Originally posted by hjriver Your beef IMO is with the cable company, not FOX-35.
I have no beef with FOX35 because I receive them free OTA. My only beef would be IF FOX35 or any cable provider would charge the customer, directly or indirectly, for free OTA analog and/or digital programming. I am no fan of cable, but I would assume the FCC, in conjunction with the multitude of local Cable Commissions, regulate the price of cable programming in most areas. Likewise, free OTA should be made available free of charge to DBS providers for retransmission within that specific DMA.
Free TV is Free TV...period! I receive programming fror 4 DMA (DC, Baltimore, Richmond and Charlottesville). If I elect to wire my neighborhood and retransmit all the free OTA broadcast I receive to my neighbors via an IP Network...then so be it. I should be allowed to charge a nominal free to cover my expenses...however, I should be shot if I were to profit 1 penny in doing so. The same standard should apply to cable and DBS providers.
I understand what you are saying in regard to the investments the network broadcasters are making, and I don't mean to sound cold-hearted, but that is a problem between the broadcasters, their trade association, and the FCC. You are correct when you state, "nothing is free." When I purchased my Ford Truck, I was paying the network broadcasters, who have been paid handsomely by Ford Motor Company to advertise on their networks. Likewise, I'm sure I contributed a little something to the broadcasters when I drank that sparkly diet soda a short while ago. The broadcasters need to get busy making money on their digitals by selling baseballs, hot dogs, apple pies and Chevrolet's...and not charging the cable companies, nor satellite companies, a fee to carry their FREE digital signals. Personally, I am not about to spend one red cent for cable of DBS providers to provide ABC-HD, CBS-HD, FOX-HD, NBC-HD. My local cable company provides them "in the clear" for anyone possessing a box with a digital QAM tuner or a digital cable ready TV. Should the cable company be reimbursed a few pennies each month by their subscribers for the equipment and facilities required to support these network digitals? Yes! But should they profit from them? No! The FCC and their Tennant local Cable Commissions should oversee compliance.
If the broadcasters are losing money maintaining analog and digital facilities, then they again need to address this matter with the FCC. Eventually, the tax-payer and consumer will pay the bills, but it would be very unfair to charge cable and DBS providers (and thus the consumer) for these digital services. Network broadcasters have been leading the way in the HD revolution and I wish them all the success in the world. My viewing habits in the past 2 years have certainly changed; I am now watching 50% of my programming from the major network providers - used to be about 15%...they need to find a way to capitalize on this without charging for the carriage of their digital signals.
I also have no beef with my local cable company because they, as I mentioned before, are not charging for carriage of digital locals. I am no fan of cable (left for a few years), but I recently signed up for a "HD DVR Promo" for the next 6 months because the price was excellent and my DBS provider does not have an affordable (any) HD DVR service at present. However, I would be upset if I were to find out the Cable Co was profiting from free OTA.
Anyway, these are MY OPINIONS and you are free to disagree.