[opendtv] Re: Democrats Air Concerns About Analog Switchover

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 16:59:24 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> Why should OTA broadcasters get ANY revenue from a cable company. Do
> YOU send them fifty cents or a buck every month? The DEAL for the
> spectrum was that the broadcasters did not pay for it, and viewers
> get content for free in return for putting up with the ads.

Craig, we've been throught this. If you write your articles for a
magazing that is given away "free," the typical trade magazine with
mucho ads, does this mean that anyone ought to be free to copy your
articles and then sell them at a profit to a different audience? Without
compensating you?

If this other magazine reprints your articles along with the ads that
accompanied your original article, does that make it okay now? You are
out of the picture? These guys are making a profit from your work,
without your consent and without compensating you.

I understand and basically agree with your point about unpopular content
and must-carry. However, mostly what we're talking about here is the
major networks' access to cable systems. And another point is that a lot
of that unpopular content is content that you argue in favor of many
times. Aren't you the one complaining that independent producers find it
hard to get their stuff on TV?

With retransmission consent, why do cable companies threaten to pull the
station, if the station wants to include advertizing on its DTT service?
At least three broadcasters have said that this happens. I believe them.
The only reason this occurs is that cable companies are local

Perhaps money could be made to flow in different patterns. But I cannot
agree that cable systems should get content for free and then resell
that at a profit.

> Cable carriage is critical to the broadcasters, as it forms the
> basis for ~70% of their potential audience (86% when DBS is added).
> The ad rates are based on the total audience, so broadcasters are
> already being compensated for the programming that is watched via
> cable or DBS.

Why, then, don't cable companies gave away the basic tier for free,
perhaps with a one-time installation fee? Would be tough for anyone to
complain then.

> What's the alternative? Put up an antenna and watch the stuff I
> stopped watching nearly two decades ago, or pay. I almost posted a
> brief story about a Verizon price increase for their Fios service
> yesterday. The entry level price is now just over $40/month.
> There is no choice Bert.

All you're telling me is that you have made yourself totally dependent
on a single local monopoly, and that you want that local monopoly to
have it as easy as possible. And that everyone else should do what you

There is a choice. Use OTA TV, let the OTA networks compete for your
eyeballs, allow them to advertize and optimize their DTT plants. In my
opinion, the problem is that people let themselves become dependent on
non-competitive industries when it's not absolutely necessary. That is
what skews everything else. Essential local monopolies, like water/sewer
and power, are very heavily regulated industries BECAUSE they are
monopolies and essential. Is that what you want of cable systems?

Happy Thanksgiving all.

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