[opendtv] Re: The "Mice" Roared

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2006 09:14:31 -0500

At 1:34 PM -0800 11/23/06, John Willkie wrote:
There seems to be the prevailing view among commenters on this list that the broadcast networks tell the local stations and cable networks affiliated with them without any recourse.

There have always been, and will continue to be examples of the abuse of oligopoly power. But this is a tiny nit in the overall scheme of things. Yes, on rare occasions affiliates or consumers are able to pull the plug on the plans of the big five content companies. But you do not see affiliates blocking network content on a routine basis.

Perhaps John should look at this another way.

What power do affiliates hold to fundamentally change the economics of their business? Can they tell the network they are affiliated with where to stick it, and easily go out and find alternative content that will produce similar results - i.e. ratings and corresponding high rates per thousand for ads that accompany these ratings?

The answer is clearly NO.

And for what it is worth, the occasional outburst from affiliates looks good for the FCC. It gives the appearance that the affiliates still have some real power...


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