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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are ranked as the 58th TV market. I don't know if ranking is representative of the number of channels (or allocations) than an area has, but I also realize that we don't HAVE a lot of local channels to begin with.

My current observation is that we appear to get "passed over" with many of the new over-the-air services that have sprung up since the digital conversion began.

Maybe the issue lies with the choices that our local stations have made.

Our CBS affiliate for example only has 1 sub-channel. They chose "ThisTV".

Our ABC affiliate has 2 sub-channels. One of those is local weather, and the other is the ABC o&o service; LiveWell. I understand that's ending...sometime...but who knows because the end date keeps being extended.

Our NBC affiliate also has 2 sub-channels. One is local weather, and the other is MeTV (which I like).

Our Fox affiliate is a joke! Only 1 sub-channel, and although it has changed services more than once...it's now an OTB (offtrack betting) channel.

Between the smaller networks, MyTV & the CW we have an SD version of our CBS affiliate on one of them, GritTV on one, and Antenna TV (which I like) on the other. The CW channel has 2 subs, and the MyTV, has only 1. And that's it!

So, when I think about some of the services that are out there, such as;
Bounce, Escape, Cozi, Movies, Fox Movies, Retro, GetTV, Justice, Heroes & Icons, and now latest will be Decades..... I begin to see that what WE have seems like nothing!

Obviously the majors, i.e. NY, Boston, etc.... have most if not ALL of these. I expect that. But, it just seems that the choices that OUR locals have made, need to be expanded on.

Why can't those stations that only have ONE sub-channel, add another? Or why do two of our locals waste a channel with weather? (and THAT complaint is coming from a certified "weather-nut"!) Then there's the "betting" channel! Give me a break!

I never mentioned our ION affiliate...but they're the same in each market, offering only shopping and children's channels in addition to ION itself.

I have written to our CBS affiliate several times with a general query, but not ONCE have they chosen to respond. Silence is all I've received from them.

So, that's my complaint. I know it's not the most important issue in my life, but it's part of the "entertainment" portion of it. Hopefully it won't remain this way forever. Perhaps one of our affiliates will "wake-up" and address it. In the meantime, I feel as though we're getting overlooked and short-changed when it comes to new OTA services.

What's YOUR opinion on this? I wish I could band together with other locals who might have the same wish, and see if we can't get some changes initiated.
 

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Rankings from Nielsen are based on the number of TV homes in a designated market. This means that Albany has the 58th largest amount of homes when compared to the other markets in the country. Every county is designated in a market based on their ability to receive broadcast signals and what people are watching when given the option of choosing between 2 close markets.

These deals with subchannels like you mentioned are mainly dictated at a level far beyond Albany. These broadcasters are owned by larger conglomerates, and these deals are made at those levels.

WRGB, your CBS affiliate, is owned by Sinclair. WTEN (ABC) is owned by Media General. WNYT (NBC) is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting. These companies make deals with the subchannels, and add those channels throughout their footprints, depending on who the competition is. In some cases, an agreement with another company can take precedence over the agreement with one of these companies.

Many of the subchannels you've mentioned are owned by networks themselves, and that's why they're seen in NYC and Boston, but not a smaller market like Albany. Cozi TV is owned by NBC, Decades is owned by CBS, Movies! is owned by FOX. In NYC, all these networks are owned and operated by their corporate partners, so that's why they're seen. Very few of these subchannels owned by the networks have deals with other station groups. RTN and Heroes & Icons are owned by Luken Communications, who has been in and out of bankruptcy, lost many of its affiliates to other start-up classic TV subchannels like Antenna TV and Me-TV, and is mostly relegated to small or low-power stations that Luken owns themselves.

These subchannels have changed formats numerous times, and have often been said to hemorrhage money. Many sell ad space at the network level, meaning local networks can't insert ads and make money on them. There's also paying for the rights to broadcast something, which if you can't balance that out with selling ads, makes it a money-losing venture. That can explain some reluctance to add them, in addition to them requiring additional bandwidth that sucks away pixels from the main networks, reducing picture quality. Also, satellite and IPTV services (AT&T U-Verse) don't carry these subchannels as a rule, so no retransmission fees are earned in carrying them. Cable companies can opt not to carry them, and some choose not to.

So in terms of being an overlooked market, having more or less subchannels really isn't about whose market is better, it really comes down to decisions made in boardrooms, and from the perspective of the broadcaster, subchannels may not really offer much of a benefit to the network themselves, even if they give viewers more options (especially OTA viewers).
 

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RTN and Heroes & Icons are owned by Luken Communications, who has been in and out of bankruptcy, lost many of its affiliates to other start-up classic TV subchannels like Antenna TV and Me-TV, and is mostly relegated to small or low-power stations that Luken owns themselves.
H&I is owned by Weigel (who owns METV)
 

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Our CBS affiliate for example only has 1 sub-channel. They chose "ThisTV".

Our ABC affiliate has 2 sub-channels. One of those is local weather, and the other is the ABC o&o service; LiveWell. I understand that's ending...sometime...but who knows because the end date keeps being extended.

Our NBC affiliate also has 2 sub-channels. One is local weather, and the other is MeTV (which I like).

Our Fox affiliate is a joke! Only 1 sub-channel, and although it has changed services more than once...it's now an OTB (offtrack betting) channel.
My market (Duluth, MN) is worse ;)

CBS has CW (480i widescreen)
NBC has My ((480i widescreen)
ABC has MeTV (all ABC's licensed to Minnesota are owned by Hubbard, same folks who own your NBC)
FOX has NONE (they are owned by Red River Broadcasting...who buys up radio stations but does nothing for its TV)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the "inside baseball" info oriolesmagic! From your explanation it appears to be more of a complex process that I would've imagined. So, you're saying more often than not, the local affiliate may have NO SAY as to what additional services might be available to them?

