[opendtv] Re: Netherlands switches off analogue TV

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 13:51:11 -0500

Donald Koeleman wrote:

> So who would pay for the DVB-T distribution? The broadcasters?
> They were glad to be start paying less to the cable-co's for
> cariage. Cable fees have at least (depends on when you start
> comparing) quadrupled in the past number of years, only partly
> because of the shift in operators reveue sources from
> broadcasters to subscribers. You probably missed the stirr a
> week or two about the internal government document that
> calculated that cable fees would have to grow fivefold to 83
> euro's for the equity company's to make a return on their
> investments.

How curiously different and yet the same. Over here, it was reported
yesterday that the FCC is investigating why cable company fees are going
up so fast. They are looking into enabling more competition in TV
program distribution. The thing is, when Verizon offers FiOS TV, a
direct copmtetitor to cable, they charge exactly the same fees as cable.

Sounds like in the Netherlands, cable companies got their revenues from
the broadcasters before, and now from subscribers. Presumably, then, the
broadcasters get all the ad revenues directly.

> Anyway let's leave that aside, as the point is that
> broadcasters no longer need the (potential) thread of DVB-T to
> keep their cable distribution cost under control, so why would
> they start paying more to KPN, just to shift their universal
> coverage from cable to DVB-T.

You're saying, if cable companies get all their revenues from
subscription fees, the broadcasters are now off the hook. But it doesn't
end here.

So here's a possible extension to the scenario:

Now that cable companies have to get their revenues from subscribers,
and if it's true that subscription fees will have to increase fivefold
in order for cable companies to break even, is it not possible that
cable subscribers would prefer to try something different? At some
point, won't cable subscribers revolt? In a free economy, if one service
is priced too high, other competitors will emerge to try to do a more
efficient job. Why would DTT not do well in such a case?

> BTW, you know they gave up on the ideal of universal indoor
> coverage, yup they want Mr. Yagi's legacy to return;-).

This is exactly the sort of reality check that I always try to get
across. And that several list regulars love to ignore. I noticed that
the French TNT never did make such lofty promises to anyone, for
example. Even though the ATSC got such bad press, on this list, for
basing their reception contours on "30' masts," as the "persistent
pessimists" always wailed about, that's what realistic systems do
everywhere. Maybe they say 10 meters instead of 30 feet.

The clue should have come early on, when the mabb (Berlin DTT provider)
decided to limit their SFN to two towers (and a smaller third one for a
few of the channels). It's the difference between practical reality and
nonsensical propaganda.

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