Since the Networks have been able to enforce DMA's. A government regulation, the Free Market doesn't exist.
Networks love Federal Regulations to force a monopoly of having them as the only choice and blocking out all others. Networks are dead set against a Free Market.
One thing that would be nice is for dish to give a 1% or 2% discount to all those that lost a channel during these kinds of disuptes
What you are dealing with when one talks about market exclusivity is really enforcement of copyright protection. In the United States, copyright protection is vigorously enforced, as opposed to China, where there is no copyright protection. In the United States, we have taken things too far, whereas in China they have done nothing and consequently suffer from poor-quality items and a lack of creativity and lack of protection of intellectual property.
However, the way Congress, as a tool of the NAB, has set up the laws are totally one-sided and go far beyond what is necessary to protect copyrights. After all, copyright is what should be protected, not local stations. Many local stations are crummy and do not serve the communities to which they are licensed. However, crummy or great, these local stations, which are private entities, do not deserve government protection.
In other words, in my opinion, if the local station is not receivable over the air in a particular location, then a carrier should be able to import a distant station affiliated with the same network to cover the void. And this should be done quickly, without some cumbersome test and without regard to whether locals are carried on the carrier already. Likewise, if a local station pulls its signal from a carrier, then the carrier should be able to import a distant station to cover the void. In other words, if a local station is by some means not available, then the carrier should be able to import a distant station.
This is really going to become an issue on November 1, when FOX pulls its stations and no distant stations can be imported to cover the void. I know that some will argue that FOX has the copyright to the programming on its O&O stations, and that importing a distant violates that copyright, but Congress could carve out an exception if it chose to do so. Of course, it won't do that, being that it is just a tool of the NAB.
Second, disputes over cable channels, as opposed to OTA channels, should be handled by a form of binding arbitration. Each side should be required to makes its best, final offer. During negotiations and at impasse, no stations can be pulled. Then, if no agreement has been reached, each side submits its final offer to the FCC. The FCC will then choose one of the two offers as the contract, and the other offer will be discarded. When each side knows that the final decision will be made in this way, moderation rather than extremism will be encouraged.
Edited by runner861, 23 October 2010 - 10:56 AM.