The FCC requires that the basic channels remain free to maintain their license but broadcasters are allowed to eliminate trick plays so the consumer has to watch commercials or they can limit recording. They could also bundle premium channels that would be Pay per view.
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Which is why I’ve come to dread ATSC 3.0. I don’t watch live- and don’t want to ever be forced back into doing so.
And, real world, in the broadcast offices: “Let’s see, we can broadcast 4 HDish signals - or umpteen low quality ones, possibly bringing in more eyes at less cost to us. Which way makes more money for us?”