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post #1441 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

Maybe local broadcasters could have a "National Week Without Locals".
Every affiliate can just carry whatever their net's flagship station is carrying for local news.

And, no local news on the internet.

You mean just the TV station web sites, right? Your not trying to draw local newspaper sites into your alliance, right?

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Make the local home page take you to USA Today or the Washington Post for your local stories. I wonder if the average viewer realizes how much local content some of their local stations do carry.
Or, do they even care?

The only time I go to TV station web sites is find information about what they are putting on television.

I prefer local newspaper sites for local news, so no, I wouldn't care.

Of course, The Washington Post IS a local newspaper for me, so maybe that's not quite fair.
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post #1442 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post

Interesting posting style ... just like another person in this thread replied to me, except he's not known for defending the OTA spectrum.

I decided to try posting in bold because it was easier. Becaue it was all in your quotes, I did not "post anything", so it told me I had to add at least one character in order to post. I pressed the "m" key and hit enter.

Interesting indeed.
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post #1443 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

If Pay TV went away, MOST people would simply install antennas.

And MOST people would have a lot LESS program content to choose from.

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Some would not have reception no matter what due to their location.

Damn right! Hold that thought.

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Of course, for these people, most likely they would need DBS anyways because cable would not reach their remote area.

You don’t seem to understand that DBS IS Pay TV, just like cable. I actually think we (the People/public) made a mistake not to require more of a free, or at least non-suscription, service from DBS as a condition of license, but we didn’t, so it’s a pay service.

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If OTA went away, [l]ess affluent people would need to go without TV because once OTA went away, naturally the price of basic cable would rise.

It’s fast rising anyway, and will continue to do so, unless/until we either curb retrans consent fees and/or mandate retrans stations to be sold a al carte only to those who want them.

Do you understand that the pay TV subscribers of America, many of whom may have no interest whatsoever in the offerings of ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC, are effectively SUBSIDIZING YOUR “FREE” SERVICE???

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Also, local programming would disappear so people

Well, I’m guessing that you’ve never tried to watch your city council meeting on TV, or you’d know that you can only find that on cable, or in few cases perhaps LP, PBS, or other NCE outlets. But definitely not on so-call “local” commercial broadcast.

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Bull. In my area, Lin broadcasting pulled their local Fox affiliate from Dish last week. People around here with Dish are angry at Lin. Why? Because … you tell them that it is Dish's God given right to steal local signals and distribute them to the masses for Dish's own profit.

Rebroadcasting a “free” signal intended for the pubic is NOT “stealing”. That is broadcaster/NAB propaganda. Unfortunately they were able to bribe Congress to turn that propaganda into law.

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Why is it that ESPN can garner $5+ per subscriber per month, yet a local Fox or CBS station should not be allowed to charge $1-2 per month per subscriber for their content, which is watched MUCH more than ESPN content is?

Because ESPN is a PAY service not using public spectrum as a delivery vehicle.

And fortunately, most systems do not force you to pay for it to get the lowest tier of service. But most people do have to pay for ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC to get ESPN. So effectively, ESPN viewers are “taxed” (think government or think Sopranos, same difference) by ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC when they buy ESPN. How is that fair? Either to ESPN or their subscribers?

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By the way, if ESPN, Discovery, etc. are such commanding broadcasters, then THEY should be also making their money via huge advertising contracts and not by huge retrans fees...after all, that IS what you are paying them also, correct? If not, why are you not forcing them to give you their content at no cost?

Because they are not using a scarce public resource, broadcast spectrum, as a delivery vehicle.

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Why is their model different than OTA?

They have a “dual revenue stream” business model, meaning they get money from advertisers and subscriptions. And dual revenue stream is also the business model that ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC deeply covet.

What you don’t seem to understand, dear “free”-OTA viewer, is that YOU are a MERE PAWN in the networks’ battle to achieve that end.

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Major networks could indeed go "Pay TV" like ESPN. Local OTA would be reduced to locally produced content only.

Works for me!!! Isn’t that the line broadcasters have been peddling for years? They deliver local content.

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Eventually, most local broadcasting would cease, then perhaps all of it.

Rubbish! As long as we provide spectrum, people will line up to use it. They might not broadcast the same nationally distributed content that you get now, but they will broadcast something.

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Unfortunately, while Pay TV wins in the short run, they lose in the long run because overall viewership goes down because not everyone will pay for TV.

Why would anyone who likes CNN, ESPN, or HBO stop paying for it just because ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC go away? That makes no sense whatsoever.

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At some point then, internet or some other medium takes over and Pay TV dies also.

And the problem with that is?

HBO is already shifting to internet distribution. And if/when that internet service becomes as friendly to my DVRs and TVs as Verizon does now, why shouldn’t I cut out the unnecessary middle man?

I once got HBO from cable. Then I got it from DBS. Now I get if from a telco. Technology advances, the market shifts, life goes on. What’s the problem?

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Unfortunately, the cost of all of this is our fantastic national Emergency Broadcast System, which has served us much better than new technologies when true disasters strike.

Please tell me when that has ever been invoked.

Only thing I’ve ever seen is the obnoxious mandatory test messages, and unfortunately no, they don’t go away when you switch to cable/telco, they actually get much WORSE.

My biggest gripe with Verizon right now is that the damned EAS notifications interrupt not only viewing but recording as well whenever they broadcast them. So my DVRs are effectively useless between about 0230 and 0430 because I can never be sure I won’t lose one or two crucial minutes in the middle of a movie.

And what’s even worse, the messages interrupt and disable real weather information being presented on regular channels. How in the world is that helpful? I, frankly, would much rather normal broadcast operations continue during an “emergency” than have the government effectively commandeer all frequencies for its own message.


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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

Then one way for them to fight is by charging retrans fees. It's their content.

Actually, NO! It is NOT "their" content, once they broadcast it!!! It’s actually OUR content, at least to a limited extent, which we ALREADY PAID FOR by giving them free spectrum.

That was supposed to be the deal. WE, THE PUBLIC, give broadcasters spectrum, and they give US free content, which they pay for by selling ad time within the free content.

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If another broadcaster wants to use the local affiliate's broadcast, then they should pay them just as they do ESPN, Discovery, Disney, etc.

Cable, DBS, and telcos are NOT broadcasters, they are multichannel service providers, bundlers basically, and when they deliver broadcast content, they are simply finishing the job that broadcasters were supposed to do anyway as a condition of license.

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If they don't want to pay them, then don't carry them.

When broadcasters can deliver a plug-and-play service to 100% of households, we can get rid of must-carry. Until then, we need must-carry. If broadcasters don’t want the free carriage, then they should be sold a la carte at whatever price the market will sustain.

But if it then turns out that they are only reaching a small minority of the population in their licensed service area, that should be grounds to reassign their license to a broadcaster who will use their spectrum more effectively.

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OK, so then Pay TV telcos go directly to the networks and ask to carry their signals. If ESPN gets $5+ per subscriber per month, what do you think that CBS and FOX would want? I would bet that it is well over $5 per subscriber per month.

As long as the service is not on a mandatory tier, who cares what they charge? People who think it’s worth it can pay, and those that don’t won’t. I certainly won’t pay, I can tell you that.

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many prior posts rip on [broadcasters] as greedy companies who can not run their business well enough to survive on their own without retrans fees from Pay TV telcos.

I bet they could.

Fine. Let’s abolish retrans consent and let them do it.


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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

The remainer of the people have to go to greater lengths, with some not being able to get reception reliably no matter what they try to do (mountainous and sparsely populated desert dwellers)

Actually, a lot of those people lost service in the transition. I personally know people who lost CBS completely. I think restoring that service should be a high priority, even if it’s in SD.

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The only fact that matters is that for several YEARS our government told us that DTV was going to be great, offering crystal clear digital picture and sound

Which it does and could continue to do even better using high powered 6-in-1 multiplex channels on VHF-hi only.

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PLUS HDTV with an even better picture and full surround sound.

Which could also continue using a more spectrum efficient technology such as that described in Sinclair’s comments.

However, to reiterate, I think restoring major network service, even in SD, to those that lost it should be a higher priority than maintaining free HD service.

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To do this, they claim all these wonderful new services that will be available like watching movies on a 3.5" smart phone screen. WOW! At what cost? Will these new services be free, or will those who are willing to pay (or can afford to pay) high usage bandwidth fees going to be the only ones to get these services?

The HD or mobile service could be free, assuming we create the proper regulations.

We could, for instance, grant broadcasters must-carry rights on the service of any wireless provider who offers video streaming using the reallocated spectrum. If they only provide handheld-quality streaming, then broadcasters would get that, but if they provide HD streams as in Sinclair’s model, broadcasters could have that, too. And those service could also be required to be in the clear, meaning they would be FREE, if the broadcaster elected must-carry instead of retrans consent.

. . .

At the end of the day, the basic problem with your thinking is your assumption that the major broadcast nets WANT to provide a free service to you. But the evidence is clear, even in the news article that you, yourself, have cited, that they really do NOT want to do that, and you really need to get a clue about that.


Disclaimers/disclosure: I do not now, nor have I ever, worked for a broadcast company, cable company, DBS company, telco, or wireless provider. Closest I ever came was writing some software for use on cell phones. But now I'm retired.
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post #1444 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post

It doesn't matter what is popular ... what matters is what people will pay for. People pay for crap. That's how OTAs make money off of running per inquiry infomercials on their main feeds and subchannels. People pay for crap.

