In the late '90s, congress mandated that broadcasters had to build and broadcast in a digital format and created a timetable for that to happen. WWMT has been broadcasting digitally since July of 2002, (WWMT-TV's legal Digital Television name is WWMT-DT and its digital assignment is Channel 2) and in High Definition for CBS prime programming since September of 2002. WWMT has invested nearly two million dollars to be able to do this, and CBS has invested much more than that. That cost is in addition to the cost of producing the programs in a digital, high-definition format.
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Nancy L. Trimble Kern
Public Relations Mgr.
OK, WWMT has spent a lot on getting a federally mandated DT feed on the air. It seems to me that the costs stated would have been spent regardless of if any cable or satellite system wanted to pick up the feed.
First problem: The FCC does not require ANY broadcaster to be HD. So any money WWMT spent to make it HD or to pass CBS HD was entirely WWMT's choice. Why did they choose to do that? Hopefully to better serve their viewers on the bandwidth so kindly handed to them, for free, by our government.
Second problem: All that money was spent for the broadcast ... why do they NEED reinbursement from cable and satellite providers? It would be understandable if there was an EXTRA cost to getting on cable.
But, not only has our government given WWMT valueable spectrum, they have given them and other broadcasters the power to withhold their signals to cable and satellite viewers within their own Grade B viewing area.
One can only hope that once other, more enlightened, broadcasters get their HD signals on cable that WWMT will lose viewers. Ratings could be the wakeup call Ms. Trimble Kern and her company needs to get in gear. After all, ratings is money -- and if that's what WWMT cares about they should pay attention!