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FCC move to close program access loophole upheld

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by Grafixguy, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. russinpa

    russinpa AllStar

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    You're assuming that there is no contractual obligation on the part of Comcast to provide X number of Phillies, Flyers and Sixers games on CSN Philly to these non-Comcast cable companies. It just seems to me that nobody in there right mind would sign a contract to pay significant carriage fees unless they knew the content they are getting.
     
  2. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    One problem with what you're saying - TCN isn't being withheld from anyone. Comcast offered it up to everyone... even DirecTV. They just decided not to carry it. The channel is really a hold-over of CN8 - their old local news channel. Verizon only started carrying the channel at all because FiOS customers kept asking for it - they were reluctant to carry it at all because they didn't see the value in having it. Unfortunately for now we only get it in SD. And that's not because Verizon can't get it in HD. They already have the feed in HD going to Verizon's VHO (regional office). Verizon just doesn't have the bandwidth at this point to distribute the HD version of the channel yet.

    To answer the question about DirecTV being forced to give up the 101... yeah, I think they would have to, but there's the question of 'who else would want to carry it?' RSNs are special for one reason - the loophole exists precisely to protect carriage of those types of networks. A cable provider can (under the loophole) only prevent others from carrying their channel if it's distributed terrestrially only - something that is really hard to do for a national channel. Regional channels, however, can be sent out that way. Also, when Verizon pushed for the closing of the loophole (the notion in one of the posts that all cable companies are grumbling about this is utterly false, since it is exactly one of those types of companies - Verizon - who pushed for this change in the first place) the case they made was specifically geared toward opening up RSNs. Verizon made the case that RSNs have regional demand - exclusion from carrying such a channel unfairly hurts providers that can't get them. It was because of that last item that the FCC sided with Verizon and agreed to close the loophole. It's hard to argue, e.g., that Verizon is getting hurt financially because they can't get CableVision's local news channel. But they can easily make the case that they're getting hurt because they can't get MSG HD.

    Finally - I don't think this is going to the SCOTUS. I really don't. CV lost two rounds. This latest ruling is from the DC court of appeals, and upheld, fully, a lower court ruling. I see little reason for the SC to step in. Unfortunately the SC is out of session until October... so I don't know if they can even be made to address this issue before then.
     
  3. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Excellent point. SCOTUS is usually reluctant to rule against every previous court on an issue and I don't think CV has won once in this whole process.
     
  4. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    Whoa! Here's a self serving statement if ever there was one:

    "Given the local and regional nature of terrestrial programming, such exclusives can be highly pro-competitive, particularly in markets like New York with as many as five video providers," Cablevision said in a statement.

    Tell that to the fans of those areas where they're inaccessible.....

    The Supreme Court of The United States=SCUS!
    [SCOTUS is not only grammatically wrong, it sounds horrible- and, yeah, I know it's in frequent use. Do we blame some newscasters?]
     
  5. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    Not to get nit-picky, but I don't believe it's grammatically incorrect - it's an acronym. How can an acronym be grammatically incorrect? Besides it's based off the acronym used to describe the president - POTUS. It's just a convention - there's nothing incorrect about it.

    BTW, that closing statement in the article indicates just how bad of a hand CV has in this whole thing. Preventing your competition from having access to an RSN - a very limited resource (it's not like DirecTV can go out and start their own baseball franchise in Philly just so they can create a competing alternative to CSN) is somehow pro-competitive?! What?! It's the very definition of being anti-competitive.
     
  6. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    I wasn't aware that mom & pop stores or even large chain stores deal with carriage agreements for TV channels. Which is what this thread is about, and what the laws apply to.
     
  7. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    It's a rotten convention, based on wrong principals.

    Proper abbreviations omit articles and prepositions. Therefore, "SCUS". Or if you put 'em in, TSCOTUS. It is, after all, The Supreme Court of the United States. Main objection is it's too close to scrotum. "POTUS" is almost as ugly an abbreviation. The President of the United States, or "PUS", which is worse still.
    Why can't folks refer to either properly?

    I blame a handful of newscasters.
     
  8. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    Like it or not, SCOTUS and POTUS are proper.
     
  9. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    Cite??
     
  10. Avder

    Avder Hall Of Fame

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    They expand out to Supreme Court of the United States and President of the United States. The 'the' you claim should be there is kind of vestigial. The o and t in the middle are included to make the acronyms pronounceable.

    This is what people use. Deal with it.
     
