Let Barton Handle the Complaints
By BroadCasting & Cable Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/22/2005 8:00:00 PM
Editor: Broadcasters should step up to the plate and stop taking the “broadcaster-bashing” from the folks in Washington, D.C. The reality in this situation is the broadcasters hold all the cards. It just seems they are reluctant to play them.
I have a proposal that will solve several issues simultaneously. It is a very simple plan. We go to the folks on the Hill and tell them if they want the analog spectrum back quickly; fine, how about next week. We'll shut down our analog facilities. We can do this very quickly, just by pushing the transmitter's off button.
Our monthly rates for analog transmission services could be structured at a very reasonable cost: We'll take our DTV plant costs and divide it by the number of months you want us to run the analog plant. We'll just charge them our costs.
Oh, by the way, since most of our stations don't have DTV carriage consent agreements in place with cable systems, if cable or DBS providers want to carry our DTV signals (since the analog agreements won't apply anymore), it's going to cost you cash this time. How about $1 per sub to start? No more of this barter stuff. I suspect that cable companies will suddenly be more reasonable on the DTV carriage issue.
I suspect our analog facilities wouldn't be off the air more than 15 minutes. In fact, we wouldn't have to do this in all of the country, How about just Barton's Sixth Congressional District in Texas? I suspect the folks in Arlington, Fort Worth and Waxahachie wouldn't hesitate to solve the problem—quickly.
Barton and others seem to think they can bluff, but we know that, if they are “called,” they'll fold their hands. We have the Royal Flush.
Wallace & Associates
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