Who pays to put FTA out there? (1 Viewer)

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thisBUDsforyou

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 9, 2007
141
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Question for the board - who pays to send content up to the birds for broadcast in the clear? Religious channels presumably are paid for by contributors, barker channels by the advertisers, foreign language channels mostly by foreign governments, NASA TV by the gov't, PBS feeds by PBS contributors, but who pays for things like ABC News Now or the RTN channels?

Going forward, what are the prospects for more FTA content? It's kinda expensive (millions and millions) to launch satellites, and cost to use a transponder is in the hundreds of dollars per hour - what kind of business model will support more FTA stuff? Has the number of available FTA channels increased significantly in say the past five years?
 
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vfrjim

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 23, 2005
635
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Rhode Island
Many of the broadcasts are intended for certain parties, not really for us but since they are not spending the extra money for a Conditional Access system, hence they become FTA.

OR somtimes, they do not turn on the CA system because a rollout of new equipt has not been finished and need for everyone to receive it, hence we get it FTA till the new equipt has been distributed. (or it is a back up feed)

There are other reasons....
 

Davage

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 26, 2005
1,063
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Southwestern Ontario
I wonder why the Equity Broadcasting company would uplink some channels on both C and Ku-Band in the clear as well... Paying for the dual-illumination must cost a lot of money.
 

thisBUDsforyou

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 9, 2007
141
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I guess that's a major part of the appeal of the FTA hobby - it seems to have a certain I-found-a-penny-on-the sidewalk quality to it. Wow, look what's out there for free! Sounds like broadcasters kind of bank on there not being very many people willing to go to the trouble and expense of putting up a dish and buying a receiver. But for those who do, lots of unexpected treasures. Which we won't go into too much detail about here, lest the broadcasters decide there's too much attention being paid and decide to scramble stuff.

I've had terrestrial digital OTA for about 4 years now (and no subscription services at all) and still get crazy looks from people who can't quite fathom the idea - I get the "who is your provider" question a lot. Oh I used to have cable, I tell them, then I upgraded to wireless digital. I find plenty to watch (3 different PBS stations here in Philly) and to me $50-60/ month for Comcast or DirecTV or Dishnet just isn't worth it. So the attraction of FTA to me is just the idea of being able to get a few more free channels to add to my $0 a month setup. The hacker route doesn't sound like much fun either - if you're going to spend hours and hours playing cat and mouse with DN, why not just pay the damn subscription fee and be done with it? I'm still waiting for equipment to arrive, but it sounds to me like FTA content is more interesting than what is available on the pay services - foreign language stuff, Al Jazeera in English, feeds that broadcasters don't think anyone is watching and stuff like that.

From reading these forums it sounds like a fair number of FTA people also have pay services, but there are also a fair number of people like me who are, shall we say, careful with their money (there are less polite ways of putting it) and who find the idea of getting free channels for a one-time investment in equipment attractive.
 
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digiblur

SatelliteGuys Master
Jun 8, 2005
14,190
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Louisiana
Sounds like FTA is right up your alley then. We watch mostly OTA here with some FTA to fill in the gaps.
 

stogie5150

Crazed Cajun Rebel
Jan 7, 2007
3,819
46
Slidell,LA
, but there are also a fair number of people like me who are, shall we say, careful with their money (there are less polite ways of putting it) and who find the idea of getting free channels for a one-time investment in equipment attractive.

You can say it, we don't mind...we're CHEAP! :D:up
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
295
43
Mankato, MN
I wonder why the Equity Broadcasting company would uplink some channels on both C and Ku-Band in the clear as well... Paying for the dual-illumination must cost a lot of money.

some of the dual channels are in areas where it snows big time (Buffalo and the UP of Michigan)...C-Band is pretty stable during a blizzard whereas KU isnt ;)
 

tvropro

On Vacation
Mar 9, 2007
6,872
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I wonder why the Equity Broadcasting company would uplink some channels on both C and Ku-Band in the clear as well... Paying for the dual-illumination must cost a lot of money.

They are all backhauls for the tv stations. I believe Equity does all the the back end work then the tv station just airs it. They have to be turning a profit from advertising or it wouldn't be up there in the first place. Were just along for a free ride since there not enrypted.
 

Davage

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 26, 2005
1,063
0
Southwestern Ontario
some of the dual channels are in areas where it snows big time (Buffalo and the UP of Michigan)...C-Band is pretty stable during a blizzard whereas KU isnt ;)

I've been caught in those snow storms in the UP more than once, so I know that you are telling the truth! :) I just don't see why they wouldn't just put it up all on C-Band instead of both C and Ku... I'm very appreciative of the Ku feeds, and have enjoyed them for quite some time before I put up my C-Band dish. I just don't see the business logic of the dual-illumination.. Oh well, I guess they're making money, so there's got to be a good business plan and enough money coming in to pay for both. Thanks Equity!
 

tvropro

On Vacation
Mar 9, 2007
6,872
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There not doing that with many channels. I know WNGS is there flagship station so thats probably why that is there. It's actually cheaper now using digital thaen it was in the past with analog. C band is the winner when it come to bad weather.
 

mastermesh

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2006
1,987
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ever notice quite a few of the equity commercials have broad appeal... not just local stuff... there's reasons for that I think...
 

red2grass

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2005
65
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SF Bay Area
Probably they try to provide some reduncy since satellite is the only mean they transfer their signals. Otherwise, a single failure at KU will black out all the local stations. All their stations are local free OTA stations and they make money on commercials I assume. The more people can see their channels the more money then can charge on commercials, so why do they ever want to scramble the signal to shrink viewer bases although I don't think they really care about FTA viewers much.
 

