Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kudos to Dish Network for holding out

Kudos to Dish Network for continuing a stand-off with Hearst Television, owners of the local WGAL, Channel 8 television station, about paying a higher fee to carry Hearst television stations' programming.

The Hearst stations continue to "explain" that the impasse continues and Dish is not carrying the Hearst stations as a result. Hearst - at least WGAL - tries to make Dish look like the bad guy by telling Dish viewers they should be getting a reduced rate since the network is not carrying the Hearst stations' contents.

But let's take a closer look at this.  It is Hearst that is demanding Dish to pay a higher fee to carry its content. Not the other way around.  DirecTV already caved to Hearst after not carrying Hearst's content for a few days.

Here's the basic problem for you, the viewer, to consider. The Hearst stations are granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to broadcast its programming to the public for free. If you have an antenna, and the TV station's signal reaches you, you can see their content for free. The television station raises its money to operate by charging sponsors who prepare and carry commercials to you to get you to buy their wares.

If you subscribe to a cable or satellite network system, you pay a fee to get that content.  By all fairness, the only fee you should have to pay to see the commercial broadcast stations that are on the public airwaves, should be the fee that covers that cable system's equipment and operating expense to pick up that commercial channel to send it to you.

But that's what is NOT happening. The television stations are charging the cable systems a fee for the "privilege" of carrying their content .... which of course is absolutely free over the airwaves.

That's what Hearst and other commercial television stations are doing. But it is YOU that will have to pay for the extra fee to the cable system which in turn forwards the extra money to the stations --- whose content is supposed to be free to the public.

Private cable channels, of which they are now many, should have the right to charge you for their content because it is private and they do not broadcast on public airwaves.

For Hearst and other commercial TV outlets, they should NOT have the right to charge you money for their free content.  But that's what they are doing.

So, as long as WGAL and all other Hearst Television outlets as well as other commercial stations claim the problem is with Dish or other cable/satellite systems, it is actually the TV station itself trying to charge YOU more for what was to be free content.

The only way this inside-out method of fleecing you will ever be solved is for lawmakers and the FCC to outlaw the television stations from charging for programming that is meant to be provided for free.

I'll bet you don't like paying a fee to watch a channel that shoves commercial after commercial down your throat.

It's ironic because the commercial television stations using the public airwaves are losing audiences and desperately need to keep as many viewers as they can. Perhaps if they paid as much attention to the quality of programming they provide as they do to trying to fleece you, they may be more popular than they are.