Not applicable

Re: WGN America

I will be very dissatisfied as well and will consider dropping Spectrum. In the last two years Spectrum has dropped several channels that my family and I enjoy but channel 5 is one of our favorites.
Trusted Helper

Re: Tribune Broadcasting - WGN


@dstoffa wrote:

@@jhs190 wrote:

 

 There once was a "must carry" rule for all cable systems which required every cable service in the US to carry all local TV stations in a given area; however, that law was changed some time ago, with the result that every US cable system is now free to add or drop any channel (even major network affiliates),  for any reason.

 


Before 1992, cable companies did not have to pay to carry OTA Stations.  They didn't even need their permission.  Cable companies used antennas to capture local TV stations and simply retransmited the OTA signal on its cable system.   The cable system was under no obligation to carry local TV stations, and in my market (New York City), they didn't carry the 6 lightly viewed UHF Stations, but did carry WTBS from Atlanta, WSBK from Boston, WVIA from Scranton, and WTAF from Philadelphia.  (To be fair, the cable system was only 36 channels, and carrying all 14 local stations would leave little room for the PayTV networks - they showed what people wanted to see.  Synd-ex and market exclusivity ended the widespread improtation of out-of-market signals.)

 

The Cable Act of 1992 changed how terrestrial television stations are carried on cableTV systems.  This act defined two ways for a terrestrial TV station to get on a cable system's broadcast basic programming tier.  (The broadcast basic tier is the minimum level of service.  You MUST subscribe to this tier in order to add any other video service, and therefore pay the retransmission fees.)

 

Method 1:  "Must Carry".  A local television station can elect "must carry".  If the station elects to do so, it forgoes any re-transmission fees.  The cable company "must carry" the station.  It cannot be dropped from the broadcast basic lineup.

 

Method 2:  "ReTransmission Consent".  The local television station and the cable operator negotiate a per-subscriber fee for carriage on the broadcast basic tier.  It is these fees which have driven up the cost of broadcast basic itself and the institution of the broadcast TV surchage.  The cable company can only carry the station if a rate is negotiated.  If a station demands a high-fee, the cable company can walk away and not carry the station.  This is the primary reason why there are blackouts of local stations on cable systems.  TV station wants $2 per subscriber per month; cable company is only willing to pay $1 per subscriber per month.  TV Station says no.  Station goes dark.  (The average per-month fee a TV Station received in retransmission consent was $1.07 - back in 2014.  I am sure it is much higher now.)

 

Retransmission fees make up a sizeable portion of a station's revenue.  A television station wants their fees - the content they provide isn't cheap.  So unless the station is very low-rated, or they are showing very cheap programming (brokered time, old re-runs, infomercials), they aren't going to elect "Must Carry".   A station may choose Must Carry if they are difficult to receive with an antenna, as they will get more eyeballs on the channel and therefore can sell ads at a higher rate.

 

The fees collected by O&O (owned and operated) stations go right to the Netowrk.  An affiliate station is charged for its programming by the Network, so the fees collected by the affiliate are passed up to the Network. 

 

I have no sympathy for stations which "pull" their signal.  There shouldn't be a reason why a cable subscriber should be forced to pay for the same content the content owner gives away for free to those who elect to use an antenna.  Until the Cable Act / FCC rules are changed, stations will exploit the fact that every video subscriber is required to pay for broadcast basic (and the re-transmission fees) in order to receive any additional video programming.  I recommend you write your congressman, and suggest revisions to the Act which would force terrestrial TV Stations  which elect re-transmission consent fees to be moved off the broadcast basic tier, either to a higher tier or be sold a-la-carte.

 

This is not Spectrum's (or any other operator's) doing.  It's the terrestrial stations leveraging existing law to force cable customers to pay for their content, whether it is wanted or not.

 

Question,

 

Suppose the Cable Act of 1992 had never passed.  We would never have station owner blackouts over contract retransmission fees, correct?  Would there be any downside if the act had not passed?

 

Satch


 

Highlighted
Proven Sharer

Re: Tribune Broadcasting - WGN

AMEN, DStoffa!!  And note that it has been this way for over 25 years now. The fees are not something new as part of the Spectrum merger/buyout.  It's just that the local stations are now getting excessively greedy, but only until cable tells them to just go away and pound salt.  Then their viewer count drops and they can't charge as much for ad time. 

Proven Sharer

Re: Tribune Broadcasting - WGN


@Satch w

 


 

Question,

 

Suppose the Cable Act of 1992 had never passed.  We would never have station owner blackouts over contract retransmission fees, correct?  Would there be any downside if the act had not passed?

 

Satch


 


It's unclear how things would have played out.  But if there was no 1992 Cable Act:

 

1.  There would be no blackouts of local TV stations, provided the cable system decided to carry it.  But the local TV Stations may not be carrying the same programming they are today.

 

2.  You would not be guaranteed to receive every station in your market when attached to the cable system.  They'd only carry the ones that vieweship demanded.  This is probably not an issue anymore, since cable systems have grown FAR FAR beyond the 36 channel system that was commonplace around 30 years ago.

 

3.  You *might* still receive out-of-market stations.  I don't know how Syndication Exclusivity played into the 1992 Cable Act, but that may have impacts on certain programs brought in on out of town stations.  (i.e., in New York City, WPIX had the exclusive syndication rights to Star Trek.  Star Trek was blacked out on WLIG out of Riverhead on cable systems in New York City because of Syndex.)   Certain programs might be blacked out.

 

4.  All pro-sports may have moved to payTV.  It is not known what impact retransmission fees have on the ability of CBS, NBC, and FOX to pay the NFL for broadcast rights.  It is well known that ESPN alone adds $8 per month to your cable bill.  I am sure that if the netowrks couldn't afford NFL rights, the games would need to be moved to PayTV.   MLB has already started to migrate to PayTV networks, especially for post-season coverage.

