Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Metro Detroit, Tampa Bay
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1320 Post(s)
That depends on how the threat of pulling the programming off of OTA and sending it to cable is interpreted. I took it to mean yanking network programming away from affiliates and fronting CBS, ABC etc. national cable channels.
Under your scenario, the affiliates will balk because, without being able to transmit network programming OTA, the local cable company will have full control over the station's success or failure. They'd have to abide by whatever terms the cableco dictated in order to get their programming and lifeblood advertising onto the systems.
Let's say I own the cable system in Podunk, Oklahoma, where the local CBS affiliate is KPDK. I'm going to CHARGE KPDK for access to my system. Must-carry won't be in affect since the programming will not be over-the-air. I won't lose customers to DSS because they don't provide LIL into Podunk to begin with. Even if they did, the CBS stream isn't over-the-air so DSS isn't obligated in any way. And I don't care if CBS yanks Showtime. Meh. I own the internet backbone for Podunk so even DSS customers have to pay me. With no way to get advertisements to viewers and no leverage, KPDK dies.
While O&Os would be able to negotiate carriage of the network program stream with large cable operators, the little guy won't have a prayer. Though I do imagine the Sinclair vs Comcast carriage battle in this scenario would be epic.
Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.