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Sinclair Cable Carriage - Page 6

post #151 of 1851
How can I read it without registering?
post #152 of 1851
Gary -- You can't read it without registering but registration is free.

Although I think that the author of the piece, Mel Bracht, is a good reporter, I was disappointed with this story.

Mel failed to point out what to me is the key issue in the debate between Sinclair and the cable systems: if the cable systems pay Sinclair for its HD transmissions, they will have to start paying all the other local stations for signals that they now receive free of charge.

Mel also repeated Sinclair's silly claim that Cox OKC would be "essentially reselling Sinclair's signal" by retransmitting it. That argument, conveniently ignores that Sinclair's signal is already free for the taking over the air and Cox's retransmission of it would be at least as beneficial to Sinclair as it would be to Cox.
post #153 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by gwsat
Gary -- You can't read it without registering but registration is free.

Although I think that the author of the piece, Mel Bracht, is a good reporter, I was disappointed with this story.

Mel failed to point out what to me is the key issue in the debate between Sinclair and the cable systems: if the cable systems pay Sinclair for its HD transmissions, they will have to start paying all the other local stations for signals that they now receive free of charge.

Mel also repeated Sinclair's silly claim that Cox OKC would be "essentially reselling Sinclair's signal" by retransmitting it. That argument, conveniently ignores that Sinclair's signal is already free for the taking over the air and Cox's retransmission of it would be at least as beneficial to Sinclair as it would be to Cox.

That argument was addressed earlier in this thread, it is Sinclair's responsibility to decide what does or does not benefit them financially. Not yours, not mine and not the governments. If they make the wrong choice they will suffer the consequences. It's a business.
post #154 of 1851
Sinclair has made the wrong choice on several previous occasions. Their business and stock performance have suffered. But Sinclair management remains unrepentant and public service continues to be a low priority despite their hypocritical "Free HDTV" campaign.

The Buffalo story linked above mentioned the "favored nation" clauses dictating that any deal negotiated with one local network affiliate will be passed on to others. That means if Sinclair's grab for 50 cents per subscriber -- including the ones who don't even get their digital signal -- is successful, we'll all see our cable bills go up substantially.

Count me among the majority who feel uncomfortable rooting for the robber barons at Comcast. This is definitely a case of choosing the lesser of two evils.
post #155 of 1851
This whole thing smells a bit like the chicken or the egg. I can envision a world where the cable/sat companies charge networks for delivering their signal to a larger audience. What would all these cable networks do for income if the cable/sat providers just pulled the plug on them?

As for the big boys, I doubt the major broadcast networks would allow their affiliates to do something that would cause the cable companies to pull the plug on their signal. That would mean the loss of millions of viewers in most large or even middle size markets.

It is all about greed. Folks like Sinclair are trying to charge for their feeds because they think they can get it. Now if the cable/sat folks got together and could decide they simply won't distribute their broadcast (period) they will be singing a different song.

This model already exists to some extent. Look at the internet. For the most part content is free, and paid for by advertisers, you pay for the bandwidth. This is the way early cable was in the sense that the real pay services were advertisement free, and cost for just network feeds were negligible.

Now we have all these crappy cable networks who think their commercial littered reruns are worth subscribers paying money for this content... And the cable companies agree (I guess because they are of the mindset "whoever has the most channels wins"), and my cable bill is $60/month! Even worse, say one of these cable networks actually has a channel worth watching, then they extort the cable companies into taking so much other crap in order to carry the one good channel.

If the cable/sat companies just wise up we could see a return to the concept that without delivery to viewers, there is no revenue generated by the content and all the crappy little cable networks instantly go under.

Hmmm... I kind of like the sound of that! I watch less than 10 channels. I have to pay for a - I don't really know - maybe a 100 channel package to get these nine channels. God, its even a pain having to scroll through all the crap I don't watch in the guide! All the 91 other crappy little networks need to to be free or have their plug pulled from my wire.

Just a pipe dream as when the government and the lawyers get involved, they'll screw it up worse than it is now.
post #156 of 1851
Absolutely it's a business and Sinclair has every right to do what it's doing. But the same argument applies equally to the cable companies, so it bears no relevance to whether one side is 'right' or 'wrong'.

Gwsat's main point was that if Sinclair gets paid cash for HD retransmission, then so will every other affiliate that opts for retransmission consent because a precedent will be set. And then everyone's cable bill will go up by a corresponding amount.

So the question is, will the television viewer/consumer understand that Sinclair is taking a position that will take more money out of their pockets? If consumers understand this, Sinclair will lose the public relations battle.

