Originally Posted by BCF68
Bull. If satellite never carried local would they not still have to pay for those infrastructure costs anyways to show other programming? Yes. Adding locals doesn't add anything other than retrans fees.
Without local channels DISH could operate from one or two large uplink centers in Colorado or Arizona. All signals they rebroadcast could be received via satellite at one of their uplink centers direct from the provider's feed to other satellite/cable companies. They could buy simple high power satellites that received one feed and sent it down to every subscriber regardless of location. They had consolidated operations.
With local markets DISH has had to place uplink centers all over the country. There are 10 uplink centers that would not exist if it were not for carrying local stations. Plus DISH has had to purchase more expensive spot beam satellites in order to provide individual coverage to every market in the US. Plus DISH has to pay for their own backhauls (usually fiber optic links) from each local market to the uplink center(s) that send the signal to the satellite(s) - links that are required regardless of how the signals are received from the station. DirecTV pays for all of this separately for their own uplink centers, satellites and backhauls.
Anyone who says that the infrastructure to retransmit locals does not cost satellite carriers does not know what they are talking about.
Originally Posted by fredd
[i]n a free market, where competition exists, that wouldn't become a problem. All the cable providers would need to do was institute Al-A-Carte pricing and let the consumer decide if Fox is worth $0.75 (plus the cable-co.s' profit) per month.
You're assuming profit. Overall the satellite companies are making money. DISH made less that $6 per customer per month last year ... which includes the profit they made retransmitting cable channels. With all the expenses involved in delivering local signals (detailed in part above) as a line item locals are certainly NOT showing a profit.
Having locals available does help satellite companies to serve customers. Especially since satellite companies compete against cable companies that are REQUIRED to carry local channels (unless retransmission consent is withheld). What began as a service to help people receive their local TV stations has turned in to yet another place stations can demand money.
Originally Posted by kenglish
This argument gets very old.
Age does not invalidate a claim.
The fact that people refuse to use a proper antenna, or the fact that most home electronic devices destroy the ability of the TVs and receivers to work at the proscribed level, is NOT the fault of the broadcaster.
Why should the signal be free to people you have pledged to serve ONLY if they follow your rules? If there were a framework in place I'm sure some stations would be charging a fee on top of antenna sales.
Many decades ago many people had outdoor antennas, rotors and all the specialty equipment needed to feed their one TV. People with more than one TV had to install more equipment or compromise on the channels they viewed. But there were communities where reception was near impossible. Someone came up with the bright idea to share an antenna with their neighbors. Put a large tower up and amplify the signal to serve more than one home. Entire communites were served by these common antenna TV systems.
Then word spread about how these systems were helping remote communities receive TV and less remote communities though it was a good idea. People in the community chipped in to pay for the infrastructure - which was not a trivial expense. Running cables for miles from the large antenna isn't cheap.
All this increased the coverage areas of stations who were not reaching their own viewership. And it basically comes down to your viewers sharing an antenna. Even today's massive cable systems and satellite service boils down to neighbors sharing an antenna to receive your signal.
So your signal is only free if one pays hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a properly mounted outdoor antenna on their own property. No sharing. An apartment complex that decides to install a central antenna is deemed a cable system and is required to negotiate for carriage. They are also required to offer carriage local signals whether they (or their tenants) want them or not.
The arrogance of some local stations is unending. Oh well. If the FCC has their way they'll just destroy OTA broadcasting and we won't have to worry about local stations any more. Fortunately I live in a market where the stations have a more cooperative view.
It may be an old argument ... but it remains a valid one.