[opendtv] Re: DTV awareness

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2008 08:17:57 -0400

At 1:55 PM -0400 7/5/08, Tom Barry wrote:
But I don't believe it was just the small number of HD's. I think a case could be made that WESH had a weaker bargaining position than they expected because without Cox they had zero HD reach in Gainesville.

So it took longer for the two parties to converge on an agreement.

You might be right, however, I think the problem was just the opposite - Cox had no leverage because they could not get a large number of people in Gainesville to put pressure on WESH, as they had done before when Cox and WOGX (Fox) got into a retrans consent battle several years earlier over analog carriage. At least in that battle, you could put up an antenna to get Fox - but WESH is simply too far away to receive OTA in Gainesville.

WESH was willing to wait for Cox to come around, as withholding their HD signal had no impact on their bottom line at the time.

It is unfortunate, but the cable guys have managed to turn the HD tier into the best new service they can sell (other than broadband). Before HD, Digital Cable was viewed as a premium service populated primarily by niche channels that mostly appealed to sports nuts. With HD, however, there was an incentive to add digital cable to get access to better quality versions of programs that large audiences watch - not to mention the Superbowl and NCAA Basketball tournament in HD.


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