[opendtv] Re: TV Technology: FCC Seeks Comment On National Reach Cap
- From: Craig Birkmaier <brewmastercraig@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 09:27:26 -0500
On Dec 15, 2017, at 4:17 PM, Manfredi, Albert E <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
First off, on this matter too, the FCC says one thing and does exactly the
opposite. They couldn't care less about seeking "comment." It's all a charade.
Have you read the NPRM Bert.
Don’t you think it a bit premature to characterize this NPRM, based solely on
your constant fear mongering?
Phil Kurz does a good job of characterizing what the NPRM seeks to do.,
pointing out that there are no conclusions, only questions in the NPRM.
Then there are unsubstantiated, illogical comments like this one:
"However, in his comments before the vote, Pai asserted that the cap and the
UHF discount are inextricably linked. 'Any review of one, must include a
review of the other,' he said."
Completely false. It's trivially easy to address the question of a national
cap, without overloading the proceeding with an archaic rule that has no
technical credibility anymore. And by the way, without further stacking the
deck, to prove how corrupt he is, by also gutting the local caps.
The Chairman was correct. The UHF Discount changes the actual cap attainable by
a massive amount. If it is eliminated - again - and the 39% cap is retained,
many station groups will need to divest stations to get back under the cap. If
the cap is raised or eliminated, it can be done in a manner that eliminates the
UHF discount, so that everyone is measured on the same basis.
But there's equal politically correct pretense/delusion going on from the
Chairman and the dissenting Commissioners, on this point:
"Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, who dissented, both
expressed that eliminating or modifying the cap would be detrimental to the
values of localism, diversity and competition."
There is no diversity or competition. We have a broadcast system dominated by
four commercial networks and one public network, all operating at the existing
caps with their O&O stations; the affiliates are under the thumb of the
broadcast networks, even sharing retransmission consent revenues.
The reality is that the FCC has propped up a broadcast oligopoly for it’s
entire history, in both radio and TV.
Ironically, the one major area where antenna TV is doing well is with Spanish
language programming in markets with a large Hispanic populations. Clearly this
is rooted in economics, but does suggest that antenna TV can be viable if real
competition is allowed.
From the Dem Commissioners, no one gives a crap about localism, as the cable
TV model and the popularity of OTT sites and online "radio stations"
demonstrate so thoroughly. So on this subject, the two Democratic
Commissioners are deluded, and the Chairman is, again, a phony. Say one
thing, do exactly the opposite.
Thank you Bert!
The reality is that no station group has the resources to challenge the
networks, even if they could own stations in EVERY TV market. The only reason
the networks still broadcast is the huge second revenue stream they feast upon
thanks to retransmission consent. It is worth noting that CBS is not allowing
stations to be included in the VMVPD bundles, as they operate their own
But even more important, nobody really cares, now that TV broadcasting is a
tiny niche market, having been disintermediated by cable, and now streaming
media. It is difficult to imaging that Sinclair or any other station group
could attract an economically viable “antenna audience,” even with ATSC 3.0
capabilities. To do that they must rely on carriage by the (V)MVPDs, which
raises the question: is it time to turn off the TV transmitters and let all
forms of TV programming compete on an equal footing?
And the gall:
"'It is amusing then to hear such vociferous objections from this bench,' he
said. Pai pointed out that in 2013 the FCC adopted an NPRM which eliminated
the UHF discount. It has since been restored by this Commission."
He's flaunting what kind of a hypocrite he is, restoring an archaic rule that
is way more obsolete that what he claims Title II to be. He has no shame. He
really needs to go.
NO Bert. Pai clearly stated at the time the discount was reinstated, that the
FCC was doing so in anticipation of this NPRM. The reason for that is crystal
clear. When the discount was eliminated in 2013, the FCC FAILED to deal with
the problem it created - i.e. many station groups were now well over the 39%
cap that the FCC rules were supposed to support.
Courts, do the right thing.
Ahhh that infamous phrase, now applied to a different proceeding. The whole
point of this NPRM is to determine if the FCC has any legal legs to stand on if
it raises the ownership cap. More job security for the K-Street lawyers.
There is a very good case to be made that the FCC cannot raise the cap, as it
is part of existing communications law. Just another reason that Congress needs
to update the Telecom Act and create clear, bright line rules that obviates the
need for endless litigation.
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