[opendtv] Re: OTA

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2012 19:29:12 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> The NFL decides that they can make more money by bypassing
> ESPN and the broadcast networks, delivering their games
> directly to fixed receivers via the wired Internet. But they
> still want to reach the mobile audience, including everyone
> who is tailgating outside the stadium AND those inside the
> stadium during the game, and others who only have access to
> a mobile service. So the NFL may decide to work directly with
> whoever owns the Broadcast LTE infrastructure.

Exactly. The NFL, or whoever the content owner, can deal directly with the LTE 
infrastructure. At the same time, ABC, CBS, Fox, etc., ALSO get to deal with 
that same LTE infrastructure, assuming they want OTA coverage. All of these 
content owners no longer need to keep multiple local OTA broadcasters busy, if 
we go the OTA utility route. In the DC market, a large market, the 12 6-MHz 
ATSC multiplexes could be broadcast by just one 4G utility, or two if you keep 
the LTE channels down to just 40 MHz wide.

> So in a sense I can agree with Bert, that the potential exists
> for Local TV in the U.S. to atrophy to only one or two stations
> per market.

Assuming they go this RF utility route. The advantage of the ATSC or DVB-T/T2 
approach is, OTA TV does not have to become dependent on a single bottleneck, 
like the MVPDs have created. Oh, and the ISPs.

> But that's the whole point here. Do broadcasters develop a new
> business model that can survive the transition to an anywhere,
> anytime mobile future or ride quietly into the sunset...

That is the question. My take is, the utility will make sure the process is 
accelerated. But like you say, it may be inevitable anyway. Much depends on how 
the congloms and other content owners agree to distribute their content.

> Nobody is saying that any of this content is going to disappear.
> What people are saying is that the existing business models are
> being disintermediated by the wired and now wireless Internet.
> What is changing is the ability of the congloms to maintain 90%
> control over all of the content we consume.

A whole different discussion, IMO. What seems to be the case is that any 
content owner will be able to deal with any number of different intermediaries 
for distribution, like wired and wireless ISPs, MVPD nets, or now these OTA 

The only change here is, only a single intermediary for OTA coverage may be 
enough for *all* OTA TV in a given market. Where in the past, leaving aside the 
O&Os, multiple broadcasters had to be used in a market of any size.


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