At 9:48 AM -0500 3/25/05, Tom Barry wrote: >But I've also heard that TV stations may not have to pay as much for the >rights to run some material off hours. Anybody know if that is true? > >If so then it seems they could experiment with advertising and running >some prime HDTV material in the dead time and maybe see if there is any >response. Say, have a couple of Midnight Madness sales. > >Heck, my PVR says it would be interested. Yes, the price of syndicated programming can reflect the time period in which it is shown. But this is typically only true for programming that is still popular and has a proven track record. Thus it is likely that a station will pay more for the shows that it runs in the two "prime" periods for syndication - 4 - 6 p.m. and 7-8 p.m. This is also a reflection of the audience that is delivered - these time slots draw the biggest audiences and the highest ad revenues for syndicated shows, so naturally the syndicators charge accordingly. There are two problems with programming for PVRs during off hours: 1. There is very little prime HDTV material available for syndication. Traditionally there has been a three year lag from the time a program runs on the broadcast networks until it appears in syndication. In some cases this is being extended, as the networks are now moving some of these shows to the cable "browser networks" like FX and ABC Family, before they are released for syndication. For example, CSI, which premiered in 2000, is now shown on Spike TV - owned by Viacom - 5 nights a week at 7pm; it is not available for syndication to local broadcast stations. 2. It may be impossible to get local rights to much of the programming that would be desirable for video caching, if that content is already available on cable in a broadcast market. Aside from the issue of commercial skipping, one must consider the larger competitive picture. IF broadcasters choose to offer more programming choice, they will be in direct competition with cable and DBS, and the entire issue of market exclusivity will be called into question. Today it is accepted that the same channels are available in a market via cable and DBS - this is as it should be. Broadcasters strictly enforce their market exclusivity rights for both network and syndicated programming. Thus, we have an independent station, WJXT in Jacksonville, (formerly CBS) that is carried in this market, EXCEPT when their programming duplicates shows that are carried by local Gainesville/Ocala stations. Thus the cable system must block WJXT at certain times, based on nothing more than a letter from a station manager stating that they have the rights to this content in the Gainesville/Ocala market. The obvious solution is to treat broadcasters the same as the other multi-channel competitors. Let the broadcasters carry the same content as cable and DBS, and drop the exclusivity. Instead of paying programming and syndication fees based on market size, everyone would pay based on the audience they actually deliver. It gets even easier if you treat distribution as a common carrier - that is, decouple content and carriage. Then the content people simply broker the best deals to get their content onto each competing system. What a concept! Regards Craig ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.