[opendtv] Re: Wolfsson's Wednesday Words (Mark's Monday Memo) 2004 March 31

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>

>
> I think they're worried that if broadcasters ask for too much they might =
> get *all* must-carry thrown out. Specifically, the multicast must-carry =
> is what they think unwise to request.

Must Carry is most important to small unaffiliated independent stations.
Subscriber demand will ensure that the major network affiliates are carried
on cable no matter what.  The proof is the number of Retransmission Consent
agreements that are in force around the country.  Most Retrans Consent
agreements exchange some local cable ad insertion avails to the station in
exchange for cable carriage.  Then the affiliate can run ads on the cable
channels during sweeps.

Cable got it's start in life by delivering local network signals to
subscribers, and in spite of 500 digital channels, the big four networks
will still be the anchor of the first tier.

The real thing that television stations fear is the loss of exclusivity of
the network programming in their market.  Then the major networks will
deliver their programming directly to the cable and satellite providers,
bypassing their gatekeeper function.  Imagine if NBC came to their
affiliates and said "for $2 million a year, you can be an exclusive NBC
affiliate in your DMA, but if you agree to non-exclusivity, you can have the
network feed for free."  NBC owns most of the major market broadcasters
already, and the medium and small market affiliates couldn't afford the cost
of exclusivity.  Suddenly there is the "NBC Channel" on cable.

Scary.

Regards,

John Shutt

 
 
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