Originally posted by spwace
First, there is no advertising loss, because advertisers are not charged for digital carriage. Second, the HD viewership still represents a very small percentage of the total audience. I'm sure the suits at Sinclair have evaluated the short term risk against the potential long term gain.
There is advertiser loss, whether they know it or not.
Consider: If you can choose between watching two affiliates, you'd probably watch your local affiliate, all other things being equal. But if another affiliate offers the game in HD and your local affiliate doesn't, that means that the local affiliate loses a viewer.
Maybe the people buying advertising time aren't smart enough this year to pick up on that and correct their buying rates for it, but you can bet that as time goes on, they'll figure it out.
Yes, HD is a small percentage right now. Also the most lucrative. They're the people who buy big-ticket items, who are up-to-date on technology, and like to have the latest and greatest. When it comes to soap, that might not matter. But when it comes to selling them a new car, you can bet it does. And that percentage is only going to grow, whether Sinclair wants it to or not.
Eventually, I believe Sinclair will cave, but probably not before a lot of people get very, very upset at missing multiple Super Bowls in HD.