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Author Topic: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option  (Read 6350 times)

OTAWatcher

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Interesting article By Alan Pergament from the Buffalo news about OTA TV viewing


I call it the gift that keeps on giving.

I refer to the unintended consequences of a TV event that happened in 2008.

During a contentious dispute with Channel 4 that took the CBS affiliate off the air for 26 days, Time Warner Cable gave rabbit ears antennas to subscribers.

It was TWC’s way of telling subscribers that they could get Channel 4 for free over the air.

I could use the antenna this afternoon to get Western New York’s newest over-the-air digital channel, GetTV, and watch the classic film “From Here to Eternity” with Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr and Frank Sinatra.


I could also turn to Bounce TV on my antenna this afternoon and watch the basketball film “Glory Road” or “Malcolm X” with Denzel Washington,


The $3 antenna has allowed me to watch Buffalo Bills games on Channel 4, which comes in much clearer on the digital channel than on TWC.


In the last several months, the antenna has enabled me to get several over-the-air digital channels that primarily serve the 10 percent of households that don’t have cable, satellite dishes or FiOS.


WNYO-TV, the Sinclair Broadcasting station on Channel 49, recently joined the over-the-air explosion by offering GetTV, the new 24-hour channel from Sony Pictures, on Channel 49.2.
  WUTV, the other Sinclair station, already carries a country music channel on Channel 29.2.  WNLO-TV, the local CW affiliate on Channel 23 owned by LIN Media, carries “Bounce,” which calls itself the first African-American broadcast network, on Channel 23.2.
WGRZ-TV, the local NBC affiliate on Channel 2, offers the 24-hour Weather Plus, on digital channel 2.2, and a classic television channel, Antenna TV, on 2.3.

A newcomer in the digital channel business is retired Lockport Police Officer Steve Ritchie, who offers classic television programs via Cozi TV and another channel on low power channels 56.1 and 56.2.

I doubt that many cable, dish and FiOS subscribers will drop their expensive services and rely on the broadcast channels and their digital channels for all their TV entertainment.

But some people might.


The local stations offering the extra channels really aren’t risking much. They don’t pay for programming and don’t need to hire a staff because they already have one for their regular channels.


They aren’t adding the channels to get rich or even make any money at all.


WNYO General Manager Nick Magnini and WIVB General Manager René LaSpina said the corporate owners of their stations made the deals to carry GetTV and Bounce, respectively, and they don’t have much to do with them.


Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner, whose station is owned by Gannett, has been the most aggressive in programming the digital channels and has even been able to get his two on Time Warner Cable and FiOS.

Magnini expects Sinclair to try to get GetTV on cable.

“Why wouldn’t you?” he asked.


“Bounce” which hasn’t been promoted much, if at all, locally, is available on WNY’s smallest distributor, FiOS.

“Its unique programming helps us better serve the large percentage of African-American households in the community,” wrote a LIN spokeswoman in response to questions.

She added that the channel is a great fit, has advertisers and is carried by FiOS in Buffalo.


Actually, FiOS is carried in Western New York suburbs and not Buffalo. The spokeswoman didn’t respond to questions about why Bounce isn’t on Time Warner, which services the city, where most African-Americans live.

Toellner has proven that getting the digital channels on cable – which expand their audience – can be done. He acknowledges that WGRZ isn’t making a lot of money on the extra channels, even though they are on cable.

So why is he carrying them?


“It is branding, it’s capacity, it’s serving our customers,” he said.


It is difficult to make money now because Nielsen doesn’t provide ratings for advertisers to see because the cost to the stations might be higher than the revenue the stations would bring in.


But Toellner believes he has evidence that people watch such Antenna TV offerings as “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “All in the Family” and “Barney Miller.”


“Anecdotally, we get a lot of people; a lot of Canadians watch it,” Toellner said.


“If Antenna TV goes off the air, if we have a technical problem, we get a lot of phone calls or emails.”

He added that the station received numerous complaints when he took down a weather channel distributed by NBC.

Weather Plus, which Channel 2 carries on 2.2, does have some costs. The station adds local content from its weather staff to the national reports. Additionally, the traffic department has to put together the logs for the day that detail when and where the commercials air.


“Hard costs aren’t real high, but they are enough to make you think,” Toellner said.

The chief benefactors of the digital channels – besides viewers – are movie and television studios.
“All the studios are trying to monetize their libraries because they are not too successful in syndication anymore,” Toellner said.

Ritchie figures that his costs are about $20,000 a year, primarily for the rental of a tower and electricity. He also pays $25 to $50 to carry episodes of certain programs on 56.2 and charges between $5 and $10 for a 30-second commercial to pay for them.


“Right now, I’m still taking a little bit of a loss,” said Ritchie.


He is getting an education in the business. Some of the programmers don’t want to put their shows on digital channels unless they get on cable, he said.


“I’ve been told that you can’t carry Antenna TV unless you are on cable,” said Ritchie, “which is ironic because it is called Antenna TV.”


