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Comcast Philadelphia


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2392 replies to this topic

#1861 OFFLINE   B.Parent1974

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:00 PM

Your Question has been Submitted

Thank you for your email correspondence to Ellen Filipiak. DIRECTV’s Customer Advocate team will contact you within 24 hours to resolve your concerns. Use this reference number for follow up: #120123-004979




Response Via Email(DIRECTV) - 01/25/2012 06:28 PM

Dear Mr. xxxx,
Thank you for your recent correspondence. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns. The recent FCC ruling may allow us to carry additional channels, but we are required to follow specific FCC guidelines before we can make any changes to our programming. DIRECTV does not have an agreement in place with CSN Philadelphia at this time, but we have had discussions with Comcast about carrying the network and we hope to make it available in the future.

Sincerely, DIRECTV Customer Advocate Team

...Ads Help To Support This SIte...

#1862 OFFLINE   la24philly

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:43 PM

Jake - my take too...


i got the same email back. exact word for word.


i said when i filled it out a week ago, that no one is to respond unless you have news.

#1863 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:18 AM

Wrong. They've been carrying it for about a month.

Seriously, you need to check the regulations before you start arguing about something you clearly have not researched. There was someone on DSLReports who acted the same way...FiOS will never have MSG HD and the FCC has no authority to do this.

He was wrong...and so are you. The ball for this is in DirecTV's court. They need to file an official request with the FCC, just as Verizon and ATT did, to have the FCC act on this. Until they do, the FCC won't do a thing and Comcast will continue to withhold CSN Philly.

Once that paperwork is filed with the FCC, there will be news about it.


I have checked my facts, and I have yet to see anything to say I am wrong, again, based on reports and things I have seen before many times, including here on this forum board and elsewhere. Don't compare me to others, and don't compare the MSG situation to the one in philly. They are all completely independent of each other. I will offer up some aritcles for you to read so maybe we can at least see each others points a little clearer. Please dispute all this and do so by offering actual links to some of your rebuttles. Seriously, I want to know why all the stuff I have read is wrong. If you can show me links that prove your points, great, I'll happily admit I am wrong, but I have yet to see anything that contradicts that the FCC can not force comcast to sell the philly rsn to directv or dish, for a price the FCC sets, which you seem to think they can do. Am I misunderstanding what you are saying?

Here are some facts that I have read over the years that you seem to completely contradict some of your assertations...

How long has Verizon been able to carry the channel...

Now maybe these are two different areas, and one area just added it as well, or else I completely missed the uproar when this was agreed to but never actually happened. If you can point me to any article saying so, please do. But according to this, Verizon fios has had the channel for a WHILE, or December 2006 based on this:

http://www.multichan...t_Agreement.php
http://broadcastengi...agreement-0112/
http://news.thomasne...d-Versus-501159
http://newscenter.ve...ments-with.html

and of course a channel lineup for verizon fios from 2010...
http://www22.verizon..._031810_CLU.pdf

I can also find several articles stating that dish was set to file with the fcc over comcast not negotiating in good faith to let them have the channel back in the summer of 2010, but I haven't ever seen or been able to find anything that says how that has come out. And that would probably have to have been changed by now anyway, since comcast bought NBC, and that does have a huge affect.

The fcc can absolutely force someone to offer it, but if you can point me to anything anywhere in any ruling or even an article that proves the FCC can force a certain rate on a provider, please point me to it. And you just can not even begin to compare the msg thing with this one. They are not at all alike. The providers already had the sd version, and msg was withholding the hd versions. That issue isn't even on they same planet, not to mention they are idiots to try and use a loophole to get away with that. And that loop hole doesn't apply to comcast philly anymore anyway, and they aren't hiding behind it either.

Verizon had CSN because Comcast allowed them to carry it. They could have prevented Verizon from having the channel if they wanted. But the reason Verizon pushed to close the loophole was because they wanted access to MSG HD, which CableVision was keeping from AT&T and Verizon. They were using the loophole to prevent carriage.

