At 9:14 AM -0700 7/30/08, dan.grimes@xxxxxxxx wrote:
What I am trying to get at is the fact that the broadcasting business has become overly inflated and complicated, requiring a lot more money and resources than is really necessary to provide the obligation (public service) in exchange for the spectrum.
Good point. The competition is now global, as one can see from the story about News Corp that i just posted. As the politicians and mega corps try to move us toward a "global economy," or worse, the replacement of national laws and regulations with homogenized global regulations as Murdoch seems to be pushing for, the importance of localism seems to be fading.
Consumers do not get upset if broadcasters skimp on their public service obligations - they could care less about most locally produced content, UNLESS a major story breaks, and then it is no longer local, but gets coverage from the regional and national services. A few cases in point...
When we have a hurricane here in Florida, broadcasters step up and do a good job with their public service obligations - they do not need to be coerced to do this, as the potential audience increases dramatically during these periods of "emergency." In this, radio broadcasters seem to do a better job than the TV guys, which is entirely appropriate, since radio is the most reliable media when power lines and cable lines start to come down.
And when there is a big story, like "Don't taze me bro," the U.F. student who disrupted a campus speech by John Kerry and was removed with help of tasers, the story is quickly picked up by the cable nets and national news services.
While I can appreciate that the entire OTA system (at least old model) may no longer be viable business-wise for the broadcaster, and I can appreciate the need for new revenues, it is still important to realize that the spectrum is given to them for a purpose and that purpose must be fulfilled to the expectations of those of us that still use it. If the broadcasters cannot do this and stay in business, then they need to get out of broadcasting and make their money another way.
Unfortunately, the real purpose of TV broadcasting today is to help prop up the media oligopoly in the U.S. The big media corporations have used the former power they once wielded with TV broadcasting to build new empires. Local broadcasting is ONLY important to them because of the regulatory advantage they have over competitors because of the importance of broadcasting to the politicians
One can build a very good argument that the TV spectrum could be used, as it is in the U.K to provide a viable and affordable multi-channel service for the masses. Instead it is being used to drive up, and prop up the price, of the multi-channel services. Rather than real competition, we see a valuable resource being used to protect the media conglomerates - and their 35% profit margins - from competition.
I think it is unfair for a broadcasting corporation to be "given" spectrum with an obligation, then use the spectrum to make a bunch of money, not fulfill the obligation (consumer's expectation of the obligation), and then compete with corporations that did have to buy spectrum in order to make money.
Hard to disagree with this statement. The only caveat here is that the same regulatory framework that gives the congloms their advantage in the entertainment business gets in their way when it comes to being competitive.
The 700 MHz spectrum is about bits...lots of bits for mobile applications, of which TV content may only be a small piece. Not to agree completely with Bob, but this spectrum is VERY valuable, and most of that value is derived from the ability to use this spectrum for whatever bits consumers demand, not just to watch Oprah.
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