So if we want fewer commercials, we actually have to watch them (restrict skipping commercials), or move to a HBO model where we pay $12 a channel.
More like $18 (or less) for 8 channels (with HBO being the most expensive premium package).
So is any distributor saving money on retrans fees by forcing their customers to view the commercials on their channels? Or are channel providers the type of businesses that want to force people to view commercials AND pay a monthly fee to view the channel?
If broadcasters want to worry they should worry about Aereo. I do not expect Aereo to win the final court battle, but if they do it redefines retransmission. I would love to see proof of Aereo's claim that each of their user has their own personal antenna and DVR entirely separate from every other user's antenna and DVR. Aereo has limited their legal exposure by only offering in-market retransmission ... but if the court sees them for what they are - a service that provides retransmission of broadcast signals - they will need to follow the rules that apply to cable/satellite/IPTV providers. (And if the court allows their form of retransmission the court will need to rule in such a way that does not destroy the cable/satellite retransmission laws.)