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DISH surveying SuperStation subs


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33 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Jon Ellis

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 09:06 PM

I hate to stoke the spirited speculation that usually comes along with the word "SuperStation," but I am a SuperStation subscriber and was invited to fill out a DISH survey that strongly suggests they are considering dropping them.

 

The questions asked things about whether I was aware that "most" of the programming on the SuperStations is available from other stations, whether I was aware that my local CW affiliate was carried, and whether I would consider leaving DISH if they dropped SuperStations.  Fortunately the survey did indicate that they recognize not all of the programming is available on other stations, such as news and sports programming, and that some viewers might like programs offered at different times.

 

Here's to hoping I can continue to get my out-of-market news fix from an actual TV rather than a jittery web stream with dead air instead of local commercials...


Edited by Jon Ellis, 30 May 2013 - 09:07 PM.


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#2 OFFLINE   BillJ

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 04:34 AM

I've been a Superstation subscriber since they first offered it.  Haven't been asked to complete a survey.  Did this come online or in the mail?  I've been deluged with fake email surveys lately and have been deleting all of them.

 

CW is not the only reason to subscribe to Superstations.  There is unique local programming I can't find anywhere else.  In adddition, my local Superstation, WGN, preempts CW programming often.  Usually rescheduled but hard to know when if you miss the crawler announcement.  Also, they sometimes run the CW program late at night after a sporting event.  Hard to setup a timer when you don't know whether game will end on time.  We've had too many times even when the changed time was in the guide that a game went overtime and half or more of the recorded program was lost.  Easier to watch it on another channel at the regular time even if it is only available in SD.  I'll keep paying for Superstations as long as they offer them at a reasonable price.

 

Could it be DISH isn't planning to drop Superstations but to make a strong case to Congress not to mess with their authorization to carry them?  I seem to recall something in the news about that.  If so, I'm so comforted to know Congress is dealing with the important issues and not wasting time on budgets and the like.



#3 OFFLINE   Jon Ellis

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 06:30 AM

The survey came in an email from DISH which contained my account number.  The topic would seem to be too specific to be fake.



#4 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:44 AM

I  was forced to dropped all of the Superstaions in 2004 when KBCW IN San Francisco orderd DISH to shut those stations off in my area code. 


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#5 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:50 AM

I've been a Superstation subscriber since they first offered it.  Haven't been asked to complete a survey.  Did this come online or in the mail?  I've been deluged with fake email surveys lately and have been deleting all of them.

 

CW is not the only reason to subscribe to Superstations.  There is unique local programming I can't find anywhere else.  In adddition, my local Superstation, WGN, preempts CW programming often.  Usually rescheduled but hard to know when if you miss the crawler announcement.  Also, they sometimes run the CW program late at night after a sporting event.  Hard to setup a timer when you don't know whether game will end on time.  We've had too many times even when the changed time was in the guide that a game went overtime and half or more of the recorded program was lost.  Easier to watch it on another channel at the regular time even if it is only available in SD.  I'll keep paying for Superstations as long as they offer them at a reasonable price.

 

Could it be DISH isn't planning to drop Superstations but to make a strong case to Congress not to mess with their authorization to carry them?  I seem to recall something in the news about that.  If so, I'm so comforted to know Congress is dealing with the important issues and not wasting time on budgets and the like.

 

There was hearing on this back in feb that covered some of the concerns of this.  Its coming.  I also read in the LA times last week that Senator McCain is proposing stations being able to be purchased individually.  There will be a lot of these things discussed over the next year prior to the new satellite laws going into place.  I for one am surprised that people want the CW from other markets unless they just dont have one.  Not sure I would want multiple CW's either. 


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#6 OFFLINE   tampa8

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 04:14 PM

Then you clearly don't understand the Superstations.


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#7 OFFLINE   Rduce

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 11:55 AM

Perhaps 30 years ago a Superstation held more appeal than they do now. Back then they were primarily independents and had wildly diverse programming. My local cable provider used them to fill up the dial as there were only 4 local stations at the time. I loved watching the news out of these markets for a different slant on things.
 
However, presently they are all My Network or CW affiliates and what is the point? Oh, sure they still have their own separate news, but there are like 5 separate national news channels to get your other perspective from. 
 
I dropped them from my viewing package 5 years ago.


#8 OFFLINE   tsmacro

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 09:01 AM

Don't the two NYC channels still carry about 20 - 30 Yankees & Mets games each season?




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#9 OFFLINE   Orion9

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 10:30 AM

 


Perhaps 30 years ago a Superstation held more appeal than they do now. Back then they were primarily independents and had wildly diverse programming. My local cable provider used them to fill up the dial as there were only 4 local stations at the time. I loved watching the news out of these markets for a different slant on things.
 
However, presently they are all My Network or CW affiliates and what is the point? Oh, sure they still have their own separate news, but there are like 5 separate national news channels to get your other perspective from. 
 
I dropped them from my viewing package 5 years ago.


Agreed. Back in the 70s and 80s, Superstations were essentially what made cable TV different from an antenna, but by sometime in the late 90s they no longer mattered to me.

