Kagan Research has a new report titled, HDTV Spectrum Monetization 2005: The Economics of Datacasting and Multicasting. The report "evaluates these and other usage options. How will broadcasters make money? How much? It also provides a forward-looking assessment cognizant of current regulatory limitations. Implementation of the economic models proposed in this book should be reviewed in light of operational, financing and technological considerations, legal issues and competitive market developments on each of these fronts:
Datacasting — TV stations choosing to broadcast in HD only part-time or only during prime time would have the full 19.4 Mbps in other dayparts to use for datacasting and other applications. Over the long term, datacasting is likely to become more commonplace. There are literally hundreds of applications and thousands of customers who would be interested in the benefits of datacasting services.
Multicasting — The broadcast industry has been aggressively pursuing regulators to approve must-carry for digital multicast feeds, but has been rebuffed to date. The FCC on Feb. 10, 2005, voted 5-0 and 4-1 to affirm its prior “tentative” decisions not to impose dual analog-digital carriage on cable operators and not to require carriage of more than a single digital programming stream from any one broadcaster. But the battle isn’t over. Broadcasters will now take their case to Congress and the courts.
Multichannel Services — Leasing a portion of unused spectrum to a burgeoning multichannel operator, like USDTV, may develop into an option, but the jury is out for broadcasters over whether such a service has any potential. Can it get the financing? Will broadcasters commit to giving up a slice of bandwidth when capacity is becoming more and more of a precious commodity?"