Originally Posted by justalurker
You can't disprove my theoretical unless you follow it completely.
Do you really think NBCUniversal will be happy throwing away up to 85% of their potential viewership hoping that people bother to get an OTA installation? I don't. I believe they would watch their numbers drop ... then we'd see the NBC Channel on our cable/satellite systems transmitting the same programs as soon as they could after the "first carriage" rights of their affiliates expired.
The best shows on NBC would be on Bravo and other NBCU channels ... or a new channel. Perhaps not the same night at first, but they would be there. And the other networks would follow suit. The OTA network would likely finish out it's life as a "cable sampler" ... with "The Golf Channel on NBC" and "ESPN on ABC" becoming more and more common - using what's left of the OTA affiliates to sell cable.
Again...sounds like a lobbyist. Pay TV requires subscribers who pay money...probably for your salary! If Pay TV went away, MOST people would simply install antennas. Some would not have reception no matter what due to their location. Of course, for these people, most likely they would need DBS anyways because cable would not reach their remote area.
If OTA went away, people would be forced to pay your "employers" for the service or go without the services that our government touted for years prior to the digital transition less than 2 years ago. Less affluent people would need to go without TV because once OTA went away, naturally the price of basic cable would rise. Also, local programming would disappear so people would no longer have local news,weather and sports to watch.
Justalurker, you speak so ill of OTA local broadcasting that it borders on malice. Everything is negative...local programming is crap...retrans fees are the only way that OTA survives and local broadcasters should kiss the feet of Pay TV telcos...OTA doesn't really reach very many people unless they spend thousands on additional reception equipment...etc.
Bull. In my area, Lin broadcasting pulled their local Fox affiliate from Dish last week. People around here with Dish are angry at Lin. Why? Because lobbyists like you tell them that it is Dish's God given right to steal local signals and distribute them to the masses for Dish's own profit.
My question is this...as I said in my prior post...on average, 88 of the top 100 viewed shows each week are major network shows. These are watched by the masses through local affiliates. Why is it that ESPN can garner $5+ per subscriber per month, yet a local Fox or CBS station should not be allowed to charge $1-2 per month per subscriber for their content, which is watched MUCH more than ESPN content is?
I know why. If all of the local stations charged, say, $3-$5 per month per subscriber, the companies that you represent would then have to charge more. In Economics 101, we learn that as price goes up sales go down. You know that local retrans fees cost your "employers" subscribers, which in turn will lessen the amount of ad sales revenues that your "employers" can command. This would be catastrophic to your "employers". They would need to pay higher costs for the content that they resell and their ad revenues would decrease due to decreased market share.
Take from the poor and give to the rich, that is what you do.
By the way, if ESPN, Discovery, etc. are such commanding broadcasters, then THEY should be also making their money via huge advertising contracts and not by huge retrans fees...after all, that IS what you are paying them also, correct? If not, why are you not forcing them to give you their content at no cost? Why is their model different than OTA, other than the fact that OTA makes agreements with the major networks to carry their content?
Major networks could indeed go "Pay TV" like ESPN. Local OTA would be reduced to locally produced content only. Eventually, most local broadcasting would cease, then perhaps all of it. Whoopee! Pay TV wins! Unfortunately, while Pay TV wins in the short run, they lose in the long run because overall viewership goes down because not everyone will pay for TV. Adverising is seen by fewer people and ad revenue goes down as advertisers look for other mediums that will reach more people. At some point then, internet or some other medium takes over and Pay TV dies also.
Unfortunately, the cost of all of this is our fantastic national Emergency Broadcast System, which has served us much better than new technologies when true disasters strike. Ask Verizon how the lawsuits are going over their dropped 911 calls during the little northeastern blizzard. Heck, that is simply a little snow and ice. What happens in a hurricane, earthquake, tornado or other catastrophic natural event? What happens during the next 9-11 event?
Local broadcasters, both TV and radio, are needed and should be welcomed, not villified and run out of town.