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Sinclair Cable Carriage - Page 2

post #31 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by coomarlin
So the law states that they must let cable companies rebroadcast their Analog signal for free, but it doesn't have any provisions for the digital signal?

The government is still working out the details on the digital signals. The only thing that I know (from this board) is the FCC isn't going to force cable companies to supply all the subchannels that a brodcaster may provide.
post #32 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by aenea
. . .
Having said that, I think they're getting a bit desperate. SBGI's done some really silly things, but putting out a press release explaining that you're actually demanding .50/subscriber/month for a local channel with a viewership that probably rivals the local PAX affiliate is pretty insane.

Sinclair SHOULD be getting desperate, it seems to me. It has become abundantly clear that cable systems are not going to knuckle under to Sinclair's demands. When HD achieves critical mass, which I believe it is close to doing, the heat on Sinclair to drop its unreasonable demands is likely to get hotter.

I suspect that either the FCC or the congress will require OTA stations to make their primary HD channels available to cable systems at no charge, just as they are now required to provide their SD transmissions at no charge. Note that nearly every OTA station operator but Sinclair does this already.
post #33 of 1851
Any law would only apply to the SD version of their digital signal. Nothing to this point has distinguished HD from SD when it comes to enforceable requirements.
post #34 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by snowcat
It's the law.

Only if they want on the system under the must carry rules. If they go the retransmission consent route, they could get whatever they can negotiate.
post #35 of 1851
I bet Sinclair would scream pretty loudly if the local cable providers started showing the national HD feeds. There currently are laws stating that a local cable provider must show the analog versions. The same thing is with the satellite companies. If the cable company is not "required" to provide the HD broadcast then they should be allowed to show some other affiliates broadcast. Like one not owned by Sinclair.
post #36 of 1851
They'd also scream if they were required to fully animate their local newscast using only characters from "Drawn Together".

It's not gonna happen.
post #37 of 1851
Shut off the analog transmitters, and they (NAB, Sinclair et al) will be begging cable and DBS companies to carry their digital signals. ... I can't wait to see it ...
post #38 of 1851
They don't need to beg the DBS companies. They are more than willing to pay for the right to carry the HD version. When D* and E* offer HD locals via satellite (which will happen well before any analog shutdown) and the local cable company has only 3 of the 4 major networks, it will be the cable companies getting on their knees.
post #39 of 1851
Time will tell how it will play out. I have reservations about the notion that local stations will uplink their HD signals so that D* and E* will retransmit them.

Satellite is a very different ballgame than cable. In communities big enough to support cable service that includes high speed Internet, telephone, and HD services, I don't see either D* or E* as much of a threat. Indeed, that is why I subscribe to Cox OKC instead of D*, despite Cox not being authorized to show NFL Sunday Ticket.
post #40 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by gwsat
Time will tell how it will play out. I have reservations about the notion that local stations will uplink their HD signals so that D* and E* will retransmit them.

Satellite is a very different ballgame than cable. In communities big enough to support cable service that includes high speed Internet, telephone, and HD services, I don't see either D* or E* as much of a threat. Indeed, that is why I subscribe to Cox OKC instead of D*, despite Cox not being authorized to show NFL Sunday Ticket.

It's not about the size of your community. It's about the having your locals come through one method instead of having to use to a antenna and tuning to another input. Look at what happened with DTV and Dish added SD locals. Different ballgame when that happened. It'll be a diff ballgame when DTV gets rolling with it's HD LIL and it will not matter if you're in OKC or the O.C.
post #41 of 1851
Antonio -- Indeed, changes in technology will no doubt change the competitive landscape -- and probably do so in ways we can't now anticipate. I guess we will just have to wait and see how it plays out.
post #42 of 1851
Here's a thread we have discussing the issue, it's Rochester NY oriented but I'm sure people in other markets can relate:

http://www.rochesterhdtv.com/viewtopic.php?t=18
post #43 of 1851
I read the letter in the Rochester thread, and Sinclair uses an analogy to Fruit Loops and a grocery store to argue against free retransmission of their signal:

Quote:


The cable companies claim that they do not pay for local broadcast television stations because the mere act of carrying the stations, and thus making the signal more accessible to cable subscribers, is consideration enough...
...The cable companies' position is no different than a grocery store refusing to pay Kellogg's for boxes of Fruit Loops, on the theory that just being on the shelf where consumers can buy the cereal should be payment enough.

