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Fox News and ESPN Over the Air

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi. I am curious why Fox News and ESPN are not broadcast over the air. For example, here in Las Vegas, FOX is on 8.1. Why couldn't they broadcast Fox News on 8.2? Wouldn't they be able to sell advertising to local business to make money with it?


post #2 of 6
Cable channels like ESPN and Fox News operate with a whole different economic model then OTA stations. If they went out over the air they would not be able to collect subscriber fees from cable and sat companies that make up a huge portion of their income.
post #3 of 6
Due to contractual agreements with the cablecos, cable only channels are not allowed to have regular OTA schedules. The news channels like FNC and CNN and MSNBC do have clauses that allow a small amount of their air time (3 hours a month I believe it is) to be broadcast OTA via an "affiliate station" but then it has to be a breaking news situation that effects the affiliate stations area. National events like 9/11, major disasters like earthquakes that wipe out LA or SF (not your everyday ground shakers) are not bound by the time limitations in the contracts.

In my own stations case, we took FNC for about an hour after the VA Tech shootings because VT is only 90 miles from us and we have a large VT alum population here. After we got our crews in place we broke away from FNC and went live with our own crews and wound up feeding FNC and the FOX NewsEdge feeds to other stations and some of our stuff wound up on the local cableco's FNC feed as well. So there is some give and take in special cases but as a routine thing, it is HIGHLY frowned upon by both the cablecos and the cable channels.
post #4 of 6
I can see where the OP is going with his question...if those offerings were available OTA, he could forego cable or satellite. Obviously, the business models in place and the contractual arrangements forbid that.
post #5 of 6
Nobody will be getting ESPN for free. (Unless you count ABC.)
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Once again this board has proved very informative. Thanks to everyone for letting me know the reasons.
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