Radio and TV Disappearing

Free TV AND Radio are dying out to cable and satellite.  It’s so sad to “watch” and “listen” as it happens.  Long ago, it was decided the air waves belonged to the public; that private companies could use them to broadcast over them but that they owed something to the public in return.  I’ve watched as those companies improved what they provided on their side by way of news and important information and then came the decline.  Now the big broadcasters provide so little to the public.

I can actually understand why the Congress and FCC decided to snatch the very versatile and VALUABLE analog spectrum away from them, shoving them over to digital TV.  Of course, that has already cost us and will continue to do so.  In the switch, many lost their access.  Some lost it because they couldn’t afford new equipment but many more lost their access because the transmission range of the digital signal was reduced by many local transmitters.

In recent weeks, it seems the Networks are considering making deals with the cable folks according to Campaign Outsider and MediaPost Blogs.  Finally, the local stations realize they may get ditched in the process so they’ve teamed up and NAB is running those commercials about Keep Free TV.  It’s too bad more didn’t call the FCC to object to digital in the first place, just to protect that analog use because we may find digital isn’t all it’s been touted to be but that didn’t happen.  Even as poor as the economy is, people just keep paying for cable and that leaves only 12 million over air users.  So strange, I’ve just never seen a good reason to support cable and satellite because I think making news and information freely available is so fundamental to America.

And then there’s radio which has betrayed us over and over.  The local stations have sold out to corporate interests more times than I can count.  Now it’s all headed for satellite and fee services.  Rather serves them right but still I have to support keeping free radio and will hope and pray they have learned that WE are who they should support if they want OUR support because, of course, they will get challenged again and again and we’re tired of being betrayed.  This may be their last chance to learn the lesson or it may be too late already.

On a related subject, “Can Complex Choose Cable Company?” ran on my local news.  The tenants are up in arms because the property owner has made a deal for cable service throughout the property and will be passing along the monthly pro rata charges to the renters.  Now the landlord isn’t changing their leases but is warning them that this change, along with $40/month extra charges, will be built into their leases when they renew.  On the one hand, I dislike that the property owner is signing up for cable at all.  HOWEVER, it’s their property and they can do pretty much as they like and that I defend without qualms.  The media is, of course, urging the tenants to call the FCC and demand that they be able to choose their own cable company and that property owners be prohibited from making deals with cable companies.  So strange that the local broadcaster who should realize that cable in any form harms them would be effectively advocating for it.  Seems to me the tenants should simply stop using cable altogether if they really want to protest.  I’ll bet half of them end up paying for 2 cable services.  The economy is in the tank and yet people are hanging onto expensive cable services.  So strange.  At any rate, to answer the original question.  Of COURSE the property owner can sign a contract for services for their property and OF COURSE they can pass the cost along to tenants so long as it doesn’t violate the lease and those get renewed/changed periodically.  That’s how it works.  I understand when tenants are up in arms to get deadbolts but to argue over cable and getting cable of their choosing?  Give me a break!  Sure shows why some own property and others have to rent.

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