Super Bowl Blues

Got Charter Cable? Live in St. Louis? Well, you and many, Many, MANY thousands of other folks in your boat will once again NOT be able to watch the Super Bowl in HD on Charter Cable.

Last year, ABC had the big game, and our abysmal ABC affiliate refused to give Charter the right to send their over-the-air (OTA) HD signal down the line. You had to have dish, or have an antenna to watch the HD version of the Super Bowl. To this day, that’s still the case, and the folks that own KDNL continue to try to extort money from various local cable outfits in order to get paid for what folks can get OTA.

Move forward a year, and CBS has the Super Bowl. And once again, the owners of the local affiliate — this time KMOV — have pulled their HD signal from Charter’s lineup, wanting to get paid for something folks already have access to for free. The fact that this happened just a month before the Super Bowl is suspect, and I can’t imagine that there was anything other than a profit motive for this.

I wonder just how far we are from local channels requiring some kind of subscription from regular viewers of their OTA broadcasts. In a few years, that’s all that will be left — no more analog broadcasts — and a pay-to-play model for OTA broadcasts would doom traditional television. The NFL is already tried this model out this year with their carrying some Thursday night games on their premium subscription channel.

Of course, the folks selling OTA TV antennas are loving this fracus ‘twixt Charter and the local broadcasters. I’m sure they’re making a bunch of sales they wouldn’t ordinarily have made, especially after Charter subscribers getting the shaft again this year.

I have an antenna up, and have had for years. Once again, I will NOT miss the HD spectacle of the Super Bowl. Woo-hoo!