BTW, if these providers could charge ridiculous rates for channels, then I have a question. Why isn't MSG charging an arm and a leg for MSG HD and MSG+ HD? I mean it's not like CV didn't fight hammer and tong to prevent AT&T and Verizon from having the channels. They did. They made no bones about the fact that they would refuse until the end of time to give the channels over. They went to some extreme lengths to do it. For example, they took the MSG holdings and created their own separate company with them, claiming that they were an independent operation. Why? Because independent operators aren't required to provide their channels to everyone - this ruling ONLY applies to providers that own channels. The FCC didn't buy that argument.

Then CV sued, twice, to argue that the FCC didn't have the authority to close the loophole like that.

That didn't work, so they went one last route - after the FCC found in Verizon's/AT&T's favor, CV sued one more time - they argued that Verizon and AT&T didn't meet the definition required to receive the channel - they disputed that either company was being hurt financially by not having the channel. A move that also failed.

So... here you have one provider (CV) that has channels (MSG HD) that were being denied. CV has a very virtriolic hatred of AT&T and Verizon. They fought like crazy to prevent them from getting MSG HD. They went down on that fight swinging like crazy. And STILL CV didn't charge usery rates to AT&T and Verizon. Odd, huh? Makes no sense... unless you consider that: it's illegal for CV to do that.

Not to attack you, but your understanding of this issue isn't correct. DirecTV is being denied CSN BECAUSE of the loophole. Verizon was denied MSG HD BECAUSE of the loophole. The idea that Verizon could get access to the channel if they just ran fiber for the entire transmission is 100% wrong. The terrestrial loophole basically says this: if I'm a provider and I have a channel that I carry terrestrially only, I can prevent ANY other carrier from having that channel. Period. This whole move by the FCC is to close (in many cases) the loophole. How in the world can this NOT affect DirecTV? Of course it does.



The loop hole was about avoiding dbs distribution, not fiber distribution, so I don't think the loop hole applied at all to verizon, which I believe was what they had been saying at the time. Not at all the same as the fact the loop hole let them not offer to sat because the channel never touched a sat uplink. (see the full loop hole a little latter) And that's what their argument used to be as to why they let verizon have it but wouldn't even talk to dbs.

Again, MSG is another issue entirely, and not relevant enough to even bring to this conversation. One is about having multiple versions of the same channel being allowed, and the other is about getting the channel period. Not to mention, how do you know they aren't charging an arm and a leg? They didn't want them to have the channels in hd period, in an attempt to say look, if you really don't want our service, well give it to other providers but not as a good a version, so we can still make our ad revenue on you and not take that hit, but still also give us a leg up on the competition so that more people will likely come to use anyway. They where trying to have their cake and eat it too, twice over. They where trying to fight it like McCourt was trying to fight to keep the Dodgers. They did everything wrong, and tried smoke and mirrors to say they could get the loophole, even though that's not at all true anyway, based on the fcc ruling. And their last suit, that was that they weren't being hurt because it was only offered in sd, and not hd and sd. Again, a totally different situation. Should we someday see that channel on dbs, we will never see an sd only version of comcast philly, I am sure of that! As bad as comcast is, not even they are that stupid!

And its not illegal for them to charge more. Show me one thing that att and verizon aren't paying more for the hd channels now please. Besides, who knows whats included in those contracts in the first place. It could have been worded just so that verizon and att said that the carriage of the hd versions was included in the contract price. Again, I have seen nothing in the ruling regarding the pricing being set by the FCC. Can you point that out to me, maybe I am missing it.

The loop hole in how it was affecting the the philly market... ( I did not mean to imply that verizon should be able to carry it because they ran fiber. Sorry if I wasn't clear there, I was referring to the fact that comcast never sent the signal out via sat at any point, so that allowed them to avoid offering it to dbs providers)

