[opendtv] Re: Is 'Fair Use' in Peril?

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "OpenDTV (E-mail)" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2004 19:29:51 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> Your premise in this discussion was in essence:
> "if paying for programming by inserting commercials
> becomes ineffective due to commercial zapping, how
> will the content be paid for?"

Maybe that's the problem. My point was not that. My
point was that today, two viable business models,
i.e. FTA radio and TV as well as subscription TV,
depend on ads to remain solvent. Certainly FTA radio
and TV do, even if the subscription services could
do without ads by just increasing their fees.

If Congress allowed CE manufacturers to completely
hide ads, then Congress would be unfairly doing the
bidding of the umbillical services companies. Because,
of course, advertizers would put less and less money
into TV shows as recording devices become more common.
Which, for FTA TV especially, would be the kiss of

Congress is not out there to promote certain
businesses by eliminating the competion's chances
of success. Not if the competing companies are
perfectly legal businesses.

> consumers have demonstrated their disdain for
> commercials by paying directly for content.

First of all, this is simply not true. FTA radio
does quite well, and FTA TV does well enough to
hold a constant 15 percent, even with broadcasters
not being very imaginative with this segment. And
no telliong what consumers would do if ads were
eliminated entirely from cable programs, forcing
up the monthly fees.

More importantly, it's still *not* the job of
Congress to make these market decisions. Unless, of
course, Congress decide that the spectrum is indeed
too valuable to let mere businesses use it. They
could make that sort of policy decision, and let
people decide whether to reelect their Congress

> Here is a source for the revenues I am using to
> come up with this statistic.

> Broadcast radio - $14.87B
> Broadcast TV - $37B
> Cable subscriptions including PPV and Premium - $43.5B
> Theatrical Box office - $9.3B
> Sales and rentals of packaged TV/Film programming - $23.8B
> Sales of packaged audio - $9.1B
> Concert revenues - $2.5B
> Total revenues ~$140B
> As this relates to potential Congressional action
> regarding commercial zapping, it is clear that this
> would not have a huge impact on the market;

I beg to differ. Seems to me clear that FTA radio and
broadcast TV networks account for a lot more than movie
theater presentations, for instance, and I don't see
anyone in Congress deliberately allowing movie theaters
to go under.

I don't see Congress trying to make Blockbuster rentals
insolvent either.

Of all the categories you listed, *only* cable exceeds
the revenues of braodcast TV (even without adding radio).

I don't know how you can claim that the impact on the
market would be small.

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