Exactly. People ARE, for some reason, willing to pay for a lot of crap from Pay TV providers.
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post #1445 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Falcon_77 View Post

LIN Pulls 27 Stations from Dish

http://tvtechnology.com/article/114934

This thread is getting to be a bit much to read, but I don't remember seeing this point being discussed:



FCC Retrans Proposal Includes Elimination of Non-Dupe Rule

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/114830

If cable and satellite companies companies can bring in stations like WABC, to supplant WTNH in New Haven, then what future does local broadcasting have? i.e., could WTNH survive on the 1-2% that receive their signal OTA in the area (one of the lowest OTA areas)? I expect not.

Another affiliate could only be brought in if the station pulls their signal.
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post #1446 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post

Interesting posting style ... just like another person in this thread replied to me, except he's not known for defending the OTA spectrum.

Not sure who/what you are talking about, but if it's about the posting where I used a random letter to fill in after the "quote" box, that's all it was. The system would not let me use "multi-quote" so I answered within the original message, and it would not let me submit the reply until I put some character in the remainder of the message. So, I hit the nearest key, which was the letter "m".

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post #1447 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

Exactly. People ARE, for some reason, willing to pay for a lot of crap from Pay TV providers.

Do you have something against pay TV providers?

If you think their service is crap, don't buy it. What's the problem?
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post #1448 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

Exactly. People ARE, for some reason, willing to pay for a lot of crap from Pay TV providers.

And that's the point. You think satellite would die without OTA or they would have to drop their rates "88%"? Nope. Satellite was BUILT on the content that didn't make the top 100 list - and the fact that cable/satellite shows are on the top shows list show that this alternative to OTA distribution IS working.

If there were only 100 shows to choose from the top 100 would be more useful. But there are thousands of shows to choose from on hundreds of channels. I get over 150 video channels without counting the religious/shopping/PI channels and watching NASA TV and launches on HD Net isn't something that you'll see more than a clip of on OTA stations.

The top rated regular OTA show last week? 80% of viewers watched something else (or nothing). Something else is what cable/satellite customers are paying for.
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post #1449 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

Do you have something against pay TV providers?

If you think their service is crap, don't buy it. What's the problem?

Again, exactly the point! I don't buy it. There is no problem with that.

The problem is with whiny people who will pay for that crap, but don't want to put up an antenna, yet complain about paying for local channels on their Pay TV.

Either pay the money for the retrans fees or drop the locals because you don't like the crap content.

It is quite simple.
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post #1450 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

Either pay the money for the retrans fees or drop the locals because you don't like the crap content.

It is quite simple.

For a combination of technical, legal, and business reasons, a multichannel service subscriber usually cannot "drop the locals". So it is not simple at all.

Otoh, the more I read from people like you, the more inclined I am to think the "simple" thing to do would be just to eliminate OTA and be done with it.

Here's a question for you: if ABC, CBS, et. al. are each worth, according to you, at least as much as ESPN, which gets, by your figures, $5/month/subscriber, why do you feel entitled to receive those services without charge in the first place?
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post #1451 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

otoh, the more I read from people like you, the more inclined I am to think the "simple" thing to do would be just to eliminate OTA and be done with it.

Here's a question for you: if ABC, CBS, et. al. are each worth, according to you, at least as much as ESPN, which gets, by your figures, $5/month/subscriber, why do you feel entitled to receive those services without charge in the first place?

Simple, I own the infrastructure needed to both receive and distribute the signal, and I don't resell said signal. Cable companies receive the same signal, then run cable into your home. DBS companies receive the signal, then send it to a satellite where it is sent to you. Local broadcasters provide us this service free of charge. Pay TV companies take that service then resell it to their customers, making a profit from it.

Content providers are protected by copyright laws. If a musical artist records a song, it is protected. If you copy it, you pay royalties. If an artist creates a picture, it can not be copied and resold without royalty fees. If a photographer takes a picture, it can not legally be used by any other entity without permission. Hmmm, if a broadcaster produces the audio and video for a sporting event, it can not be copied and sold for profit, or rebroadcast, without the expressed written consent of...fill in the blanks.

Gee, I wonder why local broadcasters want retrans fees? Even farther, I wonder why the networks are now telling their local affiliates that they want their fair share of these retrans fees?

Can you guess?

Perhaps because it is content that they produced and they want to be protected from someone else making a profit from their work.

If local OTA goes away, you will simply end up paying huge amounts to the networks just as you do to ESPN, Discovery, and the rest. OOPS! You already are paying NBC, ABC, FOX et al, just that you are paying for Universal Sports, Disney/ ESPN, Fox sports/ Fox News, et al.

I guess I said that you will be paying ADDITIONAL for the networks content.
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post #1452 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

Simple, I own the infrastructure needed to both receive and distribute the signal, and I don't resell said signal.