Unlike most other cable networks, CSN Philadelphia is distributed only via microwave and fiber optics. The infrastructure Comcast uses for this was left over from the now defunct PRISM Network. Since CSN Philadelphia does not uplink its signal to any satellite, Comcast was able to avoid an FCC regulation that requires most television channels to be offered to direct broadcast satellite (DBS) companies (known as the "terrestrial loophole"). As a result of limited availability, DBS providers DirecTV and Dish Network realized far slower penetration into the Philadelphia market. Craig Moffett, a senior analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. L.L.C., estimated the number of potential customers lost due to the loophole at 450,000.[2]
On January 20, 2010, the FCC voted 4-1 to close the terrestrial loophole.[2] Lawyers for DirecTV and Dish Network had attempted to show that Comcast Corporation, who owns both CSN Philadelphia along with most of the cable systems in the Philadelphia market, acted in restraint of trade because it did not uplink CSN Philadelphia to satellite. Comcast does not plan to appeal the decision, so DirecTV and Dish can negotiate immediately to add the channel to their lineups. Both providers formally asked for access to the channel on June 25, 2010. [3] On July 28, 2010, it was reported that Comcast is in talks with DirecTV and Dish Network for carriage of CSN Philadelphia. [4] Two days later, after accusing Comcast of refusing to negotiate in good faith, Dish Network said it will file a complaint with the FCC. [5][6] The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the original FCC's ruling on June 10, 2011. [7]


Now here is the big thing. None of this loop hole stuff applies to comcast philly anymore at all, no matter what, and comcast is not at all hiding behind any loop hole anymore, by their own doing, and that isn't even up for debate, even though some of you guys seem to think that's what they are doing. Here is why. They agreed to make all their channels, including philly rsn available to all providers including dbs as part of their agreement in buying NBC. An article to read.

http://www.dailyfina...n-its-backyard/


One last point - your definition of 'economic harm' isn't the same as what the FCC's is. The FCC considers loss of customers due to lack of having the channels 'economic harm'. Verizon made that very argument with RSNs. Studies that they did indicated that the DBS penetration rate in the Philly market was 40% below the average for a market this size. 40%. They found similar numbers in other markets, like San Diego. The common factor in all those markets? The lack of access by DirecTV and Dish to the RSNs for the market.

You better believe it's causing DirecTV economic harm. The definition you're using is the same one that CV used in trying to stop Verizon from having MSG. It was utterly rejected by the FCC and later by the second circuit court.


Yeah, again, they can't use that argument to force comcast to agree to a certain price for carriage of the channel. That was about not even being offered the channel. Again different things.

The only real recourse Directv has is to file a complaint with the fcc that they are not negotiating in good faith. And I'd love to see them prove that, but I just don't think that's going to happen. I can easily see comcast saying they will only negotiate carrige for that channel bundled with other nbc owned channels, and other stipulations, including fees based on the fact the channel would be national on Directv, its digital rights etc, and that's something that the FCC has yet to stop, no matter how much most people would love to see that. Why do you think the fcc keeps responding to all the complaints people file about how they don't get involved in pricing disputes? Because that's whats going on here now. Obviously that's not the way its always been, but it is today, and that's why I doubt we will see the channel. The only real chance IMHO to see it picked up sooner rather than latter is if Directv can negotiate a great bundled deal for all NBC/Comcast owned stations that it wants, and none of the ones it doesn't want. CSN Philly is now in the exact same situation as CSN NW. Pricing purgatory. So when does all the contracts that DirecTV has with Comcast/NBC other channels come up for renewal? That's the date I'd look at as the first chance to see the channel on Directv.

Oh, and Directv would never want the FCC to decide a price for a channel either... No provider would. They just want the FCC to do a few things to make it easier for them to negotiate from a position of more power. Like not let companies ONLY negotiate for bundled channels. Of course, bundles sometimes gets them better pricing, so its a double edged sward.

#1864 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:21 AM

Again, you're not right. Look, if the loophole ONLY applied to DBS transmission of cable channels, then how in the hell did CV prevent Verizon and AT&T from carrying MSG? Verizon has fiber running to the transmission point for MSG, and yet they wouldn't allow Verizon to carry the HD version of the channels. Please explain that one to me. And what justification did they use? The loophole!

Next, why did Verizon undergo an effort that took a number of years, and lots of money, to push for a closing of the loophole in the first place, if the loophole ONLY affected satellite transmission of a channel? Were they doing it for DirecTV's benefit? Um, no. They pushed for closing of the loophole specifically to get MSG HD.

