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Guest Message by DevFuse

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DEAL REACHED: Directv Customers may lose the Sinclair Stations Mar 1


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#161 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:39 AM

Now you know better. OTA re-distribution is not cost free. Someone has to pay for the mechanisms and equipment it takes to get the signal to DIRECTV.

Sure, DIRECTV could put up an antenna, receive the signal, and put it into their network. But that is not going to give the best quality feed.


That is how DirecTV gets my HD locals. At the old FOX affiliate building which is the LRF there is a tower with 5 Yagi's each pointed to maximize reception from each affiliate.

Lot's of smaller markets can't do fiber feeds.

And yes, I do think my OTA feed looks better. I mainly use it to watch sports live.

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#162 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:41 AM

They're not withholding anything from the community, they're available via OTA. They're withholding from Directv, not shutting down the transmitter. If Directv wants to resell the signal, they have to cut in the broadcaster.

The monopoly you refer to is like a franchise agreement. Like the NFL, for example. The Miami Dolphins hold exclusive rights in South Florida. The Seattle Seahawks can't decide to play home games in Miami; if you want to see an NFL game in person in South Florida, it's the Dolphins. They control NFL rights there. Same way with networks. Your local affiliate is the rights holder for that market.


1. Don't be silly. They are withholding from a segment of their market. Available OTA is a joke. How many antennas do you see? The vast majority in urban and suburban areas depend on cable and satellite. I cannot get half my locals OTA and I live close to Baltimore. Digital has made it harder to get channels OTA with multipath problems and more.

2. The NFL does not have a charter to serve the community as do OTA channels via their licenses. I don't recall any announcements asking for testimony from the public for an NFL license renewal.
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#163 OFFLINE   FLWingNut

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:00 AM

1. Don't be silly. They are withholding from a segment of their market. Available OTA is a joke. How many antennas do you see? The vast majority in urban and suburban areas depend on cable and satellite. I cannot get half my locals OTA and I live close to Baltimore. Digital has made it harder to get channels OTA with multipath problems and more.

2. The NFL does not have a charter to serve the community as do OTA channels via their licenses. I don't recall any announcements asking for testimony from the public for an NFL license renewal.


And they are serving their communities. The transmitter is up and running which is what the law requires. It does not require them to make their signal available for resale to whatever private corporate entity wants it.

My NFL analogy was an attempt to explain why you can't use locals from another market. Territorial rights. Without those, the system that works to serve local markets breaks down.

#164 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:30 AM

1. Don't be silly. They are withholding from a segment of their market. Available OTA is a joke. How many antennas do you see? The vast majority in urban and suburban areas depend on cable and satellite. I cannot get half my locals OTA and I live close to Baltimore. Digital has made it harder to get channels OTA with multipath problems and more.

2. The NFL does not have a charter to serve the community as do OTA channels via their licenses. I don't recall any announcements asking for testimony from the public for an NFL license renewal.


If the issue is people don't have antennas but have satellite dishes (that cost more), then get cheaper antennas. :)

I have both, yet you won't see the antenna. It's in my attic. (And still picks up signals from 40+ miles. Yet doesn't corrode or facilitate birds poopin' on my roof.)

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#165 OFFLINE   Rickt1962

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:39 AM

They're not withholding anything from the community, they're available via OTA. They're withholding from Directv, not shutting down the transmitter. If Directv wants to resell the signal, they have to cut in the broadcaster.



Directv will not absorb the costs it will be passed down to us :nono2: so any so called cut in is going to effect all of us. I guess its time for DTV to put locals back on Alacart. Would solve the entire problem and if the Network in that viewing area isnt Double dipping and wants ther signal Re-broadcasted

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#166 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:41 AM

Maybe DIRECTV needs to borrow a playbook from Dish when they lost the AMC channels, give a AM21 and indoor OTA antenna to folks effected for free that call and complain. Dish gave away free Roku's and a bill credit to help offset the cost of watching AMC shows via internet sites which made some folks happy. DIRECTV doing some similar might help keep folks happy and give a little FU to the local stations.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#167 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:21 AM

If the issue is people don't have antennas but have satellite dishes (that cost more), then get cheaper antennas. :)

I have both, yet you won't see the antenna. It's in my attic. (And still picks up signals from 40+ miles. Yet doesn't corrode or facilitate birds poopin' on my roof.)

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I am an example. I cannot get half my locals with an antenna. I live in a condo that does not have good line of sight.

