Saturday, 3 August 2013

08:29 – Time-Warner Cable is in a big fight with CBS over retransmission rights. I keep hoping that one of these times the cable TV company being extorted will tell the network doing the extorting to get stuffed and just stop carrying their signals. The whole idea of requiring cable TV companies to pay for retransmission rights is stupid anyway. The networks broadcast their programming as free OTA signals. All the cable TV systems do is pick up that signal and provide it to their subscribers, who could have gotten it OTA for free. The cable TV systems aren’t charging for the content; they’re charging for providing the equivalent of the antenna. These retransmission fees already total several billion dollars a year, all of which comes out of cable TV subscribers’ pockets. The networks are being paid twice, first by their advertisers and then by cable TV subscribers.

It’s long past time that we put a stop to this. In fact, it’s long past time that we put a stop to OTA TV and cable TV and put television networks out of business. That RF spectrum is wasted on broadcast TV. It would be much better used for wireless data. And the cable TV companies should become pure broadband data providers. If people want to watch TV programming, they should be doing it via IP packets. There’s absolutely no need for broadcast television networks, local TV stations, cable TV, or any of the rest of the obsolete infrastructure that grew out of the way things were done 60 years ago.