As for the notion of 'economic harm' being a determinant for the cost of transmission... um, what? Where did I EVER say that the FCC would force the cost of carriage (the carriage agreement) based on the cost of the economic harm? I never said that. Here's what I DID say. Under the current rules, if a channel is being withheld from a provider because of the loophole, then if that provider wants the channel, they have to petition the FCC. The FCC has 2 main criteria in determining whether the channel in question should be granted to that provider:

1) Does the channel contain non-reproducible content? RSNs, by their very definition, fit this description. I mean, it's not like DirecTV can just to create an MLB expansion team, toss it in the Philly market, to compete with the Phillies just so DirecTV could create their own RSN to compete with CSN Philly.

2) Is that subscriber losing customers because they don't have access to the channel? This is the economic harm standard. It's not a question of how big or profitable the provider is. It's a question of competitive advantage. Comcast has an unfair competitive advantage in the Philly market over DirecTV BECAUSE of CSN Philly. Again, look at the stat I quoted - 40% below standard market penetration rate... all because DirecTV doesn't have access to CSN Philly. That's not a minor discrepency... that's a MAJOR discrepency in competitiveness in the market.

One last point - on your original notion that because DirecTV is a national system that it's impossible to force Comcast to keep to a normal cost for CSN. Nonsense. How is it done now? DirecTV has access to RSNs from all around the country - including several that are owned by Comcast. You mean to tell me that Comcast can just charge whatever the hell they want for those RSNs because DirecTV is a large, national system? No... they can't. This is NO different. The rules/laws governing usery charges for channel carriage have been in effect for a LONG time. This FCC rule change (on closing the loophole) in NO way changes it. It ONLY expands the number of channels which MUST be provided to other service providers. This rule only forces Comcast to hand over a channel to DirecTV. It doesn't have anything to say about the cost of carriage. For that, existing laws/rules rule the day.

Again, I NEVER said the FCC can force a specific price due to the extent of the economic harm. The economic harm is used ONLY as a way to determine if a provider has to hand over a channel... not on how much they're required to charge.

#1865 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:33 AM

JPL, based on all that you know and have seen with this war between C and D, will there ever be victory for D. Or will C win and piss on all of us as they have had for enternity.

having said all of that, I'll be moving to NC by end of FEB.


Yes... I do. Way back when Verizon first submitted their brief to the FCC to close the loophole, I posted on this forum about it. It seemed to be lost on many just what Verizon was asking, and what effect it would have on DirecTV. It seemed, on the surface, that Verizon was just asking for access to MSG. But I posted that what they were really requesting was a closing of the loophole. The FCC went along with Verizon's argument. At that point it was just a matter of time. To me, there is no way in hell Comcast prevents DirecTV from carrying the channel. When that will happen, I have no idea.

Based on the canned responses folks on here have gotten from DirecTV, it sounds like DirecTV is trying to come to terms with Comcast without going to the FCC to demand carriage. But then again, the comment that they have to follow the rules set forth by the FCC seems to indicate otherwise. What rules? I think they're trying to obfuscate a bit... saying that if the negotiations fail, they'll go to the FCC to demand carriage.

For anyone who thinks that DirecTV couldn't be bothered by this, I repeat that same stat. 40%. Lest anyone thinks that that stat is nonsense, I invite you to drive around this region some time. The number of satellite dishes you'll see is very small, by comparison. I live in a neighborhood of some 500+ houses. Granted, I don't drive around the entire neighborhood regularly, but I can count on one hand the number of houses I pass that have dishes on them. DirecTV would be idiotic for NOT pushing for carriage of the channel.

#1866 OFFLINE   Grafixguy

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:28 AM

We are not talking about MSG which has always been distributed to MSOs via satellite. We are talking about MSG HD which has always been distributed terrestrially.

MSG HD has been available for one month after about 4 years of FCC and court battles. The financial arrangements between MSG and ATT/VZ were ordered by the FCC to be completed in 30 days. It took less than that because the framework was already in place from deals made with other carriers.

#1867 OFFLINE   seventy7doomsday

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:02 AM

well here is the response i got back from directv at least it sounds somewhat positive. btw i have jumped to fios about a year ago but almost certainly will return if and when the channel becomes available to directv.