He had no such problem making a deal with Cozi TV, which is owned by NBC Universal and carries such classic programs as “Bionic Woman,” “Maverick” and “Charlie’s Angels.”


He isn’t expecting to get rich. But for Ritchie, there is a priceless aspect to running TV stations.


“I am enjoying it,” he said. “A lot of people email and tell me they are watching TV over the air now and got rid of cable and they are happy there are so many more choices now over the air.”


And he is happy to see competition from GetTV.


“I welcome it. It gives more choices over the air, so maybe it will bring more people to watch TV over the air,” Ritchie said. “As cable prices go up and up, people are looking for some other way to cut money, and it might be a choice.”


In other words, it is a potential gift for everyone.


Source: http://www.buffalonews.com/columns/alan-pergament/more-programming-is-making-over-the-air-tv-viewing-a-great-option-20140720

joshua minaya

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2015, 06:23 am »
This is certainly good piece of information i am glad their is more competition in this sector. This means that subscribers are now expecting better and improved service in the very near future.

6up

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2015, 02:38 am »
Everybody's taste is guaranteed, people can watch whatever they want at any time. Science and technology has fascinated many, people have to look out for new trends through this media. It is also cost effective and age limits clearly advised of.

mairj23

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 05:24 pm »
For me, over the air programming is only good for the news and some sports. As far as TV shows and movies, they're very weak. The big networks, ABC, Fox, CBS, and NBC have no quality shows anymore. They all seem to rotate their shows as well, from one network to the other.

E.Mil

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 02:58 am »
I know for me I didn't have paid tv service and used the over the air programming. It was good because that's all I had. There were some new channels that came up on the analog that now with paid tv service I don't have and would like to.

wahmed

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2015, 10:02 am »
I think its excellent. It covers everyone's wants and needs. I find it amazing how man is making so many advancements. We used to have o e channel and now there are limitless.

mairj23

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2015, 03:48 pm »
This does sound good for many reasons. Over the air tv should be free like it always has been nut it seems like politicians are trying to change that. I don't think it will pass anyhow but it's good to see other competitors out there.

westmixxin

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2015, 08:12 pm »
 It's amazing that the trying to expand the airwaves to be honest with you. Depending on what kind of package you get if you're going to go for cable or satellite you can end up with thousands of channels. It's amazing that all these different networks could actually be in business at the same time and be able to survive simply because of an individual's needs are completely ignore the fact that they have ADHD and continuously change channels.

mairj23

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2015, 07:28 pm »
OTA programming is starting to have more channels since everything went digital a few years ago. Still, the quality of shows on the networks of ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox are weak. The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, New Girl, NCSI, Saturday Night Live, and Law and Order are all weak shows and outdated. Cable and satellite will always be better because the programs are more edgier.

easily confused

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2015, 10:43 am »
"Cable and satellite will always be better because the programs are more edgier."

Would really dispute this statement. I have 35 OTA channels, a 30" dish for FTA satellite Ku band and a 7 1/2' C/Ku Band FTA dish. While my channel selection is far different from Bell, Shaw or any cable, it is every bit as good and free. I dropped Bull Expressvu many years ago simply because it was basically turning into pure garbage. I would never go back to either of the Canadian satellite providers considering my selection that I get for free and legally.

mairj23

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2015, 11:58 pm »
Like I answered before, OTA tv is better than it used to be but still lacks good, in depth programming. Most of these extra channels only show reruns of shows from the 70's and 80's. While some just rotate ABC's shows to NBC, NBC's show's over to CBS and so on. So you're  basically watching the same shows on 3 or 4 different networks.

JohnBeaulieu

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I have an antenna on one of the inputs on my TV. I pick up over 20 digital channels in my area and at least half of them are not carried by my satellite service provider. It is a nice option to have. it is a good back up during outages as well.

JohnBeaulieu

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Most of the channels I receive are not carried by my satellite provider. I like some of the niche channels that I haven't found anywhere else. I'm fortunate enough to live bear an urban center and have good reception. It is great to have the antenna option during an outage of service. I don't have a digital converter because I have a digital TV. It is nice to not need the extra equipment.

mairj23

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2015, 03:45 pm »
I don't think so. Most OTA channels repeat the same tv shows. ABC shows are seen on NBC, While NBC shows are seen on CBS and so on. The content is weak and only cater to a certain demographic...white people.

JohnBeaulieu

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Re: More programming is making over-the-air TV viewing a great option
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2015, 09:49 pm »
I don't think so. Most OTA channels repeat the same tv shows. ABC shows are seen on NBC, While NBC shows are seen on CBS and so on. The content is weak and only cater to a certain demographic...white people.


That couldn't be more wrong. New original programming isn't generally shared on networks. They aren't all running the same thing. You must be confusing reruns and old syndicated material with normal network programming. There are a lot of specialty channels that are available OTA dependent on where you live. Making a blanket statement of it all being the same bad programming targeted at a particular race is untrue and fairly ignorant.

 

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