Davage

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 26, 2005
1,063
0
Southwestern Ontario
Probably they try to provide some reduncy since satellite is the only mean they transfer their signals. Otherwise, a single failure at KU will black out all the local stations. All their stations are local free OTA stations and they make money on commercials I assume. The more people can see their channels the more money then can charge on commercials, so why do they ever want to scramble the signal to shrink viewer bases although I don't think they really care about FTA viewers much.

In the scenario where all of the revenue comes from advertising, then that makes perfect sense to try get as many viewers as possible.

It is a shame that channels like A&E, History, Discovery, etc that all have commercials in them aren't able to just broadcast unscrambled and then rely on the advertisers to foot the bill. I don't like paying for tv that has commercials in it. I have no problem with paying my Starz subscription to watch commercial-free movies, it just bugs me to pay $2/month to watch The Weather Channel that is still packed with commercials.

I have an XM Satellite Radio subscription, that I don't mind paying, because I listen mostly to the commercial-free music channels. It would be nice if there was Free-To-Air XM or Sirius channels that were advertiser supported and you could listen to them by simply purchasing the radio. (But I'm not holding my breath for that to happen)

To the folks who are footing the bill for the FTA channels, such as WhiteSprings, and the Equity Broadcasting group - Thank You! Count me in as another viewer to get your advertising dollars..
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
295
43
Mankato, MN
ever notice quite a few of the equity commercials have broad appeal... not just local stuff... there's reasons for that I think...

because all the channels come from Little Rock so they can input the same 5 commercials across all their channels. Lots of those commercials are public domain and can be used as much as possible :)
 

jayelem

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 5, 2006
1,305
0
Chicago suburbs.
From reading these forums it sounds like a fair number of FTA people also have pay services, but there are also a fair number of people like me who are, shall we say, careful with their money (there are less polite ways of putting it) and who find the idea of getting free channels for a one-time investment in equipment attractive.

I am frugal and also very happy with FTA.

I just recently filled out an online form for the 2 HDTV converter boxes coupons the goverment is giving out to subsidize costs , and there are 2 priority levels, 1 for those who subscribe to satellite or cable and 1 for the others who receive TV via OTA.

I checked off the second box , I do not subscribe to Satellite or Cable, there is of course a warning to those answering that the information provided shall not be false or may constitute as perjury ......yada -yada-yada.


I curently own 3 SD TV sets and the oldest is 6 yrs old and the newest I've had for a year , I definitely need an option for OTA reception because I've never felt it a neccesity to pay for my local programming thru dish or cable.
 

Davage

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 26, 2005
1,063
0
Southwestern Ontario
I am frugal and also very happy with FTA.

If it wasn't for the wife and kids, I'd be living off what I could pick out of the sky and over the air for free...

My wife just doesn't like the 'fiddle-vision' of tinkering with multiple receivers, LNB polarities, etc as much as I do... I have my 4DTV and DVB free-to-air sets that I get a lot of my entertainment from, and my wife has her PVR from Bell ExpressVu... :) It really bugs me to pay for tv, because it is here, and then it is gone... Nothing to show for it after the money is spent. When I buy a piece of FTA gear, at least I have something to show for the money I've spent.. (and it usually has a FORTEC name on it :D)
 

brentb636

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 24, 2006
4,278
6
5 miles N of Saugatuck, Mi
If it wasn't for the wife and kids, I'd be living off what I could pick out of the sky and over the air for free...

My wife just doesn't like the 'fiddle-vision' of tinkering with multiple receivers, LNB polarities, etc as much as I do... I have my 4DTV and DVB free-to-air sets that I get a lot of my entertainment from, and my wife has her PVR from Bell ExpressVu... :) It really bugs me to pay for tv, because it is here, and then it is gone... Nothing to show for it after the money is spent. When I buy a piece of FTA gear, at least I have something to show for the money I've spent.. (and it usually has a FORTEC name on it :D)

Sounds like we share philosophies and circumstances. Only , MY wife is wedded to a DishNet DVR and big sub.
:)
 

thisBUDsforyou

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 9, 2007
141
0
I am frugal and also very happy with FTA.

I just recently filled out an online form for the 2 HDTV converter boxes coupons the goverment is giving out to subsidize costs , and there are 2 priority levels, 1 for those who subscribe to satellite or cable and 1 for the others who receive TV via OTA.


I curently own 3 SD TV sets and the oldest is 6 yrs old and the newest I've had for a year , I definitely need an option for OTA reception because I've never felt it a neccesity to pay for my local programming thru dish or cable.
I'm very frugal, but my philosophy is if there's something I really want and need I'll buy it. But every purchase has to meet a test of do I really want this and does it fit in with my values. Subscription TV doesn't meet that test, but one thing I splurged on that I really enjoy is the Philips DVDR 3575H - it has the ATSC tuner you need for digital OTA but it also records to a 160 GB hard drive. So it has TIVO-like capabilities without any monthly fee. This thing has totally changed my TV viewing habits. See a review here:
Compare Prices and Read Reviews on Philips DVDR3575H/37 (160 GB) HDD Recorder at Epinions.com
This may be more than you want to spend. I paid 298.99 at WalMart; CircuitCity had it for 289.99 last time I checked. Don't hold me to this but I would think the $40 coupon could be used for this.
 
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