Friday, December 18, 2009

Is the government looking to kill TV?

Is President Obama's FCC looking to kill TV stations' over the air broadcasts? Harry Jessell of TVNewsCheck reports the administration is bringing in a Duke law professor on sabbatical who wrote a paper on this subject:

Benjamin first makes the argument that we've heard elsewhere: Broadcasting is an inefficient use of spectrum because most people (he says 14 percent of homes) no longer receive broadcast signals off air, but rather get them via cable or satellite. Taking back the spectrum and auctioning it would generate "hundreds of billions of dollars" in revenue for the government and put it to better use.

Benjamin concedes that there would be costs to ending over-the-air broadcasting, notably for "people too poor" to afford cable and satellite. But they can be shifted to cable or satellite for less than $10 billion, "a small fraction of the value of broadcast frequencies, as reflected in the value of those frequencies at auction once they could be used for any service." READ THE REST

I don't think the government has to interfere with this. From what I understand everything is going in this direction on its own.

Kill TV Paper Blasted As 'Abomination'



  2. Ultimately this is about killing off local journalism. If broadcast goes away, the broadcast networks will become cable networks. They won't have to worry with 200+ affiliates across the country. They'll just bypass them and have a plain national feed.

    Without the high-rated network shows local TV stations will cease to exist. Local news will go away as a result.

    Newspapers are dying. Bloggers are good, but they generally work for free and can't really do the kind of in depth investigative reporting that newspapers and TV stations have done for years. Getting rid of these two is a private wet dream of local government officials everywhere.

    Getting rid of local journalism will make the job of city councilmen, county commissioners, state representatives, etc. much eaiser. They will be able to do what they want without anyone calling them on the carpet about it.

    National journalism is dying too, but it will largely survive by doing what it's done for years: focus on the trivial stories that get good ratings and be as cozy as you can with the people in power.