I'm glad for you but you are not the norm.
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#168 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:22 AM

And they are serving their communities. The transmitter is up and running which is what the law requires. It does not require them to make their signal available for resale to whatever private corporate entity wants it.

My NFL analogy was an attempt to explain why you can't use locals from another market. Territorial rights. Without those, the system that works to serve local markets breaks down.


Once again, I'm not arguing what the law is. I'm arguing the law is wrong.

And even legally, most jurisdictions require cable systems to have lifeline service, which provides locals. Hmm. Guess they understand that OTA via cable is serving the community even if you don't.
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#169 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:23 AM

It affects channel 38, the MYTV afffiliate here in the Tampa, FL DMA. They provide no subchannel programming and I honestly don't watch it frequently.

But, be that as it may I have AM21s on three DVRs, a fourth one is an HR20 with onboard ATSC tuners. If there was someting on Channel 38 that I wanted to see or record I would manage. I already get the all the Orlando DMA broadcast channels OTA exclusively. One more is going to be pretty transparent to me.
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#170 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:31 AM

We'll be losing our local FOX channel if this issue dosn't get resolved. Not a big deal. Other than football we watch very little FOX programing in our household. If the channel goes dark I can ride out the storm.

DirecTV customer since 1995.


#171 OFFLINE   paulman182

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:31 AM

I know a lot of you people can get locals OTA and that's fine, but a lot of people can't.

In this market, losing DirecTV will cost the two Sinclair stations a lot of viewers and I would bet the managers of the individual stations are sweating bullets about it.

Equipment includes a buncha stuff that I no longer have interest in detailing


#172 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

Maybe DIRECTV needs to borrow a playbook from Dish when they lost the AMC channels, give a AM21 and indoor OTA antenna to folks effected for free that call and complain. Dish gave away free Roku's and a bill credit to help offset the cost of watching AMC shows via internet sites which made some folks happy. DIRECTV doing some similar might help keep folks happy and give a little FU to the local stations.


That could get messy. Some people would require a very large antenna and an antenna is not near as easy to install as a Roku box. It sounds good in theory but even if it was my company, I wouldn't take that approach.
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#173 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:44 PM

I know a lot of you people can get locals OTA and that's fine, but a lot of people can't.

In this market, losing DirecTV will cost the two Sinclair stations a lot of viewers and I would bet the managers of the individual stations are sweating bullets about it.


Agreed. I mean read the thread on here about how much money AMC lost last year. I am betting they are second guessing their decision not to be on DISH for all that time. I know it sucks for the providers like Dish and DirecTV but this is why I am okay with losing channels once in awhile as I feel it is warranted to show the affiliates that they may have the power but the provider has the power to affect their pockets books. The two need to remember they need each other pretty much equally. There aught to be a law on a max wage increase these stations can impose and criteria to get to it. I guess until that happens (never) we will just have to hope that our providers are really looking out for our best interest at least as best they can anyways.
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#174 OFFLINE   ziggy29

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:54 PM

That could get messy. Some people would require a very large antenna and an antenna is not near as easy to install as a Roku box. It sounds good in theory but even if it was my company, I wouldn't take that approach.


Right. The stations like to say "get an OTA antenna or another provider." But if you are in the deep fringe, or live in an apartment or condo where you'd need a rooftop antenna, OTA is a non-answer and changing providers does little good -- since the next provider will probably be in the same pissing match months down the road and many times changing providers requires breaking a contract that can cost hundreds of dollars.

If it were fairly trivial to switch to a different provider on a temporary basis, this would mostly be a non-issue. But for many folks, especially those for whom OTA isn't a practical option, their default "answer" is both impractical and flippant.
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#175 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

True, deep fringe area's aren't going to work with an indoor antenna. But I'd guess that most of the stations customers live closer to the transmitter then live in a deep fringe area.

It's been 30 years since I've lived in an apartment but the 5 that I did live in all had a master antenna system, have they stopped doing that now?

Not saying it's a perfect solution but I think it should be an option for customers when a local station gets deleted due to contract dispute. IMHO at least DIRECTV should mention it on their directvpromise.com web site so their customers, who don't know about it, can get an AM21 so they can keep their DVR functionality for the missing station(s).

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#176 OFFLINE   FLWingNut

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:41 PM

Once again, I'm not arguing what the law is. I'm arguing the law is wrong.

