f



Ken Auletta: Why Oprah Needs Cable [Telecom]

 From Ken Auletta's blog on The New Yorker website:

 > November 20, 2009
 > Why Oprah Needs Cable
 > Posted by Ken Auletta
 >
 > Why is Oprah Winfrey jumping from broadcasting to cable?
 > For the same reason that the largest cable company,
 > Comcast, is bidding to buy NBC/Universal. Cable networks
 > are one of the few traditional media enterprises that are
 > growing. The audience for broadcast television is
 > shrinking. Cable generates two income streams,
 > advertising and subscriptions; broadcasting relies solely
 > on ads. Oprah is jumping off the listing ship and onto
 > the rocket.

Continued at http://tinyurl.com/yg9ga7h

Auletta misses a crucial point: broadcast stations also have two income 
streams: advertising and retransmission-consent fees.

The Cable Act of 1992 allowed broadcast station licensees to demand 
financial payments from cable TV and satellite TV retailers.  For 
several years after 1992, cable TV operators successfully refused to pay 
these fees.  But in recent years, broadcasters have been increasingly 
successful in extracting fees, some of which now approach $1.00 per 
station per subscriber per month.

That's a lot of money; so much, in fact, that the broadcast networks are 
now trying to get a cut.
http://tinyurl.com/y8b5gsf

Maybe Auletta (along with John Mayson, Bill Horne, and John David Galt) 
are right: broadcast television is dying.

But I think Auletta underestimates the power of the NAB.

Neal McLain

0
nmclain (7)
11/22/2009 2:39:02 PM
comp.dcom.telecom 29624 articles. 1 followers. nmclain (7) is leader. Post Follow

1 Replies
700 Views

Similar Articles

[PageSpeed] 20

On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 8:39 AM, Neal McLain <nmclain@annsgarden.com> wrote:
>
> Maybe Auletta (along with John Mayson, Bill Horne, and John David Galt) are
> right: broadcast television is dying.

That I do.  I honestly have no idea if and when it'll ever happen.  My
theory is cable-only networks and Internet TV are going to continue to
chip away at over-the-air television and one of the large networks is
going to shock the country by announcing they're dropping their
affiliates and going cable-only.  I don't think it's out of the
question to see an NBC among the TNT's, MTV's, an A&E's of the world.

> But I think Auletta underestimates the power of the NAB.

That is true.  I'm waiting for them to ask Congress for a bailout.  Of
course that would muddy the waters given all the networks have
expansive news departments.  If party "X" gave billions of taxpayer
dollars to the networks, would those networks criticize party "X"?

One advantage to all of this is it would free up a whole lot of
bandwidth of TV stations went dark.

John

-- 
John Mayson <john@mayson.us>
Austin, Texas, USA

0
John
11/23/2009 4:21:43 PM
Reply: