[opendtv] Re: its a wifi world - Re: Re: Twang's

Don't let "universal service" go unaccounted for, and there will always 
be Free TV, as long as OTA is allowed to exist (you'd have to talk to 
the FCC and Congress about that small point!).
Craig Birkmaier wrote:

>At 3:37 PM -0400 4/27/04, Mark Aitken wrote:
>  
>
>>Well, actually, the "old" model DOES make money.
>>The bigger question is one of ensuring (insuring?) value (to the
>>shareholders in our case) into the future. Having a government mandated
>>transition that has just cost Broadcasters some $3.5 billion (that's the
>>number most of the press is touting) to provide for our DTV future, we
>>intend to put that investment to good use! But, one of the difficulties
>>is getting everyone to understand that the value of the service is that
>>it IS wireless, and (the FCC) forcing an outlook that means folks have
>>to pay for a gatekeeper (Cable) to receive it does not make sense. When
>>we have reliable OTA DTV service, we will have a viable digital
>>business. We are getting close. THAT is what we have been fighting for.
>>Jeff S./Emmis knows this as well.
>>
>>Our OTA product has a real value, honest! The old model works, the new
>>model needs to work more efficiently. That is where we excel.
>>
>>Kon wrote:
>>
>>Did you hear about the press conference at NAB where Emmis announced
>>
>>    
>>
>
>Yes the old model still works. It is still one of the most lucrative 
>franchises ever granted by a government, and it is protected  from 
>the rigors of competition.
>
>The $3.5 billion investment in DTV is chump change; local 
>broadcasters have collected more than $100 billion in revenues since 
>1997 when the FCC issued to order to build the DTV infrastructure.
>
>Mark knows better than most the reality of this transition, since his 
>company also dabbles in the transmitter business. Mike Grotticelli 
>nailed the reality in his Beyond The Headlines newsletter this week:
>
>  
>
>>Is HD bad for some businesses?
>>
>>Not everyone is shouting the praises of this newfound HD interest. 
>>Those manufacturers that offer digital transmitters, such as Ai, 
>>Larcan, Harris, Rohde & Schwarz, and Thales Broadcast, were seen 
>>(and heard) at the show lamenting the fact that most of the roughly 
>>1200 stations on-the-air in DTV are not distributing a high-power 
>>signal. To these companies' chagrin, most stations are operating at 
>>low-power to save on electricity costs. This has meant that the 
>>high-power transmission systems that cost millions of dollars, and 
>>bring in the most revenue for these companies, are still not being 
>>purchased as anticipated.
>>
>>"The windfall that many transmitter manufacturers were expecting 
>>    
>>
>>from DTV has not been realized to a large degree," said one 
>  
>
>>transmitter salesman who asked not to be identified. "We blame the 
>>FCC for allowing stations to comply with the DTV mandate while 
>>operating at low-power levels. It's bad for business and it's bad 
>>for the adoption of DTV among consumers. If these stations are 
>>operating at low-power, that means people on the fringes are not 
>>getting a signal. How good is that for the transition to DTV? If I'm 
>>a consumer and I can't get a signal I'm not going to buy a digital 
>>set. I'm certainly not going to buy an antenna and put it on my 
>>roof."
>>    
>>
>
>Now it appears that broadcasters are looking to subscription fees to 
>preserve their legacy. The Emmis proposal includes a provision to pay 
>broadcasters for their DTV content. The obvious implication is that 
>this will provide a precedent for cable and DBS to do the same.
>
>Whatever happened to Free TV?
>
>I though the ads paid for the content.
>
>What happens when the advertisers find a more efficient way to reach 
>the public?
>
>Regards
>Craig
>
>
> 
> 
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>  
>

-- 

Regards,
Mark A. Aitken Director, Advanced Technology

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