Obviously markets vary, as do the corporate entities who control the affiliates in those markets. There are far more medium to small markets than there are major markets. So I guess the percentage of households that are exposed to a variety of "sub-channel networks" is much less than the national average.

What got me particularly miffed, was (for example) the movie channel known as "GetTV". It's been made available to many Sinclair stations, but not to our Sinclair owned CBS affiliate. The new channel is now available across New York State...except here. It's in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and New York City. It's also seen in the Boston and Portland markets. It just seemed very odd to me that this market was skipped.

Thanks again for the info.
 

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... So, you're saying more often than not, the local affiliate may have NO SAY as to what additional services might be available to them?...

What got me particularly miffed, was (for example) the movie channel known as "GetTV". It's been made available to many Sinclair stations, but not to our Sinclair owned CBS affiliate. .
Since oriolesmagic hasn't yet said, I will. We don't know that GetTV has not been made available to your Sinclair owned CBS affiliate, just that it is not presently carrying it. The profit generated by a subchannel that is carried on an independent affiliate is shared by the affiliate and the subchannel content owner, so the independent may decline to carry an available channel due to its lower profitability. Also, there are channels in the pipeline, like LAFF and Decades, that some independents are planning to add and so they are not inclined to take on a subchannel in the interim that they know they will be dropping shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
...there are channels in the pipeline, like LAFF and Decades, that some independents are planning to add and so they are not inclined to take on a subchannel in the interim that they know they will be dropping shortly.
Okay, I would expect that if they have plans on the board for something like Decades, then they're not going to put something else in as a placeholder in the interim. One of my beefs was that they don't even have the common courtesy to respond to a general query in the first place...even if their intentions aren't to be made public...or even if THEY themselves have no clue as to what might occur in the near future.
 

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Your situation could be worse if you lived in Canada and could only receive stations within your Canadian market. Canadian stations require another license to broadcast sub-channels, so they're pretty much nonexistent there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Your situation could be worse if you lived in Canada and could only receive stations within your Canadian market. Canadian stations require another license to broadcast sub-channels, so they're pretty much nonexistent there.
That's true. It's good then, that about 75% of the Canadian population is within 100 miles of the U.S. border.
 

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We are ranked as the 58th TV market. I don't know if ranking is representative of the number of channels (or allocations) than an area has, but I also realize that we don't HAVE a lot of local channels to begin with.

My current observation is that we appear to get "passed over" with many of the new over-the-air services that have sprung up since the digital conversion began.

Maybe the issue lies with the choices that our local stations have made.

Our CBS affiliate for example only has 1 sub-channel. They chose "ThisTV".

Our ABC affiliate has 2 sub-channels. One of those is local weather, and the other is the ABC o&o service; LiveWell. I understand that's ending...sometime...but who knows because the end date keeps being extended.

Our NBC affiliate also has 2 sub-channels. One is local weather, and the other is MeTV (which I like).

Our Fox affiliate is a joke! Only 1 sub-channel, and although it has changed services more than once...it's now an OTB (offtrack betting) channel.

Between the smaller networks, MyTV & the CW we have an SD version of our CBS affiliate on one of them, GritTV on one, and Antenna TV (which I like) on the other. The CW channel has 2 subs, and the MyTV, has only 1. And that's it!

So, when I think about some of the services that are out there, such as;
Bounce, Escape, Cozi, Movies, Fox Movies, Retro, GetTV, Justice, Heroes & Icons, and now latest will be Decades..... I begin to see that what WE have seems like nothing!

Obviously the majors, i.e. NY, Boston, etc.... have most if not ALL of these. I expect that. But, it just seems that the choices that OUR locals have made, need to be expanded on.

Why can't those stations that only have ONE sub-channel, add another? Or why do two of our locals waste a channel with weather? (and THAT complaint is coming from a certified "weather-nut"!) Then there's the "betting" channel! Give me a break!

I never mentioned our ION affiliate...but they're the same in each market, offering only shopping and children's channels in addition to ION itself.

I have written to our CBS affiliate several times with a general query, but not ONCE have they chosen to respond. Silence is all I've received from them.

So, that's my complaint. I know it's not the most important issue in my life, but it's part of the "entertainment" portion of it. Hopefully it won't remain this way forever. Perhaps one of our affiliates will "wake-up" and address it. In the meantime, I feel as though we're getting overlooked and short-changed when it comes to new OTA services.

What's YOUR opinion on this? I wish I could band together with other locals who might have the same wish, and see if we can't get some changes initiated.
It could be worse...

Burlington/Plattsburgh DMA
3-1 WCAX CBS
3-2 WCAXtra Weather
5-1 WPTZ NBC
5-2 WPTZ2 CW
5-3 WPTZ3 MeTV
22-1 WVNY ABC
33-1 WETK PBS (also WVER)
33-2 WETK2 PBS+
33-3 WETK3 PBS Create
33-4 WETK4 PBS World
44-1 WFFF Fox
57-1 WCFE PBS
57-2 WCFE2 MHz Worldview
57-3 WCFE3 PBS World

Eastern part of the DMA has these:
11-1 WLED PBS
11-2 WLED2 PBS Explore
11-3 WLED3 PBS World
20-1 WVTB PBS (also WVTA)
20-2 WVTB2 PBS+
20-3 WVTB3 PBS Create
20-4 WETK4 PBS World
29 WMURLP (analog) ABC
31-1 WNNE NBC

That gives us: MeTV, PBS Explore, Create, World, and MHz Worldview as the only subchannel networks we have! 5 whopping subchannels - and 4 of them are PBS-related!
 
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