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If the Red Cross takes in more money than they need for actual expenses this year should they be shut down?
According to the very narrow ruling, yes, as are the pbs stations that collect much more than that needed for the continued daily operation of their station. My local, Kcts, assembled a war chest over a decade to fund a second station, ktbc, some 40 miles distant, which now carries many pbs programs both on its main as well as sub-channels, which are not on kcts. YouTube tv only carries kcts, so those of us within the 500 mile wide dma of Seattle have to jump through hoops on the pbs streaming app to view those programs carried on kbtc.

Why didn't these NY folks, once the service was up and running around the country, simply transfer the local recieve facility, equipment, and costs, to a local group instead of trying to build an empire. In Washington State, we had several groups that had, over the years, built multiple uhf translators but had fallen on hard times when the fcc mandated digital transition on the analog systems; the costs were simply too much, and most of those systems are mothballed. But the locast system could have been sold for $1 to a local group, they could easily have operated it with unpaid local retired engineers, and gotten the bare nessesary funds for the internet feed (I wager that our local major backbone providers just may have given it for free or almost free).

Once these NY folks did that a couple of times around the country, it would really take off. Expansion? How did these 'sports' folks do that in the beginning? Have a seperate fundraising group go about it, maybe call it the 'jesus fund' since it seems that this country and its courts have a blind eye toward anything that smacks of messing with anything that simply calls itself that.

So, do it and do it now. Strike while the iron is hot.
 

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All this talk is simply trying to figure out a way to get around people who simply move the goal posts with their billions spent on shady lawyers and bought off judges. The first thing I learned in broadcast engineering class 50 years ago, was that a federal license was, in essence, a licence to print money. No matter what the law says, or how it is 'interperted', at the end of the day those with huge monetary incentive to keep things exactly the way they are will use any argument, no matter how convoluted or nonsensical, to maintain that flow of cash into their back pocket. That is the 'American Way'.

So, what has to be found is a way to interrupt that flow, of which there are two main sources. One of those, the retransmission fees, is already under pretty significant challenge and has been for several years by the satellite folks in particular. Cable, not so much, as they must figure they have a captive subscriber base, especially with the increasing number of renters in US society that can't simply bolt a dish to their home. However, in the near future, wireless internet from cellular companies may make some inroads.

But their other income source, advertisements, is based on, to me over the years, figures that mostly come from one company, that even to the big networks has been shady at best (as they keep suing this company every few years for more clarity in their figures). Its easy to simply total up the cable and satellite subscriber households and present those as the numbers who are watching the adverts, and come up with rates that make sense. But wait, what about antenna folks, or the numbers of households that, to quote Sheldon, are unable to recieve those signals due to Physics? And then there are the hoa's that ban antennas, or the communities that insert anti-antenna ordinances into property deeds?

Well, this company simply assumes that all those households that don't subscribe to the companies paying retransmission all have the ability to recieve via antenna, realistically or not. That keeps the viewership numbers, and resulting advert rates, nice and high. Simply take the census numbers from any dma and that gives them the result they want.

Don't think that's what is done? Even those big networks can't get the real numbers, Comcast/NBC Universal is still trying to pry how the numbers don't make sense from this company. I think EFF should join in that lawsuit, if for anything, to look under the rock and see what crawls out.
 

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They hide it for the obvious reason, and why cablecos are, for just shy of 100% of the citizens, the most despised corporate entities in the country. What one might ask is why the broadcasters aren't as universally hated, since they are the ones taking the public airwaves, that are by law supposed to be free, and monitizing them. We all know why; greed and able to shift blame.

Then again, why do people watch them? Most of these 'local' stations are now owned by conglomerates, many of which are in turn owned by billionaires who are easily shown to be unamerican at their core. Congress and the fcc allowed this concentration to happen, and it's going to take a huge effort to turn it around. Programming, compared to 10 or 20 years ago is filled with 'reality', unscripted trash. Most of the scripted shows are derivatives of popular programs of many years past. Cheap is the word.

The community programming of years ago has mostly dissapeared from the local 'news', replaced by slickly produced regional fare usually from the other side of the country, pushing ideas complely foreign, at least in my neck of the woods, to those in the west. Except maybe in the compounds of northern idaho where bombers, bank robbers, and vigilantes hang out.

