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Old December 30 2009, 04:59 AM   #16
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

I just don't get the idea that TV advertising is drying up in the US when it comprises 40% of what's actually on the air.
Networks are losing their audiences to cable, which less dependent on ads because they also get subscription revenues. Networks could survive if people truly value having free TV in return for ads, but it's looking less and less like that's true. Of course there seem to be about as many ads on basic cable but you do get better quality shows for your money.
They'll fight to keep the free signal on the air... And that will be because losing free TV discriminates against the poor.
Who's "they" and why do you think they give a flying flip about "the poor"?
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Old December 30 2009, 08:56 AM   #17
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

They refers to lobbyists and congresspeople, as well as the network people themselves.
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Old December 30 2009, 09:33 AM   #18
The Borgified Corpse
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

This would make me sad. Granted, I don't watch much broadcast TV. Even if I had cable, I don't think I'd watch live TV much more anyway. As it is, I find it's cheaper to not pay for cable and instead save my money for the DVDs. (Occasionally, when I'm desperate to see the new Doctor Who specials, I'll come up with a clever pretext to visit my friends who have BBC America.) But even though I don't watch much broadcast TV, I still like to watch some, at least to have something on in the background.

Although, lately, I've been keeping such late hours. Most of what's on late at night is nothing but paid programming. Occasionally, I'll pick up a piece of Perry Mason on ABC15 or Poker After Dark on NBC. More often, I've been watching some of the few free 24 hour stations, like the 3 different versions of PBS or THiS (mostly old movies, with some reruns of Mr. Ed, The Outer Limits, Patty Duke, & Sea Hunt thrown in).

Temis the Red-Nosed Vorta wrote: View Post
This certainly has interesting implications for the whole Star Trek-back-on-TV problem. CBS owns the rights but the broadcast model is just totally wrong for a space opera series. However, if CBS were to become a cable channel...hmmm!
How does broadcast vs. cable make a difference for Star Trek? I must have missed that conversation.

Marc wrote: View Post
Santa Wookiee wrote: View Post
They'll fight to keep the free signal on the air... And that will be because losing free TV discriminates against the poor.
Or so they like to claim.

In Australian there's anti-syphoning law which requires that the free to air networks get first dibs on bids for major sporting events. The networks like this and claim that it must stay so that people can watch the sport for free.

Problem is that these networks sometimes take scorched earth approach. they'll buy the rights and then not show it but they've ensured that no-one else gets it.

Or they show the sports event but in a half arsed measure (delayed coverage that's presented as live, selected highlight packages, limited coverage etc).
Well, that's bad when they manipulate the rules to prevent anyone from airing certain events. However, I'd say that sports should be on free TV whenever possible simply because there's now so much public money that has been spent on all these new stadiums. (I don't know if that's the case in Australia but it certainly is here in the U.S.) Frankly, some of these teams have taken such generous advantage of the taxpayer funded stadiums that part of me wants the government to just eminent domain all their asses. (I'm especially f---ing pissed at the Phoenix Coyotes. Only a few years after Glendale built a shiny new arena for them so they'd stop bitching about the obstructed view seating at the USAirways Center, they're still talking about moving the team to Hamilton, Canada.)
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Old December 30 2009, 04:44 PM   #19
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
Marc wrote: View Post
Santa Wookiee wrote: View Post
They'll fight to keep the free signal on the air... And that will be because losing free TV discriminates against the poor.
Or so they like to claim.

In Australian there's anti-syphoning law which requires that the free to air networks get first dibs on bids for major sporting events. The networks like this and claim that it must stay so that people can watch the sport for free.

Problem is that these networks sometimes take scorched earth approach. they'll buy the rights and then not show it but they've ensured that no-one else gets it.

Or they show the sports event but in a half arsed measure (delayed coverage that's presented as live, selected highlight packages, limited coverage etc).
Well, that's bad when they manipulate the rules to prevent anyone from airing certain events. However, I'd say that sports should be on free TV whenever possible simply because there's now so much public money that has been spent on all these new stadiums. (I don't know if that's the case in Australia but it certainly is here in the U.S.) Frankly, some of these teams have taken such generous advantage of the taxpayer funded stadiums that part of me wants the government to just eminent domain all their asses. (I'm especially f---ing pissed at the Phoenix Coyotes. Only a few years after Glendale built a shiny new arena for them so they'd stop bitching about the obstructed view seating at the USAirways Center, they're still talking about moving the team to Hamilton, Canada.)
[/quote]

Yes Australian government love to spend money on big sports facilities. There's $400mil that's going to spent to renovate Adelaide Oval.

