[opendtv] Re: TV stats for Italy

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2006 08:23:06 -0500

At 10:48 AM -0500 12/20/06, John Shutt wrote:
----- Original Message ----- From: "Craig Birkmaier" <craig@xxxxxxxxx>

DO IT WRONG - On Digital - and OTA viewers flee to a multi-channel service.

DO IT RIGHT - Freeview - and they came back in huge numbers.

One major difference between the UK and the US that has nothing to do with modulation is the UK's annual TV License and how those revenues subsidize Freeview. The UK essentially has a "mandatory" OTA subscription service.

Can you explain how the TV license fees subsidize Freeview?

Freeview is operated by a consortium of companies including the BBC. I agree that the BBC content carried by Freeview is subsidized by the licence fees, as it has been for the analogue service. But commercial broadcasters are paying tidy sums to get their content onto Freeview.

While it is probably fair to say that some of the cost of Freeview is subsidized by the license fee, I think that it would still be a big success without this subsidy.

Compare this to the U.S., where broadcasters are given the spectrum for free (OK so they pay a small license fee to support the cost of the FCC). Yet the broadcasters now expect a significant portion of their revenues will come from subscriber fees paid to cable and DBS, for the rights to carry FREE OTA programming.


I would also note that we subsidize the operation of PBS via tax dollars.

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