And even legally, most jurisdictions require cable systems to have lifeline service, which provides locals. Hmm. Guess they understand that OTA via cable is serving the community even if you don't.


I understand what serving the community means. It means you have a broadcast signal allocated to you. In return, you provide news, public affairs and other public service programming via your transmitter. It does not mean you have to provide to another corporation to sell to consumers, without being compensated. How consumers get the signal, other than OTA, is not part of the burden for the broadcaster.

By your logic, the government should pay for everyone to have locals via cable, so the community can be 100% "served." This is TV we're talking about, not 911 phone service. Cable is different -- they have to negotiate franchise agreements with the government entity, and the agreements are varied, I'm sure from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Cable uses government infrastructure to get their signal into homes -- utility poles, underground lines, public streets for boxes, etc, so that's why government gets involved there. Satellite does not use those, so should not be required to provide anything -- it's an optional service.

I'm not an expert at cable franchise agreements; I haven't had cable since 1998. If locals are required, do the cable companies have to pay for them? Are the broadcasters required to give them away to the cable company? I'm sure the cable company is not required to give the service to consumers for free.

As I've mentioned earlier, I don't know if Sinclair is being outrageous in its demands; I don;t live in a Sinclair market and don't have a dog in the fight. But this will come up in all markets at some point. I just find it reasonable to have the right not to have your signal resold without permission and compensation. Copyright owners have rights that need to be respected. But then again, we've become a society that thinks it's OK to steal intellectual property -- witness the number of torrent sites and other backchannel ways to get music and programming without paying for it. But that is probably too far off topic for this thread.

#177 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

True, deep fringe area's aren't going to work with an indoor antenna. But I'd guess that most of the stations customers live closer to the transmitter then live in a deep fringe area.

It's been 30 years since I've lived in an apartment but the 5 that I did live in all had a master antenna system, have they stopped doing that now?

Not saying it's a perfect solution but I think it should be an option for customers when a local station gets deleted due to contract dispute. IMHO at least DIRECTV should mention it on their directvpromise.com web site so their customers, who don't know about it, can get an AM21 so they can keep their DVR functionality for the missing station(s).


I dont disagree at all. Back in 2008 when I joined I was told that I could get another DMA's locals because I was so close to a county with locals and my DMA's were not available to me. When the installer showed up I said I am going to get Tulsa locals right and the guy said no that would be illegal. I sent him on his way and called DirecTV.

None of them told me that the HR20 had built in tuners for an antenna. I found it out on this site actually. I know at that time HR20's were not coveted and most were getting HR21's or maybe even HR22's. I requested for a HR20 and I remember most on this site told me it wouldnt happen. It did, the installer waited over an hour the morning of my install to get me the receiver I wanted.

The point of all that was that DirecTV Customer Service was not going to tell me that even though my markets locals were not available I could just put up and antenna, import the guide data and record from my antenna to the DVR anyway. Why they were willing to let me walk away I will never know but I really wanted Sunday Ticket and found out the needed information.

Years later I worked with someone who used to answer those calls and I was told that they were only allowed to push what ever DirecTV was pushing at that time and not really spell out what could work for me. I was completely blown away. Why turn away customers if you can find a way to get them what they want even if its not the exact way they want it. In this case I do feel like DirecTV could educate customers more on this being an options for areas that are challenged for any locals or short markets or just want OTA.
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#178 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 04:17 PM

I understand what serving the community means. It means you have a broadcast signal allocated to you. In return, you provide news, public affairs and other public service programming via your transmitter. It does not mean you have to provide to another corporation to sell to consumers, without being compensated. How consumers get the signal, other than OTA, is not part of the burden for the broadcaster.


Once again, you are talking about the letter of the law, not the spirit or the right thing to do. That is where we are at odds.

I agree that you are right when it comes to law. But law and "right" do not go hand in hand.

BTW, I can pretty much assume that when OTA went digital, they did not do as good a job in market coverage as they could have because they assumed most customers would watch their programming via satellite or cable. I remember comments to that nature when early digital testing went horribly wrong in New York City (too much multi-path). And I can make that assumption with a couple of major stations in the Baltimore/Washington area that actually went down in power for cost and for interference reasons. In short, the digital age actually made it harder to get OTA via an antenna. Why? Because the *realities* of the situation is that antenna viewing is the minority now. So, the *reality* is that stations are not serving their community by just dumping signal into the air, no matter what the laws say.

