[opendtv] M/H, Free OTA and Its Programming

  • From: dan.grimes@xxxxxxxx
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2008 08:55:03 -0700

Clearly, broadcasters are looking to M/H as a viable market for fee based 
offerings.  It is currently my understanding that FOTA must be provided by 
a broadcaster, although this only needs to be one programming stream and 
the quality is not regulated. (I say "my understanding" because many 
things that I thought were true have been effectively countered on this 

If M/H for a fee happens on OTA broadcasts, I am betting that the free 
portion becomes nothing more than an infomercial channel with ads, promos 
and possibly some news (it is largely that today).  There might be some 
programming but most programming is already laden with over 20% of the 
time spent in commercials.  And the quality will become little more than a 
thumbnail's version.  No, once broadcasters get the taste of income from 
fees for their broadcast, there will be very little incentive to keep the 
quality of FOTA up.

Now, I'm not saying this is good or bad, I just think it will effectively 
be the end of FOTA.  I also think that the contract between the 
citizen/people and the broadcaster (FCC/broadcaster) will effectively be 
forgotten, whereby the OTA broadcaster will not provide the programming 
promised in exchange for the frequency spectrum.  (Of course, this is all 
predicated on my belief that there is a contract between the people and 
the broadcaster, which many will probably argue does not exist.)

While I would be tempted to rally the citizens to file complaints against 
the broadcaster to go back to providing what they owe the community, I 
doubt it would do much good.  No, the less than 14% of us that use FOTA 
services will largely be forgotten or overridden in the society that is 
driven by and considerably controlled by money.

Just my opinion, which is certainly not based on a deep understanding of 
the broadcaster's political environment.


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