Craig Birkmaier wrote: > Nice try Bert, but your view of the "marketplace," is > skewed... > > The market for the delivery of TV content in the U.S. is > heavily regulated, not relatively free. Granted that it is regulated to some degree, although not nearly as much as other similar industries -- the real utilities. The fact remains, cable/DBS/FiOS/IPTV are not essential to human survival, there are "free" (as well as pay) alternatives, and yet 85 percent of households continue to subscribe. It is impossible for anyone to claim that the price is too high. That's just plain political rhetoric. Businesses are in business for only one reason, in this form of economy: to make a profit. The way you maximize that profit is you set the price as low as necessary to get the most possible customers, then crank it up to maximize your profits. At some point, when the price goes too high, you will lose enough customers that your net profits start to decline. That's when you dial back the price. The goal is to net the max profit. You adjust the price accordingly. With 85 percent of households subscribing to TV all-you-can-eat buffet distribution, CLEARLY, multichannel services can continue to demand more. And just as obviously, they have no incentive to undercut their competition by any significant amount. Marginal changes in pricing and service offerings are plenty sufficient to create the kind of churn the newcomers want. > You seem to agree that the broadcasters are using regulatory > power to get subscriber fees for programs that can be pulled > from the air for free. The real players don't use regulatory power, they use retransmission consent. I don't consider that anything but business doing what business does. If my programming attracts customers to your walled garden, I demand a cut. If you don't give me a cut, I pull my programming. Simple. If Cox refuses to carry CBS, but DirecTV and FiOS do carry CBS, guess who loses out? > Invoking the old saw that consumers can "just say no" if the > prices are too high, misses the point entirely. It is > difficult to say no, when there is only one electric utility > to buy power from, Which is not comparable with TV distribution. It's simple, Craig. If you guys in Gainesville would stop playing into the hands of the umbillical systems, you would see more than four measly OTA stations in your market. You can be darned sure that the media conglomerates WILL NOT simply bow out of the Gainesville market. They will find whatever alternative distribution media they can, including OTA, if consumers came close to using their clout. > You may be satisfied with OTA TV, but the vast majority of > Americans consider cable/DBS to be a vital utility, Aargh. Businesses just love to hear that sort of reasoning, especially when they know that they cannot be regulated like real utilities, because they are not real utilities. So if the trade and amateur press can convince the public that these businesses are "vital" to their survival, wow, what great free advertizing. Tell people that to be "real men," they need $100-$150/mo. subscription packages, or no way will their friends be impressed. GM successfully convinced the public that to be "real men," they had to drive obscenities. Gullible, timid consumers happily obliged. This past year, GM saw the writing on the wall, and is converting to a new religion. Have you noticed? TV can do the same thing. However, the best way for this to happen is to get consumers to show a little spine. Bert ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.