[opendtv] Re: Analysis: TV's New White Spaces Could Be Black Eye

  • From: Albert Manfredi <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2008 17:55:00 -0500

TV's New White Spaces Could Be Black Eye
A media critique by Wayne Friedman , Thursday, November 6, 2008

the broadcast spectrum should mean more competition for those big media 
Or, maybe not.
[ ... ]

Traditional broadcasters such as ABC, NBC, and CBS are worried -- complaining 
that signals sent over that part of the spectrum could cause interference with 
broadcasts, or even wireless microphones at live events. 

But that's not the real issue. It's really about new competitors -- say a big 
new media company or an individual -- that could crowd out traditional media 
with their own TV programming.
[ ... ]
But here's the downside: Decades ago, the prime access time period was created 
for TV stations to run their own programming in the hour before network 
prime-time shows commenced. The broadcast rule was to give small, independent 
TV producers a chance to compete. 

The end result? Big media companies like CBS, Time Warner, or Walt Disney ended 
up owning time periods for their syndicated programming like "Wheel of Fortune" 
or "Friends" or "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." 

Freeing white spaces sounds like a good idea, giving small guys a chance to 
compete. But we all know how this stuff usually turns out. Google and 
Microsoft, waiting in the wings to compete with traditional broadcasters, means 
only one thing -- big media versus big wannabe-media companies. Big deal. 
On the last point, chuckle.
On the part "But that's not the real issue," as a customer, I very much 
disagree. It is the real issue for the OTA TV users, even if it might not be 
all the OTA broadcasters are upset about.
As a user of the spectrum, I wouldn't mind it a bit if others came in to offer 
more whatever good new stuff on those RF freqs. But obviously I do mind if they 
do so at the expense of what's there now that I care about.
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