[opendtv] Re: Let them eat cake (and ATSC while they're at it)

  • From: Bob Miller <bob@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 15 May 2005 11:15:35 -0400

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

>At 1:23 PM -0400 5/13/05, Bob Miller wrote:
>>Shapiro is an ignorant nut case. He is as much responsible for the
>>present 8-VSB disaster as anyone. But he does express the silent opinion
>>of many in Congress and the FCC that OTA is essentially dead. Or was
>>this what was planned all along?
>>I don't see how they are going to explain the rebirth of OTA worldwide
>>using COFDM while they try to shut it down in the US. This will be the
>>story with the public once the media picks it up. Why they haven't so
>>far beats me. I keep thinking some reporter will break the story one of
>>these days.
>The problem is the irrational notion that you can get something for nothing. 
>That is, that broadcast TV is FREE.
>OTA TV broadcasting is dying in large measure because the underlying business 
>model of paying for content via the ads is dying, or to be 
>more precise, that you should pay for TV content AND still be forced to watch 
>ads too.
I disagree that the reason that advertising supported TV is dying is any 
angst on the part of viewers. It has been demonstrated that viewers will 
put up with a lot of advertising and pay thru the nose at the same time 
for TV. No it is the ability to avoid the advertising that will kill ad 
supported TV.

I have never agreed with you that there is something inherently evil or 
wrong with the notion of paying twice, or three times IMO, for TV. If 
viewers put up with it its OK in my book. The three payments BTW are 
your purchases influenced by the ads, the cable bill and the TIME that 
is wasted watching the ads. It is the last one that is the killer and it 
is this time payment that is killing free TV.

If you can get free TV OTA and you can kill the ads it would be for 
nothing and it would have to die.

But in the UK the opposite is happening. Pay channels are going to free 
OTA because they can make more money that way. Especially as Freeview 
numbers passs SKY by July and continue on a meteoric rise.

"In the same week, Channel 4 announced it will make E4 available free to 
air on Freeview for the first time, claiming it could now make more 
money from advertising than subscriptions.

The fact that terrestrial TV's biggest commercial players have made such 
significant strategy decisions based on Freeview is testament to its 
success. It also points to a simmering power struggle between the 
terrestrial broadcasters and Sky."

I personally believe that OTA is the cheapest route to the customer, 
that the ad part will be worked out and that OTA will flourish at the 
expense of cable and satellite. Of course this presupposes a decent 
modulation and compression technology and it wouldn't hurt if OTA also 
worked for the major new market for TV, mobile and portable.

The SKY is falling and Murdock is having fits. Of course he is a major 
investor in Freeview so he will do OK.

Bob Miller

>If ESPN can get $3/mo per subscriber and still fill all of the 
>programming with ads, why would the media conglomerates want to 
>perpetuate the idea that you can pull pictures out of the air for 
>free? Even worse, why should they share the profits with local 
>broadcasters who do almost nothing to add value to national content?
>As for Shapiro, the CEA got exactly what they wanted from the 
>broadcasters. The illusion that everyone will need a new TV. Now that 
>the market for HD displays has reached critical mass, Shapiro can 
>afford to tell broadcasters that they are dying, as if anyone needs 
>to state the obvious.

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