Part of the argument for retransmission consent is that cable and satellite dilute an OTA station's drawing power.
So it is not compensation for copyright it is punishment for apparently reducing viewership? Even though in the next breath the stations claim that cable and satellite are making money by selling OTA reception and they want a piece of the action?
They can't have it both ways. Pick a theory. Either retransmission on cable and satellite reduces viewership or it increases viewership. One cannot claim both!
There is nothing in the law that allows an OTA station to penalize a cable or satellite company for competing with them. The law allows the OTA to charge for retransmission ... not for competition.
There is no question that retransmission fees have become a significant part of the broadcast stations' revenues, and if they were to lose those revenues they would need to be replaced elsewhere. The replacement would be in the loss of quality programming, since they couldn't raise their prices elsewhere. Advertisers won't pay more just because the networks aren't getting money from cable and satellite. In many smaller markets, you might even see stations go belly-up.
That is a failure of the STATIONS. They should never have relied on retransmission for income - and the trend to demand dollars instead of pennies for retransmission is reasonably new. A couple of years ago the networks and their O&Os started pushing for $1+ per subscriber and suggested the affiliates did the same. Before that, the rates were more reasonable.
If retransmission fees were never allowed to be charged perhaps stations would have already gone belly-up ... or perhaps they would not have tried to extort money from the companies that are helping them reach their audience. A long time ago DISH network did not carry my market's locals. Before I subscribed to DISH I had cable with locals and saw their programming ... when I switched to DISH I had satellite without locals and lived without OTA stations. It was a major benefit to those OTA stations and their advertisers when DISH added the channels in my market. Why does the thank you card come in the form of a bill?
The digital transition really put the squeeze on a lot of stations' budgets. A 50kw lo-VHF analog station didn't use nearly the power a 1000kw UHF one does to cover a slightly smaller area. And thanks to the fact that analog was variable in power usage (white used 0 power, black 100%) the actual electrical usage was lower.
That sounds like one of those arguments that when DISH loses customers their satellites use less power (more signal for the rest of us when lost customers stop receiving the signal).
In my area UHF power levels dropped to cover "the same area". We have one station with 800kw and the rest are below 400kw. We even have three of UHFs that are 85kw or less. The conversion from tube transmitters to solid state (no tube or just one large tube) has reduced the power usage for the station ... not increased it.
Getting two companies to agree when their interests are in opposition is even harder. My bet is this will resolve in a week or two, and all the terms will be confidential.
That I can agree with. It happens all the time. In the best times it happens without a loss of channels for the customer. But there are few disputes where a channel loss is permanent.