Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cashing In On The Digital Switchover?

I was writing a comment to a post that Pat Powers had today (apparently he doesn't read my blog either) over at the SDWC in regards to the old news on KSFY's negotiations with Goldenwest and all of a sudden it hit me. Are local stations like KSFY in this case and KELO with their recent dispute with Dish Network trying to cash in on February's government mandated digital switchover?

My original thinking on this was who cares if Goldenwest drops KSFY, i'll just use my rooftop antenna to pick up the station in the very rare case that they have something on that I can't find elsewhere. In my case that is no problem because my digital ready antenna is hooked up to my nice big HDTV with it's included digital tuner which will have no problem tuning in to KSFY's digital signal when the switchover happens. What if you are like what I can only assume is many folks in that you are relying on having cable or satellite to keep giving you your local stations without the need for getting a new TV or buying the digital converter box?

If that is you, you would be out of luck.

So with that being said, isn't is interesting that local stations, whom have had 16 plus years of exclusive broadcast rights guaranteed by federal law that mandates that cable and satellite companies cannot broadcast out of market stations, are only now starting to ask for payment for such signals?

Hmmm, their sudden interest in getting paid couldn't have anything to do with the fact that they have most of us over a barrel would it? Reminds me of that old Seinfeld episode dealing with "hand", they have it and apparently some are looking to cash in on it.

UPDATE 1/1 - Apparently neither side caved as KSFY is indeed no longer being broadcast on Goldenwest in Canistota. Goodbye KSFY you and your "Wheel of Felons" will not be missed.

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