|A few years ago I saw Doc Searls make a presentation in which he noted, ‘In networked environments, the demand side supplies itself’. It’s a statement that sums up nicely what is happening in today’s TV industry – all beyond the legislators’ gaze.|
I heard recently that a station in a big market was taking over one in a smaller market just for the purpose of taking the smaller one down. Why? My guess is, once over-the-air goes digital, transmitters are just pro formalities. Nobody will be watching “TV” anyway. “Stations” will just be branded sources still wedged inside the old cable TV “must-carry” regulatorium. So if an ABC station goes off the air in City B, and there’s still an NBC station in City A nearby, cable must carry the NBC station from City A. Something like that. In any case, the motives are also economic. Running transmitters pushing a million watts of signal (the maximum allowed on UHF) toward the horizon isn’t cheap.
Pretty soon the “TV” you buy will be an Internet file and stream tuner and recorder, with “must-carry” set-top-box features, so it can still get cable, satellite and over-the-air TV “channels.” In the world that makes, old-fashioned TV will look as antique as the telegraph.