AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Comcast and other cable providers are starting to provide local HD. CBS owned stations are not jumping on board - instead negotiating for a piece of the pie.


I don't get it. Do cable companies pay for regular programming? I think the FCC should force CBS to put HD on Cable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,769 Posts
Don't mention government mandates. Some people here start crying like babies. Even if they would desperately like the service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
FWIW, I don't think the government should force private companies in the midst of negotiations to do anything. We're not talking about national security here.


- Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
780 Posts
CBS doesn't "put" anything on cable, its the cable companies that decided what they carry, subject to some "must carry" FCC mandates.


Tony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by pgnewarkboy
I think the FCC should force CBS to put HD on Cable.
Right. And the federal government should also reimburse the additional cost of gas to everyone driving Ferraris. And while they're at it, they should also give no-interest loans to anyone buying a house that costs more than $5 million.


HD at the moment is a luxury item. It is not available, nor will it soon be available, to the masses who can't afford $1500 and up televisions, plus $400 and up tuners. The number of "early adopters" (and anyone who currently has HD capabilities qualifies as one) is miniscule. Recent surveys show that the vast majority of the population isn't particularly interested. Besides the obvious principle of private enterprise controlling their own destinies, it is not in the public interest for the government to cater to the privileged few (and everyone here falls under that category).


Besides, CBS's HD feed is already on local cable systems that happen to deliver HD in markets that have a CBS HD-capable affiliate. That's a number of qualifications, but it does show that the current system can and does work, as long as you give it some reasonable time to do so. If there isn't a lot of cable penetration of HD 3 or 4 years from now, maybe we'll have something to talk about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
891 Posts
I think what he's really arguing for is 1) that CBS provide their HD signal for free to cable companies and 2) that cable compines "must carry" the digital feeds of CBS stations.


I don't know what the typical agreements are between affiliates and cable networks -- do cable companies pay for affiliate feeds? If so, I don't see how CBS is doing anything unusual.


That said, there's enough government intervention into the whole cable/DBS/affiliate/network mess that's blatantly anti-consumer that I wouldn't mind the government mandating something like HD "must provide" and "must carry".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some of you simply don't understand the government, the relationship between government and business, or the fact that CABLE HAS A MONOPOLY IN LOCAL AREAS. THEY ARE GIVEN THIS MONOPOLY BY THE GOVERNMENT! Oh, by the way, television stations are licensed by the government. These licenses are expensive. Not everybody has the money to buy these franchises - JUST THE ELITE!


I am getting a little tired of the monumental ignorance displayed by some of the way things actually work. SOME SAY IT WILL ALL WORK OUT IF GIVEN THE CHANCE! JUST LIKE ENRON AND WORLDCOM? Give us all a break and get off your soapbox.


WE all know the FCC regulates the communications industry. That is why it is called the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. You may not like it but that is reality. The FCC wants the digital transmission to happen. They should make it happen by stopping CBS from holding up the Cable companies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by pgnewarkboy
Comcast and other cable providers are starting to provide local HD. CBS owned stations are not jumping on board - instead negotiating for a piece of the pie.


I don't get it. Do cable companies pay for regular programming? I think the FCC should force CBS to put HD on Cable.
Can you explain what you mean by negotiating for a piece of the pie? What pie? The $$$ consumers pay for the HD tier?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,804 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by pgnewarkboy
Comcast and other cable providers are starting to provide local HD. CBS owned stations are not jumping on board - instead negotiating for a piece of the pie.


I don't get it. Do cable companies pay for regular programming? I think the FCC should force CBS to put HD on Cable.
In many cases, cable companies do pay for the right to carry local stations. It depends on the how strong a position the station has in the market.


Stations can enter into a contract requiring payment for retransmission consent, or they can ask for must carry status.


You may recall that awhile back there was a dispute between a cable company (Time Warner?) and, I believe ABC. ABC was holding out for an increase in the compensation they were getting from the cable co. for the right to carry their O & O stations. They didn't get the deal done in time and the ABC stations were pulled off the cable co's. It only happened in a limited number markets, but it got national coverage. The cable customers in those markets were not pleased.


