2008-12-24

The future of free TV

May be worthwhile keeping an eye on this situation with Bermuda Broadcasting. With Cablevision attempting to drop its carrying of the local TV stations, and Bermuda Broadcasting apparently continuing to lose money, one would wonder about the future of local 'free' television. I think that free television is on a similar level as public transportation in that it's virtually an essential service that if it wasn't present, it would be severely detrimental to those parts of the community not in a position to afford subscription television as they won't have access to televised news and entertainment.

If the chairperson who's behind the plan to purchase outright the stations and property has ideas to infuse much-needed cash into Bermuda Broadcasting we'll be better off for it.

Some people have a "who cares" attitude and think that because of the low quality of local broadcasts that it would be better if the stations went off the air. But imagine a country where the only outlet for televised news was (1) only available if you subscribed to another company's broadcasting outlet at cost and (2) only provided by the Government of the day.

4 comments:

philwells said...

What's so special about televised news? Folks could always get their local news from the radio or internet.

I'm unconvinced by your comparison to public transport too - access to public transport is considerably more important than access to three channels of entertainment, but public transport isn't free (yet).

I think more people would benefit from the collapse of the BBC than are currently benefiting from free access to the channels it has exclusive rights to. Perhaps if they and CableVision were capable of working together on things like making HD versions (or hey, even SD versions with half-way decent picture and sound quality) of those channels available I'd have more sympathy for them.

Tryangle said...

Comparion isn't based on being free but being a public service. Maybe word choice was poor, as I defintely think public transport trumps tv.

Also, people that can't afford cable aren't likely to afford Internet.

Should BBC go under, then you also lose a few radio stations and there more independent newsmedia sources.

Enhanced options like HD would be great to have, but would that make financial sense for the broadcasters to pursue at this time?

Tryangle said...

I'm on the crackberry so don't feel like trying to follow up again :-) but
I do agree there's nothing exciting whatsoever about the current televised news. Changing the look of the blue screen every two years is the highlight.

Change is needed and maybe them going under could indeed ignite a paradigm shift in local broadcasting, but I don't see a solution along that lines that benefits the poorest among us.

Anonymous said...

One thing that hasn't gotten any attention is the fact that cablevision costumers already pay $13 a month for these so called free channels, and on there website they say this money is for maintenance of there building. So I fell that bbc is in there right to request payment for these channels.