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what does the passing of Stela means for distant networks..


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#26 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 09:18 PM

It doesn't make sense to keep asking a question that you already have the answer to, unless you're James Lipton.

The closest thing to a "neighboring distant" is the significantly viewed stations ... stations we've been referring to as close distants for over five years now. As current law classifies these as distants the name is perfectly fitting.

In the STELA powered future we'll have locals, SVs and distants ... and they will likely be offered in that order. If you can get additional channels great!

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#27 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 09:23 PM

But you keep skipping around the definition of "distants." That is the key to this discussion, yet you have created an artificial distinction between "neighboring distants" and "distants." "Neighboring distants" do not exist in STELA.

#28 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 09:41 PM

But you keep skipping around the definition of "distants." That is the key to this discussion, yet you have created an artificial distinction between "neighboring distants" and "distants." "Neighboring distants" do not exist in STELA.

I'm sorry if you have misread any of my posts.

Satellite providers are free to offer and not offer any out of market network station as a distant to a qualified customer. Qualified customers are free to choose up to two affiliates of each network any distant stations that the satellite provider chooses to offer to that customer. Satellite providers are not required to offer any particular station as a distant or to offer distant network stations at all.

I expect networks will be provided to customers by their satellite providers in the order previously discussed for the reasons previously given. Proximity matters to most customers. The average satellite customer isn't the guy with a C band dish or two in his back yard experimenting as much as watching TV. We're talking about retail customers who want transparent service ... cable from the sky ... with all the channels that their neighbors with cable or the folks in town with cable can get. And if they can get a better service through price, sports offerings or quality they will take that too.

#29 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:15 PM

I'm sorry if you have misread any of my posts.

Satellite providers are free to offer and not offer any out of market network station as a distant to a qualified customer. Qualified customers are free to choose up to two affiliates of each network any distant stations that the satellite provider chooses to offer to that customer. Satellite providers are not required to offer any particular station as a distant or to offer distant network stations at all.

I expect networks will be provided to customers by their satellite providers in the order previously discussed for the reasons previously given. Proximity matters to most customers. The average satellite customer isn't the guy with a C band dish or two in his back yard experimenting as much as watching TV. We're talking about retail customers who want transparent service ... cable from the sky ... with all the channels that their neighbors with cable or the folks in town with cable can get. And if they can get a better service through price, sports offerings or quality they will take that too.

I don't believe I have misread any of your posts. I furthermore agree with your last post. And I think that you have done an excellent job moderating the discussions in this forum. You have a vast store of knowledge with regard to Dish Network, and with regard to satellite television in general. If anything, a little debate can sharpen both people.

#30 OFFLINE   imnaha

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 09:00 PM

So what does this all mean for northeast Oregon residents in the Yakima WA DMA? Is Directv finally allowed to carry any Portland channels into Umatilla County as Charter Cable now does?

#31 OFFLINE   Jon Ellis

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 09:02 PM

Unfortunately, the revised law does nothing for your case. The only way DirecTV could offer Portland stations in Umatilla County is if they appeared on the signficantly viewed list for the county, but they do not. (The list is at http://www.fcc.gov/m...tions050310.pdf)

This law does not really change anything for DirecTV, that I've seen, it only helps DISH Network by restoring some options that had been removed by a court order.

#32 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 11:43 PM

This law does not really change anything for DirecTV, that I've seen, it only helps DISH Network by restoring some options that had been removed by a court order.

For clarity: It will allow DISH to do what DirecTV could already do.
"SVs" blocked by the injunction are immediately available.
"Distants" in markets that did not have DISH local-into-local service on Dec 31st are available as of the issuance of a temporary waiver last week.
"Distants" into markets that had DISH local-into-local service on Dec 31st and to RV customers remain unavailable until a FCC/court process is followed.

DirecTV can, today, do everything DISH has is able to do again and more. Nothing less.

(And yes, you are correct in your assessment of Umatilla County.)

#33 OFFLINE   Jon Ellis

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 09:54 PM

"SVs" blocked by the injunction are immediately available.