Response Via Email(DIRECTV) - 01/25/2012 06:25 PM
Dear Mr. Testar,

Thank you for your recent correspondence. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

The recent FCC ruling may allow us to carry additional channels, but we are required to follow specific FCC guidelines before we can make any changes to our programming.


DIRECTV does not have an agreement in place with CSN Philadelphia at this time, but we have had discussions with Comcast about carrying the network and we hope to make it available in the future.

Sincerely,

DIRECTV Customer Advocate Team

Customer By Web Form (Albert Testar) - 01/19/2012 01:19 PM
Now that the FCC and courts have allowed DirecTV to carry Comcast Sports Net-Philadelphia, I'm wondering what the status is of getting this regional sports network added to DirecTV's lineup.

JUST NOTICED THIS IS SAME RESPONSE SENT TO OTHER POSTER BUT AT LEAST IT SOUNDS POSITIVE.

Edited by seventy7doomsday, 26 January 2012 - 09:06 AM.
OMITTED SENTENCE


#1868 OFFLINE   spaul

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:51 PM

Today I received what seems to be a run around letter from FCC on my complaint about Comcast and CSN Phila. It seems the first page is generic and not to the point the next 2 pages only repeat what I wrote in detail but, with nothing more then saying to recontact FCC in letter or on line.Oh and thank you for my e mail .Seems like a dog chasing his tail or catch 22.

#1869 OFFLINE   spaul

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:56 PM

On another note didn't Comcast stop using microwave system when the digital/HD broadcasting started .It seems someone awhile back mentioned this so,then it would seem they are using satellite now .Besides how do they feed the league channels and other sport networks with game content and feeds.

#1870 OFFLINE   jeepwrang3

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:31 PM

On another note didn't Comcast stop using microwave system when the digital/HD broadcasting started .It seems someone awhile back mentioned this so,then it would seem they are using satellite now .Besides how do they feed the league channels and other sport networks with game content and feeds.


to that point, i belive they officially stopped using the microwave system back in 2008 if I'm remembering correctly. Comcast used the loophole as an excuse prior to that, then just refused to give in until the FCC was involved. There was speculation that when the Spectrum was torn down, they would be unable to claim that the broadcasts were via the old PRISM system. Of course that day still hasnt come, but the Spectrum is now a parking lot.
Long time Lurker, first time poster :nono2:

#1871 OFFLINE   Grafixguy

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:48 PM

On another note didn't Comcast stop using microwave system when the digital/HD broadcasting started .It seems someone awhile back mentioned this so,then it would seem they are using satellite now .Besides how do they feed the league channels and other sport networks with game content and feeds.


AFAIK, it's being distributed via direct fiber.

#1872 OFFLINE   la24philly

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:30 PM

xfinity Live is now where the spectrum is, and Prism had its broadcasting studios in bala cynwd.

I noticed when the spectrum was up, they had several trailers and TV equipment on the truck. Im guessing they were communicating via the truck to the main office in bala cynwd.

Edited by la24philly, 26 January 2012 - 08:46 PM.


#1873 OFFLINE   spaul

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:24 PM

La24philly good luck with your move and being able to see Sixers and Phillies games now. I'm jealous about your viewing in the future also, thanks for tidbit on the old PRISM system I guess Comcast will go to the end of the earth to hold us from viewing it.

#1874 OFFLINE   digidan

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:29 AM

xfinity Live is now where the spectrum is, and Prism had its broadcasting studios in bala cynwd.

I noticed when the spectrum was up, they had several trailers and TV equipment on the truck. Im guessing they were communicating via the truck to the main office in bala cynwd.


PRISM admin offices were in Bala Cynwyd, master control and production studios were in the bowels of the Spectrum.

#1875 OFFLINE   digidan

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:47 AM

to that point, i belive they officially stopped using the microwave system back in 2008 if I'm remembering correctly. Comcast used the loophole as an excuse prior to that, then just refused to give in until the FCC was involved. There was speculation that when the Spectrum was torn down, they would be unable to claim that the broadcasts were via the old PRISM system. Of course that day still hasnt come, but the Spectrum is now a parking lot.


