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Friday, March 31, 2017

NET: The return?

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NET were the predecessor of PBS, which took over in October 1970 and NET was absorbed by WNDT downstate to become flagship WNET 13.  Since there are several indie stations in the country that are neither PBS (anymore in some cases as I'll get to in a bit) or commercial, there could be a new network for them to join.  Just as commercial indies in the past few decades turned to Fox, the WB, UPN, the CW and my Network TV, their non-profit rivals could have a place of their own.
The coasts have WNYE in the tri-state and KCET (which I explained in an earlier post) in LA.  Others like them include WPDS in Largo, FL and WLAE in New Orleans, LA just to name a few.
In the Commonwealth, there can be two pubcasters per nation.  The UK has the BBC and Channel 4, Canada with the CBC (English) and Ici Radio Canada-Télé (French) as well as Ontarios TVO for Anglophones and TVFO for Francophones, Australia with the ABC (as different from Americas as the two Woolworths are, as I told Cody Simpson and Kylie Minogue) and SBS (closer in aspect to PBS compared to Aunty), and New Zealands TVNZ and Māori (not directly owned by Wellington).  In the US, PBS is TV while NPR is radio.  They have their own fish to fry with funding fears.  Not sure how this would work as far as that.  Washington directly owning a network isn't quite the way it goes, and PBS are collectively owned by their member networks being non-profit and uncommercial.
As I said the other week, NET Journal would work now as hot button issues exist today that the documentary series could cover.  It paved the way for Ken Burns and POV.
The state PBS network in Nebraska are called NET but they would have to change their name to Nebraska PBS or Cornhusker PBS if they had to for TV, and NPR Nebraska for radio.  Don't think WNET would go back to their old callsign however.  There have been other unrelated networks called NET due to the generic nature of the name.  Just as there could be dark commercial stations left lingering across the country, it'd be a task trying to make an affiliate in every DMA.  The FCC have a licence for both kinds of stations.  Public ones are in the same boat as registered charities and houses of worship as far as tax-exempt status and not making profits.  Contributions from the audience can be written off.  The Ford Foundation bankrolled NET before CPB was formed.  Since not even the major commercial networks have an affiliate in every town the antithesis of such would have a more uphill challenge.  WPBS, WSKG and WCNY back in Upstate NY have two transmitters each but they don't have the same shows as the competition of course so it's not like how CBS in Utica and NBC in Watertown had been lacking a local voice until recently.  NET could even be on existing PBS member stations' tiers if ion affiliates can have as many as six channels on a set.
UK imports like Still Open All Hours are three series behind so NET could have the newest ones as Britbox, a joint venture of the BBC and itv online isn't for everyone.  Streaming is the latest threat to public television although Independent Lens and Masterpiece can be viewed that way these days.
NET could be another source of smart programming needed in a world of mindless "reality" shows and graphic scripted series trying to turn a fast buck.

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