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BTN & DISH Agree to Deal (was BTN, Dish Network negotiation at stalemate)


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#21 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:20 PM

Another argument that local TV stations should not be allowed to charge for their signals. If I owned a cinema, and charged people to see a local broadcast (you can do this now with Digital Transmission), I would get in trouble with the FCC. Because the frequencies are owned by the public; you cannot charge for them. But, NAB and our so called "representatives" in Congress has let them do just that with Satellite and Cable; sell their signals.


That is apples vs oranges, though.

OTA stations don't charge you to receive the OTA broadcasts either... and in my DMA they didn't want cable or satellite to charge you... My DMA, the local stations years ago were willing to even provide fiber links to the cable company for free if the cable company would deliver them to you the viewer for free... but cable wanted to charge for the locals... so the locals said, if you want to charge then you have to pay us.

Cable and satellite had the opportunity years ago to suck it up and retransmit locals for free, but they saw it as a place to charge money... so that ship sailed.

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#22 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:37 PM

It is illegal for a local station to be charged for carriage or channel positioning - although it is legal for them to cover the costs of getting their signal to the cable/satellite company's headend/point of presence.

For cable, once the signal is at the head end it is carried along with all the "pay" cable channels using the same infrastructure and consuming space. There are laws that require cable systems to set aside a certain number of channels (based on system size) for locals. Once they have met that threshold additional channels do not need to be carried.

For satellite the point of presence is only the beginning of the journey. From there the station is backhauled to an uplink center (one of 10 regional centers, depending on the satellite the channel will appear on). Then it is uplinked to a specialized satellite that allows the satellite company to carry different locals in each market. The law does not allow satellite to carry another market's locals, which means to achieve full carriage thousands of channels need to be backhauled and uplinked - at no cost to the local channel. (If there is no local of a major network in a particular market distants can be imported ... but if a local of a major network exists that is the ONLY station that can represent that network in that market. Which leads to a lot of uplinks.) Satellite is also burdened with "carry one/carry all" where all stations in a market must be offered carriage - not just a quota.

While it may sound like a grand gesture to have stations say that their feed can be carried for free if a satellite/cable company doesn't charge for the signal it doesn't match the economics. Carrying local stations, especially on satellite, is very expensive. The satellite providers might be better off not carrying them at all ... except that satellite providers compete against cable providers who can carry a few local stations at each headend fairly cheaply.

I wish people at the stations could see the costs and partner with the satellite providers to extend their coverage and reach viewers without demanding an additional charge. But when offered an income source the local station certainly is not going to turn it down.

#23 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:26 PM

While it may sound like a grand gesture to have stations say that their feed can be carried for free if a satellite/cable company doesn't charge for the signal it doesn't match the economics. Carrying local stations, especially on satellite, is very expensive. The satellite providers might be better off not carrying them at all ... except that satellite providers compete against cable providers who can carry a few local stations at each headend fairly cheaply.


I wonder how the cost-comparison is for Dish to carry local markets vs their subscriber-base VS the cost of a local channel to build/power its transmitter?

Local stations put a lot of money into their tower & transmission equipment... and their only source of revenue is from the programming they carry and commercials. OTA stations don't charge their viewers (for the purposes of this argument, PBS is being ignored since they are privately funded and do solicit viewer donations)...

So I don't discount the cost to Dish to retransmit locals... but how does that cost compare to the cost the local station has to exist?

Meanwhile... we've seen how customers demand that dish or DirecTV carry their locals. Now that most are carried, the noise has died down... but lots of people would switch to Dish or DirecTV if only one carried their locals... people used to have to get "lifeline" cable for their locals before the satellite companies started carrying LiLs...

so... from Dish's point of view, there is a cost of providing the locals BUT also they gain a lot of customers who wouldn't subscribe to Dish at all without the LiLs... so it isn't entirely fair to paint Dish's cost of providing/uplinking LiLs as just an expenditure that doesn't in and of itself pay off in the form of subscribers.

