That guy does seem to be quite good at making money through Esperanto, that's for sure. It's interesting how one can make the impression of a demand for something and then use that to turn it into a business. I don't mean Esperanto here, but a kind of body makeup that started selling here in Korea last year when one of the most famous girls in the country had a commercial blitz where she uses the makeup to make her legs all shiny and sparkly as well as her face with regular makeup, and a lot of people decided that they'd better get some leg makeup as well as a result. I've wondered what would happen if a company decided to completely market an IAL, but making preparations ahead of time with copyright, books to publish, www urls and so on. Half of the market here for English language education is based on selling textbooks, and the schools do their best to ensure that people who don't know English all that well feel left out because of it.
BTW, one thing I noticed about the Espo tv when I watched it a few times - I might be wrong since I only took a look here and there, but I didn't see any programs of people just sitting around chatting. Lots of documentaries, learning Esperanto courses, musical concerts and so on, but what I find most interesting is seeing people just chatting about current events or whatnot. Maybe the disparity of population makes arranging that a bit difficult?

On 3/15/06, Donald J. HARLOW <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
MacLeod Dave skribis je 2006.03.14 9.58 atm...
> Is this...
> -a preposterous sum?
> -just about right?
> -a bold move to make Espo look as attractive as any other language (if
> it costs money it must be good)?
> -proof that it's not really that easy to learn?
> -a simple response to an already existing demand?
> -anything else?
> Just curious what others make of it.

Depends. There are basically two philosophies about teaching Esperanto:

(1) "Everyone deserves to have Esperanto available to them -- for free."

Xtreme translation: "Otherwise, nobody would be interested.

(2) "People only respect what they have to pay for."

Xtreme translation: "Wow, I've found a neat new method for making money!"

As another poster here suggested, I think, the internet has contributed
to the dominance of (1) -- at least on the internet.

On the other hand, when it comes to Esperanto, people _are_ willing to
pay -- for what I presume are their own reasons. Example: a couple of
years ago, one member of this list seemed very surprised that there were
people out there willing to pay on the order of $1500 for a life
membership in the Universala Esperanto-Asocio. (This is not necessarily
a losing deal for the payor, depending on how old he is when he pays it
-- In 1969 I paid an amount for a life membership that, today, would
cover two years of ordinary membership, almost. On the other hand, the
impression I get is that many payors are old enough that much of their
life memberships really will end up counting as a donation.)

Flavio Rebelo, in the Esperanto world, has a history of getting money
for causes that he (and others) consider good, for instance on-line
Esperanto television. I would suspect that he will find at least a few
students at 20 euros a lesson ...