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Well Folks,
I don't know how many read my harp on the electric and air car or solar power being a way to get out from under the Power/Money Hungry Fossil Fuel moguls of our nation.
Today I found a new harp! FREE TV!
This has been around for almost 80 years but with the networks who own Direct TV and many of the cable companies having to dip a little deeper in thier pocket. They are looking to cut corners and you know who's.
With so many businesses going under there is less advertising which helps pay for much of the broadcasting that is shown on pay and free tv (and you thaught that check you wrote everymonth paid that!). Well, not all of it. The broadcast Networks capitolize on everything they can and I am sure they have too. I Get It! I also know that many people who prefer Free TV Shops at many of those business advertising on those Free Broadcast Channels.
However! Before the manufacturers of Televisions decided to upgrade our quality of TV veiwing with High Def or Blue Ray, who even knew our Movies suked (I improvised on that word so as not to offend). They wanted to make TV so real it would be like being there. Go just about anywhere for a dose of reality and hope you don't get mugged. Now That's Reality! I really don't think I would want to be in some of those places ( in the movies)with some of that stuff going on, but thats me.
The point I am trying to make is that tens of thousands of people can't affford the high price of satalite or cable which according to the news is going up.
Try taking care of yourself on $794 a month. I do! I do, however, sell on Ebay and my hut is paid for. Still I would like to watch the news occasionally without it costing me $49 a month. Maybe that's not a good idea, it just gets on my nerves.
Free TV is one of the few luxuries many people still have. GEES! When will we have to start paying to breathe! I know TV is not like FREE AIR but that is going to be on the list as soon as someone figures out how to charge for it.
I want to know if I am the only one who thinks this doing away with Free Broadcasting is a bad idea.

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Here is an article I found on this subject. We are in amist of losing Fox Channel due to Rupert Murdoch wanting 300 percent increase. GREED! I am in a catch 22 because we are contracted with our apt building with Brighthouse and I am unable to switch to another provider. This is an outrage and now they want to dig more money out of our pockets to line their's. I agree with you, this is a very bad idea and it is just another way to make a buck and control us. GRRRRRR

NEW YORK – For more than 60 years, TV stations have broadcast news, sports and entertainment for free and made their money by showing commercials. That might not work much longer.

The business model is unraveling at ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox and the local stations that carry the networks' programming. Cable TV and the Web have fractured the audience for free TV and siphoned its ad dollars. The recession has squeezed advertising further, forcing broadcasters to accelerate their push for new revenue to pay for programming.

That will play out in living rooms across the country. The changes could mean higher cable or satellite TV bills, as the networks and local stations squeeze more fees from pay-TV providers such as Comcast and DirecTV for the right to show broadcast TV channels in their lineups. The networks might even ditch free broadcast signals in the next few years. Instead, they could operate as cable channels — a move that could spell the end of free TV as Americans have known it since the 1940s.

"Good programing is expensive," Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. owns Fox, told a shareholder meeting this fall. "It can no longer be supported solely by advertising revenues."

Fox is pursuing its strategy in public, warning that its broadcasts — including college football bowl games — could go dark Friday for subscribers of Time Warner Cable, unless the pay-TV operator gives Fox higher fees. For its part, Time Warner Cable is asking customers whether it should "roll over" or "get tough" in negotiations.

The future of free TV also could be altered as the biggest pay-TV provider, Comcast Corp., prepares to take control of NBC. Comcast has not signaled plans to end NBC's free broadcasts. But Jeff Zucker, who runs NBC and its sister cable channels such as CNBC and Bravo, told investors this month that "the cable model is just superior to the broadcast model."

The traditional broadcast model works like this: CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox distribute shows through a network of local stations. The networks own a few stations in big markets, but most are "affiliates," owned by separate companies.

Traditionally the networks paid affiliates to broadcast their shows, though those fees have dwindled to near nothing as local stations have seen their audience shrink. What hasn't changed is where the money mainly comes from: advertising.

Cable channels make most of their money by charging pay-TV providers a monthly fee per subscriber for their programing. On average, the pay-TV providers pay about 26 cents for each channel they carry, according to research firm SNL Kagan. A channel as highly rated as ESPN can get close to $4, while some, such as MTV2, go for just a few pennies.

With both advertising and fees, ESPN has seen its revenue grow to $6.3 billion in 2009 from $1.8 billion a decade ago, according to SNL Kagan estimates. It has been able to bid for premium events that networks had traditionally aired, such as football games. Cable channels also have been able to fund high-quality shows, such as AMC's "Mad Men," rather than recycling movies and TV series.

That, plus a growing number of channels, has given cable a bigger share of the ad pie. In 1998, cable channels drew roughly $9.1 billion, or 24 percent of total TV ad spending, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising. By 2008, they were getting $21.6 billion, or 39 percent.

Having two revenue streams — advertising and fees from pay-TV providers — has insulated cable channels from the recession. By contrast, over-the-air stations have been forced to cut staff, and at least two broadcast groups sought bankruptcy protection in 2009.

