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DirecTV Disses Broadcasters


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#1 OFFLINE   Athlon646464

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 06:07 AM

DirecTV Disses Broadcasters
 
DirecTV says it is time for Congress to step in and either "jettison broadcast regulations altogether"--that would include must-carry/retrans--or make the laws "smarter to reflect the marketplace.
 
That is according to the prepared testimony of Michael Palkovic, EVP at DirecTV for Wednesday's House Communications Subcommittee hearing on reauthorizing STELA, the law that grants a compulsory license for satellite operators to import out-of-market distant affiliated TV station signals.
 
 
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#2 OFFLINE   damondlt

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 06:53 AM

That's great and all, But will anything really come of it? I hope so ,But I doubt it!

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#3 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:10 AM

Doesnrt sound like a diss at all....sounds like a statement that many have been talking about for years....



#4 OFFLINE   David Ortiz

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:23 AM

That headline belongs in the editorial section, not the news section.

#5 OFFLINE   Jon J

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:44 AM

The objective of a local broadcaster is to get their product watched by as many eyeballs as possible.  As I understand it, local stations are currently compensated by local advertisers, possibly by networks (if affiliated) and other distributors (cable, satellite, etc.).  It would seem local stations could charge local advertisers more with more total viewers so the other distributors seem to be providing them a service rather than costing them.

 

The hearing is currently underway and the viewpoints between the parties seems to be wide and deep.


Edited by Jon J, 12 June 2013 - 09:45 AM.

When news breaks...we fix it.

#6 OFFLINE   Athlon646464

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:49 AM

That headline belongs in the editorial section, not the news section.

 

The hearings are indeed news.

 

By the way, the headline is not mine - it's the one the B & C site used for the story.


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#7 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:57 AM

About time... IF something actually comes of it.

 

Change is hard for most.  Special interests never want to give up their special privileges.  In the end they can't justify it in the big picture.  They never should have gotten them to begin with.  It's a corrupt system that allows money to buy influence to buy privilege.  What we are finally seeing here is a growing business-vs-business fight that is the only way these things get corrected, unfortunately.

 



#8 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 10:03 AM

Very true that the playing field is way too much tilted to the broadcasters. They get free airwaves and then charge for their use via retrans rights. If the law that was created specifically to appease the broadcasting lobby didn't exist, that would be considered a violation of the requirement to make their signal available to all.

 

We still need OTA and local stations. They just have way too much power. I have no problem with local rights to IP (TV shows, sports, etc.) but to demand payment on top of that is a problem to me. It should also be much easier to bring in non-repeated programming from other areas as well (news, etc.).

 

The dynamic is out of whack.


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#9 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 10:04 AM

The objective of a local broadcaster is to get their product watched by as many eyeballs as possible.  As I understand it, local stations are currently compensated by local advertisers, possibly by networks (if affiliated) and other distributors (cable, satellite, etc.).  It would seem local stations could charge local advertisers more with more total viewers so the other distributors seem to be providing them a service rather than costing them.

 

The hearing is currently underway and the viewpoints between the parties seems to be wide and deep.

 

They usually are.  They make sure the panel of guest speakers have many different views on the topic.  I will be watching this later.  Can't wait to see what they say this time. 


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#10 OFFLINE   damondlt

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 10:08 AM

About time... IF something actually comes of it.

 

 

Key phrase!!!


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#11 OFFLINE   Guesst925XTU

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 12:14 PM

Good!

 

I live in what Neilsen has determined to be the "New York City Market".  HOWEVER, I am 83 miles from the Empire State Building.

 

The NYC channels have no OTA signal at all here and none of them cover news or weather for anywhere close to my area.  (The closest they ever cover is Toms River, about 25 miles north of me.)

 

In contrast, I am 60 miles from Roxborough (where the Philadelphia, PA stations transmit from).

 

With a decent outdoor antenna I can get all of the Philadelphia channels OTA.  Four Philadelphia channels (KYW, WTXF, WCAU and WPVI) consistently cover news and weather in my immediate area and often have their reporters in my town!  (I have NEVER seen a reporter for any NYC channel here.)