You’re evading the issue.

Why do you think your infrastructure investment entitles you to indefinitely receive a service with real monetary value at no charge?

You said you could get basic cable with local channels for $15/month. You said the major broadcasters are worth at least $5/month each, which means over $20/month for the big 4. So even without OTA, you could still realize over $5/month of consumer surplus. Is that not enough for you? You have to have $20/month? How greedy are you?

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Perhaps because it is content that they produced and they want to be protected from someone else making a profit from their work.

If they do not feel that ad revenue alone can provide sufficient compensation for their work/property, they should sell it directly to pay providers and stop tying up valuable spectrum.

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If local OTA goes away, you will simply end up paying huge amounts to the networks just as you do to ESPN, Discovery, and the rest. OOPS! You already are paying NBC, ABC, FOX et al, just that you are paying for Universal Sports, Disney/ ESPN, Fox sports/ Fox News, et al.

Or maybe, without OTA, I could buy HBO without buying a basic tier, and I could pay Time-Warner without Disney, CBS Inc., News Corp., and Comcast/NBCU each taking a cut.

(Hopefully, internet distribution will make that possible at some point, anyway.)
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post #1453 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 09:51 PM
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Why do you think your infrastructure investment entitles you to indefinitely receive a service with real monetary value at no charge?

Because he's not making a profit off of it?

There's that and the fact that receiving OTA transmissions over-the-air is free since he's not reselling them.

But you know, that would be a good question for pay tv providers.
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post #1454 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 09:57 PM
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Actually, NO! It is NOT "their" content, once they broadcast it!!! It’s actually OUR content, at least to a limited extent, which we ALREADY PAID FOR by giving them free spectrum.

Eh...Oh never mind.
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post #1455 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

You’re evading the issue. No I am not. I answered. I am not reselling it.

Why do you think your infrastructure investment entitles you to indefinitely receive a service with real monetary value at no charge? Because local broadcasters offer it for free to their viewers in exchange for ad revenue. This is fair because I am not reselling the content. You should read my post over. I said this many times.

You said you could get basic cable with local channels for $15/month. You said the major broadcasters are worth at least $5/month each, which means over $20/month for the big 4. So even without OTA, you could still realize over $5/month of consumer surplus. Is that not enough for you? You have to have $20/month? How greedy are you? I said that I feel that network content is worth more than ESPN, considering how their programs rank in the ratings. As it stands, local broadcasters are getting 10-20 cents/ month per subscriber. I have read that the networks want more, so the local affiliates need to collect more. I have no problem with that. It is their content and they should be able to set the price at whatever the market will bear.

I am not greedy at all. I took the steps needed to aquire a signal OTA and I am using it in a way that is acceptable to the provider. How is that greedy? It sounds more like you may be a bit jealous that I am not paying monthly for something that you are paying for simply because of a situation that you decided to accept by purchasing content from a reseller.


If they do not feel that ad revenue alone can provide sufficient compensation for their work/property, they should sell it directly to pay providers and stop tying up valuable spectrum. Local networks pay for licenses and then are required to purchase and upkeep equipment needed to transmit. Transmission costs are expensive. Staffing is expensive. The spectrum is theirs only as long as they play by the rules. However, greedy, rich telecoms that are not yet utilizing all of the spectrum that they have already aquired from TV want more simply so they can better monopolize the spectrum and force ALL people to buy media from them. Unfortunately, our government is no longer caring about a limited resource and is, instead, trying to permanently sell it to the highest bidders.

Or maybe, without OTA, I could buy HBO without buying a basic tier, and I could pay Time-Warner without Disney, CBS Inc., News Corp., and Comcast/NBCU each taking a cut.

(Hopefully, internet distribution will make that possible at some point, anyway.)

You must be thinking of the nationwide wireless internet that will take away all of the spectrum and cost trillions of dollars and then won't work when it's really needed...you know, like Verizon and the 911 blizzard problems.
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post #1456 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 10:18 PM
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Hopefully we can move back to the discussion at hand.

Here ya' go, Trip.

http://www.rbr.com/tv-cable/small-br...trum-grab.html

Quote from the article:
We have members of our coalition that have developed ‘free broadband’ models ready to deploy over the next 6-12 months using broadcast TV spectrum. The plan is simple and cheap, and it is here and now – harness the power of broadcasting – its ability to deliver the vast amount of common content with one transmission to thousands of citizens without wasting thousands of discrete individual one-on-one Internet connections.”
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post #1457 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tim58hsv View Post

Because he's not making a profit off of it?

So then I should be able to go into a store and take anything I want without paying so long as I don't turn around and sell it at a profit? What an interesting theory

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There's that and the fact that receiving OTA transmissions over-the-air is free since he's not reselling them.

