[opendtv] Re: UHF reception

  • From: "John Willkie" <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 23:36:03 -0800

Local stations absolutely own the news and other content they produce, and
they usually gain some ability to re-distribute news content delivered to
them by others.

However, it's unproductive to think that the networks would do anything to
lessen the value of their owned stations.  (there may be an argument for
them wanting to lower the value of affiliated stations, at least while they
were still interested in the ability to acquire affiliates, something that
seems to have gone away).  The fact is that the networks have billions and
billions of dollars in book value in the stations they own.  If the value of
these assets are lowered, they could run afoul of covenants in credit, etc
agreements, and would have to raise cash.  

The last time I checked, for example, a few years ago, CBS Corporation had
$22 billion of book value in their owned stations.  It's most of their
assets; they license non-news content.

John Willkie

-----Mensaje original-----
De: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] En
nombre de Tom Barry
Enviado el: Sunday, November 23, 2008 10:04 PM
Para: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Asunto: [opendtv] Re: UHF reception

Yes, the writing was on the wall for analog OTA anyway.  It was just a 
wasteful use of spectrum compared to the emerging alternatives made 
possible by newer technology.

For some years now I have often downloaded Smallville & Supernatural 
simply because the various free analog or low def digital versions on 
OTA or analog cable were worse quality than something I could get in a 
few minutes on the net.  Analog could not have continued to compete 
anyway.  It was doomed.

But the networks, content owners, and/or 'conspirators' had better be 
careful what they wish for if they really expect to destroy free 
advertising supported TV.  Information distribution is becoming more or 
less free these days and that does not well support those with dreams of 
a continuing monopoly based upon distribution channels.

So it's not just OTA I believe in but free advertising supported 
content, even if off the net.  I'm really a bit disappointed local news 
has not picked up on this more since the local stations DO mostly have a 
monopoly on creating this content and probably the rights to distribute 
it however they want (don't they?).  I personally feel local 
broadcasters should be simulcasting everything on the web whenever 
contracts and IP rights don't forbid it or make it too costly.  Local 
broadcasters have all the infrastructure in place for creating local 
content and blending it with advertising. Would it still be considered 
broadcasting if not all of it came off a tower?  How much of the 
business would even change?  Same content, same business model, 
delivering more eyeballs.

The nice thing about free advertising supported content is you don't 
have to tie yourself in knots trying to copy protect it and making sure 
nobody gets it without paying.  You want more viewers, just like the TV 
of yesteryear.

- Tom


John Willkie wrote:
> It occurs to me that you guys are largely confusing "creative destruction"
> with "destruction."
> 
> It was plainly the case that a forced conversion to digital television
from
> analog (the U.S. implementation of same) was going to change "television
> broadcasting as we knew it."
> 
> This is running alongside the accretion of what used to be the whole
> enchilada to the wider selections of cable and satellite.  
> 
> I would offer that if the transition hadn't been launched, that television
> broadcasting would be in worse shape now than it is.  There is uncertainty
> in the transition, sure.  There is also the power and flexibility of one
or
> more toolkits to make television something that it could never be in the
> analog world.
> 
> And, it's plainly ridiculous to assert that the NAB intended, through the
> transition, to destroy television broadcasting.  They clearly represent
the
> views and intentions of television broadcasters.  Sure there are
unintended
> consequences, but the greater risk was doing nothing.
> 
> I really think that you folk need to do several "risk assessments",
> including one that includes a world with analog over the air broadcasting
> and a cable infrastructure able to transmit HDTV, and see how that looks
> compared to what we have today.
> 
> And, "man up!"
> 
> John Willkie
> 
> 
> 
> -----Mensaje original-----
> De: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] En
> nombre de Manfredi, Albert E
> Enviado el: Sunday, November 23, 2008 5:03 PM
> Para: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Asunto: [opendtv] Re: UHF reception
> 
> Dale Kelly wrote:
> 
>> Craig,
>> Cliff and I raised and agreed upon this issue from the beginning.
>>
>> I do seem to recall that at some point early in this discussion
>> you stated that the Broadcast Networks were committed to their
>> valuable and profitable O&Os and would never do them harm, as I
>> had suggested would happen. That was long ago and much verbiage
>> has spilled over this dam, so if I now have you confused with
>> someone else, I apologize.
> 
> In fairness to Craig, the only "protecting" I ever heard him speak of is
> "the NTSC franchise," and that was stated more like "milk it for all
> it's worth," and then drop OTA.
> 
> Matter of fact, Craig's position was from way back that broadcasters
> didn't take the whole digital transition thing seriously for the longest
> time. Expecting it somehow to fail or otherwise go away? I'm guessing on
> that last sentence. He also suggested more than once that the poor
> performance of early ATSC receivers served broadcasters well, because it
> meant keeping NTSC around longer.
> 
> And he keeps talking about how people will all go to cable after they
> lose OTA reception on 18 Feb 2009. So, from what I've been reading, I
> don't think Craig was ever one to predict a long and prosperous FOTA TV
> in the US. O&O or otherwise.
> 
> I don't know if these hidden agendas everyone talks about are real. They
> seem to be real, judging for example by how slowly improved OTA products
> appeared on store shelves, in tiny quantities, and with very little
> selection, not to mention clueless salespeople. But this Obama
> administration and Democrat-leaning Congress, I predict, would not
> countenance such behavior. If only proof could be provided to them. And
> the economic downturn, at least in the short term, can only help the
> cause of FOTA TV.
> 
> And just as an aside, this is just one example of my puzzlement on John
> McCain's supposed maverick status. Could he not have seen what OTA
> broadcasters are up against?
> 
> Bert
>  
>  
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