You might instead say that DISH has the immediate option to offer them. Whether or not they are available to subscribers is up to DISH.

#34 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 11:37 PM

You might instead say that DISH has the immediate option to offer them. Whether or not they are available to subscribers is up to DISH.

You're right ... DISH is under no obligation to offer them and there are plenty of examples where DISH is not offering a SV station where they could easily do so (and fill in missing network coverage).

#35 OFFLINE   oyving

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 03:35 PM

The only way DirecTV could offer Portland stations in Umatilla County is if they appeared on the signficantly viewed list for the county, but they do not. (The list is at http://www.fcc.gov/m...tions050310.pdf)


Thanks for this link. Now I am in Lee County, Illinois and the list says I should be getting more than I am. How would I proceed with Directv if I can?

#36 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 04:15 PM

Thanks for this link. Now I am in Lee County, Illinois and the list says I should be getting more than I am. How would I proceed with Directv if I can?

"Should" probably isn't the right word. The law and the list give satellite providers permission to carry significantly viewed stations. It does not mandate carriage.

#37 OFFLINE   Jon Ellis

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 05:02 PM

It might not hurt to give DirecTV a call or drop them an e-mail, though. They might add the SV stations if enough people request them.

#38 OFFLINE   imnaha

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 12:15 AM

So what does this all mean for northeast Oregon residents in the Yakima WA DMA? Is Directv finally allowed to carry any Portland channels into Umatilla County as Charter Cable now does?


Unfortunately, the revised law does nothing for your case. The only way DirecTV could offer Portland stations in Umatilla County is if they appeared on the signficantly viewed list for the county, but they do not. (The list is at http://www.fcc.gov/m...tions050310.pdf)

This law does not really change anything for DirecTV, that I've seen, it only helps DISH Network by restoring some options that had been removed by a court order.


I appreciate the information. What I've never understood is why the FCC refuses to place Portland stations on the SV list for Umatilla County.

Four translators carry Portland stations specifically into Umatilla County. Several more translators in the same area carry Spokane stations into neighboring Walla Walla County, and yet Walla Walla County gets Spokane stations on its SV list. Walla Walla County is also in the Yakima DMA, and its border is within a few miles of all the "Big-Three" Tri-Cities stations. The FCCs own coverage maps for these translators clearly show the translators' service areas are for both Umatilla and Walla Walla counties.

Perhaps someone could explain how one county gets SV stations on its list, and the other does not. One could argue that Umatilla County should have both Portland and Spokane stations on its SV list. Some of the Spokane translators are practically next door to the Portland translators on the same mountain.

#39 OFFLINE   FTA Michael

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 08:20 PM

In my limited experience, SV = on cable. If the Umatilla County cable systems don't carry Portland stations, then they really aren't SV. If they do, then that's your argument for adding them to the SV list.
Yes, FTABlog is active again. Why do you ask?

#40 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 09:09 PM

In my limited experience, SV = on cable.

That is the point of SV. Stations fight for SV status so they can be on cable systems that normally wouldn't carry them.

If the Umatilla County cable systems don't carry Portland stations, then they really aren't SV.

True. If they were SV the Umatilla County systems would be forced to carry them.

On cable doesn't mean a station is SV ... stations (even "out of market" stations) can get cable carriage without being SV. But if a station has gained SV status the only reason why it wouldn't be on cable would be if the cable system were small and had already met its quota for OTA stations.

BTW: Even if the stations were SV, carrying a Portland network station in Umatilla County would require the permission of the same network Yakima market stations. It is unfortunate - but cable and satellite laws are still not a level playing field. There are still instances of "cable can" where "satellite cannot" in the laws.

#41 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:13 PM

The FCC maintains a list of "significantly viewed" stations. It has to do with over-the-air penetration of an adjacent market, not cable coverage per se in an adjacent market. Cable and satellite penetration in the Monterey-Salinas market is over 90 percent, and all those viewers cable and satellite customers receive KGO from San Francisco, the adjacent market. Yet, even though virtually everyone in Monterey-Salinas views KGO, it is not "significantly viewed" in that market. In fact, it covers news in Monterey-Salinas and provides all the ABC programs. It may even be the most popular station in that market, yet it is not "significantly viewed" in that market.