You're evading.

The question is why is it necessary for OTA to continue? Why do people feel entitled to free TV programming?

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But you know, that would be a good question for pay tv providers.

Pay TV providers are not end users of programming. They are delivery agents. The situation is not analogous.

One more time: why do you feel entitled to receive free TV programs?
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post #1458 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 10:36 PM
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On a side note, I used to have cable (for 22 years) and I stopped subscribing when they raised my rates by over 150% in one quick step! You see, I used to pay $99/month for TV, internet and phone. One day, they raised rates to $155/month. I dropped TV and my phone and internet dropped to $65. So, my cable TV only cost was $34 and rose to $89, in package.

My parents have Dish and no longer get FOX due to the Lin dispute. I will install an antenna for them and they will drop their locals from Dish.

My brother also has Dish, but I installed an antenna long ago for him. Yet, his equipment failed and they wanted $100 for a service call. After the service, reception went out a day later. By the time it was working again, over 3 weeks had passed. they still wanted money for the service charge. i told him not to pay it, and furthermore, hs should fight for 3 weeks off his bill. After all, he rents the equipment from them, they should have to maintain it. It was finally settled to where he got the credit and did not pay for the service calls. This shows me the greed of Pay TV companies.

I could care less about retrans fees. I simply think that resellers should pay whatever the market will bear for all content. If nobody wants to watch FOX, then don't pay the retrans fees. But then, don't complain that FOX is not allowing their signal to be used for profit. Move on and watch your other channels.

If you want to complain about being forced to pay for these channels, then call your provider and tell them to eliminate the channel. When I subscribed, I would have loved to have only the few channels I watched, instead of the 150 crappy channels that were forced on me. In the end, that is why I stopped subscribing.
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post #1459 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

So then I should be able to go into a store and take anything I want without paying so long as I don’t turn around and sell it at a profit? What an interesting theory…

Yea, as long as you don't sell it you should be allowed to swipe it.

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You’re evading.

Huh?

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The question is why is it necessary for OTA to continue? Why do people feel entitled to free TV programming?

We must be greedy.

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Pay TV providers are not end users of programming. They are delivery agents. The situation is not analogous.

Analogous. There's a word you don't see everyday.

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One more time: why do you feel entitled to receive free TV programs?

Because it's the norm.

Do you believe everyone should pay to have a nice variety of tv channels? I've got 42 OTA channels here right now. Why should I have to pay a corporation to watch any of them?
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post #1460 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

I said that I feel that network content is worth more than ESPN, considering how their programs rank in the ratings. As it stands, local broadcasters are getting 10-20 cents/ month per subscriber. I have read that the networks want more, so the local affiliates need to collect more.

Then maybe you should help your local affiliates by sending them a contribution for the service they provide. Works for PBS; why not ABC, CBS, et. al.?

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It is there content and they should be able to set the price at whatever the market will bear.

As long as they are using public spectrum to deliver it, I disagree.

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I am not greedy at all. I took the steps needed to aquire a signal OTA and I am using it in a way that is acceptable to the provider.

But in case you haven't noticed, only a small minority of the population has done that. And some of us feel that providing a free service for the small minority of which you are a part is not the best use of spectrum.

And your apparent complete lack of regard for the costs borne by others doesn't exactly make me more sympathetic to your cause.

So. . .

One . . . more . . . time:

WHY should WE, the public, most of whom are NOT receiving the same free service YOU are, maintain laws and regulations to continue that service, just for YOU?

(Seriously, are you comprehending this at all?)

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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

My parents have Dish and no longer get FOX due to the Lin dispute. I will install an antenna for them and they will drop their locals from Dish.

My understanding is that Dish no longer allows service without locals.

But for your parents' sake, I hope I'm wrong and I hope you can do that, because that was one Dish's policies that I always liked.

The thing I don't like about ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC is that they are basically holding free service to people like you and your parents hostage in order to extort money from people like me.

I object to that.

I'm not really sure why you don't object, except that I guess when you are the beneficiary of largesse, it easiest if you don't look too hard at who else may be getting hurt in the process.
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post #1461 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

So then I should be able to go into a store and take anything I want without paying so long as I don't turn around and sell it at a profit? What an interesting theory Sure, if the store owner is OK with it. However, I doubt that you are dumb enough to see this as the same thing.

You're evading.

The question is why is it necessary for OTA to continue? Why do people feel entitled to free TV programming? I don't feel "entitled" to free OTA. Broadcasters provide it as a medium for their programming. Embedded in their programming are advertisement time slots. these slots are sold. Broadcasting them is a means of profit. Resellers need to purchase this content because they are making a profit off from it. Perhaps you should stop being paid for your work. After all, why should your employer not be allowed to make a profit for your work without paying you? In the old days, they called that slavery.