On the other hand a weak station, like a home shopping outlet, can ask for must carry, but they will get no compensation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Someone posted on the HD local board that CBS wanted money for providing HD programming? I don't recall for sure who said it - but I think it was someone from Comcast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,535 Posts
Well, Spwace get it from both ends alot, but he is right. The bigger and better a local station is, they will get $$$ for retransmission consent. What it boils down to is they either get money for retransmission consent, or they have must carry. Like he said, the cable company could care less about the local OTA home shopping channel or religious channel, so they(local channels) force must carry on the cable company. If there is a large CBS affiliate that everyone gets their CSI from, the cable company will be willing to pay to put it on thier system.


AFAIK, those two option are the only options. Digital is a different deal. Cable I would imagine does not want to carry it unless they can charge extra, because of the huge bandwith they take up, and the local want to at least make something out of their digital channel, since there are not "alot" of us yet to generate digital channel only ads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
349 Posts
Comcast carries CBS-HD in non-O&O markets. But here in Philly the local CBS (KYW) is Owned and Operated by CBS and there's some fight to the death regarding comcast carrying their HD feed. Said before, but I'll say it again - we don't know who's to blame either, so who exactly needs to be forced is also in question. Also, Time Warner DOES carry CBS-HD in O&O, specifically NYC. Does that mean its Comcast's fault for not ceding something to CBS, or is CBS really asking too much? Who knows.

Apparently the fiber from comcast to kyw is in, just no broadcast. We must be talking some serious pie here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,517 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by pgnewarkboy
I don't get it. Do cable companies pay for regular programming? I think the FCC should force CBS to put HD on Cable.
As I understand it, yes, they do, for some of it. The FCC rule is "Must Carry/Can Carry". As far as I can tell, it means that if any local station wants to be carried on cable (like a local PBS affiliate), it can insist--that's the "Must Carry" part.


Carriage of the major CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox , UPN and WB affiliates is essential to the success of the cable systems operator and those companies can demand payment from the cable SOs for the privilege of carrying them.


The local national network affiliates are being forced by the FCC to implement DTV. During the transition, they're having to go to the extra expense of broadcasting two simulataneous signals, one of which is utilized by a relative handful of their viewers. No one is giving them additional funds to do this--it just cuts into their bottom line. It's understandable that they'd try to recoup some of this in fees from the cable companies (whose subscribers are some 70% of all television viewers).


The paradox in this is that the television stations have been pushing the FCC to require the cable SOs to carry both their analog and DTV channels (this is called "Dual Must Carry"). Without cable carriage, only a handful of people with DTV-capable sets will watch DTV. So far, I think it's been running around 10% (sales of DTV tuners vs sales of DTV-capable monitors). Owners of DTV-capable sets represent only a very small percentage of all television watchers and owners of DTV tuners are only a fraction of those. Now that the major cable companies have committed to carrying at least 5 local DTV channels each in major markets by the end of the year, you'd think that affiliates would readily just give them the digital feed.


I read somewhere recently (probably in these forums somewhere) that one of the nationals was threatening to pull its HD programming if some form of IP protection wasn't agreed to soon. I think that it was CBS. This is interesting, since they were the main broadcaster proponent of DTV since its inception.


-- Mike Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,517 Posts
I found the consumer-oriented FCC document about cable carriage of broadcast stations . Some relavant parts:
Quote:
Q: Why must my cable system carry so many broadcast stations?


A: The Communications Act requires cable operators to set aside a specified portion of their channels for local commercial and non-commercial television stations. A cable operator with 12 or fewer channels must set aside up to three channels for local commercial television stations and at least one channel for a local noncommercial educational television broadcast station. Cable operators with more than 12 channels must set aside one third of their channel capacity for local commercial stations. Cable systems with between 13 and 36 channels must carry at least one, but need not carry more than three, local noncommercial educational television stations. Cable systems with more than 36 channels must carry all local noncommercial educational television stations requesting carriage with some exceptions for duplication of signals. Local television stations choosing the must-carry option and those that have negotiated agreements for retransmission with the cable system count towards this quota.


Q: Why is the retransmission consent requirement included in the law?