#42 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:51 PM

The FCC maintains a list of "significantly viewed" stations. It has to do with over-the-air penetration of an adjacent market, not cable coverage per se in an adjacent market.

It has nothing to do with cable coverage at all - except that being the goal of getting the station on the SV list. Cable viewership does not count toward the viewership level needed to be a Significantly Viewed station.

It also has nothing to do with adjacent markets. The SV list is not market specific, it is county (and in some cases city) specific. If the station met the threshold for over the air viewership in 1972 when the list was created by the FCC or met the threshold in a later year and were added the station is Significantly Viewed for the county/city specified.

In some ways heavy cable penetration and carriage prevents a channel from becoming Significantly viewed since only over the air viewing counts.

#43 OFFLINE   Jon Ellis

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:51 PM

It is important to note that the FCC does not update the list automatically. It only makes changes at a station's request... a station that wants to be included as SV, or a station that wants a competitor removed from the SV list. (That's rare, but it happened a year or two ago in Johnson County, Iowa, after the cable system added the SV CBS affiliate from Rock Island, IL, amid a retransmission consent dispute with the Cedar Rapids CBS affiliate.)

There are many cases where a station has not had a reason to get itself added to the SV list. There are many big-four network affiliates that have come on the air since the early 1970's that are not listed as SV anywhere (the station I work at, KQDS-TV in Duluth, is an example of that).

#44 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:55 PM

Being listed as SV is not a requirement to gain cable carriage.
That's the biggest problem I see with using this list for satellite.
Stations who already have cable coverage don't need to be SV.

STELA has changed it so satellite providers can petition to have stations added to the SV list. But it being based solely on over-the-air ratings the threshold may not be met, even on the most popular cable carried local stations.

#45 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:09 AM

It also has nothing to do with adjacent markets. The SV list is not market specific, it is county (and in some cases city) specific. If the station met the threshold for over the air viewership in 1972 when the list was created by the FCC or met the threshold in a later year and were added the station is Significantly Viewed for the county/city specified.

In some ways heavy cable penetration and carriage prevents a channel from becoming Significantly viewed since only over the air viewing counts.


I stated in my post that the issue is over-the-air viewing. KGO is seen by 90 percent or more of the viewers in Monterey-Salinas, yet is not "significantly viewed" in that market because it lacks over-the-air penetration of that market. All those viewers are on cable/satellite.

While you are legally correct that it has nothing to do with adjacent markets, in reality it will almost always if not always be a "significantly viewed" station from an adjacent market, unless it is a local station in the market. However, if it is a local station, then the carriage of the station is likely already occurring. Virtually all the discussion on the board is about "significantly viewed" stations that are outside the market.

The area in which a station is "significantly viewed" is specific to portions of the area--county or city where it is "significantly viewed," for example.

It is interesting to note that the non-competition clause that AAD and Dish are working under specifically states that nothing in the clause shall restrict Dish from carrying "significantly viewed" stations. Thus, the agreement contemplated that Dish might seek to carry out-of-market stations as "significantly viewed" stations, even if the same stations were being carried by AAD as distant stations.

It is that non-competition clause, plus KGO's status as not being a "significantly viewed" station in Monterey-Salinas, that prevents Dish from offering KGO in Monterey-Salinas, and instead Dish is preparing to offer a Santa Barbara ABC affiliate (assuming that Dish ever regains the distant license). Unless and until Dish regains that license, Dish does not offer ABC in Monterey-Salinas.

Can you identify a "significantly viewed" station that is not from an adjacent market and is not a local station? A station that, in other words, is from two markets over or farther away?

Edited by runner861, 14 June 2010 - 07:48 AM.


#46 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 10:28 AM

I stated in my post that the issue is over-the-air viewing.

Read your full previous statement. It is pretty short and includes the statement "not cable coverage per se in an adjacent market." The threshold for qualifying for SV does NOT include cable carriage at all. Saying "cable coverage per se" [by itself] was wrong. As wrong as saying "The ERA has to do with the number of runs scored by the Dodgers, not the rushing yards of the Rams per se."