I guess that it isn't neccessary for OTA to continue. I will bet money though, that if it disappears, MANY people who now have pay TV service will quickly find higher prices to be TOO high. Monopolies tend to do that. Also, you will find that without licensing, regulation and the threat to recall the spectrum license for bad behavior, (remember that the sale of spectrum will be permanent) the government will have very little, if any, control over collusion pricing.


Pay TV providers are not end users of programming. They are delivery agents. The situation is not analogous. They are delivery agents who are MAKING A PROFIT FROM CONTENT THAT SOMEONE ELSE PRODUCED. Try to keep up. This is not that hard.

One more time: why do you feel entitled to receive free TV programs? One more time, read my posts, or even an earlier comment in this post.

I really can keep answering the same questions over and over.
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post #1462 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

The question is why is it necessary for OTA to continue? Why do people feel entitled to free TV programming?

Because not only has it been the norm for over half a century but also because the airwaves do not belong to the greedy cell phone companies. They do not belong to DirecTV or Dish Network, the cable companies, or television broadcasters, they belong to us the people of the United States of America. Why should evil and greed and what is really nothing more than huge bribes (the spectrum auctions) be what determines the use of (and profits from) a public resource?
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post #1463 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tim58hsv View Post

Because it's the norm.

So in other words, it's always been like that, so it should always be like that. It's tradition???

Seriously is that the best ya got?

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Do you believe everyone should pay to have a nice variety of tv channels?

Well, actually, I'm sort of neutral on that question, as posed.

Under certain conditions, no, and under other conditions, yes.

I'm not aware of any Biblical commandment that says TV shalt be FREE. Are you?

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I've got 42 OTA channels here right now. Why should I have to pay a corporation to watch any of them?

But why shouldn't you, though?

I mean, TV and radio broadcasts were more or less completely free when I was a kid, so I do relate on some level to the sense of entitlement. I have two big OTA antennas, and hundreds of dollars of filters, amps, and other distribution equipment, which provide me with out of market service and a backup system in case of cable/satellite/telco service outages. So I would miss OTA, at least to some extent, if it went away.

I'm just looking for an actual public interest rationale for OTA, instead of the rather petulant and childish BECAUSE-I-WANT-IT whine that seems to underlie a lot of what is being posted here.
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post #1464 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tim58hsv View Post

Do you believe everyone should pay to have a nice variety of tv channels? I've got 42 OTA channels here right now. Why should I have to pay a corporation to watch any of them?

I have 13 OTA channels/subchannels. I have no problem paying for the content they don't provide.

All this talk of theft ... go back a couple of pages and read about delivery. OTA stations are handing out content for free. All you have to do is pick it up. Just don't you dare get help picking it up from a cable or satellite provider. If you do, the station no longer gives the same viewer the same content free.

The best analogy I can give is the station is running a free content store. Just come by and pick it up. But if you come in a cab your driver will be charged for bringing you to the free content store (since he's making money connecting you to the free content). And if your cabbie stops by RedBox so you can pick up a DVD the station will charge the driver even more (since he's helping you get competitive content to the station's free content).

It is delivery.
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post #1465 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

My understanding is that Dish no longer allows service without locals.

But for your parents' sake, I hope I'm wrong and I hope you can do that, because that was one Dish's policies that I always liked.

Unfortunately you're right. DISH no longer allows customers to opt out of locals ... which means more money to the stations demanding reconsent payments along with more money to pay for the high cost of getting that signal from the local market through the broadcast chain to subscribers in that market.

All the receive/backhaul/uplink/satellite costs are the same per market whether they have one customer opt in or 100,000. By making more customers pay DISH can come closer to covering those costs - especially in a market where the stations want a "cut of the profit" of a service provided at a loss.
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post #1466 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

Then maybe you should help your local affiliates by sending them a contribution for the service they provide. Works for PBS; why not ABC, CBS, et. al.? Why? I am using their content in a way that is acceptable to them.

As long as they are using public spectrum to deliver it, I disagree. You conveniently leave out the part about being licensed spectrum with rules set up expressly for the purpose that they are fulfilling.

But in case you haven't noticed, only a small minority of the population has done that. And some of us feel that providing a free service for the small minority of which you are a part is not the best use of spectrum. Again, why? It is perfectly acceptable for you to do the same. You choose not to, then complain about it being unfair.

And your apparent complete lack of regard for the costs borne by others doesn't exactly make me more sympathetic to your cause. The costs borne by others is of their own choosing. The people in question actually choose to purchase the service, including the channels that they don't care to watch. Nobody forces them. Nobody holds a gun to their head. I was once a subscriber and I know from experience that when I turned in the equipment and paid the final bill, I was immediately allowed to stop paying for and receiving the service. On a side note, there were probably 100+ channels that I NEVER ONCE watched, but i paid for them.
So. . .