But this is incorrect. The local broadcast station makes their money from selling advertisers time for their commercials. Getting the signal to more viewers produces potentially higher rating numbers and therefore a higher commercial rate. It is absurd to compare that to a store that resells something without paying the provider for it.

Do they think they are fooling people to consider their position because "of course Kelloggs should be paid to provide Fruit Loops to the store, this is no different"?
post #44 of 1851
I agree the fruitloops analogy was absolutely absurd.
post #45 of 1851
Not really cable-related, here is just another funny example of Sinclair's lack of intelligence: Our local Fox station has been running crawls on the analog channel telling viewers to tune to channel 43 to watch high-def American Idol, the Superbowl, etc. Channel 43 is the digital OTA channel. Now what do you think happens when the average cable viewer switches over to channel 43? Yeah, he gets to watch some competing program on TNT or Lifetime or something. Or what about those using rabbit ears on an analog set? Oops, 43 is just static. Satellite viewers? Nope, no luck there.

In fact, the only people who can actually benefit from this information are already watching channel 43, and if they are watching the correct 43-1 HD channel, they'll never see that message. It would only appear on the 43-2 SD subchannel.

It's not a bad thing to promote HD in general and raise awareness, but giving a virtually meaningless channel number to the general public? What's the point?
post #46 of 1851
Yeah, that's not a real bright idea. You'd think thet'd just put up a crawl that directs them to a website to find out how to get free HDTV.

agtiny - just out of curiousity, what is channel 43 on your cable system?
post #47 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by CPanther95


agtiny - just out of curiousity, what is channel 43 on your cable system?

Hopefully it's not the Spice Channel
post #48 of 1851
Comcast in the Pittsburgh area has Spike on channel 43.

And my 3 cents worth about "free" HD is already stated. It is only free if I did not have to buy an antenna (that probably will not work well in my location), and a tuner that will only get a couple of stations at max.
post #49 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by CPanther95
agtiny - just out of curiousity, what is channel 43 on your cable system?

43 on Armstrong happens to be Fox Sports Pittsburgh, so I guess it's not a total loss for them.
post #50 of 1851
Maybe not for FOX as a brand, but I doubt Sinclair has any financial interest in FOX Sports Pittsburgh.
post #51 of 1851
Most agreements for analog signals will expire on 12/31/2005 all over the U.S. (Many digital signal agreements, tied to analog signal retransmission, will also expire.)

Sinclair will be looking for $$$ for both its analog and its digital signals come December 2005. All the major cable companies will refuse. Sinclair owned stations' analog signals will be pulled off of most cable systems. It will be World War III.

Sinclair's advertising revenue will drop like a rock. Cable will lose some customers to DBS. Which side is in the best financial shape to withstand a war of attrition? I think we all know the answer.

The FCC and Congress could avoid all of this by simply allowing cable (and satellite) to bring in out-of-market network stations when an in-market station elects retransmission consent and fails to make a deal resulting in its analog signal being pulled from the cable system. There is no way Sinclair will be able to extract cash payments when cable providers can turn to out of market station owners who are glad simply to expand their Nielsen ratings/advertising revenue.

The FCC is now studying this issue and is taking public comments until March 1st. Make your voice heard-- end the local station network monopolies, for both cable and satellite.

P.S. Whatever Sinclair gets paid will result in higher cable rates by an equal amount. For many who get analog only-- the elderly, etc., this could mean a 25% or more increase in their bills. And you can't "rob Peter to pay Paul", e.g., take programming costs from ESPN and allocate them to Sinclair-- ESPN commands what the market bears, and it's not going to decrease its revenue so Sinclair can artificially increase its revenue. That's simply not the way business, and capitalism, works.
post #52 of 1851
Some analog agreements expired 12/31/2004 or expire this month. Right now there is a raging war between MSO's Cable One and Cox Cable versus Nexstar Broadcasting concerning Nexstar owned stations located mostly in Texas. Nexstar's analog signals have been pulled or shortly will be pulled from these cable systems. Nexstar is looking for 30 cents per sub.

Cox has filed a 43 page complaint with the FCC concerning Nexstar.

It will be very interesting to see what happens with Nexstar, Cox and Cable One during 2005, as it could be a portent of what is to come at the end of the year and in early 2006 for Sinclair, Emmis and other station owners and the cable providers in their respective areas.
post #53 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by SonomaSearcher
The FCC and Congress could avoid all of this by simply allowing cable (and satellite) to bring in out-of-market network stations when an in-market station elects retransmission consent and fails to make a deal resulting in its analog signal being pulled from the cable system. There is no way Sinclair will be able to extract cash payments when cable providers can turn to out of market station owners who are glad simply to expand their Nielsen ratings/advertising revenue.

