to ingratiate itself to us as viewers. MLG as a company worked hard to fix its image after the Dallas fiasco. MLG offered discounts and free HD to those of us who were affected by the Dallas stream and Decorah Eagles distraction. Over time MLG became "friendly" in our eyes as a community and willing to make things right as it were.
This PPV for 20 dollars is very sudden especially in an era in SC2 where we pay less on average for similarly high quality product or receive high quality product for free with tournaments like the ESV Korean Weekly. After providing us with a great product lineup in 2011, and discounting it due to issues regarding stream reliability many of us would have been glad and very willing to pay for the same model full price this year.
My understanding is that Gold members still have access to all Major tournaments showings (such as colombus) in the same way we did last year and this PPV is only for the Winter Arena (so far). Vods will then be available a week later.
While this is okay, many of us expected to have access to watch the winter arena as paying gold members. Many people with limited entertainment incomes were expecting a free stream. With only 11 days remaining before the MLG Winter Arena starts these preconceptions regarding the MLG model (however reasonable they may or may not be) were broken. This makes it very sudden. People can not budget their money over the next 11 days to purchase the PPV. UFC fanatics who know the next event will cost 30 dollars for example might decide to set aside some money to watch the event, or get friends together to split the cost. With only 11 days, it becomes difficult to make plans such as these. Furthermore, since the event covers multiple streams and 3 days having friends over to split the cost of the PPV also changes the dynamic that other PPV sports benefit from. With other sports, a PPV covers one event which is often streamlined making it easy for multiple people to get the content. With multiple streams I as a protoss player might want to follow the protoss games, whereas my Zerg friend might want to follow the Zerg players.
In closing, I think its important to realise that while we as a community can and are often willing to pay for content, making a drastic change such as requiring 20 dollars in 11 days time to watch what we had assumed we would already have access to as paying or non paying individuals is jarring. Had it been cheaper, or had we been informed much earlier it would have been easier to digest. One or the other would help both would have been ideal.
Informing us as a community that MLG wants to move towards a PPV model for the Winter Arena (and other arenas thereafter) in late January and informing us that it would cost ten dollars many of us would have found it reasonable. The cost is not too high for a "pilot" project as it were and we would have had time to budget income to afford to pay for said content. Those who do not need to budget the money aside or factor in the amount when budgeting could have gone on with their lives and those with lower incomes or limited entertainment budgets would have been able to set something aside.
As it stands now it doesn't seem as though the PPV experiment will be a resounding success and indeed the community backlash seems to be quite negative as well.
Sorry for the long post but I really wanted to show my perspective and echo the concerns many people seem to be presenting.