Re: So what
Not so fast, guys, there are a couple of things many do not completely understand - from a broadcasters perspective.
1) If two (or more) competing stations in the same TV market agree to combine their signals on a single stream, what protects those that give up their current channels from being screwed in the future. Doing so, you put your future in the hands of your competition, and while the brain dead MBAs might think that is a GOOD THING, seasoned broadcasters would not be so trusting.
2) Also, you have put your future in the hands of a competitor, whose ownership may change in the future; and while now, all things are 'peachy keen', all it takes is one corporate asshole at a NEW OWNER to fuck you straight up the ASS!
3) The only technical reason why a station might agree to such a 'combination' would be if they currently had suckass coverage, and combining would improve their coverage. But 1 and 2 still apply.
The part that the MBAs like is that you reduce CAPEX (maintenance of broadcast transmission equipment), and somewhat reduce OPEX (expenses incurred in broadcasting like electricity, tower site maintenance, etc.) The $64,000,000 question is simply: "Can you TRUST your competition NOT to FUCK you over, once you sign the contract." Because once you give up the frequency, you MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO GET IT BACK!!!!!