One . . . more . . . time:

WHY should WE, the public, most of whom are NOT receiving the same free service YOU are, maintain laws and regulations to continue that service, just for YOU?

Because OTA provides a public service...the Emergency Broadcast System...that can not be duplicated by other means. Also, local breaking news and weather fits the same mold. Again, how is the Verizon blizzard thing working out? We had a storm last summer and cell phone reception stopped for several days. Power was out, but TV and radio, with remote power and backup systems, provided emergency and safety information. I have yet to see that with cable, satellite and cell phone service.

I am middle aged and I have driven on, perhaps, one tenth of 1 percent of all federal highways and interstates. Why should I, as a taxpayer who is not using the same roads that you are, help pay for YOUR roads? Oh yeah, in both cases, we either choose not to use the product, but they are still there if we want to.


(Seriously, are you comprehending this at all?) Are you?

My understanding is that Dish no longer allows service without locals.

But for your parents' sake, I hope I'm wrong and I hope you can do that, because that was one Dish's policies that I always liked.

The thing I don't like about ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC is that they are basically holding free service to people like you and your parents hostage in order to extort money from people like me.

I object to that.

I'm not really sure why you don't object, except that I guess when you are the beneficiary of largesse, it easiest if you don't look too hard at who else may be getting hurt in the process.

You are not hurt. You choose to pay because you want other services. Put up an antenna and drop locals. If you can not, then change the resellers, not the broadcasters.

I am not getting anything for "free". I bought equipment, including several TVs, antennas, a tower, concrete, cabling, amplifiers, splitters and combiners. All of this was bought in order to receive signals from a company that is willing to supply the content for a single specific use. Resellers do not conform to this use because they resell the content for their own profit.

You have every right to do the same. You choose not to.
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post #1467 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

So in other words, it’s always been like that, so it should always be like that. It’s tradition???

Seriously… is that the best ya got?

Yea, so I guess it's time I give in to the pay tv corporations.

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I’m not aware of any Biblical commandment that says “TV shalt be FREE.” Are you?

Ya' got me again.
I can't find a single mention in the King James version to support free tv.

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I mean, TV and radio broadcasts were more or less completely free when I was a kid, so I do relate on some level to the sense of entitlement.

THEY STILL ARE VIA OTA!

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I’m just looking for an actual public interest rationale for OTA, instead of the rather petulant and childish BECAUSE-I-WANT-IT whine that seems to underlie a lot of what is being posted here.

Public Interest?

How about you let OTA grow a bit since it went from analog to digital?
Why do you want to squash it right away when it shows so much potential since the switch?

Kill it before it grows?
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post #1468 of 2861 Old 03-07-2011, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by justalurker View Post

I have 13 OTA channels/subchannels. I have no problem paying for the content they don't provide.

All this talk of theft ... go back a couple of pages and read about delivery. OTA stations are handing out content for free. All you have to do is pick it up. Just don't you dare get help picking it up from a cable or satellite provider. If you do, the station no longer gives the same viewer the same content free.

The best analogy I can give is the station is running a free content store. Just come by and pick it up. But if you come in a cab your driver will be charged for bringing you to the free content store (since he's making money connecting you to the free content). And if your cabbie stops by RedBox so you can pick up a DVD the station will charge the driver even more (since he's helping you get competitive content to the station's free content).

It is delivery.

No, it is not delivery. It is reselling. The cab driver is simply taking you where you want to go. It does not matter where you go or why you are going. That is delivery. Resellers, on the other hand, deal with a specific product that they garner in order to sell for a profit. Think of it this way...YOU have a product that will provide comfort to certain people. (broadcaster with safety, emergency and entertainment content). You enlist the help of others in providing this product to your target people (advertisers that pay for airtime). You provide the product for free, but someone else sees this and gathers your product, selling it to the same people at a cost to them and a profit for the reseller. This is fair?

Please don't tell me that it is fair because they provide it at no cost. We know that resellers pay for infrastructure that will handle the added signals. This is NOT done out of the goodness of their hearts. It is done for profit.

Back to my analogy...You, as the originator of the product, have two choices. You can either stop them from reselling, so that all of the people that you wish to supply come to you for the free product, or, you can charge the reseller a fee for using your content for profit. If you choose option #1, some people will not be able to take advantage of your product because they, perhaps, can't get to your distribution center. If you choose option #2, the people who decide to purchase from the reseller will have to pay even more for something that you offered for free, but others will say no to the reseller and come to your distribution center and pick up their own for free, plus the cost of their transportation (which may be minimal or may be fairly substantial, depending on their location and surroundings).

In the end, your target people have a choice to come to you and get your helpful product for free, or they can pay a reseller. You simply decide that you worked hard to produce and distribute the product and although you were willing to give it away for free, you do not want to give it away for free to someone who is making a profit on your work.

