WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Shop Talk - January 12

Macomb, IL – The panelists talk about the possible end of "free" television.

CBS, NBC and ABC have been available over the air for more than half a century, and Fox joined the group more than 20 years ago. But some of those networks are considering whether to operate as cable channels.

Cable channels receive revenue from subscriber fees and advertising, whereas the "free" TV channels generate income solely from commercials. Fox's Rupert Murdoch says good programming is expensive and can no longer be supported with just ad dollars.

The Internet also plays a role in the issue. The networks could consider skipping a move to cable and instead jump directly to some sort of web offering.