CSN stopped using the microwave feed long before 2008. They had already moved to fiber when they broadcast their first HD game in 2003.

#1876 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:18 PM

Again, you're not right. Look, if the loophole ONLY applied to DBS transmission of cable channels, then how in the hell did CV prevent Verizon and AT&T from carrying MSG? Verizon has fiber running to the transmission point for MSG, and yet they wouldn't allow Verizon to carry the HD version of the channels. Please explain that one to me. And what justification did they use? The loophole!

Next, why did Verizon undergo an effort that took a number of years, and lots of money, to push for a closing of the loophole in the first place, if the loophole ONLY affected satellite transmission of a channel? Were they doing it for DirecTV's benefit? Um, no. They pushed for closing of the loophole specifically to get MSG HD.

As for the notion of 'economic harm' being a determinant for the cost of transmission... um, what? Where did I EVER say that the FCC would force the cost of carriage (the carriage agreement) based on the cost of the economic harm? I never said that. Here's what I DID say. Under the current rules, if a channel is being withheld from a provider because of the loophole, then if that provider wants the channel, they have to petition the FCC. The FCC has 2 main criteria in determining whether the channel in question should be granted to that provider:

1) Does the channel contain non-reproducible content? RSNs, by their very definition, fit this description. I mean, it's not like DirecTV can just to create an MLB expansion team, toss it in the Philly market, to compete with the Phillies just so DirecTV could create their own RSN to compete with CSN Philly.

2) Is that subscriber losing customers because they don't have access to the channel? This is the economic harm standard. It's not a question of how big or profitable the provider is. It's a question of competitive advantage. Comcast has an unfair competitive advantage in the Philly market over DirecTV BECAUSE of CSN Philly. Again, look at the stat I quoted - 40% below standard market penetration rate... all because DirecTV doesn't have access to CSN Philly. That's not a minor discrepency... that's a MAJOR discrepency in competitiveness in the market.

One last point - on your original notion that because DirecTV is a national system that it's impossible to force Comcast to keep to a normal cost for CSN. Nonsense. How is it done now? DirecTV has access to RSNs from all around the country - including several that are owned by Comcast. You mean to tell me that Comcast can just charge whatever the hell they want for those RSNs because DirecTV is a large, national system? No... they can't. This is NO different. The rules/laws governing usery charges for channel carriage have been in effect for a LONG time. This FCC rule change (on closing the loophole) in NO way changes it. It ONLY expands the number of channels which MUST be provided to other service providers. This rule only forces Comcast to hand over a channel to DirecTV. It doesn't have anything to say about the cost of carriage. For that, existing laws/rules rule the day.

Again, I NEVER said the FCC can force a specific price due to the extent of the economic harm. The economic harm is used ONLY as a way to determine if a provider has to hand over a channel... not on how much they're required to charge.


Yeah, they used the loop hole and they lost, because they where interpreting it to their advantage! And hello, then they argued that when they closed the loop hole they only closed it when it pertained to stations that where also owned by providers, and that didn't hold water either! Just because they used that as an excuse doesn't mean they where correct, as they found out by loosing all those arguments. :)

I think Verizon wanted to try and close it no matter what because they didn't know how congress and the FCC would vote, and they wanted to hedge their bets and take away any argument that MSG, or any other station could use to deny a channel. Also, some people, like the cv people seemed to think that since fiber was different than cable they should have been lumped in with sat, which again was their interpretation, not what the FCC and congress ultimately seemed to determine here. Channels where using it as an excuse by saying it implied anything other than traditional cable systems, is I believe how I have seen it worded. I don't think fiber companies existed when they created the loophole in the first place, which I do believe was put in place to keep channels from having to invest in sat systems for distribution if they didn't want to, because that might have put some channels out of business.

I have no idea where your getting the cost of carriage economic harm thing. Your misinterpreting me again. I am saying that just because they can force a channel to open a channel up and negotiate with other providers doesn't mean they can force them to allow a Chanel to be carried, because they are not also forcing a pricing and carriage agreement. They are simply forcing negotiations in good faith.