While you are legally correct that it has nothing to do with adjacent markets, in reality it will almost always if not always be a "significantly viewed" station from an adjacent market, unless it is a local station in the market.

"The fruit will be an apple (unless it is a orange)." The fact remains that markets do not define what is or is not a SV station. No need to muddy up the definition by even mentioning adjacent markets.

#47 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 10:46 AM

Well aren't all the discussions here about "significantly viewed" stations dealing with customers' desire to get "significantly viewed" stations carried in an adjacent market?

#48 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 10:57 AM

Well aren't all the discussions here about "significantly viewed" stations dealing with customers' desire to get "significantly viewed" stations carried in an adjacent market?

The question was how stations become listed as significantly viewed.

#49 OFFLINE   imnaha

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 01:32 AM

Fascinating discussion. I appreciate all of your contributions. Sounds like it is nearly impossible to get the Portland stations on Umatilla County's SV list.

Bottom line is this:

1. No Portland stations are currently on the SV list for Umatilla County.

2. All cable systems in Umatilla County now carry Portland stations. (I guess that's irrelevant in terms of SV status.)

3. Several Portland stations have translators in Umatilla County targeting parts of Umatilla County.

4. In 2004, Senators Ron Wyden (D) and former Senator Gordon Smith ® succeeded in passing legislation that would have made an exemption to the SV rules for Umatilla County and several other Oregon counties, but it never became reality (as far as I know). Here's the link to Wyden's original press release from 2004:

http://wyden.senate....e9-51d57f33e02d

A bipartisan attempt was made by the Senators to grant an exemption for Umatilla County so that we could get the Portland stations on satellite. I've been unable to get Senator Wyden's office to respond to my questions about this for an update.

#50 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 03:49 AM

4. In 2004, Senators Ron Wyden (D) and former Senator Gordon Smith ® succeeded in passing legislation that would have made an exemption to the SV rules for Umatilla County and several other Oregon counties, but it never became reality (as far as I know). Here's the link to Wyden's original press release from 2004:

http://wyden.senate....e9-51d57f33e02d

Sending to the president looks like it should be law, the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004 rolled into the fiscal year 2005 omnibus appropriations bill.

That sounds like 47 USC 341:

§ 341. Carriage of television signals to certain subscribers

(a)(1) IN GENERAL.—A cable operator or satellite carrier may elect to retransmit, to subscribers in an eligible county—

(A) any television broadcast stations that are located in the State in which the county is located and that any cable operator or satellite carrier was retransmitting to subscribers in the county on January 1, 2004; or

(B) up to 2 television broadcast stations located in the State in which the county is located, if the number of television broadcast stations that the cable operator or satellite carrier is authorized to carry under paragraph (1) is less than 3.

(2) DEEMED SIGNIFICANTLY VIEWED.—A station described in subsection (a) of this section is deemed to be significantly viewed in the eligible county within the meaning of section 76.54 of the Commission’s regulations (47 CFR 76.54).

(3) DEFINITION OF ELIGIBLE COUNTY.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘‘eligible county’’ means any 1 of 4 counties that—

(A) are all in a single State;

(B) on January 1, 2004, were each in designated market areas in which the majority of counties were located in another State or States; and

© as a group had a combined total of 41,340 television households according to the U.S. Television Household Estimates by Nielsen Media Research for 2003–2004.

(4) LIMITATION.—Carriage of a station under this section shall be at the option of the cable operator or satellite carrier.

(B) CERTAIN MARKETS.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a satellite carrier may not carry the signal of a television station into an adjacent local market that is comprised of only a portion of a county, other than to unserved households located in that county.

Congress likes to write in special rules for special areas without actually naming those special areas. It makes it hard to know what the special area is unless it is noted at the time the law was passed.

IF this matches the correct description the stations could be SV via this section of law ... then it would simply be up to DISH (or DirecTV) to carry the stations when they have the desire to do so.




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