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only popular television gets a license

broadcast license based on popularity
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A tv-station gets a license to broadcast from the government on all kinds of grounds, different per country: lottery, beauty contest, waiting list, bribes, whatever.

Nowhere on the planet the access to the ether is solely based on quantative grounds while that makes the most sense.

Let the channels most people are watching go through the ether, the rest can try to get popular using datacommunication. Pumping datapackets around is good for niche television and video on demand, but it is a waste of bandwith to broadcast television over the internet. Except perhaps when it you can't receive a foreign channel, but that it is a niche demand.

rrr, Aug 22 2008

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       It would save a massive amount of data on the internet if each country has a few 24/7 channels with free smut to gaze at. A lot of energy/CO2 saved.   

       Just fill the ether with smut, soccer, reality-TV, live-news, the most popular YouTube-clips and perhaps also updates to Windows. No moral judgements here, just satisfy popular demand.
rrr, Aug 22 2008
  

       I think the lower-tech media should be reserved for the likes of emergency broadcasting because that may have to function when certain things that depend more on infrastructure may not be available. It's important to keep those channels, literally and figuratively, open. I do agree with you to an extent. I think the bits of the internet which take up the most bandwidth should be routinely broadcast on radio frequencies to free up the rest, for instance popular Google searches, popular pages on Wikipedia, YouTube (though there should be an audio-only option on that, as i said elsewhere) and so forth, changing maybe weekly according to popularity. That would end up quite similar to what you're suggesting anyway, since a lot of that would presumably be porn and amateur video clips.   

       Here in Britain, there's a separate issue of course: the TV licence on the viewers' side. The BBC say watching their stuff via their website without a TV licence is technically illegal, but the TV licencing authority chooses not to pursue it because they say the number of people with broadband internet connections and no TV is "vanishingly small". I am one of that number.
nineteenthly, Aug 22 2008
  

       Wouldn't this kind of democracy ensure that TV degenerated further with the terrible slew of ratings-chasing, local maxima, populist garbage that has become the norm on most channels?
Jinbish, Aug 22 2008
  

       Well, as we all know, according to Star Trek, TV only has another thirty-two years to go anyway, which sounds to me like a generous estimate judging by what i hear about it.
nineteenthly, Aug 22 2008
  

       In the information market, the customer is not always right. If the customer were always right, then he wouldn't need any information.
pertinax, Aug 23 2008
  

       //Wouldn't this kind of democracy ensure that TV degenerated further with the terrible slew of ratings-chasing, local maxima, populist garbage that has become the norm on most channels?//   

       Yes. And PBS would no longer exist. And there would only be incredibly insulting and stupid programs for stupid people.
nomocrow, Aug 23 2008
  

       TV has a role, at least potentially, as art, a source of news and as educational. Some of that can be entertaining. I wouldn't impose my own personal tastes. Reality TV's appeal eludes me, other things seem to fill time cheaply, and still others are sensationalist. TV tends to encourage passivity and discourage thoughtful interaction, but many people have lives which i couldn't stand for five minutes without going nuts, and who am i to begrudge them their enjoyment?   

       In a personal sense most of what i watched filled my time without helping me be to more creative, improve the world or interact meaningfully with others. TV may be inherently like that, so i'm not sure about the issue of quality TV. I think it's just the way television is. The likes of YouTube are potentially different. Even if it's porn, it could be amateur porn done to excite others in a community, and not for money, and though it is a weird thing to say, in a sense that's better porn than mass-produced stuff done just for money (porn being a deliberately extreme example).
nineteenthly, Aug 23 2008
  

       I would like exactly the opposite of this. Long Tail TV for all.
neilp, Aug 24 2008
  
      
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