Broadcasters' woes could spell trouble for free TV

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by John Picard, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. John Picard

    John Picard Vice Admiral Admiral

    The writing has been on the wall for quite some time, America.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091229/ap_on_hi_te/us_free_broadcasters_in_peril

    The entire article makes for an interesting read.
     
  2. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would think that the broadcast model would have some life in it, as a venue for very mass-market stuff aimed at folks who simply refuse to pay a dime for TV (there are still some) or who aren't too fussy about what they watch.

    But all the good stuff is on cable anyway. So if NBC or another network jumps into the cable foray, why the heck not? At least then they might show something decent.

    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!
    You're right - why should you have to pay more money for something that can't support itself? It's incumbent on broadcasters, who are allegedly in a for-profit business, to give people stuff they're willing to pay to see (and you pay for "free" TV via the ads). If it's not profitable, then too bad for that thing. You don't see the government paying Coca-Cola to make raspberry flavored Coke just because some bureaucrat likes raspberries, do you?
     
  4. Canadave

    Canadave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Part of it, I think, has to do with our somewhat protectionist attitude towards Canadian culture. Since so much of our television is simulcast with the United States, the idea is we pay a little more to keep Canadian- and locally-produced content alive. You can agree or disagree with it as you like, but that's the logic.

    Personally, I just avoid the whole thing by not having cable.
     
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah Americans figure that American culture is sink or swim, baby. There's so much of it, why take sides? One show is cancelled, one movie bombs, there's a dozen more right behind it. Sure, we squall when a favorite goes under, and we see it here all the time (keep flying, Browncoats!), but there's always a new favorite to squall about.

    If anyone dared subsidize an otherwise unprofitable show, squallers would vastly outnumber the fans who are pleased - which do you bring back, Dollhouse or Firefly? or why not another season of Jericho? and Chuck's gonna need some help pretty soon. But wait, doesn't ENT deserve another shot? Nobody with any sense is going to get into the middle of that mess.

    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.

    Yay! Let me finally drop kick ESPN and all the sports channels I have less than no interest in. :bolian:
     
  6. Othello

    Othello Commodore Commodore

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    Come friday I KNOW I am gonna be royally ticked off. And sunday I'm gonna want to go postal not being able to get to watch my packers game on Sunday with the Time Warner - Fox standoff.
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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. Some "hour-long" shows are actually only 38 minutes once you cut out the commercials and any intros/outros...
     
  8. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not just in the U.S. Australian tv networks are pushing to be able to show more ads (currently capped at 15mins per hour) so they keep looking for loop holes (such as include a product placement as part of station self promotion).

    Canada seems to be just as bad when it comes to ads.

    My wife was watching Sound Of Music on CTV Sunday night. The run time for the move is 167 minutes or roughly 2 and 3/4 hours which would include credits. They took 4 hours to show the movie and that's without credits. So over 1/4 of the broadcast was ads.

    Maybe the tv networks need to look at their own broadcasting practices to work out why views are turning away.
     
  9. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    Problem solved:

    SARAH: "I lost him!"
    JOHN: "Where'd you see him last?"
    SARAH: "I don't know! I think around the Nokia kiosk next to the Victoria's Secret!"
    JOHN: "There he is! He switched jackets! He's in the Miami Dolphins Reebok hoodie!"
    CHUCK: "He's heading into The Apple Store!"
    SARAH: "I see him!"
     
  10. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    They might as well. It's not like they aren't already a giant ad for Subway.
     
  11. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    They'll fight to keep the free signal on the air... And that will be because losing free TV discriminates against the poor.
     
  12. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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).
     
  13. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    You can't stop the signal, dammit!
     
  14. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    Well, that's the argument that's come up... even with our switchover to digital signals. The government handed out coupons so people would keep getting free tv.
     
  15. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think this will happen for many, many, many years.. but I keep cable around anyway.
     
  16. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
    Who's "they" and why do you think they give a flying flip about "the poor"? ;)
     
  17. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    :) They refers to lobbyists and congresspeople, as well as the network people themselves.
     
  18. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    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).

    How does broadcast vs. cable make a difference for Star Trek? I must have missed that conversation.

    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.)
     
  19. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    [/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.
     
  20. Galactus

    Galactus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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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