Why are you paying for free TV?
Posted in the Charleston Forum
#1 Dec 3, 2012
From the Suddenlink Website:
Suddenlink customers may notice a “broadcast station surcharge” on their bills. That surcharge reflects the charges levied by the owners of broadcast TV stations.
Unlike cable TV networks, broadcast TV stations distribute their signals over the air, using free spectrum granted to them by the federal government. In effect, taxpayers subsidize the distribution of broadcast TV signals. These same broadcast TV stations are then allowed by the government to charge for their signals — and if we don’t agree to pay, broadcasters can force us to drop their channels.
It’s all part of a process known as “retransmission consent.”
Unfortunately, a number of broadcasters have become very aggressive, pressing for increasingly larger payments. While this situation has resulted in the surcharge on customer bills, we pledge not to profit from that surcharge. We will make sure we do not collect more from the surcharge than we pay to the owners of broadcast TV stations.
What’s interesting about all this:
TV stations make money from advertising. The rates they charge for commercials are based on two things: Ratings…. and Coverage of their signal. The more powerful the broadcast signal, the more people that can see the commercials, the more money the TV station can charge.
In the case of any Cable Company, the TV stations signal can be reached by thousands of people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to see that channel. In other words, Cable companies can increase the viewership of any TV station, thereby increasing the TV station
revenue. But wait… some TV station like Sinclair Broadcasting (WCHS TV channel 8) have decided to force the Cable company to pay them very large sums to rebroadcast their signal.
Mostly because the Cable company must pay to broadcast many “CABLE TV Channels”. You know the ones: The Comedy Channel, The History Channel etc. However, even those channels get revenue by broadcasting their own commercials. Depending on how
successful they are doing this… results in the fee they charge the Cable company. Many Cable Channels are free to the Cable company because otherwise, no one could see those channels without them. So some TV stations like Sinclair Broadcasting feel that if the Cable company is paying many others, they too should be paid. And WHO is actually paying Sinclair? YOU ARE. So not only do you have to sit through hours of commercials, you must PAY to watch them if you are on Cable or Satellite.
There’s something wrong with this system. But as long as people are willing to pay for what they could otherwise get for free on an antenna, so be it. Right now, depending on where you live, you can get many digital local TV stations on a small antenna. I get 14 crystal clear channels on mine. Plus, I get the “second channels” that local TV stations offer that the Cable company doesn’t even carry. Some day Sinclair (and others) are going to regret charging viewers to watch their crappy shows, but until that day arrives, ENJOY PAYING FOR THEM!
#2 Dec 3, 2012
Nice copy and paste, but nonthe less, good information!
#3 Dec 3, 2012
If you want to blame someone, blame Congress. They're the ones that made these rules.
#4 Dec 3, 2012
I personally wrote the entire thing except the first part that came from Suddenlinks website.
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