I can't believe London is actually going to lose CBC English service, just because it doesn't have a studio and repeats CBLT.
Yes, I know you can use cable/satellite. I'm curious if anyone has done an OTA percentage study in London...I'm guessing it'd be higher than, say, Toronto.
Even though I lived in London for many years, I have very little knowledge of actual OTA usage in the city. Most people I know there are cable users.
What I do know is that OTA usage in some of the smaller communities near London is higher than the broadcasters would have us believe. When I worked for one of the cable companies during part of last year, I talked to a sizable number of people who were either relying solely on OTA, or had OTA on one or more TV sets. I made a point of asking these people what channels they were getting. In Forest, Ontario, in particular I'd say between 10 and 20% of viewers there use OTA exclusively; cable is not available in the whole area, and not everyone wants to pay for satellite. I specifically asked these people which channel(s) they got CBC on, and most got it on Channel 34 (Sarnia) - now one of the transmitters slated for shutdown. One man I spoke with said he gets 50 channels (including subchannels), including everything from Detroit. He said he bought a digital box when the U.S. transition was happening, and was very happy with what he was now getting.
In other communities, the numbers weren't as high as Forest, but I'd say they were between 5 and 10%. I found that OTA usage picked up as one got closer to Toronto; in Arthur for instance, I'd say it was around 10%, with most viewers reporting receiving CKVR Barrie, CKCO Kitchener, Global Paris, and sometimes the Toronto stations.
I reported some of my anecdotal findings to some of the other marketing people, and they were very surprised at how many people were actually using OTA. They had assumed that nobody used OTA anymore.
I was still working for this company at the time of the DTV transition, and not one of the people who reported using OTA exclusively ended up signing up for cable - this was something I made a point of tracking. The people I was signing up for cable were mostly people who were fed up with Bell, with a minority being people who had recently moved into their dwelling and had planned to get cable anyways. What I don't know is whether these people signed up for satellite, or bought a digital box; I would lean towards the latter, because the OTA users often told me that they didn't watch enough TV to warrant paying for it, and they were happy with only a few channels.