DISH carries one porn channel in HD. There are over 350 PBS member stations.
It is a little easier to carry the one national porn channel than hundreds of locals.
With regard to the number, I've been slowly assembling a spreadsheet to see if the problem for Dish is real at this time or only a potential problem.
The first thing is that in many states my list simply includes an entry:
Iowa Public Television - statewide simulcast on nine stations
So nine PBS stations are actually one. In some cases, like Colorado, there is a similar entry for five stations plus one more in the Denver area. So six PBS stations are actually two.
The second factor is how many of these stations broadcast in HD.
In my own area, the San Francisco Bay Area DMA, indeed there are four PBS stations in SD carried by Dish. KQED 9 has an HD signal. It's sister station KTEH does not. Nor does KCSM. KRCB in the North Bay does have an HD signal. So there is two out of four.
But in the Monterey/Salinas/Santa Cruz DMA, the PBS station KQET is a repeater of KQED 9.
So, for two California DMA's Dish would have to carry two HD signals even though there appears to be five PBS stations.
I haven't had time to finish my spreadsheet. But considering that Iowa has one signal for nine PBS stations, Colorado has two signals for six PBS stations, and where there are four PBS stations in the Bay Area only two are HD and the PBS station in a neighboring DMA is actually one of those two HD channels, it seems that of 20 PBS stations 5 are HD independent signals. My guess is that there are less than 100 HD PBS stations some of which Dish already carries, but I will keep plugging away at the spreadsheet when I have time.
It is apparent to me that Charlie & Company simply don't like being told what to do even when what they must do is part of a negotiated law that has special provisions for them. And while they may have some problems with transponder space for certain DMA's, they didn't deal with this three years ago when they should have while laying out the use of transponder space on the new satellites, probably because they don't watch PBS and can't understand why anyone would when they have fishing and tennis in HD.
In the meantime, because it was convenient to another totally unrelated objective (and probably really cheap) not involving my DMA, I get the MyNetworkTV affiliate KRON in HD, a total waste of transponder space, the owner of which went bankrupt.
But I don't get KQED 9 in HD, which first went on air in 1954 and is one of the most-watched PBS stations in the country and which produces a lot of quality original HD programming. I know that Charlie tried to get by on the cheap with a single national PBS channel in HD, which would not have carried that local original programming and which was an attempt at cheapness that he was going to lose.
Yep, I am irked that this year I am again left with a choice of watching the HD "A Capitol Fourth (2010)" in SD on my PBS station or "paid programming" in HD on the MyNetwork affiliate at 8 pm tomorrow, the Fourth of July. Or I could watch bass fishing on WFNHD.