At 5:20 PM -0400 9/21/04, Manfredi, Albert E wrote: >I don't see this. If each major network transmits 3 >program streams instead of one, even if each >individual stream gets smaller viewership, overall >the network might easily get a larger OTA audience. How does this expand the viewing options for the consumer? It is still just a handful of companies exploiting their archives. What viewers get in the UK and Germany is improved choice. it should be OBVIOUS - given the current storm of controversy that surrounds network news - that the major networks are likely to reduce their news programming in the near future. The audience is moving to 24/7 news networks and the Internet. NBC could offers MSNBC through affiliates, but this would create the kind of carriage conflict that I have been talking about. Would a cable system carry MSNBC directly, or would they be forced to carry the network via the multiplex of the local broadcaster? The alternative is for the networks and or stations to create their own new networks that are in some way differentiated from the cable/DBS networks. The economics simply do not add up for this when the potential audience is only 15% of U.S. homes. The potential audience grows IF broadcasters offer more of the cable/DBS channels that people already are watching; and it grows exponentially IF these channels are offered in the free and clear. But this is highly disruptive of current business models. Maintaining the status quo will allow the networks and multichannel services to keep pushing up rates. Real competition would drive down subscription rates. And one more thing. You keep talking about larger audiences for the network. They already HAVE 90% of the audience. The only way to grow the audience when you already control it, is to get people to spend more time watching TV. Further fragmentation of the OTA audience does not grow it - it simply subdivides it into smaller chunks. >Some folk would much rather watch a rerun of an old >Outer Limits show than any Monday Night Football, >hands down. Why should a network, or a local >broadcaster, prefer to disenfranchise these people? >Do they really think these Outer Limits folk will >tune into a football game they don't care about? Of >course not. They'll instead switch to a different >broadcaster. In major cities they can do this already. There are typically 2-4 independent stations that do nothing but counter-programming with old syndicated content. This is why Dan Rather's Evening News ratings in New York City are lower than several stations re-running sitcoms in the same time period. If the broadcasters offer more choices in their OTA multiplex the audience can only grow it two ways: 1. More people put up antennas and watch OTA shows; 2. Existing OTA viewers spend more time watching TV. >It doesn't make sense to me that the major networks >would be happier to compete head to head over cable >and DBS media, with possibly hundreds of other >channels, as opposed to competing over an OTA system, >up against only dozens of other programs. Perhaps this will help you understand: Total TV homes in the U.S. = ~106 million Homes that subscribe to multichannel services = ~87 million Homes that rely exclusively on OTA broadcasts = ~19 million It is a no brainer to understand why the media conglomerates/networks are buying up cable networks. They are buying back their audience. But that's just the tip of the iceberg... The conglomerates get compensation from the cable/DBS systems for the networks they provide. The monthly fee per subscriber for ESPN is now approaching $3. This is in ADDITION to the revenues ESPN generates from advertising. If the networks offer more choice to the OTA audience, what benefit flows to them or their affiliates? Do they get subscription fees? Can they charge more for commercials give the fact that the audience size remains relatively constant? The only advantage I can see is that they may improve demographic targeting, which in some cases does support higher rates for commercials. The only win for moving to multi-channel OTA service is IF the audience grows and the networks can collect subscription fees from OTA viewers. NOT LIKELY. >So, as you would predict, there should be no demand for >the extra expense of OTA STBs. But the end result, in >Berlin and in the UK, is a renewed interest by the >viewing public in OTA TV. Go figure. And, to add >insult to injury, from a younger demographic than >those who used OTA previously. Darn. No surprise here. You pay one time for a box that delivers what you are already watching, and eliminate monthly subscription fees. 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.