You do realize at the time, there was a study put forth regarding local channels on cable. It was found that if a cable company no longer had their local channels on cable, over 50% of consumers would demand their cable bill be halved, and another about 25% would ditch cable altogether? It appeared that cable was built on the back of the local broadcaster, and they weren't receiving anything from the cable company.Yep. Let's have Charlie Ergen and Brian Roberts and the lke make all the money selling monthly subscriptions to programming and have NONE OF IT go to the broadcast networks which still provide the most-viewed programming.
Cable TV was still in its infancy; it was the Wild West of TV throughout the 1980's. The Cable Act of 1992 was enacted to right the wrongs of allowing one company to build their business on the back of another without compensation.
I couldn't care less what some study said. It's irrelevant. What people say in a study and what they will actually do are two different things. Besides, "studies" are routinely rigged to achieve the result that the organization doing the study wants.
Also, I have never advocated deleting local stations from cable. I am advocating importing distant stations in addition to continuing with the local stations. Advertising will continue to support the networks and the stations. Why should broadcasters, who are transmitting a "free" product, then be allowed to charge for it when it is rebroadcast by a satellite company or cable company? The satellite company or cable company is already conferring a benefit on the broadcaster by ensuring that viewers who could not receive the signal OTA will now receive it. Remember, not everyone with a rooftop antenna can receive every local station. Local reception is highly dependent on terrain. The viewer may be five miles or less from the transmitter, but, if there is a mountain in the way, the viewer may not receive the signal OTA. The viewer will receive it via cable or satellite.
Ok, so if the networks want their OTA, then, let them have it. However, we need to stop protecting certain stations. The law should be changed so that once a signal is OTA, any pay TV provider can take that signal and freely broadcast it anywhere they want to, so long as it is unedited (except for resolution/ compression scaling).
I agree a hundred percent. Try it, people will like it, and the sky won't fall. Rates are the only thing that will fall, and viewer choice will go up. Stations will have a strong incentive to produce programming for their local market when they face real competition.