#10 OFFLINE   FTA Michael

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 03:28 PM

I subscribed to the supers for years. I dropped them once I started getting spoiled on HD video quality. If Dish ever upgraded them to HD, I'd probably re-subscribe to one or two of them.

 

Of course, the other big difference over the years is sports. All five of these stations had baseball once upon a time. Now that's down to the two NY stations for a couple dozen or so each.

 

I always thought that the supers were cool, They were my first glimpse at out-of-market over-the-air TV. If Dish dumped them, I'd feel a little sad, but not for very long.


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#11 OFFLINE   djlong

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 04:17 AM

Dual tuners and HD are what finally got me to cancel the superstations.

Well, the fact that they all turned into low-rent network affiliates instead of independant stations also helped.



#12 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 07:05 PM

IIRC Superstations law was written before HD and HD superstations are not mentioned in the law (actually before digital TV), so it is questionable that the HD signal for the superstations can be transmitted over satellite.

 

It might even be questionable as to the legality of the retransmission of their digital signal.


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#13 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:05 AM

IIRC Superstations law was written before HD and HD superstations are not mentioned in the law (actually before digital TV), so it is questionable that the HD signal for the superstations can be transmitted over satellite.

 

It might even be questionable as to the legality of the retransmission of their digital signal.

Right now DISH has to regualkrly filea atatement showing how many subscribe to analog and digital superstations. That would not be the case if transmission rights were questionable.   The law simply is agnostic on the question of HD superstations.

 

As for the survey I would not be so quick to makea judgement.  DISH surveys subs all the time ona varirty of questions.  I think the next real milstone for the Superstations is when current law expires and the authority to carry them ends.  Right now there is NAB oppoition to carrying distant signals but they have stated no problem with the superstations----perhaps because broadcaters can already request blackouts.


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#14 OFFLINE   Ray_Schwarz

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 05:25 PM

IIRC Superstations law was written before HD and HD superstations are not mentioned in the law (actually before digital TV), so it is questionable that the HD signal for the superstations can be transmitted over satellite.

 

It might even be questionable as to the legality of the retransmission of their digital signal.

 

As I recall, The superstations were in HD when I subscribed to Dish about twelve years ago, and were reduced to SD some time ago.



#15 OFFLINE   BillJ

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 05:32 AM

 

IIRC Superstations law was written before HD and HD superstations are not mentioned in the law (actually before digital TV), so it is questionable that the HD signal for the superstations can be transmitted over satellite.

 

It might even be questionable as to the legality of the retransmission of their digital signal.

 

As I recall, The superstations were in HD when I subscribed to Dish about twelve years ago, and were reduced to SD some time ago.

 

DISH never transmitted superstations in HD outside their local markets.



#16 OFFLINE   tampa8

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 03:20 PM

Well....... you are correct in the spirit of your answer that they were never in HD as a group at anytime. But WWOR is available in HD to people outside the local market if they have the superstations, and are within the NYC spotbeam. Channel 6307 only, EA.   I still get good use out of them. News from different areas of the Country, car chases, still some Baseball games, and some local programming. Sure I wish they were all in HD but it's something we do watch from time to time.

Edited by tampa8, 07 June 2013 - 04:37 PM.


#17 OFFLINE   bigrich

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 05:56 PM

Congress needs to re-evaluate Superstation status.  They need to look at what stations should be and which should not.  I believe only WWOR & WSBK should remain.  They are MY stations but with very limited MY programing and MY stations are not in almost every market.  They should add some stations to Superstation status like Independent stations WMOR, Tampa; WPCH, Atlanta; WCIU, Chicago for examples.  They should also change the language of the law to include HD broadcasts.  Dish already includes CW Miami or CW San Diego to missing CW markets 



#18 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 06:56 PM

The vague language is confusing. I don't recall a prohibition on carrying HD. HD locals were added without drastic changes to the rules (those came later to make carriage "fair"). And I do not recall the definition of a superstation being frozen in time like the definition of a network that was used for distants.

DISH seems to have interpreted the superstations law as no HD and no new stations. DirecTV doesn't bother to carry them at all. I wonder if we're not seeing HD superstations and new superstations because of DISH's choice.

Superstations are under the syndicated exclusivity rules where DISH is required to black out programs that also air on local channels if local stations complain. It is easier just to pull the channels in those markets. And just as easy not to improve the package lest local channels notice the offering and start complaining about them being carried.
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#19 OFFLINE   kucharsk

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 10:09 PM

I've been a superstation subscriber since the first day I got DISH and is one of the biggest reasons I stay, but I didn't get a survey.

 

I need my KTLA Morning News daily.


Edited by kucharsk, 12 June 2013 - 10:10 PM.


#20 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:09 AM

Congress needs to re-evaluate Superstation status.  They need to look at what stations should be and which should not.  I believe only WWOR & WSBK should remain.  They are MY stations but with very limited MY programing and MY stations are not in almost every market.  They should add some stations to Superstation status like Independent stations WMOR, Tampa; WPCH, Atlanta; WCIU, Chicago for examples.  They should also change the language of the law to include HD broadcasts.  Dish already includes CW Miami or CW San Diego to missing CW markets 


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