Craig Birkmaier wrote: > What is important to this discussion is the fact > that breaking up Ma Bell just created 3-4 regional > monopolies instead of one national monopoly. The > markets for cellular were SUPPOSED to be open to > new incumbents, and a few did manage to survive. I think what is important is that initially there were more like 7-8 RBOCs. Then, for example, Bell Atlantic bought NYNEX and at least one other wireless company. Southwestern Bell similarly grew. It's not at all clear to me that the consolidation is over in these "ex-regional" Bells. Can hardly call Verizon a regional Bell anymore. This isn't just about wireless, either.=20 > Unfortunately they took a cue from the politicians > with "Campaign Finance Reform" and just did an end > run around the legislation. They created and > funded legal entities to bid in these auctions, > then took control of the spectrum that these > companies "won." And now,consolidation is bringing > most of the remaining competitors into the fold. Perhaps so, but once again, it wasn't just the wireless portion that got consolidated. It's the way successful businesses always evolve. Success means growth. Growth means success. > If the networks were prohibited from owning > broadcast stations, they would still capture the > revenues from their network operations. > These stations would become independent if > content and carriage were separated, and > presumably the revenues would stay in the markets > where they are derived The independent OTA broadcasters would be much like DBS operators are now. The content creators and owners would still rule. Even without their OTA infrastructure. Not sure this would change much of anything. The OTA stations would only survive based on the content they carry, and they themselves would not be able to create content, with your rules. The most likely outcome is simply that station groups would grow and consolidate, limited only by the *local* caps on OTA infrastructure ownership. And that content creators would be able to put the squeeze on these OTA station groups, as much as they now do on cable and DBS. > On the other hand, If the caps are raised or > eliminated, the Networks will buy even more > stations to capture the revenues they control. > The downside risk here is that with total > control over broadcast distribution, the > networks could then put the squeeze on cable > and DBS, sucking out the remaining profits from > those businesses. I can't think of any upside > benefit for consumers. And since by your rules, cable and DBS would be forbidden from creating any content, the content conglomerates would be able to squeeze them even more than they do now. The content creators would not become any smaller or any more numerous JUST because they aren't allowed to own OTA stations. That's the point. And since OTA infrastructure owned by the conglomerates cannot create local monopolies, due to the nature of OTA broadcasting (where multiple OTA networks can coexist in every location, unlike cable nets), I just don't see any problem here, for consumers. What I don't see is a downside. Even if there is no obvious upside, there is no obvious downside. In the absence of an obvious downside, the govt should stay OUT of the business segment. > In other words, stations had no choice but to > buy some of their content from companies NOT > OWNED by the networks. But hose days are > history. With control of 90% of the content > we watch, and roughly 40% of the revenues from > OTA broadcasting , stations are now at the > mercy of the networks. They have little if any > negotiating power, and they are being squeezed > at every opportunity by the networks. Where is the Amiga computer? Where is the US Chrysler Corporation? Just to mention recent examples. What you describe is the normal evolution of a maturing market segment. > Prohibiting the networks from owning ANY form > of distribution ... would largely correct the > imbalance. Then again, if the networks then > refused to deliver their content via OTA > broadcasting, how long would local stations > remain economically viable? Bingo! The emergence of cable and DBS did not slow down the media conglomerates at all, even if they did not own these pervasive media. That's why I don't see any problem at all with allowing content and carriage ownership *especially* within the OTA segment of the business, and *especially* in light of the local ownership caps. > Why did OnDigital fail. The direct economic reason > BERT? Not the competitive reasons. > > I'll help. > > They paid too much for content - specifically the > rights to a UK Football League - and could not > remain solvent. But there's no such thing as "paying too much," *except* as it compares with the revenues you pull in. They simply expected more subscribers than they got. People who pay for their TV fix expected more choice than they got from ONdigital, and got more choice from DBS and cable. Bert ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.