  11. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    The whole purpose of an acronym is to act as a verbal short-hand for referring to the thing. If the acronym itself is clumsy, or takes more to pronounce than the real name, then it's worthless, and fails to serve its purpose. A convention is just what people make it to be - hence the term 'convention'. There's nothing 'proper' or 'improper' about it - it's simply used as a way of referring to something in a way that is:

    a) easy
    b) quick
    c) recognizable

    For example, when talking about going to see one particular Broadway show (which is no longer there), you frequently hear it referred to as 'Les Mis'. Is 'mis' really a valid abbreviation for 'miserables'? No. But so what? It fits the definition of a 'convention'. It's meant to provide a quick, easy reference to something.

    SCOTUS fits that... SCUS, sorry, doesn't. Just try pronouncing it. It's clumsy and awkward. Same thing with TSCOTUS. Which requires my mouth to engage in gymnastics just to spit out. Which means that, proper or not, it's not a great acronym. EVERYONE knows to what I'm referring when I use the term SCOTUS, so what exactly is the problem? And what's the point of being proper if doing so involves coming up with a term that no one uses? As one professor in college told me, the purpose of communication is to communicate.
     
  12. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    OK, thanks for your thoughts.
    I'll revert just to the fact I hate those acronyms, abbreviations, whatever, rather than they are wrong.
    So, I've "dealt with it".
     
  13. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    Back on topic - I still don't think we'll ever see CSN-Philly (for example) on D* or E* - Comcast will just price it too high.
     
  14. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    Very interesting concept, restraint of trade, etc. If I create, say, a movie channel which I, as any major provider own, I can sell it to other providers at any price I choose- i.e., blocking out anyone I wish. Or I don't even have to negotiate with them.

    But do sports broadcasts have enough different features about them to be in a different class? Are they quasi in the public domain? Can Comcast be exempt from tie-in laws? I hope there's a way they can be forced to make available their feeds for teams they control.

    I hate to see sports teams not available to all who want to see them but cannot or will not get to games in person.
     
  15. dvdmth

    dvdmth Icon

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    I guess TCN (The Comcast Network) should be simply CN? Should RADAR (Radio Detection And Ranging) be RDR?

    And if I'm not mistaken, "POTUS" is the actual name for the President Of The United States used by the secret service. I don't think you can blame the media for that one.

    There are a bunch of acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations that don't follow "proper" rules. As I've been told myself more than once - it is the exception that proves the rule.
     
  16. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    CN is cartoon network
     
  17. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

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    I thought that the original ruling stated that if they offered the channel to any of their competitors they had to offer it to all of them under similar terms. So if they let Verizon have the channel for $0.25/month, then they can't try charging DriecTV $1.00/month, they'd have to charge more like between $0.20-$0.30/month.
     
  18. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    The thing is - they can't do that. CV has tried playing those games with other channels that they own. They initially denied Verizon from having channels like AMC. Verizon took them to the FCC, which forced CV to comply with the law. They're not allowed to deny them a channel... and they're not allowed to charge usury rates to one provider vs. another. They have to keep their pricing among other providers at a consistent level. DirecTV WILL have CSN Philly at some point, provided they still want it. I believe they do, so I think it's just a matter of time. Granted this is taking way longer than I thought it would, but if the supreme court refuses to hear this appeal by CV then the legal wranglings are over. At that point DirecTV would have to go to the FCC indicating why they should be given CSN Philly. How long that process takes is anyone's guess, but the outcome I think is a done deal - they'll be given access to the channel, and Comcast will be forced to treat CSN Philly just like any other channel that they carry - they'll be obligated to give it to DirecTV and at a rate that's in line with what they charge other providers.
     
  19. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    I think the distinction is this - is the channel owned by an independent third party? If the answer is 'yes', then that channel CAN (from what I understand) refuse to offer up the channel to any provider. But if the answer is 'no' - if the channel is owned by another service provider - then they can't deny that channel to other providers. The FCC has long been concerned with fiefdoms being created by service providers gobbling up content providers. The FTC made News Corp agree that they wouldn't deny others access to the Fox channels before agreeing to them buying DirecTV many years ago. The biggest sticking point between the Comcast/NBC merger had to do with getting assurances that they wouldn't withold the NBC suite of channels from other providers.

    In other words, these providers aren't allowed to play those types of games. Not that some don't try - but those moves are quickly stopped.
     
  20. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

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    D* definitely wants CSN Philly.. we all know how big of a market share that Comcrap has in the Philly DMA. If D* got CSN Philly, D* would, I believe, see a huge increase in market share in that market.. same for E*.
     

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