I don't proclaim to know all the details on how the numbers work out for DirecTV and RSNs but my guess would be they have two fees generally, one for in market subs, and one for out of market subs. Add in that DirecTV wants digital rights for all stations, and these things get far more complex. Comcast could ask for the same rate for all subs, when say maybe other RSNs ask for less for out of market subs. And then you also have to wonder about on demand content too. I haven't seen any from RSNs yet, but I suspect someday we will.

Again in the end though, that is all completely meaningless. Comcast has already opened up the channel, as a condition to their merger with NBC, even if they had opened it up before, this is just another final nail in the coffin for them not wanting it elsewhere. Please show me anywhere that says comcast is hiding behind the loop hole today. They aren't The only thing that is keeping it from dbs now is a carriage agreement, which comes down to the contract and the pricing of it. So there is no loop hole argument of any kind involved here. This is not at all the same as cv. Dbs has no argument about economic harm to be made, because it doesn't even apply here. Again, the only thing the FCC could do is rule they are not negotiating in good faith, and that would be so difficult to prove, for so many reason!

#1877 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:23 PM

We are not talking about MSG which has always been distributed to MSOs via satellite. We are talking about MSG HD which has always been distributed terrestrially.

MSG HD has been available for one month after about 4 years of FCC and court battles. The financial arrangements between MSG and ATT/VZ were ordered by the FCC to be completed in 30 days. It took less than that because the framework was already in place from deals made with other carriers.


And none of that has anything to do with the situation today with Comcast and DBS. We are way way past those issues, Comcast and dtv need to simply come to a carriage agreement, nothing but what rights and how much money are standing in the way now.

There is nothing for the FCC to do, unless DirecTV says they aren't negotiating in good faith, and I don't see that ever getting proven.

#1878 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:39 PM

I'm sorry, but I just don't follow your logic here at all. You admit that they (CV) used the loophole and lost... but then you go on to explain how closing the loophole doesn't help DirecTV in this case. Um... what? That just makes no sense. And CV didn't 'lose'. Providers can deny carriage through the use of the loophole. But the FCC now allows some of those channels to be forced to be handed over to other providers.

As for the contractural thing... ugh. Look, let's say Comcast decided 'we're just going to transmit CSN Philly by satellite.' What happens then? Can they deny DirecTV from getting the channel at that point? No. It's no longer covered under the loophole. So, you mean to tell me that, were that to happen, there is no conceivable way that the FCC could force Comcast to come to terms with DirecTV for the channel? Of course they can!

This latest move by the FCC doesn't change ANY of that mechanism. It doesn't change, at all, the rules governing carriage agreements - and what the FCC can force providers to do. And no, they're NOT just telling these guys 'negotiate in good faith.' Look at what they directed CV and AT&T/Verizon to do. They ORDERED them to come to terms within 30 days. Not 'play nice'... not 'see how it goes'... they were MANDATED to come to terms.

Again, NONE (zero) of the contract mechanisms were changed by this latest FCC move. What was? Which channels are allowed to be denied coverage. That's all. The FCC is now saying 'we have some more rules governing what can and can't be denied coverage.' But the mechanism for deciding carriage rates... they haven't changed.

Once more - ask yourself this question - if Comcast started broadcasting CSN Philly by satellite today, would they be able to deny DirecTV access to the channel? The answer is an emphatic 'no'. Ok, given that, then if that were the case, what would the FCC do? Would they tell Comcast to 'pretty please... give over the channel'? Um... no. They would compel Comcast to come to terms with DirecTV. Period. This move changes none of that.

As for your assurance that all is well because the handling of the channel was part of the NBC deal... I think that's unreasonable optimism. Why? Look at the date on the article. It's a year old. Where's the channel? Has Comcast given the channel to DirecTV or Dish? Hmmm... no. What exactly is the hold up then? In reality, despite what that article says, it's not clear at all that the channel was ever part of the NBC deal. There were very mixed messages coming from Comcast on that front - I'd seen other write-ups saying 'we don't know what you're talking about... CSN Philly was NEVER part of the NBC deal. We considered it, but it's not actually in there.' The fact that it's been a year and there's been no movement should tell you alot.

