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Official Word on PBS in HD?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by Barmat, Oct 25, 2007.

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  1. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    I like this idea. Add onto that one PBS national HD feed, which is the only thing most local PBS stations rebroadcast, and the problem is solved. All D* has to carry in each market is the local PBS affiliate, be it in SD or HD.

    Too bad we don't run PBS.
     
  2. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    Your argument would hold water if D* currently broadcast all the subchannels of the other local stations. They do not.

    Here, they broadcast only the duplicate, first subchannel, the N.1 channel. They don't broadcast the N.2, N.3, etc. of any other station.
     
  3. Conky

    Conky Legend

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    Its not a point of argument, its the letter of the law, and that is why PBS is turning to the government. This isn't a boo-hoo, government bail me out issue, its an enforcement of the law issue. It may be that PBS is the first broadcaster to raise the issue with the government, I don't know. I do know that PBS affiliates are dedicated to local programming, and many of their locally produced shows are on subchannels due to pressure to air national programming; they may be more apt to file a complaint than other local stations.

    D* failing to rebroadcast subchannels of other local stations does not prove that they are operating within the bounds of the statute; in fact, it may point to the fact that they are in violation across the board.

    The government can either force Satellite providers to comply, or they can amend the law to exclude station subchannels.
     
  4. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    Either they are in violation across the board or they're not. If not, which is what I'm guessing based on a reading of FCC regs, then PBS ought not to keep whining. Instead, they should negotiate carriage agreements that ask for at least their first subchannel to be carried.
     
  5. Conky

    Conky Legend

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    Which regulations are you referring to? Can you post a link or cite a reg. no.? I'd like to make sure I'm on the same page as you.

    EDIT:

    The FCC website says "A satellite company is not required to carry more than one local broadcast TV station within the DMA that is affiliated with a particular TV network in the same state." I guess the argument is whether or not a substation is considered part of a network station, or an entirely different station.
     
  6. voyagerbob

    voyagerbob AllStar

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    I believe that only applies to Analog. I think the digital stations were left out of the law on purpose. Otherwise every station that elected "must carry" would already be on both D* & E* in digital that has a digital channel in a market severd by HD. I don't belive (outside of AK) there is a single digital "must carry" station on D* or E*.

    Voyagerbob
     
  7. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    That's the part to which I was referring, the interpretation of which is, as usual, left to the lawyers.
     
  8. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    You have to understand that PBS is very different from a commercial network. It's really just a sort of quasi-governmental loose affiliation of non-profit organizations. Makes it hard in cases like this.
     
  9. shendley

    shendley Hall Of Fame

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    The argument that PBS no longer serves a real need because of the explosion of channels on cable and sat is a well-worn argument. And I think it is almost convincing, until you start to look at the sort of programming PBS has done and also what it could be doing based on what it has done in the past. Bill Moyers, to just cite one example, has done programs on PBS that I really couldn't see being done on any of the other many networks that could conceivably air them because their bottom line is profit, not public service. To be realistic, PBS's programming is also market driven to the extent that it is not totally or even mostly publically funded (hence, all the fundraisers every Fall and Spring). But at least there is an additional imperative there of public service that enables shows that probably wouldn't be aired elsewhere to be aired there. And this is why I genuinely miss PBS in HD (and, by the way, their SD feed here in Birmingham has always been one of the worst quality pictures I've ever seen). I love The Science Channel, Discovery and the like, but I still miss PBS.

     
  10. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    PBS fans:
    what would you do here in Philly?

    We have 12, 23, 35, 39, and 52. All PBS and all digital. 23 and 52 have 4 subchannels, 12 has 3, and I'm not sure on the other ones.

    What would D* do with all this stuff? I get most of it OTA, and I almost never watch any of it. Other HD (commercial) nets have better shows nowadays, except for Nova. I, for one, say adios PBS.

    Bring back NET (remember that?)
     
  11. KurtV

    KurtV Legend

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    I imagine that D* and E* disagree with your interpretation of the law. Iit seems to me that there's enough ambiguity in that statute for them to argue that channel means the primary channel and does not include sub-channels.
     
  12. KurtV

    KurtV Legend

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    Dismissing arguments as well-worn is itself a well-worn debating technique; unfortunately, for you, it's less than persuasive.

    Before there were channels dedicated to the gay lifestyle, tractor pulls and livestock auctions, independent films, babies, classical music, etc., I might have been convinced that PBS provided something unique. Now I know different.

    Again, I think PBS does a fine job with many of their programs. Their high production values are evident in almost everything they do (I'll leave aside their editorial values on the news side) and I have no desire to see them disappear. I don't even mind that they receive some public funding. I just don't think they can lay claim to some grand mandate or special purpose anymore, if they ever really could. They're just another content provider, albeit a good one.
     
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