A: Since 1934, broadcast stations that use the programming of other broadcast stations have been required to obtain the prior consent of the originating station. This requirement has now been applied to cable systems because the absence of this requirement was distorting the video marketplace and threatening the future of over-the-air television broadcasting. This law treats broadcasters the same as other programming services carried by cable systems.


Q: What happens if my cable operator and a particular station do not reach a retransmission consent agreement?


A: Until the cable operator and the television station reach an agreement, the cable operator is prohibited from carrying that station's signal. Once an agreement is reached, the station can be put back on the cable system immediately. In addition, every three years broadcast stations must decide whether to demand carriage on local cable systems without receiving compensation or elect to negotiate a retransmission consent agreement.


The initial election between must-carry or retransmission consent was made on June 17, 1993 and was effective on October 6, 1993. The most recent election occurred on October 1, 1999 and was effective January 1, 2000. The next election will occur on October 1, 2002 and will become effective January 1, 2003. All subsequent elections will occur every three years.


Q: What can the FCC do if a broadcaster and a cable operator fail to reach a retransmission consent agreement?


A: Generally, the FCC is not authorized to participate in discussions between television stations and cable systems regarding retransmission consent agreements. Furthermore, the FCC cannot tell a cable operator which stations or program services to delete in order to comply with the must-carry requirement. If you have comments regarding changes in the programming offered by your cable system, you should contact your cable operator. Information on how to contact your cable operator is included on your cable bill.


Q: Will my cable bill increase as a result of retransmission consent agreements?


A: In return for allowing a cable system to carry its signal, a television station may require the payment of a fee or other consideration (for instance, carriage of another programming service or advertising time). Any new or additional costs incurred as a result of retransmission consent agreements may be passed through to cable subscribers.
-- Mike Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,884 Posts
I have never understood or agreed with the must carry provisions for either cable or sat, and I still think of them as just an example of dirty politics.


But retransmission consent makes sense to me. If a station owns a popular signal then they should be allowed to charge for it. OTOH, if a local station either does not transmit or will not sell an HDTV signal then I think the cable and satellite operators should be able to negotiate directly with the networks. I balk at paying a premium to a middleman for a non-essential service that could be easily be aquired elsewhere from willing vendors.


For instance in Detroit there is no HDTV feed from WB. I think that Comcast should be able to pick that up from the network if the local will not provide it. (so I can watch Smallville HD) But this last is just what I want, not the existing legal reality.


- Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,804 Posts
The fact that a station has a signal on the air and is carried on cable does not guarantee their success. At least must carry puts the fate of a station in the hands of the viewers and not the local cable operator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by trbarry


For instance in Detroit there is no HDTV feed from WB. I think that Comcast should be able to pick that up from the network if the local will not provide it. (so I can watch Smallville HD) But this last is just what I want, not the existing legal reality.


- Tom
Very interesting. I wonder how the cable companies get their current network analog feed, from local OTA from the affiliates or directly from the network satellite. I would speculate that it would have to be the local affiliate OTA signal so that it includes all the stuff the locals add to it, e.g., news, weather, etc.


On the HDTV side, we see that it's pretty common for the cable companies to start with a limited set of networks, e.g., here in Atlanta Comcast says they will start with FOX only. Why not all of them?


My speculations below:


a) Comcast with new power says to the network "you pay me to carry your HDTV signal."


b) Network says "screw you, this is my content. You pay me!"


c) Affiliate comes in, "wait a minute! Somebody has to pay me something for all the HDTV upgrades I made."


I bet they are long meetings. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,889 Posts
Where does the information come from that Comcast will start with Fox in Atlanta? Comcast's position to me has always been that they will not carry Fox as long as they are 480p!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
Sinclair is also saying that they want a share of cable revenues for carrying DTV stations. I'm not surprised Mr. DTV hasn't brought that up here, though.


David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,367 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by JWhip
Where does the information come from that Comcast will start with Fox in Atlanta? Comcast's position to me has always been that they will not carry Fox as long as they are 480p!
Yes, and that makes sooooo much sense, because the 480i analog feed supplied by Comcast of FOX in Philly (WTXF) is so crystal clear - why bother showing a 480p widescreen version of FOX. What would Comcast viewers have to gain?


Yes, I'm dripping sarcasm.


Eric
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top