said by fifty nine:
So are you implying that it costs nothing to run a cable network?
No. I said that it cost them nothing for the content, their equipment and operation costs are paid by those that wish to pay for cable/sat services.
Recently there has been an Astroturf movement dubbed "save local TV". What it boils down to is that private for profit companies are demanding more public money to provide content they have already stopped producing. There are no local TV stations in Canada, each one is wholly owned and operated by one of a handful of media companies (tel/cable). A decade ago the "local" TV station actually produced local shows, programs, and most importantly news (@6, 12 6, 11), today they have a two news broadcasts (6 & 11) which is mostly spiced together network content rehash mixed with some local filler (mostly sports and weather). Frankly the quality is absurdly low (somewhere between a Dog & Pony show or a kindergarten school play) but the only reason it has not been cut is they are required to do this as per regulations. Apparently doing the least is too much, they now expect consumers and the government to give them more money, if they dont get it they demand that the lowest standard be lowered further.
While you guys have the looming Comcast NBC merger looming, up here the cable and communications companies have already done the same thing. Bell Canada (traditional phone, wireless services) owns stations, a network, and offers Sat and Internet TV along with phone/mobile/Internet services. Rogers (traditional a cable co) owns two networks, several stations (including radio) and offers cable TV/internet/phone services. Shaw also a cable co owns TV stations a network, and offers phone, cable & sat TV products. Cogoco had TV stations but sold them off, and offers cable internet/TV/ phone services. Telus (traditional phone co) has no stations or network but does offer phone/mobile/internet services.
Three companies are the entire TV system in Canada.
The hitch is they are all geographically based so at best you have a choice of one, sometimes two (in large markets) but rarely more then that. More to that is within each area the level of equipment varies so one has even fewer options and because of the total lack of reasonable competition the sky is the limit in how much these companies charge.
Spam spam, or spam which do you choose?