Example... in the Raleigh, NC DMA where I live... there would be a lot less Dish customers if they didn't carry LiLs... consider the Hopper too currently without OTA support... without Raleigh, NC LiLs in my DMA nobody here would sign up for Dish and get a Hopper and lose their OTA networks if Dish didn't have the LiLs.

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#24 OFFLINE   Jhon69

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:34 PM

By the way, after I wrote what I posted, I learned that a company called "Local TV", which seems to be made up of mostly FOX stations, is about to be dropped by DirecTV for WJW in Cleveland (FOX 8). The usual, the stations want more money for transmission. While they have not said they will do the same in Denver (KDVR and KWGN) are owned by "Local TV". So, that thread about FOX being dropped by DISH may actually have some traction in a few weeks; as it is now happening with DirecTV.

So, Sinclair is not the only group playing the increase the transmission cost game.

Another argument that local TV stations should not be allowed to charge for their signals. If I owned a cinema, and charged people to see a local broadcast (you can do this now with Digital Transmission), I would get in trouble with the FCC. Because the frequencies are owned by the public; you cannot charge for them. But, NAB and our so called "representatives" in Congress has let them do just that with Satellite and Cable; sell their signals.



That is correct the "airwaves" are supposed to be free,but there is no"air" in space.;):D

#25 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:54 PM

I wonder how the cost-comparison is for Dish to carry local markets vs their subscriber-base VS the cost of a local channel to build/power its transmitter?

How many millions of viewers does the local station reach vs the 12%(?) market share that DISH has? How many people in the local market cannot receive the OTA signal due to the lack of the proper outdoor mast mounted antenna?

DISH comes along and offers to help the station distribute their signal to their entire market and their thank you is a per subscriber bill from the station?

Local stations put a lot of money into their tower & transmission equipment... and their only source of revenue is from the programming they carry and commercials. OTA stations don't charge their viewers (for the purposes of this argument, PBS is being ignored since they are privately funded and do solicit viewer donations)...

Local stations can make money off of the programming they produce, and from commercial sales/underwriting. And now they have added reselling their signal to cable/satellite to their ways of making money.

Perhaps the local stations should just say no ... absolutely NO retransmission of their signals whatsoever. See how they survive without the audience cable and satellite providers give them. Especially in a market where the other stations have said yes and subscribers can more easily watch competitive programming.

So I don't discount the cost to Dish to retransmit locals... but how does that cost compare to the cost the local station has to exist?

The cost to the local station is there with or without DISH carriage. It doesn't cost the station any more to be carried on DISH ... other than what they pay their lawyers and negotiators to argue over the contract.

[W]ithout Raleigh, NC LiLs in my DMA nobody here would sign up for Dish and get a Hopper and lose their OTA networks if Dish didn't have the LiLs.

I had DISH for a couple of years before my locals were added. And while I could receive some of the signals OTA (analog) I found the DISH interface more convenient and didn't watch the locals. Getting added to DISH increased those station's reach. Once they showed up in the guide I watched them.

And now with the Hopper automatically recording the big four I'm watching more of the local stations. It certainly sounds like a win for the local stations to be part of the DISH lineup and available on the Hopper. Yet they also want cash or other payment.

#26 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 11:03 PM

Perhaps the local stations should just say no ... absolutely NO retransmission of their signals whatsoever. See how they survive without the audience cable and satellite providers give them. Especially in a market where the other stations have said yes and subscribers can more easily watch competitive programming.

And bringing that back to the topic of this thread ... perhaps BTN should say no and refuse to be carried by DISH.

Cutting your network off from millions of viewers does not seem to make sense. A relative few may leave for a provider that has BTN ... but there will still be millions of people who will not have the option of watching BTNs commercials and the programming surrounding them.

#27 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 12:48 AM

Yeah, we somehow are WAY off-topic for the BTN thread.

So to get back to topic... I'm frankly surprised we haven't heard more about this by now... I guess no games until Saturday... but seems like we should have heard something positive OR negative by now.

