The FCC and Congress have placed television spectrum in their sights, and are hellbent to bundle it up and sell it to wireless broadband companies. Broadcasters are willing to cooperate, but not at the expense of their own survival. Sinclair Broadcast Group thinks that its viewers will agree with that position and is enlisting their support to preserve the health of free local television.
Sinclair has a place on its local station websites headlined “Save Local TV” – it asks viewers what would happen if local TV went away, discusses what types of local news, information and other programming that’s on the table and asks for help bringing the matter to the attention of the area’s elected officials.
It includes a brief news-style video clip, and the following transcript as published on the website of Sinclair’s Fox WBFF Baltimore:
Is local TV important to you?
What if local television goes away? How would that affect you, your family and your community?
There would be:
No more local TV news.
No more local TV sports.
No more local TV weather.
No more televised traffic reports.
No more televised school closing announcements.
No more televised public service campaigns.
No more televised community events notices.
No more televised public safety warnings.
No more local severe weather warnings.
No more televised emergency alert services.
No more televised Amber alerts.
No more local TV election coverage.
It would be another loss of exposure for local businesses, services and advertising when it’s needed most.
Millions of Americans have witnessed first-hand the value of local television when floods occur, tornadoes strike, hurricanes reach landfall or a child goes missing. Local TV stations warn and inform the public when emergencies occur “for free.”
But now, Congress is considering plans to take spectrum away from local TV stations and sell it to other industries that would charge the public monthly subscription fees. Some in Congress want to sell local TV spectrum in order to balance the national budget.
To make matters worse, local television stations are on schedule to roll-out new services such as mobile television that can be received on a variety of portable, mobile and handheld devices such as cell phones. And it could be air time free so your cell phone company cannot charge you for it.
And the television industry is already working on 3-D TV.
Americans are cutting the cord in record numbers as they decide to stop paying monthly subscription fees to the cable, satellite and phone companies. This is because local TV has the most popular programming, the best local service and offers high definition TV. And the public can receive it over-the-air. For free.
But this could all end if local television goes away.
You can help by contacting your states two Senators and U.S. Representative. Tell them to protect local TV. Tell them to not balance the nation’s budget on the back of local TV stations and the communities they serve.