[opendtv] Re: Fewer than 2 Million have OTA DTV in US

  • From: "Albert Manfredi" <bert22306@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 24 Dec 2006 15:09:18 -0500

Tom Barry wrote:

The numbers I'd like to know have more to do with what is the value
added of a local channel? Do people really want local channels because
they are local? Or do they just associate the more popular local
channels with the network channels?

The national network content obviously has a vastly greater economy
of scale and basically can have a lot more money invested in it based
upon the expected number of viewers.

I don't think there's much question on this. What people holler about to their local cable systems is when the local system refuses to carry the major network content, for whatever reason. It' loss of prime time content people get upset about, not the local ads from the used car dealership downtown. Not the insipid infomercials that broadcasters love to transmit off prime time.

I'd expect a local source of weather and occassional news would satisfy most people.

But this doesn't change anything about the viability of DTT. A viable DTT system does not depend on "localism" at all, as abundantly made obvious in Europe. It does depend on offering a "wide enough" variety of content, though. *If* it's true that people are abandoning OTA TV and going to cable or DBS, the oh-so-obvious solution to that is to use DTT's new features to make it more attractive than OTA analog is and was.

Assuming, that is, that broadcasters have any interest in doing so. It's equally obvious to me that if broadcasters prefer to get people addicted to umbillical services, no one and nothing will stem the erosion of OTA TV. I'm actually lucky to have two Sinclair stations within reach, since they seem to be about the only ones using their hours productively.

I'm often amazed that OTA TV is as successful as it is. I'm always amazed when my friends explain how they use OTA TV, without having anyone shove it down their throats as other TV media do.


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