Unless, as I said in the other thread... Dish is trying to do this and PAC-12 all in one fell swoop in time for the weekend.

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#28 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 03:09 AM

What needs to happen is channel consolidation. I'm not a Big10 sports fan. I am a fan of my local college Big10 football team. Before BTN, I'd get all but one or two games on ESPN or ABC. Pre conference games were on my local FSN. Along came the BTN and now those one or two games are televised, but I never watch it otherwise. So from my perspective, the programming I like was spread over more channels (since ESPN and ABC still air some of the games I watch) and that is the sole benefit. It seems that we had a boom of channel creation without a corresponding boom in quality programming. At some point, duplication and dilution have to stop and the number of channels must shrink. BTN can fold for all I care. They haven't made my life better, just more expensive.

#29 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:54 AM

In theory... networks like the Big Ten and PAC-12 are "anchored" by their football and basketball coverage... but were supposed to also cover other less-covered sports. I have to say, though, that they sure don't use those alternate feeds to cover say volleyball or softball do they?

It might still be niche... but I could see a LOT more potential for these conference-dedicated networks IF they gave more coverage to the other sports at the schools and athletes that otherwise are largely ignored.

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#30 OFFLINE   bscott

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:54 AM

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#31 OFFLINE   oldengineer

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 06:47 AM

I'm going away for he weekend but I've got the Purdue-EKU game scheduled to record. Call me an optimist.

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#32 OFFLINE   John W

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:06 AM

What needs to happen is channel consolidation. I'm not a Big10 sports fan. I am a fan of my local college Big10 football team. Before BTN, I'd get all but one or two games on ESPN or ABC. Pre conference games were on my local FSN. Along came the BTN and now those one or two games are televised, but I never watch it otherwise. So from my perspective, the programming I like was spread over more channels (since ESPN and ABC still air some of the games I watch) and that is the sole benefit. It seems that we had a boom of channel creation without a corresponding boom in quality programming. At some point, duplication and dilution have to stop and the number of channels must shrink. BTN can fold for all I care. They haven't made my life better, just more expensive.


Not likely to fold.

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#33 OFFLINE   John W

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:08 AM

Yeah, we somehow are WAY off-topic for the BTN thread.

So to get back to topic... I'm frankly surprised we haven't heard more about this by now... I guess no games until Saturday... but seems like we should have heard something positive OR negative by now.

Unless, as I said in the other thread... Dish is trying to do this and PAC-12 all in one fell swoop in time for the weekend.


The latest.

Dish Network likely to drop Big Ten Network

http://www.indystar....|IndyStar.com|s

#34 OFFLINE   chris83

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 07:37 AM

I've been through cable, DirecTV and am currently with Dish. When my contract is up in the Spring I will most likely say "So long" to pay TV and do OTA and streaming, for a while at least. I've just grown weary of these types of disputes over the years with ALL the providers. I'm sure I will miss a lot of the programming, but even MORE sure I WON'T miss the crappola.
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#35 OFFLINE   nmetro

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 11:59 AM

Meanwhile, the the BIg Ten Network goes dark on DISH, folks in Indianapolis also have to put up with losing their NBC affiliate"

"WTHR's contract also expires at midnight Friday and would not be available on Dish Network if the sides can't reach an agreement."

So, no Notre Dame football come 8 September, with no Purdue and Indiana on BTN.

One has to wonder that the owners of WTHR may be a more larger push. They are owned by the same people who own The Columbus Dispatch (WBNS) - a CBS affiliate).

In the end , only 400,000 DISH subscribers outside the Big Ten states subscribe to the channel. Inside the Big Ten states not everyone watched BTN and do not care about Big Ten sports. So, how many will leave DISH over this; it is hard to say.

I am because I do not have only have two options DirecTV or Comcast. Such is life in the exurbs.

#36 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 10:26 PM

I wonder if we will hear news before Saturday... or if the "answer" will come in the form of being able (or not) to watch Big Ten on Saturday.

