There was a big discussion last week on my local geeky mailing list that started because of a mention that local TV stations may stop broadcasting over-the-air for free.
From Yahoo News:
The recession has squeezed advertising further, forcing broadcasters to accelerate their push for new revenue to pay for programming.
That will play out in living rooms across the country. The changes could mean higher cable or satellite TV bills, as the networks and local stations squeeze more fees from pay-TV providers such as Comcast and DirecTV for the right to show broadcast TV channels in their lineups. The networks might even ditch free broadcast signals in the next few years.
I say this can be a good thing for Local Producers looking to grab ad dollars from retailers in their area, and find ways to connect with their local community and economy. The hyper-local video shows we are producing in the dark now will have a hungry audience looking for content.
However, I don't think that we can be successful unless internet gets a lot more ubiquitous - we either need more competition, or more over-the-air access to the network, or both. Where is all the WiMax we were promised?
Once we get the WiMax, then why doesn't it come bundled with content, similar to Verizon FiOS? They would do well to throw in a set-top box like a Roku or the upcoming Boxee device with a 2-year contract, and maybe some bonus subscriptions thrown in there.
A small chunk of the ad revenue is being recouped online, where the networks sell episodes for a few dollars each or run ads alongside shows on sites such as Hulu. Media economist Jack Myers projects online video advertising will grow into a $2 billion business by 2012, from just $350 million to $400 million in 2009.
But that is not significant enough to make up for the lost ad revenue on the airwaves. Advertisers spent $34 billion on broadcast commercials in 2008, down by $2.4 billion from two years earlier, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising.
Crybabies! Figure out how to operate lean and mean, trim the fat, and stop paying people who think they know what's best for their audience - why not try asking us for a change?
If all they're going to do is keep making reality TV, I'll be happy that it's not getting sent over the airwaves - I don't want to see any more of that crap. I don't care if they do have Ben Folds now, it's stupid, mindless and childish.
But tell us how you really feel...
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