I agree - governments should stop pissing away tax payer money on sports infrastructure for the benefit of the private sector.

Which incidentally gets the money from the TV rights none of which flows back to the tax payer.
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Old December 30 2009, 05:01 PM   #20
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

Well in the US the voters always vote on the issue, so if it is approved by the voters how can anyone complain.

I think free tv is basically pointless anyway. The only free TV should be public tv that can focus on the local issues and such. It is a small percentage of the population that doesn't have cable/sat anyway. What we really need is free internet for all.
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Old December 30 2009, 10:17 PM   #21
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

Santa Wookiee wrote: View Post
They refers to lobbyists and congresspeople, as well as the network people themselves.
Two outta three of those groups don't even have to pretend to care about poor people and the other group pretends but doesn't.

How does broadcast vs. cable make a difference for Star Trek? I must have missed that conversation.
This is the wrong forum for Star Trek so it doesn't get discussed much here. But networks have been migrating for years to mass-market entertainment - CSI, reality shows - while the niche/genre stuff has migrated to basic and premium cable. Sci fi just doesn't qualify as mass entertainment anymore, because the "mass" has become uh "massier," which isn't a bad thing, when niche entertainment can prosper on basic cable.

ENT
was cancelled for having 4M viewers but shows like Mad Men and Dexter survive just fine with 2-3M, so why not just put Star Trek in an environment where reaching a niche audience is not a problem?

The difference is, on cable, each of those 2-3M eyeballs are more valuable, because of subscription fees, and therefore can be more profitable than 4M on wholly ad-based network TV. Don't try to get more people to watch Star Trek by blanding it down and ruining it so that you end up appealing to no one; put Star Trek where the viewers are more valuable and can support production.

Well in the US the voters always vote on the issue, so if it is approved by the voters how can anyone complain.
I'd love to see how that would work out. But it would never work out. Out of a population of 308M, the biggest hit shows get under 30M. That means every show is not watched by 90% of the population, so why should Americans vote for anything to be made by their tax dollars when most of them are indifferent to everything currently on the air?
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Old December 30 2009, 11:06 PM   #22
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
This would make me sad. Granted, I don't watch much broadcast TV. Even if I had cable, I don't think I'd watch live TV much more anyway. As it is, I find it's cheaper to not pay for cable and instead save my money for the DVDs.
I saved a lot of money by getting a DVR. DVDs used to be a much bigger expense for me.
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Old December 31 2009, 02:55 AM   #23
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

Marc wrote: View Post
the same argument is taking place here in Canada. In fact our cable tv bill has just gone up 1.5% due a levy that now has to be paid that will funnel money to the free to air broadcasters to help them keep "local content".

And frankly I think it's a load of shit.

The only reason why people can see some of the FTA stations is because they are re-transmitted over cabled and satellite tv. Where I live, we get the local tv station and Global from Toronto (watchable if I get the antenna right).

So we watch them over from our cable provider so we still see their ads , they still get their ad revenue (where as with out the cable we wouldn't see them full stop).

Plus here in Canada they get government assistance.
See, I work in CTV Calgary Master Control (which controls all of Alberta and Saskatchewan), so we've been inundated with propaganda on the network's side.

The way they say it is that cable and satellite companies pay a fee to channels such as HBO, Bravo, Space, etc to run their content, so why don't they pay Canadian networks for their signal too? Especially since Canadian networks are a main generator of local Canadian content...as mentioned, something very protected by Canadian government. The CRTC ruled that the cable companies had to pay the networks, and rather than foot the cost, they shoved it into consumers. So it's not a TV tax, as stated in the ads put out by Shaw and other companies, but rather something that cable companies were supposed to pay, but are now making their customers pay for them.

That said, I'm not exactly supportive of the networks in this mess either. For one thing, CTV, for example, is owned by Bell Globe Media, which also owns Bell mobility...which is one of the satellite companies CTV is "fighting" against. Same with CityTV...a small local network, actually owned by Rogers, which is also a cable provider. So the idea that this is a battle between networks and cable/satellite companies is quite disingenuous. It's a money grab by the big companies, who are putting the consumers in the cross-fire, getting their sympathies for local content on one side, and their money on the other.

