[opendtv] Re: More on main studio rule
- From: Craig Birkmaier <brewmastercraig@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2017 08:22:38 -0400
On Jun 16, 2017, at 10:36 PM, Manfredi, Albert E
I have to say, the FCC did not inquire from the citizens. Right?
WRONG. An NPRM is a public document.
The issue here is how important this issue is to the public.
The NPRM on Net Neutrality is attracting massive public attention - sadly, it
is highly unlikely that the vast majority of people responding to the FCC on
the Net Neutrality NPRM have read it.
But the issue is politically charged with the media encouraging people to file
responses with the FCC.
I mean, most people don't read NPRMs. It is likely that most people couldn't
care less, or at least, would not demand that *every* radio or TV station
have all this "local" emphasis.
What phone number do I call to complain that Spotify is not playing the songs I
like? Or worse, I keep doing the thumbs down thing for the Beatles, but they
keep playing Beatles songs?
There is a major difference here with radio and TV stations.
Radio has seen massive consolidation since the 1995 rewrite of the
Communications act. It is very common for a local station to be operated from a
remote facility that provides either national or regional feeds to its
The horse is out of the barn with radio; what is important here is that people
are actually using the broadcast radio service. I do not hear much of a public
outcry about the loss of localism in radio.
TV has seen some consolidation, and like here in Gainesville, deals with large
companies to manage multiple stations in a market. Sinclair operates both e CBS
and NBC stations in this market (including several sub channels). But they
maintain a studio and provide local news. They do this because there is a solid
market to sell TV ads here, despite the fact that hardly anyone is watching the
FOTA broadcasts; they reach most viewers via cable and DBS, and enjoy dual
revenue streams from advertising and retransmission consent.
Unlike net neutrality, I have my doubts whether this studio rule debate would
get a lot of traction out there. At least, if the public has consistent views
about these things. (There is a certain amount of polically-correct
formula-speak involved in the issue, so you can never tell.)
Yup. The debate today is whether broadcasting is still viable. Ironically,
despite massive consolidation, radio is still used, and very important during
times of emergency. On the other hand, Broadcast TV is dying, both in terms of
an audience using antennas, and in terms of ratings; MVPD carriage is keeping
FOTA broadcasting viable.
Craig keeps telling us how wonderful and popular MVPD channels are. What kind
of local content do they have, aside from the occasional local ad?
Earth to Bert:
Broadcast TV has never been about localism, other than news and a few public
affairs programs. Even radio has been dominated by music and nationally
syndicated programming. But talk radio has rekindled interest in localism, with
most station offering either morning or afternoon drive time local shows.
But there is only one reason why we have local broadcast markets today:
Selling ads; national, regional and local.
And yes, the local cable franchises compete in the local ad market, providing
MORE access to local advertisers than local TV stations. Why?
Local FOTA ad inventory is limited, and very expensive in large markets,
especially for shows that draw large audiences. The larger audience for TV
entertainment now resides with the MVPDs, which carry the local stations and
the networks people watch:
About 30% of the audience is for the broadcast networks during prime time - far
less during other day parts;
About 70% of the audience is for MVPD networks during prime time - far more
during the other day parts.
And for cable systems there is additional local content required by franchise
agreements: e.g. Public access channels for government meetings and other local
And then there is the online TV audience which is growing rapidly - to avoid
all the ads.
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