OK now. While my analogy is close, there is one thing missing. You are actually in business to make a profit. You really decide that if the reseller is making money off your product, then in the case of the reseller, you need to set a price to him at the maximum that the market will bear.

There are NO "for profit" businesses that are in business to give their product away. America was founded on capitalism. Products are priced as high as the market will bear. I see no problem with that. Perhaps you do because you are unhappy with all of the terms that your provider forces upon you. If so, find a provider that does not force you to purchase locals from them, then, put up an antenna and get them for free...if you want them.
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post #1469 of 2861 Old 03-08-2011, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

I'm just looking for an actual public interest rationale for OTA, instead of the rather petulant and childish BECAUSE-I-WANT-IT whine that seems to underlie a lot of what is being posted here.

I have given it to you several times...the EBS, local safety and emergency information, the incredible ability to reach the masses OTA when cable, satellite, phone and cellular fail. It is amazing how a small generator, or even a car battery can allow you to catch information on TV and radio when all cellular and land line phone service is down and cable and satellite are out.

This IS an actual public interest rationale.
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post #1470 of 2861 Old 03-08-2011, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammer View Post

Why should evil and greed and what is really nothing more than huge bribes (the spectrum auctions) be what determines the use of (and profits from) a public resource?

I agree that spectrum should be licensed rather than auctioned.


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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

They are delivery agents who are MAKING A PROFIT FROM CONTENT THAT SOMEONE ELSE PRODUCED.

So what?

Look, suppose I call in an order to a Pizza store that delivers, they charge my credit card and agree to deliver to my address. 15 minutes later, I get a call that they are broken down a couple of blocks from my house, and they can't deliver the pizza. So I tell them that's ok, you're almost here, I'll send my kid out to pick it up. I give my kid a couple of bucks for his trouble. Does he owe the pizza place a cut?

No, because the pizza was ALREADY PAID FOR.

Now, sure, it might be nice if I also sent along a tip for the driver's trouble, but I could also rationalize not tipping because the service was poor.

Point is, there is no automatic entitlement to a cut just because someone else benefits or profits from your work. It all depends on the terms of the deal.

And the terms of the deal with broadcasters were that we provide free spectrum and they use it to deliver free programming. The deal was NOT that they deliver programming half of the way, to only half of the people, and then take a share of the revenue from other folks who finish their job.


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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

Because OTA provides a public service...the Emergency Broadcast System...that can not be duplicated by other means.

WRONG. I already covered that.

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Also, local breaking news and weather fits the same mold.

And again, WRONG. Many local markets have cable-only local news channels. Not common, perhaps, but certainly not impossible.

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Again, how is the Verizon blizzard thing working out? We had a storm last summer and cell phone reception stopped for several days. Power was out, but TV and radio, with remote power and backup systems, provided emergency and safety information. I have yet to see that with cable, satellite and cell phone service.

That's anecdotal.

Cox Cable service here was extremely unreliable until they rebuilt their system with fiber to local pods. Since then, I don't think I've seen a complete cable outage, even during numerous power outages, and it's probably been at least a decade now.

Otoh, there are local TV stations whose transmitters go off air every time we have a major storm.

Point being, no one technology is inherently more reliable than any other.

You still haven't offered anything that OTA provides that cannot be matched with other technology.


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Originally Posted by willscary View Post

There are NO "for profit" businesses that are in business to give their product away.

The product in commercial broadcasting was not supposed to be content. The product was supposed to audience, and the customers were supposed to advertisers.

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America was founded on capitalism. Products are priced as high as the market will bear.

The point of free market capitalism is NOT that free markets are GOOD and state planning is EVIL. The point is that the decentralized decision-making in competitive markets yields better resource allocation. But when you take out the decentralized decision-making, as the current TV delivery system does, then the benefits of the market are lost, and you actually end up worse off than with government planning.

That is, if ABC, CBS, et. al., and their affiliates are not viable on their own, without a cut from other services' profits, I would prefer that we simply have a tax on pay services, which would be itemized on our bills like PEG fees, and used to keep otherwise non-viable broadcasters in business. That would be HONEST.

Of course, when the public doesn't think the service deserves subsidization, it's difficult to get a tax passed. It's much easier just to back your truck up to the bank vault in the middle of the night. And that's why we have retrans consent. So that the broadcasters' extortion is effectively hidden from public view and understanding.

The LACK of a truly free market for TV content delivery is why content prices have been rising well above inflation rates for years, and have continued to do so even in the midst of a recession.


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Originally Posted by tim58hsv View Post

Public Interest?

How about you let OTA grow a bit since it went from analog to digital?

Well, congratulations!

Now that's actually a reasonable argument. First one I've seen in while.

And on that positive note, I'm outta here for tonight...

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