Lastly, it's not like CTV, Global or CityTV are bastions of Canadian content. Most content requirements are met by running the same episodes of Degrassi, Sue FBEye and Twice in a Lifetime (on CTV at least) over and over in the daytime, while running the big American shows (Law and Order, CSI, Grey's Anatomy) during primetime. Right now they're sloughing off the last of their yearly primetime requirements by playing a two hour CTV movie, two episodes of a Hills rip-off set in whistler, Corner Gas and Degrassi every night for the week between Christmas and New Years. They're not going to get big ratings then anyways. Canadian content is such a joke, treated with very thinly veiled cynicism by networks. The only one I see as being truly "Canadian" is the CBC.
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Old December 31 2009, 03:25 AM   #24
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

Im sure cable bills will really skyrocket now.(no matter what the outcome of this is) Im getting pretty tired of my constantly increasing bill. I paid over $70 last year for basic cable and internet. Im sure it will be close to $80 this coming year. Im at the point where I may give up cable altogether and if broadcast goes pay per view, I will not miss it, there are only a few new programs I watch nowadays anyhow. I usually only watch TCM and TVland.(AMC when Mad Men and Breaking Bad are on) I have almost every old show I like on dvd and there are many more that are $10 a season that I can stock up on. I will just make my own tv schedule. Besides to much tv is bad.
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Old December 31 2009, 03:28 AM   #25
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

If I wasn't such a baseball fanatic, I wouldn't have cable.

The only shows I watch regularly on network TV are the three L&O shows, and I can get those from iTunes. Unfortunately, to see a baseball game, I have to have cable (MLB.TV is unreliable at best). iTunes doesn't offer a season pass for my favorite team like it does for TV shows.
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Old December 31 2009, 04:27 AM   #26
The Borgified Corpse
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

^Yeah. My dad hardly watches any TV. (Instead, he devours historical non-fiction like there's no tomorrow.) But he finally succumbed and subscribed to cable once they stopped showing regular Arizona Diamondbacks games on free TV. Beyond that, I don't think he watches much cable and most of what he does watch is reruns of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Monk, & NCIS.

Marc wrote: View Post
I agree - governments should stop pissing away tax payer money on sports infrastructure for the benefit of the private sector.

Which incidentally gets the money from the TV rights none of which flows back to the tax payer.
And while the stadiums may be publicly owned, I think the teams are the ones who get all the revenue from the advertising within the facility.

I do want to applaud the good people of San Francisco. IIRC, Pac Bell Park is the 1st wholly privately funded sports stadium in a long time.

Joy To The World wrote: View Post
Well in the US the voters always vote on the issue, so if it is approved by the voters how can anyone complain.
Often the funding for the stadiums are included as unconstitutional riders on otherwise popular ballot propositions. Take University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, for example. During the campaign, all I heard about the proposition was all of the funding it included for public youth sports programs. After the campaign, all I heard about was the big new stadium for the Arizona Cardinals. The funding for the youth sports was rarely mentioned again. Furthermore, the Arizona constitution makes it clear that ballot propositions can only address one issue at a time. So combining the youth sports with the pro stadium funding was a clear constitutional violation.

Temis the Red-Nosed Vorta wrote: View Post
How does broadcast vs. cable make a difference for Star Trek? I must have missed that conversation.
This is the wrong forum for Star Trek so it doesn't get discussed much here. But networks have been migrating for years to mass-market entertainment - CSI, reality shows - while the niche/genre stuff has migrated to basic and premium cable. Sci fi just doesn't qualify as mass entertainment anymore, because the "mass" has become uh "massier," which isn't a bad thing, when niche entertainment can prosper on basic cable.

ENT was cancelled for having 4M viewers but shows like Mad Men and Dexter survive just fine with 2-3M, so why not just put Star Trek in an environment where reaching a niche audience is not a problem?

The difference is, on cable, each of those 2-3M eyeballs are more valuable, because of subscription fees, and therefore can be more profitable than 4M on wholly ad-based network TV. Don't try to get more people to watch Star Trek by blanding it down and ruining it so that you end up appealing to no one; put Star Trek where the viewers are more valuable and can support production.
Well, yeah. Although, I thought that was common knowledge, particularly considering the only space opera series on the air for the last few years have all been on the Sci-Fi Channel anyway. I don't see how the collapse of broadcast TV would make that any more clear.

Furthermore, if broadcast TV collapsed and mass entertainment like CSI & so forth had nowhere else to go but cable, might that squeeze out some of the niche programming that survives on cable now?

