Originally posted by marshdom
For whatever it's worth (and I fear not much), I just got done sending an email to both Emmis and KOIN. The thought of not having KOIN via Comcast in time for the Super Bowl is highly depressing.
I'll post any replies that I receive. I guess we'll just have to hope for the best ... but I'm not feeling very good about our chances. Anyone with "inside" insights from Comcast, KOIN, or Emmis?
I got a response Monday last week from David B. Lippoff, KOIN 6 TV Vice President & General Manager, after sending a message to Emmis on the weekend. It was prompt, which I appreciated.
The response was quite long and detailed. I won't post it, since I haven't asked permission, but I'll summarize his position:
1. KOIN wants to transmit more than simply the CBS HD signal on their HD channel. They want to transmit local shows. Comcast only wants to pass through the HD signal.My Comment:
It isn't clear to me how much bandwidth they would use for this and I don't know how much they get to use OTA. In my mind, I imagine a CBS HD feed being about 17-19 Mbps and then KOIN adding a 6 or so Mbps additional signal for a total of about 25 Mbps. That 25 Mbps signal is probably what Comcast is objecting to. I think Comcast should pass it all through, although it's not worth missing the HD Super Bowl over. KOIN should educate their customers and we can pressure Comcast if we want that signal.
2. Emmis/KOIN believe that it is not fair for cable companies to profit be selling the HD signal. Emmis/KOIN should be paid for the signal.My Comment:
I object to this. Comcast provides a service to their customers by making programming available conveniently. If I paid some guy to stand on my roof and adjust my antenna every time I had a signal problem, KOIN wouldn't be entitled to a dime. I view this the same way. Comcast also makes money by providing programming that isn't available OTA. That has no bearing on KOIN.
My feeling is that Emmis/KOIN is trying to charge its customers for HDTV. They have no mechanism for charging OTA customers, but they feel they can charge cable customers by claiming unfairness, in that cable companies profit by carrying their signal.
I see OTA as wholesale and cable/satellite as retail. I don't see why manufacturers should expect retailers to return some of their profit. KOIN has a wholesale price of free, supported by commercials. They need to stick to that.
If Comcast required the purchase of a higher level of service, like a digital cable package, to receive the HDTV signal I would change my position. My understanding is that Comcast, while they'd like you to upgrade the level of service, will allow the rental of an HDTV box with any package. I don't view the rental fee as unreasonable, when compared with the cost of an OTA receiver.
I've though about responding to Mr. Lippoff, but I've hesitated because I would mainly be repeating what I said in the original email to Emmis.
Finally, I don't expect any CBS HD programming soon and I'm p***ed.