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Egad! I didn't realize the FCC had changed this regulation. Ultimately it could adversely impact those of us who still don't subscribe to cable or satellite and choose to use an antenna. I guess it depends on the details of the regulation change.

Prior to this, cable companies had to provide local programming to people wherever they provided service. This was a regulation concession they made to the existing TV broadcasters when they allowed cable companies to come in. The existing broadcasters were worried that cable would come in and replace them, making it impossible for them to compete. The unintended consequence of the regulation was that it made it possible for any station to put up a low cost/low wattage transmitter and get to piggyback on the cable companies to expand their coverage (and therefore their ad revenue). Many small stations are only viable because of the combined air wave/cable audience.

If cable companies still have to include local stations in every package they offer, I guess it will be okay. But if they get to scramble the local channels and charge separately or place them in an optional package, then the business model for local stations changes dramatically. My guess is that a local station optional packaging capability would cause a serious fall-out of a lot of local stations and programming.
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