Interesting too that DirecTV and PAC-12 pretty much fell apart to the point of PAC-12 launching attack ads against DirecTV (and not Dish curiously) for not launching with them this weekend... so that probably relieves some pressure on Dish since people thinking of jumping to DirecTV if Dish dropped BTN might have to consider if DirecTV might be next when their contract ends.

Used to be you assumed DirecTV would pick up the sports channels... but now with PAC-12 falling through, you can't just assume DirecTV will keep Big Ten either.

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#37 OFFLINE   BillJ

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 04:53 AM

Just a few years ago the was no BTN or Pac 12 network. Dish and DTV played a big role in getting them exposure. Now those networks have joined many other content providers in deciding the cable or satellite TV consumer is a pigeon ripe for plucking. I'm tired of it.

I remember the year the NFL locked out players for weeks. Everyone predicted the end of the world. For advertiers it might have been, but I and everyone I know discovered there is a whole active world out there on Sunday afternoons. And some, who were normally glued to the TV on Sunday afternoon, never fully came back to NFL football.

I love football. I'm in Big Ten territory. But my Dish bill is already large enough to choke a horse. I hope Charlie stands up to every content provider who thinks I'm the golden goose. Inflation based increases sure. They're a part of life in all areas. But when providers demand increases of 50% and more I can do without them.

#38 OFFLINE   nmetro

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:10 AM

I wonder if we will hear news before Saturday... or if the "answer" will come in the form of being able (or not) to watch Big Ten on Saturday.

Interesting too that DirecTV and PAC-12 pretty much fell apart to the point of PAC-12 launching attack ads against DirecTV (and not Dish curiously) for not launching with them this weekend... so that probably relieves some pressure on Dish since people thinking of jumping to DirecTV if Dish dropped BTN might have to consider if DirecTV might be next when their contract ends.

Used to be you assumed DirecTV would pick up the sports channels... but now with PAC-12 falling through, you can't just assume DirecTV will keep Big Ten either.



Part of the problem with the PAC 12 Network, is that they have seven full time channels (one for Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Southern California, Arizona and Colorado/Utah). Unlike BTN, which has one full time channel (2 if you count the SD). So, PAC 12 would want a satellite carrier to uplink all their channels. If both HD and SD are involved; that is 14 channels. So, in order to do that, either more capacity has to be added, or other channels need to be dropped. This besides what the channel wants per subscriber.

As it stands now, BTN, again, is only one channel, and shares the HD pool for alternate football games. Certainly a much smaller footprint, then what PAC 12 is doing.

It is unfortunate that DISH is pulling the channel and I have to move to another provider. But, in this case, BTN is the guilty party here. Also, the PAC 12 is a greedy party here. The conferences of so called amateur athletics want carriage charges as if they were the NFL and the NBA, sorry folks, in the end it is still college sport.

#39 OFFLINE   Ira Lacher

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:09 AM

[S]orry folks, in the end it is still college sport.

The only differences between big-time college football and the NFL are that ostensibly nonprofit university athletics departments instead of privately held franchises are raking in the millions of dollars, and the players are largely uncompensated and too frequently exploited.
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#40 OFFLINE   nmetro

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 02:55 PM

I just found this (Lansing State Journal):

http://www.lansingst...dyssey=nav|head

It seems that it is not the Big Ten, but FOX. The following is from the article in the Lansing State Journal:

John Hall, a spokesman for DISH, released a statement that said only “DISH continues good-faith negotiations with FOX, part owner of Big Ten Network. We are always open to proposals that offer our customers high quality programming at a good value.”

And:


"But the current negotiations come in the context of a legal fight. FOX filed a lawsuit against DISH earlier this year contending that Auto Hop, a feature that allows subscribers to automatically skip commercials, was a violation of copyright."

Apparently, if FOX succeeds here, NBC, ABC and CBS will try to do the same with other channels. Get rid of the "Hopper" ad skip feature or else. I guess the legal term is "bribery".




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