 

5.  The quality of programming viewed on broadcast stations may have fallen as compared to PayTV networks.  It's possible that Big Media would use their broadcast outlets to air the first couple of episodes of a series, then move the remainder to a sister PayTV network in order to cover costs of production.  There is a reason why there are a lot of reality / game shows now on in prime-time.  They are cheap to produce compared to a scripted series.

 

 

Tough to say what terrestrial TV woudl look like today if there was no Cable Act of 1992...  I don't think it would be informercials 24/7, but I sure don't think you'd see the same programming you do today, though...

HIS
Rookie

Tribune Stations SHOULDN'T get MORE money from SPECTRUM!

 PLEASE don't give in to TRIBUNES' DEMANDS for higher cost-rates as SPECTRUM raised MOST people's prices for 2019 due to THEIR COSTS to carry various NETWORKS, SPECTRUM  executives, ARE YOU READING THESE FORUMS, please DON'T give into Tribune's demands which of course would come down to the customers, and frankly, we CAN'T afford ANY MORE rate hikes which could be a reason so many people I know have cut the cord on cable and just use INTERNET to watch TV!

Sharer

Re: Tribune Broadcasting - WGN


@jhs190 wrote:

The same thing has happened with Fox 8 in Cleveland, which is also owned by Tribune Broadcasting. I wouldn't mind, since I don't watch FOX much or at all, but I do watch the DTV subchannel 8.2, Antenna TV; it's only been one day since the channel was removed, but already I miss the latter.

 

  I hope these issues are resolved soon, as I am sure there are many folks here in northeastern Ohio who do enjoy watching FOX news and the network's other programming. However, until the impasse over retransmission fees is resolved and the channel returns to TW cable, there are two ways to continue to get FOX 8: with an antenna or on YouTube TV or Hulu streaming video services. These services are not affected by cable company disputes with local stations and will generally be available, regardless of whether or not the cable operator decides to carry the channel(s) in question. 


Inevitably, Tribune will have a carriage agreement dispute with Google or Hulu or Sling and then the channel won't be available on their streaming services.

Rookie

Re: WGN America


@krel_2018 wrote:

i would gladly save the $ 10.00 a month if i could drop the locals!!! no sense in wasting $$$ when i can get 150 channels OTA. then they would just have to come out with a DVR that will let one hook up an OTA antenna to it


There are many  DVR solutions for OTA content consumers.

 

SiliconDust's HDHomeRun OTA prodcuts alllow for excellent & varied  DVR solutions  since they are supported by both the company's own sfotware offerings  & several diverse 3rd party solutions too.

 

Some of the more turnkey type solutions are:

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Tablo 

Amazon fire TV recast

Tivo Bolt & Roamio

Channelmaster's multiple OTA DVR products

(Sling's) Air TV products

 

And there are other ways to solve this problem too.  i.e., you could just use any TV Tuner that's properly supported by Google's "Live Channels" app, w/ the app running on a Nvidia Stealth (or possibly a Xiamoi Xiaomi Mi 4s TV box, newer Bravia TV,  or newer model official ANDROID TV O.S. powered streaming devices) hooked to a properly formatted USB hard drive.

 

Some of the solutions require a fair amount of technical knowledge to set up but others are completely turnkey (although they tend to require comprises on flexibilty and tend to cost more overall.)

Proven Sharer

Re: Tribune Broadcasting - WGN


@stannc wrote:


Inevitably, Tribune will have a carriage agreement dispute with Google or Hulu or Sling and then the channel won't be available on their streaming services.


The network's play is to negotiate a higher rate with Company A.  This will preferably be the highest rate.  Then, when the time comes for Company B to renew their carriage agreement, the network will say, "Company A is paying $___.__"  That was a year ago.  This is the new baseline.  The new rates are $___.__ +++"

 

The cycle repeats with all the other Companies.

 

The market for Pay television has changed, as has the music industry.  PayTV netowrks are running for the lifeboats.  Eventually something will give.  You will need to address your own needs and act accordingly.

 

Cable companies sell internet access, and that is what will save the cable companies.  DirectTV has already announced they will not lauch any more satellites.  So once the birds in the sky die, that is it for DBS (DirecTV and Dish).  The future is IPTV and on-demand content.  I see upheaval in Big Media in the not to distant future.  The times they are a changin'.

Proven Sharer

Re: Tribune Stations SHOULDN'T get MORE money from SPECTRUM!


@HIS wrote:

 PLEASE don't give in to TRIBUNES' DEMANDS for higher cost-rates as SPECTRUM raised MOST people's prices for 2019 due to THEIR COSTS to carry various NETWORKS, SPECTRUM  executives, ARE YOU READING THESE FORUMS, please DON'T give into Tribune's demands which of course would come down to the customers, and frankly, we CAN'T afford ANY MORE rate hikes which could be a reason so many people I know have cut the cord on cable and just use INTERNET to watch TV!


TWC / Spectrum,

 

Your best play is to reduce the cost of Broadcast Basic and/or the Surcharge for those customers in markets where there are disputes.  It would amplify how much the broadcasters are demanding in retransmission compensation.

 

Heck, you could even elect not to carry any local stations unless they go "Must Carry" and make the broadcast basic tier consist of C-SPAN, CSPAN2, CSPAN3, and Public Access channels.  If you reduce the cost of the broadcast basic tier and surcharge accordingly, the spotlight is put on the netowrks / content providers...

HIS
Rookie

Re: Tribune Broadcasting - WGN

Actually, who in L.A. gives a **bleep** about CH. 5 or WGN!