Originally Posted by richard korsgren
It is perfectly OK to have a variety of programming on a tv station....AS LONG IT DOES NOT TAKE AWAY FROM THE ONE HD PROGRAM YOU ARE SENDING OUT TO THE PUBLIC. Providers such as Directv will be showing over 100 channels of HD programming in the near future and more people will be purchasing HD displays. These people deserve to see the very best HD their sets are capable of. As of now, many providers have cut back on this very best quality. This is not right and should be corrected in the future.
As an HD viewer myself I understand your concerns. As a broadcaster, especially as a broadcaster with a public service mission I'm more conflicted.
We have to consider all of our viewers, not just those with HD sets, although certainly we do have to consider those viewers as well, and yes, you are right... as the price for HD sets gets less, there will be more viewers with HD sets.
You mention the "100s of channels in HD on DirecTV" unfortunately neither DirecTV nor Echostar/Dish network carry -any- local-into-local HD signals in the Lansing market at this time. Further, I've been told that neither DirecTV nor Dish carry -any- public television station in any of the markets for which they provide HD signals from over-the-air stations.
19% of the audience in our DMA receives the WKAR-TV analog
signal exclusively over-the-air. Digital television sets have become very inexpensive ($99 can buy a standard-definition 14" set now) The federal "$40 coupon" program for set-top boxes launches next year. I'm thinking (hoping) that we'll still have lots of over-the-air viewers on our digital services after 2/18/09.
We are still planning to continue to offer the HD service. For the next year I expect that it will continue as the PBS|HD channel, which is largely upconverted widescreen and where most of the schedule is repeats.
Just as an aside, the February 2007 Nielsen DMA Household Universe Estimates show in these percentages in the Lansing market (#112)
19.1 broadcast only
80.9 Cable + ADS
56.9 Wired Cable
Total households is 256,190