Originally Posted by Yo296
Just a dumb question, please forgive if this was discussed in the previous 65 pages. The Internet streaming channels have a long head start, what else prevents a broadcaster from standing up similar and competing PAY OTA channels on ATSC 3.0? Surely a go-getter outfit like Sinclair has a plan to monetize their tired old dogs into racehorses.
Ask yourself the question: What competitive advantages would live pay TV channels on ATSC 3.0 have over pay TV services distributed via the internet? And what disadvantages?
The competitive advantages that ATSC 3.0 subscription channels would have are that they could reach people who do not have broadband internet service but who do get OTA TV reception via antenna. (That's a pretty small sliver of the population and probably a group that, on average, is less affluent than the average American, which isn't great.)
Another advantage is that, even among those who do have broadband service, watching more video via OTA (free or pay channels) means less viewing via the internet, and therefore less chance of exceeding broadband data caps that could result in additional fees.
And that's really about all I can think of for the advantages of pay TV on ATSC 3.0.
As far as disadvantages relative to internet pay TV, they're major. When you subscribe to pay TV online, it offers on-demand access to content, not just a live stream like OTA TV where you must watch a certain thing at a certain time. Internet services may not even have a live stream but, if they do, they also have a cloud DVR that lets the viewer record segments for later viewing, or they simply just make all of the content available on-demand in the first place, so there's no need for a cloud DVR.
Also, the vast majority of Americans already have some form of broadband access, either home or mobile/cellular, and they already have devices that they use for streaming online video. But for ATSC 3.0 (free or pay channels), they'll need to buy a new tuner and integrate it into their existing system. Educating the public on ATSC 3.0 and then getting them to acquire the necessary hardware and figure out how to use it will be a battle that broadcasters face and it's one that's already pretty much won by competitors in the world of online streaming TV.
Lastly, lots of American already having paying relationships -- credit cards on file -- with the major distributors of online services (whether TV or music): Apple, Google, Amazon, Roku, Netflix, Hulu. It's pretty easy to activate a new pay TV subscription online because you're probably just adding it to an existing billing account that's already in place. But if Sinclair begins distributing pay TV channels via ATSC 3.0, how will consumers sign up and pay? I imagine that they will partner with PayPal but that's not quite as easy as the aforementioned examples, plus not everyone has a PayPal account. And will you be able to enter your PayPal info on the TV screen and start the subscription through a return path back to the Sinclair station without having an internet connection? Because if I have internet in my home, why am I subscribing to this channel via OTA again, as opposed to just getting it through a streaming service?