So it's like a lot of problems, fed by years of neglect with only one idea being pushed: maximum return on investment.

But one only has to look at real statistics, and they show broadcast tv is actually falling down in viewership so fast its whiplash time, despite what the main 'national' ratings service says. If these folks eventually see reality, they may just wake up, but if they don't pretty fast they may be doomed.
 

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OTA is the only way of receiving a station without worrying about a dispute.
The problem with limiting free retransmission to ota is out west. Stop the provincial thinking that is typical of the east coast. My dma is 500 miles on a side, there are several others that are larger. You can't simply put up a tall tower with an array of terrestrial antennas to pick up the signals, it's impossible, period. Not just the distance, but the fact we have these things called mountain ranges and volcanos that routinely exceed 10k feet; they make the mountains of east and west Pennsylvania, where along with our mountain and coastal communities cable got its start, look like little bumps in the terrain. It required, back in the day, multiple microwave links to each repeater.

Today, such expensive and maintenance intensive (think about trying to repair a microwave link on a snow covered peak in the middle of winter; I've been there. Not fun) is cheaply replaced by the internet.

Two things: first, the cablecos sponsored Washington state laws decades ago to do two things, prevent public utilities or other entities from constructing broadband networks anywhere, in competition with or where no other providers were, simply banned them outright. Secondly, made it legal to force deed restrictions on communities that made, in direct contravention of federal fcc rules, banning rooftop antennas and satellite dishes.

Both these moves, made way before the technology actually made such things possible (in fact, early 1970's) showed the folks pushing such restrictions (the early cable and telcos) how far ahead they were thinking on how to strangle any competition.

The state laws on public construction of internet systems was recently mostly removed, once the republican controlled senate was voted out (like most states and indeed the federal congress, the senate was controlled by a very thin number, very undemocratic, less than 20% of the actual voters).

When I was living much closer to Seattle and still working, I lived in a 'planned' community in which the land deed prohibited both rooftop antennas and DBS dishes; I was lucky enough to be able to, by the U shape construction of my home and be backed up to a deep ravine, able to hide both my DirecTV and Dish network dishes from any view. But of course could not put up an ota antenna despite being almost 50miles from the towers in downtown Seattle, so until DirecTV began transmitting locals in 2000, I had no local tv. After retirement, I moved some 3 miles down the road and put up tv, scanner, and ham radio antennas, among others.

So, there are now huge plans to construct, mostly by the county public utility districts that have built power, water, and wastewater systems throughout the state since the 1930s, fiber to the home systems. The small slice of the city I moved to 6 years ago, primarily because it was the only place within 30 miles with comcast cable and its own local river dam wich made electric rates half that of when I lived in Seattle, may have internet at half it's current costs in 3+ years. Tmobile already beats it, as does Starlink, but the reliability and upkeep has been excellent.

But now back to those locals, which really are 'locals' in name only, controlled by huge conglomerates east of the Mississippi for the most part. They need to he broken up, just like the Facebooks. When the stations got bought out over the last 20 years, most of the well known reporters and studio folks quit or took early retirement rather tha spew the nonsense their eastern owners required. Station managers tried to keep the 'must run' propaganda pieces to the middle of the night, but they couldn't keep it up forever.

As I pointed out before, once folks realize the reality of the viewership of the 'majors' has really slipped, and the figures they've been fed for years were being made up, even if they had programming folks wanted, it's going to be as hard sell. Everybody wants to point out sports, but really, what kind of percentage does that generate? Pretty thin edge of the wedge, and if push comes to shove, radio with internet generated field stats at 1/100th the cost sounds okay to me.

Every time some new and cheaper means of media consumption hits the rural community I live in, I get excited as all get out, but I'm always brought back to earth by folks living here for years. We got Starlink pretty early this year, but folks still living with dialup or non-Netflix ready dsl kinda shrug, maybe when the price gets cut in half. I'll update this when/if that fiber actually gets built.

In the meantime, it would be nice if the populace got what they were promised 70 years ago.
 
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