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Author Topic: WEAREBROADCASTERS - Take Action to Support Local Stations  (Read 1544 times)
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« on: February 02, 2018, 01:36:39 PM »

WEAREBROADCASTERS - Take Action to Support Local Stations

No matter where you are, whenever important news happens, your local TV and radio stations bring you the information and entertainment you seek on every screen in your life.

Whether its your TV, smartphone, car dashboard, laptop, tablet or radio, broadcasters are at your fingertips anytime of the day delivering the breaking news and emergency information you rely on and providing the music and shows that you love most.

Tell Congress why local radio and TV matter.

During this winter season, your local radio and television broadcasters are working hard to ensure you have the latest weather updates. If there is an impending snow storm or other severe weather, you can trust your local stations to deliver the news you need to stay safe and informed on every device. 

Please take a few minutes to tell your legislators why you value your local radio and TV stations as a trusted source of news and emergency updates by clicking here:



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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2018, 06:39:15 PM »

Maybe this is not a popular opinion, but I'll say it anyway.  I would be a lot more likely to support my local broadcasters if they didn't treat their network feeds as something you don't really care to see.

To give you a prime example, which is all too common in my market area, the other night I had PVR'ed a Fox program from a local station.  Well, the local station had a few school closings to report, mostly due to the flu outbreak.  Now, in many areas, they would have put those closings on a scroll at the bottom of the screen and maybe repeated them a couple of times at the start of the hour and half hour.  But that is not how the local network affiliates in my area roll.  Instead, they reduced the size of the network's picture significantly, letterboxing it on both sides, and then at the bottom continuously displayed the same closings over and over for the entire evening, along with a small ad panel for what I assume was the "sponsor" of the closing information (since when do school closing announcements need a sponsor?).  This station only broadcasts in 720p to begin with (this may be a Fox network limitation), so by the time they had shrunk the picture even further it looked pretty bad.

Rather than watch that hot mess I went to the Fox site and watched the program in glorious 1080p.  Had I not been able to do that, I probably would not have watched the show at all, and possibly not the rest of the remaining season.  And in case you are thinking that this is a problem at this one affiliate, I have seen all the local network stations (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and I think even PBS) do the same thing in this area.  I don't think this happens in every market area, but it seems to be just the way things are done here.  In my mind, when they do things like this, they are seriously disrespecting their viewers, basically saying "We are going to force you to watch this sponsored content for the entire evening even though we could display it all two or three times within a minute or two.  Too bad if you wanted a good picture on the network show."

Another trick they frequently pull is to put a gaudy weather radar insert in the lower corner of the screen, with repetitive weather information displayed next to it, again throughout the entire evening.

It is exactly this sort of thing that makes me hope that someday the networks will just stream their content to viewers directly and cut out the local stations.  If you are going to be a network affiliate, then show the network programming, because that's what people are tuning in to see.  Don't clutter the screen with all these annoying extras.  I can understand if there is a tornado bearing down on part of your viewing area, then by all means display the information continuously.  But don't treat the network programming as something people are watching only because they have absolutely nothing else to do.

Until they end this sort of thing, I am not inclined to take any action to support local stations.  I haven't watched a local newscast in years;  I get all my news and weather online now.  But I do understand that people with no Internet access may rely on local stations for news and weather.  I will also say that on the few occasions that I have known the actual facts of a story that was reported on the local news, they have almost always got at least some of the details wrong, so I feel a little sorry for people in my area that need to rely on local TV news, and don't have access to any alternative news sources to crosscheck the facts.

If taking over of numerous pixels to display content that is in no way related to the show you are trying to enjoy doesn't happen in your local market area, then you can't begin to understand how annoying it can get.  I can't imagine this would ever happen in a major city like New York or Los Angeles, barring some truly major event like a severe earthquake or a hurricane.  I doubt they would do it for school closings or plain old summer thunderstorms like they do here.  It's not that I object to them showing the information, but it doesn't need to live on the screen for the entire evening, and they shouldn't be reducing the size of the network picture to display it.

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