Dish Network or DirecTV, of course, because you'd essentially be forcing them to pay a fee that they may not want to pay. Alternatively, if you say that they wouldn't have to pay the fee, then the broadcaster, from whom your depriving a source of revenue that has nothing to do with their civic responsibility to provide broadcast television over-the-air.
I have no problem with them paying a fee. I do have a problem with them paying hundreds of locals a fee to broadcast the same network content when it has been made clear that the locals intend to demand high fees which ultimately will be passed on to me. And that doesn't count uplink and transponder costs. "Must carry" means some poor guy in Bangor, Maine gets 6 channels for the same price I get 22 channels (most of aren't on my favorites). Maybe he'd like one of my 22, but the law says he can't get it.
Most of the time, distants aren't provided because of the desire to use bandwidth for non-duplicative services. For example, cable customers in Bristol County MA recently lost Boston stations because they're in the Providence DMA. They did have the distants, and now they don't, but it was the service provider's decision based on what they felt was the best utilization of the available resource.
If the 7 networks were offered one each in 5 time zones, for satellite providers that would mean 35 channels. That's 35 Conus transponders and 35 uplinks instead of hundreds devoted to a myriad of ill-designed DMA's. Add one local that actually spends money on news and local programming from each DMA for civic/emergency broadcast. That's another 210 spotbeam transponders and uplinks.
However, the main point is that it is the locality's best interest to assert primacy of the local affiliate over distants. The fact that you personally aren't especially locally-minded doesn't obviate the fact that there is a value to the local area to have their local stations supported over distants.
Yeah. I can have distants. At one point in time when Dish played too loose I had Sacramento stations. Two of the Sacramento network affiliates provided weather and occasional news for my County area.
But I now have San Francisco which is my DMA. I had email exchanges with all four network affiliates over the issue of at least providing weather info if no news. In one case I was essentially told they just don't have time because they (KGO ABC) also covered via cable Monterey DMA of more value. Now they sometimes provide the temperature on the fancy map.
In the end, if you don't like retransmission consent -- if you wanted every as free must-carry -- then it is on you to convince legislators to change the law. They didn't overlook something. They didn't make a mistake. People raised the issues you raised and lost the debate. You can try to cast reckless aspersions on the manner in which our nation is governed, to try to make your sides loss in that debate seem unfair, but that's just a cop-out. You might as well just put up your "Anarchy Now" flag and say "Down with the USA" and start burning the flag etc.
I'm not arguing for anarchy. I want the rules changed away from the 1958 model, other than the rules that have already been changed since then to eliminate many of the public obligations.
Let's call that your very biased, anti-government perspective. Let society call it what it is, which is a bunch of companies granted a license to do something with certain obligations attached which they fulfill. Period.
Hmmm. Most consider my political opinions pro-government and leftist. My problems are that:
- the regulations that "burdened" the networks and locals with civic responsibilities were repealed a couple of decades ago;
- most of the regulations adopted more than a decade ago regarding distants protect anachronistic corporate interests.
That's what you want. That is not, in any way, a definition of what is necessary to constitute market competition in our economy.
A free market economist would argue there should be no regulation at all. I want anti-trust regulations. It's no coincidence that ABC, Fox and NBC are all invested in Hulu.com while NBC essentially is experimenting with how little a commitment to its affiliates it can get away with.