Originally Posted by uhf
Dubuque seems like the perfect location for a community translator system. Ottumwa has such a beast:
"Ottumwa Area Translator Systems has been on the air since 1963 rebroadcasting CBS, FOX, and NBC to Ottumwa and surrounding communities. The tower is located 1 mi. east of 63 on Copperhead road in Ottumwa IA."
Wow, they've got their own Facebook page! But reading some of the posts would indicate trouble in the revenue department.
Back in '63, TV in O-Town was channels 3, three and III. So donations to OATS I'm guessing was quite strong. (OATS is a non-profit) But with cable and satellite eroding their donor base, I'm amazed it still exists.
And with stations getting retrans fees from cable and sat, it seems to me there would be a disincentive for parent TV stations to support non-owned translators, or for that matter building their own translators.. So kudos for KWWL for stepping up to the plate with an on-channel booster for Dubuque.
Here's the only way, other than taxing the citizens like some counties do here in CO, that I think a new entity like OATS could fly: The parent TV station aligns with the translator operator to force cable operators in the translator service area to pick up the translator signal. Then the translator could independently sell a local 30 second ad per hour. Between the OTA and the cable viewing universes, and with a portfolio of four commercial translators, then there's a chance such a system might fly. (emphasis on "might"