Here's my dream scenario for locals and broadcast networks that will never, ever come to pass.
Satellite subscribers would have east and west feeds of the big four broadcast networks, much like HBO, Showtime, etc. These feeds would not be associated with any particular local affiliate. It would be the very same feeds they distribute to their affiliates. They would be dark during hours when the network is not running national programming.
Of course this would screw up local ads that appear in national programming.
Pacific and Mountain folks could enjoy prime time programming earlier in their local time, if they desired, by watching the east feeds. Central and Eastern folks could enjoy later opportunities to watch or record shows during the west feed.
Local affiliates would also remain in the lineup, and one could watch network programming on these channels or on the raw feeds mentioned above. This is where local news and syndicated programming would continue to be viewed.
One could add additional locals from one or more additional DMAs for a small fee, subject to them being present in the spotbeam that reaches your dish. It seems like so many cable companies provide duplicate network affiliates from adjoining DMAs; why can't satellite do this?
Of course, there would still be carriage fights, but hopefully when a particular network was fighting with a satellite provider, the affiliate carrying that same network wouldn't be fighting with the satellite provider, and vice versa.
That is my completely frivolous take on the matter. Yeah, it's all money and advertising and territorial. Bah.