 

Comcast carries both markets in HD & SD with every package they offer - even "limited basic".

 

DirecTV claims that they must, by law, provide me only with the New York City channels and it would be illegal to give me access to the Philadelphia channels.  (This comes from a phone call with a person working in the "Office of the President" at DirecTV.)

 

The current broadcast rules and regulations are a joke - I would get exactly as much "local" news & weather coverage from a station in Alaska than I do from any of the New York City channels.


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Note to DirecTV:
My Zip code is 08008.

I live 60 miles East of Philadelphia.

I'm 83 miles South of NY.

Comcast provides KYW, WPVI, WCAU, WHYY, WPHL, WTXF, WPSG & WMCN all in both SD & HD in Ocean County.
Why don't you?


#12 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 12:18 PM

Good!

 

I live in what Neilsen has determined to be the "New York City Market".  HOWEVER, I am 83 miles from the Empire State Building.

 

The NYC channels have no OTA signal at all here and none of them cover news or weather for anywhere close to my area.  (The closest they ever cover is Toms River, about 25 miles north of me.)

 

In contrast, I am 60 miles from Roxborough (where the Philadelphia, PA stations transmit from).

 

With a decent outdoor antenna I can get all of the Philadelphia channels OTA.  Four Philadelphia channels (KYW, WTXF, WCAU and WPVI) consistently cover news and weather in my immediate area and often have their reporters in my town!  (I have NEVER seen a reporter for any NYC channel here.)

 

Comcast carries both markets in HD & SD with every package they offer - even "limited basic".

 

DirecTV claims that they must, by law, provide me only with the New York City channels and it would be illegal to give me access to the Philadelphia channels.  (This comes from a phone call with a person working in the "Office of the President" at DirecTV.)

 

The current broadcast rules and regulations are a joke - I would get exactly as much "local" news & weather coverage from a station in Alaska than I do from any of the New York City channels.

 

While that is true, there is something call significantly viewed stations that DirecTV is able to offer you.  If any of the Philly channels are on the significantly viewed channel list for your state and county, DirecTV can offer you those channels if they want.  I find that they don't want to usually unless the channel approaches them.  Send me a PM if you want to know more.  I would be happy to help you look into it.  Just know that major markets are more difficult for this but its a possibility.


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#13 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:52 PM

The entire hearing was recorded and can be viewed at the address below.  it appears to be over 2 hours long.  I will be watching the entire hearing tonight.

 

http://energycommerc...orize-or-revise


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#14 ONLINE   peds48

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 04:33 PM

The entire hearing was recorded and can be viewed at the address below. it appears to be over 2 hours long. I will be watching the entire hearing tonight.

http://energycommerc...orize-or-revise


post back with the details...


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#15 OFFLINE   Pepe Sylvia

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 05:27 PM

The hearings are indeed news.

 

By the way, the headline is not mine - it's the one the B & C site used for the story.

 

Unbelievable, they used "disses" in a headline.  such a sad day for journalism



#16 OFFLINE   damondlt

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 05:28 PM

I'm watching it too. Very interesting!

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#17 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:02 AM

Honestly these are very interesting hearings.  I love that their panel of guest speakers is so diverse.  It really is healthy to hear how the problems differ from the perspective of each company.  In the end my opinion is probably biased towards DirecTV but I feel for good reason.  The biggest thing I took from this meeting was that the NAB does not care about Orphin Counties or people that do not have an option besides DNS feeds.  The numbers were 1.5 million subscribers for DirecTV have DNS and over 1 million of those do not have another option (meaning some have DNS because they are grandfathered in like me and have both DNS and locals).  Also the NAB does not think that the government needs to step in to assist with the negotiations between the content owners and the distributors.  The NAB claims that almost all the contract disputes get resolved which is true but does not really explain that the customers are the ones that pay the price as we are squeezed in the middle. 

