[opendtv] Re: Analysts Vet Investor Concerns on Broadcast and Cable Sectors

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2011 07:52:28 -0400

At 4:01 PM -0500 3/16/11, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
Excerpt from the article:

"There is also a perception that broadcast networks eventually will put affiliates out of business.

"'Fox and CBS have been very vocal with regard to their desire to get paid for their programming by both the MSOs--retrans--and the affiliate groups--reverse comp/retrans or license fees,' they said. 'Unless the nets want to become defacto cable channels and give up significant ad revenue, they have every incentive to keep the affiliate business financially healthy.'"

I think Craig's argument would be, if the networks did become just cable channels, and put the affiliates out of business, more people would be paying the subscription fees to see their stuff on an MVPD channel, the networks would get a piece of that, and the networks would make even more money.


Now I don't need to post at all...

Kinda like a list bot that knows what I'm thinking...


Clearly the networks are looking for any source of new revenue as their ability to keep raising rates in the face of declining audiences is now challenged. But moving to cable only distribution, while allowing the networks to keep all of the subscriber fees, would not increase the audience. In fact, and I'm surprised Bert did not consider this, their ratings would take a large hit, as it is the "antenna only" homes that make up a good chunk of their viewers. To make more money they would "hope" that the antenna only viewers would be forced to subscribe to an MVPD, but this is just one of many options - Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, DVDs, piracy, etc.

IMHO, the homes that are not currently subscribing to an MVPD, like Bert's, either cannot afford the service, or do not want the service. I humbly submit that the loss of FOTA content would not change this picture much. Rather, there is growing pressure on the MVPD business model that suggests that we are moving in the direction of Over the top Internet delivery. What is not clear is the various economic models that will emerge as more homes have the bandwidth to drop their MVPD service in favor of "Internet ala carte."

Bottom line, the existing broadcast network model looks to be dying. The main value of the broadcast networks was their ability to act as gatekeepers in an era when there were very few distribution options. As alternative content and distribution options have proliferated, the value of a network to aggregate and promote content has steadily declined. It is not the affiliation business model that is threatened, it is broadcasting that is threatened.


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