If the cable companies wait Sinclair out, Sinclair will lose considerable advertising revenue. Even though Sinclair would want every cable customer to defect to satellite because a cable company doesn't carry Sinclair's signal(s), that ain't gonna happen. Yes, a substantial percentage will defect, but not enough to make the cable companies back down-- at least the major ones like Comcast, Time Warner and Cox. And the end result will be: major declines in Nielsen ratings for Sinclair and consequent major declines in advertising revenues. Which equals reduced profits and a major drop in the value of stock. Which equals trouble for the board of directors and executives.

So Sinclair's scenario is a "loss-loss" one for them and cable providers. Sinclair loses big time and the cable providers lose also, and Sinclair is hoping the cable providers will cave in because of their losses before Sinclair will cave in because of its losses. So, who is more financially capable of withstanding a war of attrition-- Sinclair or Comcast? We all know the answer.

But Sinclair could have a win-win situation instead ... it has more negotiating power now with the Super Bowl on Fox this year and has more bargaining leverage while it is still in good financial shape-- not yet desperate for any cable deal whatsoever to stem the inevitable drop in the value of its shares.

Too bad Sinclair can't recognize the current opportunity for a "win-win" versus the huge risk of a future "lose-lose."
post #157 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by spwace
That argument was addressed earlier in this thread, it is Sinclair's responsibility to decide what does or does not benefit them financially. Not yours, not mine and not the governments. If they make the wrong choice they will suffer the consequences. It's a business.

It's a good idea not to confuse doing what is one's right with doing what is smart. Of course Sinclair has a right to insist that cable companies pay for the priviliege of retransmitting its HD trasmissions. That doesn't make its decision smart, however.
post #158 of 1851
Cable will cave now or later (when D* starts HD LILs) - as long as there is no real loss of revenue because of the fewer viewers reached, Sinclair has no reason to bend. If it does reach the point where they are losing advertising revenue, I think before you see them give away their signal for free, you'll see a USDTV type of push among local broadcasters.
post #159 of 1851
Actually, I don't think HD LIL will be as much of a factor because Sinclair will be going for the whole enchilada when October 1st rolls around-- it wants to be be paid for BOTH analog and digital signals. So the analog signals will get pulled from cable lineups starting on January 1, 2006 if all goes according to Sinclair's plan. Since HD penetration is still relatively low, the pulling of analog signals will be much bigger news-- and have much bigger monetary impact-- than will Sinclair's HD signals being available via D*.

Also, I don't think we will see any Sinclair HD on satellite in 2005, since there is no Sinclair station in the first 12 markets announced by D*, AFAIR.
post #160 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by SonomaSearcher
Also, I don't think we will see any Sinclair HD on satellite in 2005, since there is no Sinclair station in the first 12 markets announced by D*, AFAIR.

The largest market Sinclair has a station in is Minneapolis/St.Paul, #14, and it's a WB affiliate.
post #161 of 1851
post #162 of 1851
Sinclair's approach is interesting, but self-defeating. For instance, in Howard and Harford Counties MD the SD Fox channel is Sinclair's out of Baltimore, but the digital HD channel is out of DC. (Baltimore and Baltimore County are out of luck.) Digtial upconverted gives a better picture with SD as well.
So which Fox channel do you think Comcast HD viewers in those counties will watch, even if the show itself is in SD? That's a big potential local advertising loss.

But Sinclair doesn't care, and so we miss out. Oh, well....

Rich N.
post #163 of 1851
Quote:
Originally posted by raidbuck
Sinclair's approach is interesting, but self-defeating. For instance, in Howard and Harford Counties MD the SD Fox channel is Sinclair's out of Baltimore, but the digital HD channel is out of DC. (Baltimore and Baltimore County are out of luck.) Digtial upconverted gives a better picture with SD as well.
So which Fox channel do you think Comcast HD viewers in those counties will watch, even if the show itself is in SD? That's a big potential local advertising loss.

But Sinclair doesn't care, and so we miss out. Oh, well....

Rich N.

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.
post #164 of 1851
Quote:


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.
post #165 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by sregener
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.


So does the affiliate with the game in HD. Nielsen only counts analog viewers, so if a viewer watches your digital instead of your analog channel, your viewership drops.
Quote:



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.

Advertising people know exactly what they are doing, they are trying to reach the largest number of people with their message. At this point in time, HD does not help them do that.
Quote:



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.

HD is not lucrative, it is still a money pit for broadcasters. It will become profitable when the number of viewers increases and those viewers count in the ratings. I'm sure Sinclair is keeping their eye on those numbers and they are trying to leverage the cable companies now when the cable companies have more to lose than Sinclair does.
Quote:



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.

