DrP, on Jan 5 2010, 04:34 PM, said:
You will be able to get a 'generic' edition of the commercial networks, whatever that actually means.
This raises a lot of huge issues to overcome,
- South Australia. A non-aggregated market where depending on location you get WIN Seven and WIN Ten with a digital Nine, Southern Cross GTS/BKN and Southern Cross Ten with no Nine or Imparja and Southern Cross Central with no Ten. Now this service is proposing all the digital multichannels, yet current restrictions prevent the terrestrial broadcasters carrying all of the proposed offerings. Does this mean that these satellite viewers will get more services than terrestrial ones? (and if so will viewers be able to opt in to Satellite?)
Moreover, the sattelite channels you get surely would be limited based on location, however it seems very inefficient to broadcast a Southern Cross operated Go! and a WIN one to the SA market. If this wasn't the proposal, would this mean that there would be sharing of these multichannels, and varying ownership structures? Can there be a joint venture company for a digital multichannel that is not licensed directly?
- Remote areas within states. Will this mean that regional viewers outside of NT and far-regional Queensland (the 'aggregated' QQQ/IMP market) will get their closest stations, or will you have two classes of 'remote', where if you are within a licence area but can't receive a signal you'll get your local station on Satellite, but if you are outside any licence area you will get an irrelevant one from a different timezone?
If it did mean a reduction in the size of the QQQ/IMP coverage areas, as would be logical, would they still be viable? Would they also be carrying multichannels they never took terrestrially?
- The sheer number of channels needed. Without extensive joint ventures, you will need three sets of channels in Victoria, four in SA, five in NSW and Qld and two elsewhere. That is over 300 channels to provide the quoted 16 per market (and supposedly some HD in that mix). To do those joint ventures means very complex discussions to work out just who is paying for things and who is getting the revenue (if that exists on niche regional satellite channels), and issues over broadcasters exceeding their market areas.
- The 'local news' channels. So basically you'll just get a loop of WIN news and some noodle updates so they can avoid having to have per sub-region variations, this is hardly going to be of benefit, as you'd need to know exactly when to tune in to see your local news.
- I won't dare to ask whether you'll get things like NITV on this service, let alone the community stations for metro viewers who can't get a signal.
That said the extra conversions of transmitters is good, hopefully they will use flash cuts rather than burden the community with the costs of simulcasting. I also wonder what satellite they will use for this, will it be open such that Austar or Foxtel Sat viewers will get their local stations?