But what does cable carriage of an ATSC 3.0 vs ATSC 1.0 feed even mean? ATSC are OTA broadcast standards, some cable companies take the ATSC 1.0 feed and dump two of them onto a QAM, but they could just as easily take fiber feeds from well before the OTA encoding and transmission process, and do their own encoding, so that they wouldn't be broadcasting either OTA feed, and the whole concept becomes irrelevant. A carriage contract could be contracted for various supersets or subsets of OTA programming depending on what the station and cable company want to do. The only time I'd see it being relevant at a contractual level would be for must-carry stations like PBS, and even then the technical details of OTA broadcasting are largely irrelevant, they'd be carrying a specific set of channels that are broadcast on one license or another, but not necessarily using the encodes for OTA.Well, a given station's ATSC 3.0 feed is actually broadcasting on a separate station license and so the MVPD carriage contract would have to be for that separate station if they wanted the 3.0 feed.
Exactly. Or, more likely, the station will send a big, fat 1080i/720p stream via fiber to the MVPD, who will compress the crap out of it, but the compression is more efficient with the higher bitrate feed.Now, all that said, I keep saying that there's really no reason for MVPDs to ever bother specifically licensing 3.0 stations anyhow, because local stations already can and do offer higher quality versions of their main 1.0 feed if they have in agreement in place with MVPDs to do so. During both recent Olympics, in fact, we saw various NBC affiliates offering certain MVPDs, including Comcast and YouTube TV, live 4K feeds! They were NOT sending out 4K on their 3.0 OTA feeds but they were sending it to select MVPDs who had the internal distribution capabilities to offer it to their customers (and who, I'm sure, were paying those NBC affiliates extra $ for the enhanced quality).
I disagree about cable. I think it will shrink and partially implode, but it has a lot of inertia, and there are many commercial customers that want live channels, so I think at least a handful of the large, well known channels will continue to have linear channels, even if the main property shifts to OTT. I do agree about antennas though, as they are already largely relegated to some live sports and news. I think we'll still have OTA in a decade, but why invest in a relatively dying medium, unless the goal with ATSC 3.0 is just to load up on subchannels of catalog content and grind out a CPM with advertising. I've always been skeptical of 4k OTA becoming widespread, why would the networks spend the money when they can charge MVPDs money for retrans for them, and later move that to their network's OTT services? I think we may just get stuck at the first phase of the ATSC 3.0 "transition" with the 1.0 stations all staying around, and the room that there is available for the first phase of 3.0 either having a bunch of stations sharing channels, or incomplete offerings in a given market with a bunch of extra subchannels crammed in.If it does pan out this way, then by the time we get to 2030, who's going to bother with an OTA antenna if all that same content can be streamed, live and on-demand, for free, with equal or better PQ and without reception problems? There will be hardly any US homes by 2030 who don't have broadband service with unlimited data or at least a sufficiently high data cap to allow for all their video viewing.