At 4:18 PM -0500 12/24/05, Albert Manfredi wrote: >Not at all. This has been true because US TV markets are >huge, and obviously one wants to receive stations with >the simplest possible antenna system, and because adjacent >markets often provide programs that the local market >stations don't provide. And that last can be due to any >number of reasons, including (but not limited to) the case >of local games being blacked out on local stations. Bert raises a number of interesting issues here. #1 - US TV markets are huge This is a highly misleading statement. For example, We have markets like Salt Lake City, that cover huge expanses using both the primary transmitters and hundreds - if not thousands - of translators. And we have tiny markets like Washington DC and Providence R.I., that are surrounded by larger markets with largely duplicated programming. Homes located in rural areas generally require sophisticated antenna, typically mounted on tall masts or towers to receive distant broadcasts. In many cases rotors are also used as these rural areas may be located between two or more markets. For example, several decades ago I installed an antenna system in New Site, Alabama, which is located about 35 miles north or Auburn. With the rotor it was/is possible to tune to stations from Columbus, Ga, Montgomery AL, and Birmingham AL. The quality of reception is poor for all of these stations, which helps to explain why my in-laws added DirecTV when it became available. They never did buy the local station package from DirecTV, choosing instead to leave the antenna in a fixed position to receive the local broadcasts from Mongomery. It is important to note that none of the available stations provide local news or ads for the area in which my in-laws lived. #2 - adjacent markets often provide programs that the local market stations don't provide Other than locally produced programming such as news, this is largely untrue. Most of the content delivered by broadcasters is drawn from the major networks and from syndicators. Sundicated programming is sold on a "market exclusive basis," so it is NOT duplicated within a market, but may be duplicated in adjacent markets. large markets may have more independent stations, which may offer additional programming variety, but a comparison of the programming available in ANY market to any other will show that more than 90% of all programming is duplicated in adjacent markets. What does vary is the time that many of these shows are broadcast. Thus there is an element of variety from adjacent markets based on differences in programming scheduling, but the actual availability of differentiated programming from adjacent markets is quite small. With a PVR, these differences become almost meaningless. #3 - the case of local games being blacked out on local stations This is a classic example of the market orientation of the U.S. broadcast service. It is one of the most BLATANT examples of techno-political gerrymandering in support of MULTIPLE government supported monopolies. As I said in the previous message, the ability to receive distant market signals IS NOT A FEATURE, IT IS A PROBLEM. The NFL DOES NOT want you to receive a distant signal when a game is blacked out in the "local market." In many cases the blackouts may extend across several markets. This may include areas ,such as where Bert lives, where it is EASY to receive both Washington and Baltimore stations. And it may include areas such as Gainesville, where we are forced to view certain games because we are technically inside the market for that franchise. For example, I am a Miami Dolphins fan, however, if they have a game at the same time as the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jaguar game takes precedence, even if it is being blacked out. Bert obviously does not like the market orientation of the U.S. broadcast system. he does like the "perception" that he gets more programming choice, despite the fact that this is LARGELY untrue. The fact remains that the U.S. system IS market based, and market-into-market intrusions are an undesirable artifact, at least from the point-of-view of the broadcasters and their program suppliers. The reality is that we can deliver a true market based broadcast system that actually works, without any significant market into market interference. What is more important, by building such a system we could use the spectrum so much more efficiently that EVERY MARKET could offer 3-4 times the number of channels, greatly increasing programming choice. The problem is that this would further erode the declining audiences of local broadcasters. >I would certainly agree that DBS and cable operators would >prefer for OTA reception to not work at all, and that local >affiliates would probably prefer that only their one station >be receivable. But the consumer has a different set of >interests, as absolutely any OTA user would tell you. > 85% of consumers in the U.S. have chosen to get their TV programming from a multichannel supplier that is limited by regulation to the delivery of only the signals intended for the market where you live. In some cases differentiated programming may be offered from distant markets, but a local broadcasters can force the cable or DBS services to block out-of-market broadcasts of programming for which they have the local market rights. People have chose to PAY for these services because of programming choice. Not the kind of choice that you get from distant broadcasts, but REAl, differentiated programming that is NOT AVAILABLE from ANY broadcaster. This whole market protection scheme is so pervasive that broadcasters do not want you to be able to access the content from your home market when you are away from that market. Bert might WANT to see a Washington DC newscast ( e.g via the Internet, or by downloading the program from his home server) if he is on the West Coast for business, but broadcasters are doing everything in their power to make certain that he will never get this option. Clearly the interests of customers are not being protected. On the other hand, with 85% of consumers subscribing to a multichannel service, it is equally clear that that consumers like Bert are the exception, not the rule. Regards Craig ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.