First, that will never happen. Second, that could result in cable companies across the country simply avoiding coming to terms with their local affiliate in order to import whatever network they can get for the cheapest price. The whole network/affiliate arrangement would be gutted. That may make some of you happy, but it would be a dangerous precedent for a Gov't agency to be able to dictate the marketing of a company's product - to that degree.

The government has an interest in the airwaves that were licensed. As long as the local broadcaster is meeting it's requirements and sending out local programming free OTA - that is all they are (and should be) concerned with. Once the local affilate packages up their product and delivers it for resale - whether it be a feed to cable, sat company, or even videotapes and DVDs - they should be able to negotiate a fair price based on demand. Your individual choice to forgo an antenna because it's inconvenient doesn't automatically give you the right to import those signals free of charge in whatever format you choose.

Go tell the government that you want your Social Security check sent to you in cash or Best Buy certificates at no extra charge because having a bank account is inconvenient.



Quote:


Originally posted by SonomaSearcher
And you can't "rob Peter to pay Paul", e.g., take programming costs from ESPN and allocate them to Sinclair-- ESPN commands what the market bears, and it's not going to decrease its revenue so Sinclair can artificially increase its revenue. That's simply not the way business, and capitalism, works.

I don't think anyone has suggested that ESPN pay for local programming.

How is forbidding a local business from negotiating terms for its product - based on market forces (and what the market will bear) the way business and capitalism works?
post #54 of 1851
Someone said earlier that analog locals are retransmitted without compensating the stations. So the FCC does have a hand in the cable world with must-carry rules. Sounds like those rules just need to be amended to handle digital channels. A bit of Googling seems to indicate that they're aware of the issue but nothing's been done yet.
post #55 of 1851
Yeah, I wasn't linking for the propuses of sharing the brilliant fruit loops analogy. I mostly was sharing the Sinclair statement I quoted at the beginning of the thread.
post #56 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by CPanther95
[B Your individual choice to forgo an antenna because it's inconvenient doesn't automatically give you the right to import those signals free of charge in whatever format you choose.
[/b]

Must we go here again? We've discussed this in another thread and I thought we both agreed that if the customer is in an area that is INCAPABLE of getting an OTA signal, something that companies like Sinclair seem to be completely ignorant about or refuse to acknowledge, the signal should be provided at no additional cost. The station is the one that is going to lose out, and I think the advertisers are the ones that will ultimately decide this issue.

The plain and simple fact is that OTA viewers are a very small minority, whether they can get the signal and are too lazy to try or because they simply cannot get the signal period. This idea of re-couping costs by charging viewers for the installing of new digital equipment that was mandated by the FCC to retain their license to broadcast is just BS. Nobody is forcing them to broadcast a HD signal. Eventually when advertisers notice that people are watching the HD version of a broadcast on another station and the HD version of say a Sinclair station is not on the cable system, guess what, advertising revenue will go in the toilet. If the station decides to transmit a SD and a HD signal and wants to charge for the HD signal, charge the advertisers not your viewers, like stations have been doing it for the last 50yrs, or don't broadcast a HD signal. When the station realizes they've lost viewers to stations that are broadcasting a HD signal, the station will come around to reality, it's really just simple economics and market reality.

Getting back to the OTA thing, please qualify your remarks about OTA reception to include only those who can actually get an OTA. I've spent over a $1000 on OTA equipment and to no avail, is a station like Sinclair going to reimburse me for that expense, hell no, instead they want to charge me money to get the signal that is freely broadcast OTA. Concerning this issue, I have no sympathy for the broadcasters, you want to play the game, learn how to play it, just don't ask me to subsidize something so that others can get it for free.

Rant over..
post #57 of 1851
You're right, since you spent $1000 on an antenna to no avail - you should get them for free.
post #58 of 1851
Cool, just wanted to clear that up...

You may continue with your regularly scheduled programming now..
post #59 of 1851
Quote:


Originally posted by coomarlin
I agree the fruitloops analogy was absolutely absurd.

Not completely, as "fruit loops" sounds like a great descriptor for SINclair management.
post #60 of 1851
Current FCC network non-duplication rules prevent an out-of-market network affilaite from competing with an in-market affiliate, even if the network allows such competition.

So even if the network wanted to allow competition, the FCC does not allow it. Eliminating the FCC rules will do one thing: allow the network to decide if it is going to allow competition, instead of the FCC.
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