Dave Wilson’s New Year’s Day audacity knocked me out. Provided the whole plan isn’t a put-on, I have a few thoughts on it.
It’s a clever idea. I dig it. But the concept is fraught with imminent peril (read: complications).
First, one cannot buy-out a publicly traded entity for just its market price. You have to offer a premium, which increases the cost. (However, that still doesn’t mean that you can’t buy it on the cheap … just not for its market value.) How are you going to get all of the potential stockholders to agree to commit the money to even consider making a buyout offer?
Converting it from subscription to advertiser support is probably the only thing that’ll save it. But here you run the risk of eliminating one of the company’s great features, without which it’s no different than anything else that we’re suffering with. Will the commission “buy it”? Will it be legal? Can a group own a competing group, that is?
And who’s to say that the terrestrials will be willing or able to pay under the proposed formula, or any formula. How’ll the board of directors be constituted? What claims/rights will those who don’t buy shares have, considering the effect that the proposal would have on the industry? Will non-profit stations have the right to buy in?
Will the shareholders get to receive and retransmit the sat’s programming? If so, who get’s what in a fair way? Will the chains and powerhouse terrestrials control the corporation? Why must one have to be a broadcaster in order to share? Can’t a station’s shares be passed along to a non-broadcaster? What happens to the shares of a terrestrial owner that goes out of business?
I can think of a lot more stumbling blocks, but that’s enough for now.