Snaploud wrote: View Post
The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
This would make me sad. Granted, I don't watch much broadcast TV. Even if I had cable, I don't think I'd watch live TV much more anyway. As it is, I find it's cheaper to not pay for cable and instead save my money for the DVDs.
I saved a lot of money by getting a DVR. DVDs used to be a much bigger expense for me.
Well, I'm also addicted to pretty DVD packaging. I'm a collector at heart. I own way more DVDs than I watch.
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Old December 31 2009, 05:28 AM   #27
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

Hunter X wrote: View Post
Lastly, it's not like CTV, Global or CityTV are bastions of Canadian content. Most content requirements are met by running the same episodes of Degrassi, Sue FBEye and Twice in a Lifetime (on CTV at least) over and over in the daytime, while running the big American shows (Law and Order, CSI, Grey's Anatomy) during primetime. Right now they're sloughing off the last of their yearly primetime requirements by playing a two hour CTV movie, two episodes of a Hills rip-off set in whistler, Corner Gas and Degrassi every night for the week between Christmas and New Years. They're not going to get big ratings then anyways. Canadian content is such a joke, treated with very thinly veiled cynicism by networks. The only one I see as being truly "Canadian" is the CBC.
Yes i've noticed that certain programs that had a fairly limited production run such as SueFBEye have a very high play rotation (not watched but seen listed when channel surfing).

Canada isn't like Australia which is isolated to does need to pump in a chunk of money for local production but much of that is local production companies and they frequently then sell over seas (though Australia should apologies for inflicting Neighbours and Home & Away on the world).

Maybe a better approach would be to encourage U.S productions to film in Canada or where Canadian actors can work in the U.S (I can imagine that produciton of BSG in Vancourver probably provide a fair bit of work for local production companies - set construction, catering etc).

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
^Yeah. My dad hardly watches any TV. (Instead, he devours historical non-fiction like there's no tomorrow.) But he finally succumbed and subscribed to cable once they stopped showing regular Arizona Diamondbacks games on free TV. Beyond that, I don't think he watches much cable and most of what he does watch is reruns of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Monk, & NCIS.

Marc wrote: View Post
I agree - governments should stop pissing away tax payer money on sports infrastructure for the benefit of the private sector.

Which incidentally gets the money from the TV rights none of which flows back to the tax payer.
And while the stadiums may be publicly owned, I think the teams are the ones who get all the revenue from the advertising within the facility.
[/quote]

Still an improvement on the situation in Australia where the stadiums are frequently owned by private bodies. Adelaide Oval which I mentioned above is wholly owned by the South Australian Cricket Association.

Furthermore, if broadcast TV collapsed and mass entertainment like CSI & so forth had nowhere else to go but cable, might that squeeze out some of the niche programming that survives on cable now?
Not necessarily.

There are plenty of channels and there's 24 hours a day - we could see much less repeats and more new programming.

Forgot to mention that the Australian FTA networks played hardball with the dominate paytv carrier. Foxtel was only allowed to rebroadcast the FTA networks over the cable (it used by satellite and HFC) and when it wanted to move to digital and rebroadcast the FTA networks digital signals it had to fork out a packet of money.

We were watching the same signal as on FTA such as the Adelaide ch9 feed, saw all the local ads but Foxtel had to pay yet it was to the FTA broadcaster advantage - they were included in the foxtel package when meant that people in poor reception areas could actually watch the FTA networks.
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Old December 31 2009, 05:45 AM   #28
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

Temis the Red-Nosed Vorta wrote: View Post
Here's what the government should be doing - imposing a la carte cable TV pricing. According to the LA Times, it's not impossible - could even happen this year.
I agree. I tend to watch most of my TV online nowadays anyway. But if there was a way to subscribe to specific channels -- or better yet, specific shows (either online or through cable/satellite), then I think you'd find that you'd get a much better revenue stream. At the very least, you'd be able to cut out all the guesswork of who DVRs a show vs. who watches online vs. who watches a realtime broadcast.

Oh, and don't forget the DVD sales for a full season.
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Old December 31 2009, 07:11 AM   #29
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
If I wasn't such a baseball fanatic, I wouldn't have cable.
I think sports are a huge reason people still pay for cable. Between things like Hulu, Netflix, and other stuff like that, sports and news are really the only things you can't get without cable.
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Old December 31 2009, 09:37 AM   #30
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Re: Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

Marc wrote: View Post
The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
And while the stadiums may be publicly owned, I think the teams are the ones who get all the revenue from the advertising within the facility.
Still an improvement on the situation in Australia where the stadiums are frequently owned by private bodies. Adelaide Oval which I mentioned above is wholly owned by the South Australian Cricket Association.
Seriously? Now that is absolute & total bullshit! You guys need to set up some sort of people's army and eminent domain their asses right now!
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