[opendtv] Re: Way ON topic

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2007 08:34:42 -0500

At 5:18 AM -0500 3/7/07, Cliff Benham wrote:
-----Original Message-----
From: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Barry Wilkins
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2007 3:29 AM
To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [opendtv] Re: Way ON topic

It has been widely commented on opendtv that broadcasters in the USA have been unwilling to advertise the fact that the coming transition is imminent (so get an ATSC STB ). What requirements have been set down to ensure broadcasters adequately inform the public of the impending change? What form will this take - will they be required to do blanket commercials stating the changeover to take place months or weeks before the event? [Cliff Benham] The broadcasters will not tell the viewers about the transition because their stations are carried by the cable companies who don't want the viewers to know, so they will think the only way to get digital TV is by subscribing to cable. Some stations have been threatened with withdrawal of all cable advertising if they so much as mention or promote their over the air channel number or provide viewers with information about receiving 'free' DTV over the air.

There MAY be a grain of truth in this, but the money that cable spends on broadcast TV budgets is not a huge factor - in many cases it is a trade-out for broadcast ads on the cable system.

I think a better explanation is that broadcasters want consumers to think that they need cable or DBS to get HDTV. Why would a broadcaster want to tell the public to use an antenna to get their signal for free, when they can get paid a monthly fee if they send the viewer to a multi-channel service. In recent re-trans battles, broadcasters have promoted DBS, not an OTA antenna as an alternative to cable.


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