I don't doubt that DirecTV is trying to work directly with Comcast without having to go to the FCC. But believe me, if there is no movement, then DirecTV will go to the FCC. And if they do, the FCC WILL force Comcast to hand over the channel.

#1879 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:49 PM

I'm sorry, but I just don't follow your logic here at all. You admit that they (CV) used the loophole and lost... but then you go on to explain how closing the loophole doesn't help DirecTV in this case. Um... what? That just makes no sense. And CV didn't 'lose'. Providers can deny carriage through the use of the loophole. But the FCC now allows some of those channels to be forced to be handed over to other providers.

As for the contractural thing... ugh. Look, let's say Comcast decided 'we're just going to transmit CSN Philly by satellite.' What happens then? Can they deny DirecTV from getting the channel at that point? No. It's no longer covered under the loophole. So, you mean to tell me that, were that to happen, there is no conceivable way that the FCC could force Comcast to come to terms with DirecTV for the channel? Of course they can!

This latest move by the FCC doesn't change ANY of that mechanism. It doesn't change, at all, the rules governing carriage agreements - and what the FCC can force providers to do. And no, they're NOT just telling these guys 'negotiate in good faith.' Look at what they directed CV and AT&T/Verizon to do. They ORDERED them to come to terms within 30 days. Not 'play nice'... not 'see how it goes'... they were MANDATED to come to terms.

Again, NONE (zero) of the contract mechanisms were changed by this latest FCC move. What was? Which channels are allowed to be denied coverage. That's all. The FCC is now saying 'we have some more rules governing what can and can't be denied coverage.' But the mechanism for deciding carriage rates... they haven't changed.

Once more - ask yourself this question - if Comcast started broadcasting CSN Philly by satellite today, would they be able to deny DirecTV access to the channel? The answer is an emphatic 'no'. Ok, given that, then if that were the case, what would the FCC do? Would they tell Comcast to 'pretty please... give over the channel'? Um... no. They would compel Comcast to come to terms with DirecTV. Period. This move changes none of that.

As for your assurance that all is well because the handling of the channel was part of the NBC deal... I think that's unreasonable optimism. Why? Look at the date on the article. It's a year old. Where's the channel? Has Comcast given the channel to DirecTV or Dish? Hmmm... no. What exactly is the hold up then? In reality, despite what that article says, it's not clear at all that the channel was ever part of the NBC deal. There were very mixed messages coming from Comcast on that front - I'd seen other write-ups saying 'we don't know what you're talking about... CSN Philly was NEVER part of the NBC deal. We considered it, but it's not actually in there.' The fact that it's been a year and there's been no movement should tell you alot.

I don't doubt that DirecTV is trying to work directly with Comcast without having to go to the FCC. But believe me, if there is no movement, then DirecTV will go to the FCC. And if they do, the FCC WILL force Comcast to hand over the channel.


I'm saying it has no bearing because Comcast would have to be hiding behind the loophole for any of this argument to be relevant and they are not. they have agreed regardless of the loophole no matter what after the merger with NBC that they will make all their channels available to all providers everywhere. In fact i think it includes all their channels, not just rsns. that alone makes all of this strictly a contractual issue and nothing else with regards to any station owned by any part of the NBC Comcast company. And that's been in place for a many months, not to mention Comcast stopped hiding behind the loophole in the summer of 2010 anyway and started negotiating with DBS that summer.

The fact they have been negotiating sine then also shows they aren't hiding behind the loophole.

#1880 OFFLINE   jeepwrang3

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 01:10 PM

I'd hope that they are negotiating. I know from DTV's standpoint there is no reason for them to broadcast that we're in negotiations as it would cause a ruckus, and potentially have them be forced into a higher price. The problem is that as consumers with DTV, we've been getting the run around for years now. Not to mention that with some of the recent FCC developments obviously we all thought the ball would get rolling just a little quicker. In the end, we all want the same thing, just that we want it yesterday, and not the same old generic answers that we've heard for 10 years.

As far as the philadelphia region, I would bet my life that the second DTV/DISH negotiate CSN Philly, you would see a mass exodus from comcast the likes the cable industry has never seen.
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