How Much Carriage Does A Network Really Need? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-09-2006, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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There's something I'm trying to find out, and I'm hoping that the knowledgeable readers here can help me out (or point me to a good source).

I've been blogging lately about cable's attempt to find more space for HD channels, and everything I've read so far indicates that even though there will be a gradual expansion in space, there will still be a large and growing "channel gap" between what cable can do and what various alternatives (like satellite and FIOS) will be offering in the next few years.

The question for me is; if a planned HD network knows that they may have to rely on non-cable distribution until cable's capacity catches up, will they bother to launch? Can they make a viable business out of carriage on D*, E* and FIOS? Or will the HD channel universe be constrained by what cable can carry? This is something I'd like to blog about, and any info you can give me would be gratefully appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-10-2006, 06:38 PM
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You make a good point. One that I have thought of also. A new HD channel needs a carrier to launch a new HD channel. Frequently it has been satellite. Dish Network has many channels that are not carried anywhere else. That means that only about 12% of the homes could subscribe to those channels. Is that enough to be financially viable?

Often however I think a channel goes HD because they want to start generating their shows in HD to make sure those shows are not obsolete in the future. Once they start making shows in HD starting a HD channel is really just a second thought.

Just my ramblings.

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post #3 of 4 Old 06-10-2006, 07:01 PM
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There is no HD channel which is commercially viable on its own at the moment.

Traditionally advertisers on Madison Avenue have not taken any network seriously (for the most part) until it has at least 40 million subscribers.

Of course there are nowhere near that many HD households yet.

Bob: corporations will launch HD channels as quickly as they can because they need to stake out their claim to space in the HD world. Sometime in the future, maybe even the relatively near future, there will be myriad ways to deliver channels to consumers directly, and so a lack of cable spoace wouldn't be that important.

On the othger hand, who know what compression advances could be lurking just around the corner? It would be imprudent to delay starting HD networks when the explosion of HD buying is on the horizon.
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-10-2006, 07:26 PM
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I think that there would be more of a "land grab" attitude because of this. Lets face it, if you can get your HD channel on a cable lineup while there is still room available, then you won't have such a hard time launching it two years from now when HD has become more mainstream. Two years from now you might have to fight dozens of other channels trying to get in the few spots that might be available on a normal cable system.

but if you get your channel out now and on a lineup, then its harder for you to get dropped once you are established.
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