Fox illustrates the trend: Its broadcast operations reported a 54 percent drop in operating income for the quarter that ended in September. Its cable channels, which include Fox News and FX, grew their operating income 41 percent.

Analyst Tom Love of ZenithOptimedia estimates that ad revenue at the big networks dropped 9 percent in 2009 and will be followed by an 8 percent drop in 2010 and zero growth in 2011.

A small chunk of the ad revenue is being recouped online, where the networks sell episodes for a few dollars each or run ads alongside shows on sites such as Hulu. Media economist Jack Myers projects online video advertising will grow into a $2 billion business by 2012, from just $350 million to $400 million in 2009.

But that is not significant enough to make up for the lost ad revenue on the airwaves. Advertisers spent $34 billion on broadcast commercials in 2008, down by $2.4 billion from two years earlier, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising.

So rather than wait for the Internet to become a bigger source of income, the networks and local stations are mimicking what cable channels do: They're charging pay-TV companies a monthly fee per subscriber to carry their programming.

Since 1994, the Federal Communications Commission has let networks and their affiliates seek payments for including their programming in the pay-TV lineup. Not everyone demanded payments at first. Instead they relied on the broader audience that cable and satellite gave them to increase what they could charge advertisers.

The big networks also were content to let their broadcast stations essentially be subsidized by higher fees for the cable channels that fell under the same corporate umbrella. A pay-TV company negotiating with the Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, is likely paying more for the ABC Family channel than it otherwise would, with the extra assumed to help Disney cover its costs for the ABC network broadcasts.

But over time — such contracts generally run about three years — more networks began demanding payments for the stations they own. And affiliates already receiving the fees have bargained for more money.

Some talks have been tense. In 2007, Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates 32 network-affiliated stations around the country, pulled its signals for nearly a month from Mediacom Communications Corp., which provides cable TV to about 1.3 million subscribers, mainly in small cities.

Mediacom may again lose signals from Sinclair's affiliates in markets as large as Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after last-ditch negotiations on fees Monday failed to produce a replacement for an agreement expiring Friday. Mediacom spokesman Tom Larsen said Sinclair wants a 50 percent hike in fees, though neither company would provide specific figures. Sinclair's general counsel, Barry Faber, said no new talks have been scheduled.

The American Cable Association says its members — mainly small cable TV providers — have seen their costs for carrying local TV stations more than triple over the past three years. The group's head, Matt Polka, says those fees have gone "straight to consumers' pocketbooks" through higher cable bills.

Gannett Co., for instance, which operates 23 stations, has taken in $56 million in fees from pay-TV operators in 2009 after negotiating a new batch of agreements, up from $18 million in 2008. Dave Lougee, president of Gannett's broadcast arm, defends the fees, saying "broadcasters were late to the game in really starting to go after the fair market value of their signals."

Analysts estimate CBS managed to get as much as 50 cents per subscriber in its most recent talks with pay-TV providers that carry CBS-owned stations. CBS Corp. chief Leslie Moonves said such fees should add "hundreds of millions of dollars to revenues annually."

That could be just the beginning. CBS and Fox are also asking for a portion of the fees that their affiliates get, arguing that the networks' shows are what give local stations the leverage to ask for fees.

Over time, the networks might be able to get even more money by abandoning the affiliate structure and undoing a key element of free TV.

Here's why: Pay-TV providers are paying the networks only for the stations the networks own. That amounts to a little less than a third of the TV audience, which means local affiliates recoup two-thirds of the fees. If a network operated purely as a cable channel and cut the affiliates out, the network could get the fees for the entire pay-TV audience.

If forced to go independent, affiliates would have to air their own programming, including local news and syndicated shows.

Fitch Ratings analyst Jamie Rizzo predicts that at least one of the four broadcast networks "could explore" becoming a cable channel as early as 2011.

Any shift would take years, as the networks untangle complicated affiliate contracts. At an analyst conference in 2008, CBS's Moonves called the idea an "a very interesting proposition." But he added that it "would really change the universe that we're in."
Thank You for this! Losing Free TV and Raising the price of Pay Broadcasting is going to affect everyone. We need to stand together on this.
It is a bad idea,because not everyone is hooked into the cable/satellite world,and they would love to be able to watch t.v. without extra charges...but with the advent of HDTV,DVD,etc.,there is a constant tug to get in on the action,and many pay channels are very attractive for their variety,so I guess they will do what they have to do,and besides in many areas it is virtually impossible to get a signal without a dish or cable...thanks for the discussion...enjoyed your sharing of your story and opinion...
MY family and I recently switched to online Netflix .. as close to free as it gets for $20 a month I can watch all the tv and movies I want on the streaming or order up to 4 disks at a time to keep as long as I want. No commercials ,, I can watch entire seasons of the tv shows .. though not the most recent of course and all I needed was my internet feed .. which I was already paying for . Sorry no news programs though .. I don't watch the news anyways .. I check that out on the internet as well ,, every morning with my coffee it is like an unlimited free morning paper with alot more variety.
Because of the switch from analog to digital, we had to go with a satalite. Now we have a $60 a month bill. We had to pay extra for our local channels.

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