Phase out over-the-air signals? (was: Re: WCRB to simulcast on 88.

Garrett Wollman
Thu Jun 9 18:00:27 EDT 2011

<<On Thu, 9 Jun 2011 16:28:31 -0400 (EDT), said:

>>> Pretty well, thank you very much.  Streaming is nearly pure  revenue as
> far as they are concerned.<<
> Well that was my point. It's just "cigarette money" to them. How well do  
> you think they would do if they had to rely solely on streaming with the same 
>  staff and costs they have now? 
I think baseball, being a cartel, would do just fine, thank you very
much.  Sirius XM makes a lot of money from piggy-back data services on
their satellites, which they would not be able to do with streaming;
the direct-to-consumer market is still very much necessary for them to
be able to make a profit.

>>> How many people that run from one to a dozen Internet radio  stations
> from home will ever see a listener who isn't a friend or  relative?<<<
> How would you know what is actually on unless you listen to them? What is  
> the difference between Solid Gold 105, Greatest Gold, The Best Moldy Oldies  
> Ever, etc...? 

The same way as you do now: through advertising, through your social
network, through unintentional exposure in a public place, etc.
> Why would it cost a great deal to move their content to online  
> distribution?

Designing and maintaining a Web site is not free, never mind the costs
of services such as bandwidth, Content Delivery Networks, and
additional rights fees.

> The print writers already created it and it is already in digital  form. 
The print writers only got paid for print.  Writers generally expect
to get paid more if you find another revenue source from their work.

>>>> No, the cellular industry will be a source of *cost*, not  revenue.
> The cellular industry is interested in selling improved  listening
> quality and reduced bandwidth consumption (relative to  unicast
> streaming).  That's why they don't want those FM tuners  enabled.<<<
> I meant for the radio station not the cellular companies.

So did I.

> stations,  and if someone could come up with a new model that would bring 
> people to  listen online to internet only radio stations, why should cellular  
> companies pick up the tab for it when they aren't making any money by  
> providing it?

The cell companies will make money by charging the content providers
for the service -- or, more likely, charging the intermediary Content
Distribution Networks who charge the content providers for the

> Kind of reminds me of carriage fees for local TV stations. You pay me to  
> carry my programming and I will sell commercials on top of it. This model I  
> think will change with the NBCU and Comcast deal

Retrans consent is statute law -- but as currently structured, they
are absolutely free to cause their O&Os to grant them retrans consent
at no charge, once they buy the rest of the company from GE.  That's
not the way most big companies run their businesses -- big companies
tend to have fee-for-service internal economies to encourage
efficiency -- but because of the legally enforced oligopoly it may be
different.  (How does Cox do it in Atlanta?)

> Is their a technical reason that TV networks can't simply provide
> their programming directly to a satellite company or cable company
> or FIOS?

Of course not; they do that now.  You've heard of Bravo, ESPN,
Showtime, and Fx, right?


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