PUBLIC SERVICE OBLIGATIONS RANT
WHICH VIEWERS ARE MORE IMPORTANT?
SHOULD THE VIEWERS OF PRIMARY STATIONS HAVE MORE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO THEIR PROGRAMMING DESIRES THAN YOUR LOCAL, ETHNIC, OR SPECIAL INTEREST LPTV CHANNEL? IS THIS CONSTITUTIONAL?
With all of the important breaking news about the Class A and LPTV court cases, I have not done a rant in quite a while, which I am sure some of you are glad of. But today I just got to say something. I attended a webinar yesterday hosted by TV Technology, a trade media source we reference in this newsletter on a regular basis. The webinar was a paid event with Howard Symons of the FCC's Incentive Auction Task Force, industry experts, and TV Technology reporter and host. Via the chat function during the webinar I asked the question in the title above. This was live folks, so each of the 7 participants of the event in their own offices, watching slides, and talking. The reporter asked Howard Symons my question. Now before I go any further, you need to know that this dude and I have been dueling now for going on three years about all of the auction crap. So I say with a little glee....back to the story. When asked out of the blue the question, "which viewers were more important, primaries or LPTV viewers?", Howard paused, and then acknowledged that the question threw him some. And then like the pro he is went back to his talking points about all of the things the FCC is going to do for LPTV and translators. But his response is the "tell", the weak spot, the soft underbelly of the FCC's fear about us. It is our viewers, which if aroused, could shake the FCC and Congress to action. And that is just what is going on right now, today, tonight, and for more than 7000 times in the past few weeks. Here is what I found out...
Last month the FCC issued a Notice of Inquiry
(MB Docket No. 16-41)
"Promoting the Availability of Diverse and Independent Sources of Video Programming".
I am planning on filing comments into the proceeding so that the programming concerns and problems of LPTV are included. But what I found out is that
Rural America's Most Important Network
", has mounted a viewer write-in into the proceeding - and as of today have over 7000+ filed comments!!! THIS IS HUGE! But wait - there's more.
I next went over to RabbitEars and checked out the Networks list, and quickly found out that fraking RFD-TV only has two (2) free over the air broadcast outlets.
One is a large translator system (which may be paying for it), and the other a single rural station. So RFD-TV is not using OTA TV at all, or maybe the RabbitEars data is wrong. But it is not. I think it is clear, that what is going on, is yet another network barred from LPTV because of the MVPD-exclusive contracts. Then again, it may just be all about money.
Congress will need to include an additional $1 billion for LPTV and translators also.
- We are providing our public service obligations mission under official spectrum licenses from the FCC, and our viewers are secondary to no other group. If you believe they do not have equal rights, then frak you.
- We have been encouraged to invest into providing free over the air broadcasting to unserved and underserved audiences and communities, that is one of our specific charters.
- We transmit from over 2250 locations, and are authorized for almost 10,000 stations. Of those, about 950 of these locations have only one LPTV or translator. If the vacant channel order goes through, these communities of license for LPTV and translators could be displaced with nowhere to go.
- We still have 1500 remaining analog to digital conversions, split equally between rural translators and urban LPTV.
- We have another 2000+ outstanding new construction permits mostly in rural areas, along major national highways, and clusters of up to 100 MHz in a community.
- Across the country we currently have over 5000 facilities operating, with more than 3000 digital subchannels of diverse, local, and the only low cost access point for broadcast programming ventures.
- Today, over 200 local government agencies are licensees of more than 2400 LPTV and translators. They could have an aggregated unfunded mandate cost of $250 million to relocate transmission facilities or channels.
- When fully built out, LPTV and translators will have over 1.6 billion coverage pops (9.2 billion MHz pops). Today, the primaries and nce have 4 billion, and the Class A's, 500 million coverage pops.
- We have been invited and encouraged to invest into a national EAS reception and transmission capability, which we do everyday, 24/7, to communities and audiences unreached by the primaries. Are we not a vital part of the nation's self-defense and emergency preparedness and communications system?
- WHY ARE OUR VIEWERS ANY LESS IMPORTANT, AND ANY LESS IN NEED OF PUBLIC SERVICE OBILGATIONS?
- WE WANT RELOCATION FUNDING LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!
- FRAK, EVEN THE CABLE COMPANIES GET RELO COST MONEY AND WE DO NOT!!!
- OUR MULTI-CULTURAL, MULTI-GENERATIONAL VIEWERS, CORD CUTTERS AND SHAVERS, AND LOCAL ACCESS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND GROUPS, AND THE ENTRY POINT FOR MEDIA INVESTMENT AND SMALL BIZ ACTIVITIES IS EXACTLY WHAT CONGRESS AND THE FCC, AND THE COURTS, HAVE LEGISLATED AND REGULATED FOR OVER 30 YEARS NOW.
- YOU CREATED US TO FULFILL A VITAL NATIONAL FUNCTION, AND NOW YOU ARE SAYING GO FRAK YOURSELVES AND PAY FOR YOUR OWN RELO MOVES.
- WE NEED A NEW INTERNET AGE INDUSTRIAL FINANCIAL BAILOUT JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER INTEREST GROUP IN THIS DAMN AUCTION PROCESS.
Back to the court cases since we do have more updates from yesterday.