Internet broadcasting

Wouldn’t it be great if all the local television and radio stations everywhere could / would broadcast their stations over the internet? Eventually televisions and radios could be built to automatically “log on” to receive the broadcasts. There must be a large cost factor involved. I can’t think of another reason why local t.v. stations would not want to “stream” their broadcasts.
What’s your input?

Not quite sure what the factual question is here. Er… Yes, it would be great.

On the other hand, a great many radio stations already do broadcast over the internet. I live abroad, so it’s handy to be able to listen to Virgin radio or the BBC over my ADSL connection from time to time.

As usual, money has everything to do with it.

Stations have to pay for all the material (especially music) they broadcast. It costs to get a license for it.

In addition, it’s expensive to add servers and bandwidth, especially if the broadcast becomes popular. Streaming audio and video are expensive, and get more so the more people you have logging on.

At the same time, the Internet does not give them any effective revenue stream. It’s hard to convince advertisers to fork over extra money for ads, since the extra audience isn’t all that great. Also, local advertisers aren’t going to be impressed, since the new listeners can be from too far away to actually purchase anything from them.

So, ultimately, it’s a big expense with a risky return.

As usual, money has everything to do with it.

Stations have to pay for all the material (especially music) they broadcast. It costs to get a license for it.


Agreed. People also have to get paid, especially those who perform in commercials. Current commercial union contracts cover local, regional and national distribution. The compensation for distribution of a performance over the world wide web also needs to be worked out between performers and advertisers(and eventually will be, IMHO).

Way back when, centuries ago it seems, in the Golden Age of the Internet, broadcasting over the Net was taking off rapidly. In addition to regular broadcast stations streaming their feed, there were a lot of Internet only startups- large and small.

This meant it had to be killed and killed quickly.

For music based stations, the good old RIAA stepped and quickly forced the royalties for songs broadcast over the Internet to be so high that no Internet only station could afford it. Many of the regular stations shut down their Internet broadcast. The RIAA wants to control everything. If people were allowed to broadcast songs over the Internet as cheaply as over the air, people might actually buy CDs that the labels weren’t promoting heavily. Payola isn’t cheap and they want a return on their investment.

For non-music stations, the biggest Internet fan base is for sports. In the case of MLB, it stepped in and forced all games on the Internet to be fed thru their site which charges a hefty fee of course. Nevermind that commercial supported sports has proven to be the best model for decades. So hardly anyone listens to MLB over the Internet and MLB loses a money stream. Say goodbye Golden Goose.

Other content providers have in general been just as stupid.

It’s all about content. Unions, advertisers, etc. are all supportive (i.e., know how to make money off of this).

You can call it “money” or you can call it “rights.” It’s basically the same thing.

If you listen to any of the radio stations currently broadcasting on the net, you’ll notice they only broadcast their local program. Suddenly they stop when the radio station is broadcasting syndicated talk shows, sports events, etc.

The reason is because some other entity actually “owns” those programs. Their deal with the radio station is to “rebroadcast.” These agreements normally don’t include the right to broadcast over the net.

For TV, it’s the same problem, with the additional problem of bandwidth. Ever try to watch a news feed over the net? Download-buffer-play-download-buffer-play.