Sonoma, you're right about not needing Digital Cable to access HDTV. However, before I had become much more familiar with HD, I was given every impression that HD required Digital Cable. Many of the stores and companies I dealt with definately wanted you to believe you needed Digital Cable to get Digital Television. So, while you're right about limited basic and HD, this average consumer is not likely going to be told that. In fact, if you go to one major cable company's website and look for HD channels on your system with limited basic, the HD channels do not show up. Although it is interesting that the COO only said $10 or $15 which is the more common basic cable rate. So who knows what the Nexstar COO meant. Journalists can often misinterpret something just as easily as the COO could have been misleading. How much do you think the journalist understands about the difference between digital cable and digital television?
The media story isn't the easiest to follow, certainly as more facts come out it may be easier to say who is being unreasonable. As raidbuck points out, it certainly would seem unreasonable if the $.50 was for all customers not just QAM. So we'll see where it all falls out.
And Thomas, I think we're in agreement. I think that's also why it's only the broadcaster-only type companies are pursuing this.