 

DirecTV had a rep there that suggested when a dispute seems to be at an impasse that they (DirecTV) would like to be able to import a distant signal from another affiliate rather then have the station just be blacked out with no other choice.  The funny thing is the NAB kept saying that they dont technically blackout the coverage.  Call it what you want, you are forcing your signal to not be available with OTA being the exception.  The NAB also commented on the work around that DirecTV proposed.  They stated that it would not help to import another affiliate because there would be no incentive for DirecTV to come to terms with the local station.  The way I take that is the NAB is okay with strong arming companies  like DirecTV and does not think it is fair for anyone to have an alternative should the asking price be too much.  I think that is bull****.  The real problem is that the incentive to get a deal done shifts from being completely DirecTV's problem to being partially the asking stations problem.  How is that unfair?

 

There are several people on the Energy Commerce Committee that really get what is going on but there are also some that still dont.  It is time to change some of these laws that are old and outdated.

 

Another issue that came up is that the cable companies that own local stations are using the local stations to extort higher asking prices if a provider like DirecTV wants their other cable channels such as regional sports channels.  It was never the intent of the current laws to give a local tv station that kind of power of negotiations.  I know this isnt going to end in a way that makes everyone happy.  My personal opinion is that the local stations have to much power.  While it was mentioned that these disputes get resolved 99% of the time and that is amazing, the NAB quickly seems to forget that the ones who suffer are the ones under contract, getting the stations they want removed, being forced to pay for stations they dont want, etc.  It comes down to the fact that yes content should be paid for but there has to be more of an awareness for the customers.  We are fully expected to believe that our provider has our best interest at heart and I do not believe that is always the case.  Sometimes I think it just sounds good to use us as the scape goat.  Do I want my bills to go up no, do I think a la carte programming is the way to go, NO.  I dont have all the answers but I know there needs to be changes.  Anyone else have thoughts on the hearing?


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#18 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:59 PM

Do I want my bills to go up no, do I think a la carte programming is the way to go, NO.  I dont have all the answers but I know there needs to be changes.  Anyone else have thoughts on the hearing?

 

 

Why do you think a la carte programming is a bad idea? The idea of having 500 channels someday in the future when I was a kid was that there would be channels that cover varied interests. It started out that way, with MTV showing music videos, the History Channel showing history, and so on. Now most channels are pretty much the same and have little to do with their original intent.

 

That's because the big players like Viacom try to sell packages of channels and they want them all to have similar interest level from providers and their subscribers. You couldn't have a channel for stamp collecting in today's market, even if there were enough subscribers willing to pay for it, because the big players only want stuff they can sell in a package, and providers aren't going to want to take a package with a narrow interest channel like that. Trying to sell single channels is pretty rare, the Golf Channel is sold separately, but that's a pretty lucrative market with a lot of higher income people willing to pay and is gold for advertisers. Some channels might be able to scrape by, but in today's market it isn't worth the hassle to try.

 

If we went a la carte, sure some channels might disappear, but they'd be replaced by new ones that were more narrowly targeted, and subscribers could add it standalone if they've got interests that go beyond reality shows and series that are available on Netflix or Hulu anyway.

 

The only big losers in a la carte will be pro athletes and college athletic departments, because they won't be able to steal money from people who don't want to watch sports but are forced to subsidize them because of the way the contracts are written. I like sports and I'd subscribe to an ESPN package if it was offered separately, but if they were making me pay $20/month (whatever it is they're estimated to cost per subscriber today for sports packages) to subsidize shows like American Idol and The Voice, I'd sure be pissed off about it. And it would make it a lot easier to cut the cord if I was on the fence about it.


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#19 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:54 PM

Strait a la cart we be way higher in cost. A hybrid form is the way to go IMHO.

#20 OFFLINE   damondlt

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:00 PM

I think the A la Carte thing would be the answer. Because if we didn't want ESPN or Viacom , we wouldn't be forced to pay their high prices.  Problem is the Government and congress would never allow this cause the Networks would take such a hit, that they would whine like babies for a bailout.  Face it the customer is in a rut right now , these networks got all the providers and subscribers by the balls.  As long as they keep wanting more , we'll keep paying it.

 Problem is Directv/Dish hold out on someone like Vicom, No one else is there to take a stand. Maybe all the providers should stick together instead of using these disputes as leverage on each other . All that does is drive prices up more. 


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