[opendtv] Re: Democrats Air Concerns About Analog Switchover

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 08:28:36 -0500

At 7:38 AM -0500 11/21/06, dalekelly@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
As I've said before: your statement is an overly broad generalization. I'm
actually in agreement if you more narrowly define "broadcasters" as
Networks and their owned station groups, together with certain corporate
entities. However, there are a number of large independently owned station
groups, in addition to Sinclair, that value OTA and who have made recent
major investments in support of OTA, though clearly Sinclair is the leader
in this area.

Fair enough. I realize that there are still some broadcasters left who would like to do something competitive with the spectrum. Unfortunately, without the support of the companies that provide the bulk of the content, it is very difficult to effect a major change in the business model for terrestrial broadcasting.


Unfortunately, as has also discussed several times on this list, cable is
in a dominant business position and they can (and have) inflict serious
economic penalties for taking this issue to the viewers.

I do not understand this statement.

From here it seems that the broadcasters have the upper hand in the negotiations with cable and DBS. I post stories on a regular basis about the deals that broadcasters are crafting under the umbrella of retransmission consent. The trend seems to be in the direction of subscriber fees in the range of $0.50 to $1.00 per month. Some of these deals involve trade-outs for advertising, however, the fact remains that cable and DBS are effectively replacing the revenues once provided via network compensation, and in many cases these income streams are considerably larger.

I do understand that independent broadcasters lack the clout of network affiliates in re-trans consent negotiations. But these independents never had the advantage of network compensation either.

And I also understand that cable and DBS would LOVE to be free from the leverage that broadcasters now have in carriage negotiations. I am not against negotiated carriage. In fact, we have seen a number of voluntary negotiated deals for HDTV carriage. I believe that all carriage agreements should be voluntary, not mandated by techno-political gerrymandering.

Regards
Craig


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