Wondering what KCET in Los Angeles is planning to program now that it’s severing its PBS membership? Scott Collins in the Los Angeles Times and Kevin Roderick in LA Observed provide some early information. Thanks to @tomwhiteindc for the tip. --Dennis
In spite of agreeing in the past that over the air TV is doomed, Babbage describes how cable has caused him to erect an antenna and “cut the cord.” He writes:
… As part of its broadband plan this year, the FCC sponsored a study that revealed when poorer Americans made choices about information services, they would rather keep their mobile phone connection than an internet connection. Cable television runs a distant third. …
So here's what I don't know. Am I, with my free broadcast television, enjoying a subsidy that won't be sustainable in the future? Television stations may yet decide to auction off their licences to deal with the (very real) spectrum crunch. The antenna atop my house would then be just as large, but much, much sillier. Or is there a way to program television channels better? What if channels not only accepted, but embraced digital video recorders? What if a broadcast channel saw itself not as a stream to be tuned in to, but as a stream to be recorded? …
Michael Grotticelli has a report on the several station experiments underway with mobile TV in the U.S., all using the ATSC-M/H standard and all “in search of a business model.” He reports that WSB-TV in Atlanta is offering radio, but I wasn’t able to find it on an otherwise interesting looking wsbtv.com Mobile tab. Link: Broadcast Engineering.
On Thursday, the FCC’s chairman, Julius Genachowski, announced the Commission’s November agenda, and it includes formalizing rules for the upcoming voluntary (on the give up side) spectrum auction. Deborah McAdams reports more on what this means and on a Spectrum Summit also sponsored on Thursday by the FCC here: Link: TV Technology.
Among the observations of a white paper released at the Summit (I’m looking for a link to the paper, buthere’s a link to the associated press release), mobile broadband will drive a “spectrum deficit” of 300 MHz within the next five years.
Of all the loopy ideas floating around in the broadcasting industry, the idea of limiting the internet reach of stations to preserve antiquated exclusivity constraints must be the loopiest. Mark Ramsey gives this idea what it deserves in a new post. He writes:
…Handicapping the power of the Internet to fit into a hundred-year-old media model is like bringing back Hawaii Five-O with the surviving members of the original cast rather than remaking it for the new era in which it is reborn. It is, in other words, just plain dumb….
At least with radio streaming, this is likely to cut you off from people with whom you already have a relationship. A few years back I did a geo check of IP addresses for the streams of stations I ran in the Pacific Northwest and for a friend’s station in Florida. Note that since it was for streams, not text, it’s highly unlikely that they were found by a listener through Google – so, they had a relationship with you. In both cases, 1/3 were within the stations’ coverage area, 1/3 were in the region, but not in the coverage area, and 1/3 were elsewhere in the U.S. and around the globe. Do you want to cut off 2/3 of your listening? --Dennis
Verne G. Kopytoff writes of the pretty intense and growing competition for streaming rights to fresh film and television product. He writes:
… The weakness of the streaming service is movie selection. Netflix’s catalog of 20,000 streaming movies does not include many recent Hollywood hits because Netflix has been unable to negotiate rights from all the studios. Netflix has about five times as many titles in its DVD catalog. ¶ Many of the company’s studio deals require it to delay making titles available — either on DVD or online — until they have been on store shelves for 28 days. …
Jessica Clark has written a great overview of new public media initiatives with this title for Mark Glaser's MediaShift blog. Important tutorial for pubcasting execs; well worth your time. Link: PBS.org. --Dennis
As the media has reported extensively this week (for example here and here) the FCC is poised to tap into the television spectrum to allow the use of that spectrum on an unlicensed basis, potentially leading to a wave of innovative unlicensed devices, including potentially turbo-charged Wi-Fi. On the tentative agenda released recently for the next open Commission meeting, to be held next Thursday, September 23rd, the Commission has included an item entitled: "TV White Spaces Second MO&O: A Second Memorandum Opinion and Order that will create opportunities for investment and innovation in advanced Wi-Fi technologies and a variety of broadband services by finalizing provisions for unlicensed wireless devices to operate in unused parts of TV spectrum."
Liz Gannes reports on a study of 90 children age 3-12 in the U.S. and Israel by Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group of a wide variety of children's websites, including PBS Kids. The study concludes that, unlike adults, children are more app oriented than search oriented. Interesting reading. Link: GigaOM. --Dennis
Nine of ten visitors to local televisions station websites are already fans of the station, but only half of any given station’s “fans” visit their website. This startling piece of information comes from AR&D cross-platform media studies based on 2,200 interviews with consumers and reveals a major weakness in the operating strategies of local television companies. Online, according to AR&D senior analyst Rory Ellender, “stations are only playing to their on-air audience and not even doing a very good job of that.” ¶ This is the fruit of trying only to be a television station online, while the marketplace is vastly bigger. …
After some analysis, he goes on to recommend that stations “need to creat an online news service that is 100% Web native,” that they “need to be able to separate [their] ability to make money from [their] ability to create content,” and that they “need to place strategic control of making local money in the hands of local people.”