A Fistful of Dollars

The devil in the details

There’s an absolutely scathing, wonderful piece on rbr.com about HD radio (passed on by hdradiofarce.com and radio-info.com), to wit:

The fact is that iBiquity doesn’t care about interference because the only date in their calendar is the day the FCC approves their petition to sunset analog broadcasting. Then, interference won’t matter.  Theirs is a game of delay and misdirection. They will point to conflicting reports, lack of listener complaints, and any other straw man they can come up with to while away the time until they petition for analog FM to end.

iBiquity’s business plan has, all along, been to end analog broadcasting and claim all that spectrum for data bandwidth, which they would size control and sell a to lot of people paying THEM. The fact that the “killer app” — the multicast channel — is a loss leader until they can sell THEIR share of the data bandwidth has somehow been missed.

If broadcasters think that the conversion to IBOC only will be painless, guess again: Take a look at how much of your ad revenue will belong to iBiquity when ALL of your ads have 100% of their audience over the digital signal. There’s a reason an iBiquity spokesman kept repeating the same mantra to us in 2004 when we confronted him about the mathematically inescapable limitations and flaws in their technology: “We have our business plan.”

They will point to digital television and it’s survival, but there’s an important difference: No ONE company controlled all of digital television. No one had to sign contracts and fork over five figures just in licensing fees to put DTV on the air. And no one has to pay a percentage of their ad revenue to DTV’s inventors.

Also, as heavily as Cheap Channel is invested in iBiquity, it’s little surprise that as the largest single radio licensee, they are all for everything iBiquity wants. The pushback has happened and they’re terrified because people who aren’t on their payroll are now making the quantitative measurements. The only question is:  Is the FCC bought and paid for as well? [emphasis added]

This is written by Paul Strater, a Chicago broadcast engineer, and the follow-up comments are a joy to read. Tune in.

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One Response

  1. The FCC doesn’t have the authority to sunset analog — that would take an Act of Congress. We already know that Struble has the FCC in his back pocket.

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