[opendtv] Re: something

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 09:19:05 -0500

At 5:08 PM -0500 11/27/08, Albert Manfredi wrote:
The other point is, what you call "network affiliation" to me means little more than "access to the content of a conglomerate." So I continue not to understand your point about networks becoming obsolete.

Would it help if the ABC network, for instance, were to rename itself as "The Disney Vault Streaming Channel"? Maybe DVSC for short? And the abc.com web site, with its full run episodes on demand, the "Disney Vault On Demand Channel"? That's exactly how I view the OTA and Internet pipes. And my PVR is the box that offers a sampling of content from all these conglom streaming channels, for on-demand viewing.

The gatekeeper model for content distribution is dying. It is now practical to deliver content via the Internet without the need to sell your soul to one of the conglomerates.

Add to this that hardly ANYONE tunes into a program they like, then watches the rest of the evening's schedule from the same network. Many folks - especially anyone under 30 - grab the remote and change channels during commercials...

The point is that programming a channel 24/7 is losing its power to draw audiences through program adjacency and through the cross promotion of other programs.

As you note, you create your own "channel" via your PVR. You pick and choose the programs to which you "subscribe," and you watch them when you want to.

The archaic business model of programming networks (both broadcast and non-broadcast) is giving way to a new business model where you search for specific content rather than surfing the multichannel universe to see what is on. The main exception to this is coverage of live events, especially sports. So when events move from Free TV to various forms of paid distribution, there wil be little left for broadcasters to survive on.

If local broadcasters do figure out out how to make the transition to becoming content creators, why would they still rely upon an OTA distribution infrastructure that reaches only a small fraction of the audience IN THEIR MARKET, is expensive to operate, and is regulated by te government? They would be far better off moving their distribution to the Internet, where they have the potential for their content to be seen anywhere in the world. For example, a traveling business person could watch their "local news" anywhere, and most likely on demand, rather than in a fixed time slot.

The primary power of the congloms is as content creation engines. In the past decade we have seen these companies beef up their production capabilities, taking ownership of almost everything they distribute. But their gatekeeping power is severely diminished when it is easy for an independent producer to go direct to the consumer via the Internet or a storefront like iTunes.

But isn't ESPN owned by Disney? If yes, then how much do you want to bet that we'll see some creative way for those college games to find themselves on OTA TV? At least some of them? Just as ESPN sports show up on OTA Saturday afternoon?

You still do not understand Bert. ABC is branding their OTA network sports as ESPN. This is not about providing access to OTA viewers, it is to prepare tOTA viewers for the day when they will need to subscribe to ESPN if they want to watch live sports.

There is one feature of the OTA distribution platform that is beneficial to Disney and ESPN. It is the market based nature of broadcasting. Thus ABC can offer regional coverage of different games while the same game is seen nationwide on the ESPN cable networks. But this is clearly possible with the multi-channel distribution platforms - For created regional sports networks that are only available via cable and DBS.

Speaking of which, we too can get 24/7 sports coverage now, on subchannel NBC4-3. It's called US, as I think Tom mentioned previously. I just discrievered that this week, although it's probably been available for some time. (And who knows why NBC doesn't advertize its existence on NBC4-1, for example??)

Glad you said "sports coverage." This is like ESPN Sports Center 24/7. Unfortunately for NBC, they are already out of the business of covering live sports except for the Olympics...

So our OTA medium has been evolving into something pretty darned good, I must say. Even get 24 hour sports and news coverage now. Not exactly your father's OTA TV, is it.

Not exactly...

The DTT transition could just end up attracting more OTA viewers than we had before. As it did in Germany, I think? Especially when people discover that in many cases, they can now receive "perfect" OTA TV without having to go to the athletic extremes of installing outdoor antennas, just to get a reasonably ghost-free image.

Sorry Bert - not here. There is too much momentum to make everyone pay and kill OTA TV.

Clearly we "could" have a FTA multichannel system like Freeview - there is no technical reason it could not work. But there are many business and political reasons that it will never happen here. Now that the congloms have feasted on subscriber fees for more than a decade, there is no going back.

On another topic, can you please describe your microbrew? For instance, is it sort of an amber ale type of brew? If so, you may have another out-of-state customer here.

Microbrewing is the term applied to small craft breweries that produce limited volumes of lagers and ales for sale primarily through tiered distribution. This is different than the brew-on-premises licensing used in brew pubs and a few bars. The laws are different in every state. In some states there is no differentiation between a brew pub and a mcrobrewery. That is, you can serve your beer in the restaurant and bar, sell it out the door and sell it through distributors.

Here in Florida brew-on-premises facilities can ONLY serve their beer in the facility; they are not allowed to sell beer into distribution. Microbreweries can ONLY sell their beer through distributors, with one exception. Microbreweris can serve/sell their products in a tasting room that is physically part of the brewery.

Because of zoning restrictions we will not have a tasting room that is open to the public initially. Once things are going we may apply for a zoning variance and the additional license that is needed to operate a tasting room.

As for the styles of beer that we will produce, there are no limits, only time and the business issues associated with developing specific brands. Initially we will have four full time product offerings, and a rotating seasonal product. We may also produce special one-off brews and may brew private label brands for bars and restaurants. Here are a few of the beers we will produce:

Cottonmouth - a traditional Belgian Witbier like Hoegarten (a wheat ale with bitter orange and coriander spices)

Rail Trail Pale Ale - an Americal Pale Ale (e.g Sierra Nevada Pale Ale) with lots of hop flavor.

Big Nose IPA - an American style India Pale Ale with even more alcohol and hop flavor.

Yet to be named - a Honey Cream Ale with Florida Orange Blossom Honey

For seasonals we will have:

Ho Ho Ho - the Belgian Witbier with orange blosson honey, cranberres and ginger added during the secondary fermentation.

A Russian Imperial Stout

A malty blonde ale with a Thai seasoning - Kafir Lime

We might brew a Vienna Lager, a style that is nearly extinct in Europe but popular as an import from the German breweries that started up in Mexico. This is an amber lager which is available here as Dos Equis XX, Bohemia, and Negro Modello; it is similar to Samual Adams Boston Lager.

I am attaching a recent picture of the brewhouse, fermentation and conditioning tanks.


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