And Sinclair is betting that the cable companies are going to take the blame for those missed Super Bowls.
post #166 of 1851
Well, looks like my hope for an 11th hour miracle isn't going to come true. I was hoping something would be resolved to allow us on Comcast to get Sinclair's Fox HD channel. Looks like no dice.

Meanwhile, Sinclair: Why don't you do us a favor and stop putting that asinine banner on the bottom of the screen on your analog channels telling us that the program is available FREE over the air? Anybody who has a clue what you're talking about already knows, and it only confuses the uninformed. Honestly, us cable HD folks are already upset that we have to watch programs like 24 on your crappy analog channel. Do you really need to degrade our viewing experience even further by constantly reminding us with more screen pollution?
post #167 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by hondo21
Meanwhile, Sinclair: Why don't you do us a favor and stop putting that asinine banner on the bottom of the screen on your analog channels telling us that the program is available FREE over the air? Anybody who has a clue what you're talking about already knows, and it only confuses the uninformed.

I think they are probably targeting the uninformed. The informed have either grabbed an antenna already (and are watching the digital channel) or have decided that their HD channel isn't worth getting.

What's asinine is saying channel 43 (or whatever it happens to be) causing people to either receive static on their SD TV OTA, or switching to some other cable channel.
post #168 of 1851
Comcast and Sinclair have reached and agreement to broadcast WTAT-HD in the Charleston, SC area. Now it is currently carried by Comcast and Knology, unfortunately im on Time Warner.
post #169 of 1851
Here's the post from the Charleston thread:

Quote:


Originally posted by fbtcu
!!!ATTENTION COMCAST HD CUSTOMERS!!!


Comcast is pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting that allows us to carry WTAT HD.


Our engineers are working with WTAT's as we speak to get the channel up and running as soon as possible.

WTATHD will be located on Comcast Channel 183.

Frank Thomas
Comcast Cable
post #170 of 1851
Well now...that's verrrrrry interesting!
post #171 of 1851
CPanther95

Since these negotiations were at the corporate level, the Charleston area could not have negotiated their own settlement.

May I surmise that this is a national agreement?
post #172 of 1851
Surmise all you want - all I know is what was posted re: Charleston.

It would surprise me that Charleston Comcast has the autonomy to negotiate their own deal, and it would equally surprise me if Sinclair settled on some figure in the relatively small market of Charleston that they weren't willing to accept from the larger markets.

But it could just as easily be something to do with local laws or something stupid like the Sinclair CEO and Comcast CEO have a vacation home there and agreed to make an isolated deal - who knows......
post #173 of 1851
Nashville's WZTV is on Comcast as of the last hour (Sinclair-owned Fox affiliate). Unbelievable!
post #174 of 1851
post #175 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by spwace
Nielsen only counts analog viewers, so if a viewer watches your digital instead of your analog channel, your viewership drops.

Well in my case I have 2 fox affiliates to watch in SD. And I can garauntee you it won't be the Sinclair station. So effectively I and others like me are hurting Sinclairs "Analog" Neilson ratings by watching a non-sinclair affiliate. I will not go anywhere near Sinclair's SD station because of antics.
post #176 of 1851
The agreement covers Sinclair Fox stations in six cities, including my local affliate WRLH in Richmond, VA. Sinclair said in a statement it's a "short-term" agreement that only applies to the Super Bowl, but they are still negotiating a long term agreement and hope to have it in place in a few weeks. That would likely mean the Daytona 500 will also be in HD on Sinclair.

They didn't say who paid what, but it looks like good news for football fans in Sinclair land.
post #177 of 1851
i called our local comcast office and they said its permanent. i asked about rate increases, they said they didnt know but they suspect there will be none since they didnt get a heads up
post #178 of 1851
Nothing in the press release says that it is only for the SB. The agreement is "in principle" and should be formalized over the next couple of weeks. Probably for the normal duration, whatever that is (3 years?)
post #179 of 1851
Wow. Guess I spoke just a tad too soon above. I'll be looking for it. Hope there are no technical glitches for the big game.

Congrats to Comcast and Sinclair if this holds true. I just hope I don't have to pay more than I already do for cable.
post #180 of 1851
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Don't hear that too often

Quote:


Originally posted by hondo21
Wow. Guess I spoke just a tad too soon above. I'll be looking for it. Hope there are no technical glitches for the big game.

Congrats to Comcast and Sinclair if this holds true. I just hope I don't have to pay more than I already do for cable.
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