By your logic, the government should pay for everyone to have locals via cable, so the community can be 100% "served."


Where did I say that? I am willing to pay someone for the community antenna. For the investment in equipment and for the maintenance of that equipment and service. That is not any different than buying an antenna on time and getting it realigned once in a while (both things that would be paid for).

This is TV we're talking about, not 911 phone service. Cable is different -- they have to negotiate franchise agreements with the government entity, and the agreements are varied, I'm sure from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Cable uses government infrastructure to get their signal into homes -- utility poles, underground lines, public streets for boxes, etc, so that's why government gets involved there. Satellite does not use those, so should not be required to provide anything -- it's an optional service.


My government doesn't own the telephone poles. They use right of way but they do not own the poles. The electric company, etc., do.

And, guess what, satellite *is* required to provide local channels. Not by local jurisdictions, but by the feds.

I'm not an expert at cable franchise agreements; I haven't had cable since 1998. If locals are required, do the cable companies have to pay for them? Are the broadcasters required to give them away to the cable company? I'm sure the cable company is not required to give the service to consumers for free.


Yes, they have to pay for them. They are not required to have every channel (unless the channel chooses that over payment) but they are required to have that tier of service for any channels they do carry.

As I've mentioned earlier, I don't know if Sinclair is being outrageous in its demands; I don;t live in a Sinclair market and don't have a dog in the fight. But this will come up in all markets at some point. I just find it reasonable to have the right not to have your signal resold without permission and compensation. Copyright owners have rights that need to be respected.


Whoa. There has not been any money until recently transferred from the local stations to the true copyright holders (local stations own their own broadcasts, but they have no copyright rights for network programming in terms of ownership). Recently, Fox has been making noises (and may be doing it) in that they want a cut of the money from satellite and cable because they are the true owners of the network programming. So, local channels have been doing exactly what you say is unreasonable. They have been getting paid for programming that they do not, in turn, pay for on a viewer by viewer basis.


But then again, we've become a society that thinks it's OK to steal intellectual property -- witness the number of torrent sites and other backchannel ways to get music and programming without paying for it. But that is probably too far off topic for this thread.


This has nothing to do with stealing anything. You put it out on the airwaves, it should be free.


BTW, thanks for a good honest conversation. We disagree but it has been a good talk from different viewpoints.
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#179 OFFLINE   ziggy29

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 04:29 PM

I'm not an expert at cable franchise agreements; I haven't had cable since 1998. If locals are required, do the cable companies have to pay for them? Are the broadcasters required to give them away to the cable company? I'm sure the cable company is not required to give the service to consumers for free.


Current law provides for a "must carry" burden for cable and satellite carriers so they can't "cherry pick" certain stations in a market. However, the law also provides for station owners to be allowed to opt out of "must carry" -- because if they do not, they can't charge for retransmission rights (if I remember correctly). The net effect is that many of the smaller networks and independents are subject to must carry but most of the major network affiliates have opted out of it.

In any event, though I'm 46 miles from the antennas of the Sinclair-afflicted local Fox and NBC affiliates (according to TV Fool), a cheap set-top antenna I had in the garage seems to be enough to get them with ease. (It also picks up some Victoria stations for good measure.) So I'm ready... but it still sucks for people deeper in the fringe or who don't have the option to throw up an outdoor antenna if needed.
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#180 ONLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 05:11 PM

...
Whoa. There has not been any money until recently transferred from the local stations to the true copyright holders (local stations own their own broadcasts, but they have no copyright rights for network programming in terms of ownership). Recently, Fox has been making noises (and may be doing it) in that they want a cut of the money from satellite and cable because they are the true owners of the network programming. So, local channels have been doing exactly what you say is unreasonable. They have been getting paid for programming that they do not, in turn, pay for on a viewer by viewer basis.

... This has nothing to do with stealing anything. You put it out on the airwaves, it should be free.


This is my "chief beef" with the local stations. :mad:

They act like they are the real copyright holders of the network programming they merely act as a local market outlet for, but they are not :nono:. I can accept it if the networks want to charge the MSOs fees for this programming since they really own it, but not the local stations or their greedy ownership groups who don't own a thing beyond their local originated programs (and how many subs really want that? :rolleyes:).

DIRECTV and the other MSOs should have the right to import network shows from alternative sources if they can't come to terms with the local outlet station provider or their groups.




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