Here Is Why Offering a Service to Streaming Local TV Channels Is Harder Than You Think




Antenna Couple

get-the-best-tv-reception-with-your-antennaWe all want local channels, such as ABC, streamed as part of our favorite streaming service whether that is through Sling TV or PlayStation Vue; however, few services offer it, and when they do it is in select markets. So why is that?

There are 3 main issues that block local channels from being streamed.

#1 FCC

Yup the FCC is the #1 reason why it is difficult to stream local stations. Because of really dated rules, the FCC forces people to stream local stations from within the market they serve. So if you want to offer local Chicago stations, you have to physically put the service that streams these stations in Chicago. This prevents companies from building massive data centers to stream shows and forces them to build thousands of smaller network centers to stream local channels.

This requirement to stream local stations from local markets dramatically skyrockets the cost of offering. Nielsen tracks 210 different markets in the United States and would force services, such as Sling TV, to not only have servers there but also to rent space, hire staff, and pay for access to the Internet at 210 different server centers.

#2 Ownership

Most local channels are not owned by the big networks. It may be a Fox station where you live but other companies operate that station and license the Fox name and shows. That means they have to get a contract with each company that owns local stations to stream. Some companies are bigger and own 30 or more stations in different markets; others are smaller and may own just one or two stations. What this creates is a massive headache for companies, such as Sling TV, who have to go from station to station.

#3 Money

Local stations now make most of their money from deals with cable companies. These deals are now being threatened by streaming services and many stations are likely unwilling to risk killing lucrative deals with cable companies in hopes of a long-term return with streaming.

So, in short, the FCC makes streaming local stations very expensive, all the small media companies make contracts difficult, and TV stations are worried they will be killing off their highly profitable contracts with cable companies.

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