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Superstations going away Sept19th- get grandfathered now


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#21 OFFLINE   FTA Michael

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:22 AM

Hey, BillJ, thanks for starting this thread. I rarely visit That Other Site, and I would have been sad to lose out on the opportunity to grandfather myself (like Futurama's Fry) on some of the last distant OTA channels. Thanks to you, I signed up.


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#22 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:11 AM

I wonder why DISH isn't publicizing this at all.

 

Me, I've had the Superstations since day 1, and they're the reason I have DISH rather than DirecTV.

 

They are not worth staying with Dish for to me.  I get East & West coast locals as well as my DMA's.  Can't get that with Dish.


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#23 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:14 AM

Superstations on satellite could be blocked by a local affiliate's complaint. If a station has the exclusive local market rights to programming (either WB/UPN now CW or syndicated programming) they could ask DISH to block the out of market feed. Instead of blocking the individual shows (as required under the law) DISH kept it simple and blocked the full channel in markets where a local station had exercised their rights.

They certainly are not as valuable as they were before the network and most of the syndicated programming (including classic shows) found homes on local broadcasters and regular cable networks.

 

They can ask all they want but in some situations stations can be considered significantly viewed and are not subject to blackout restrictions and are not required to be shut down due to a in market affiliate.


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#24 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:19 AM

Nobody's mentioned the background issue that must be the elephant in the room to Dish, The Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act is the law that gives Dish the right to carry the Superstations, as well as other distant signals and local-into-local IIFC. STELA expires at the end of 2014, and Congress started chewing on renewal legislation a few months ago. Last time, at the last minute, STELA was renewed like a library book, exactly as it had been, and the Superstation exemption survived because of inertia. There are a lot of reasons to think that won't happen this cycle.

 

(Quick aside: The supers were one big reason I chose Dish 12 years ago. They had all that live local sports. Now their SD format is below our new viewing standard, their baseball coverage has almost evaporated, and they rarely show anything that isn't available on my local TV. Such a shame.)

 

You know why Time Warner Cable held out against CBS for a month, only to roll over and give CBS almost everything it wanted? To raise national awareness about the retransmission consent system and how it works (arguably?) to the detriment of viewers. Rumblings on Capitol Hill are starting to build to fix retransmission consent, and STELA, a related bill that's furthest along, could soon see some big changes to become a larger bill. According to Multichannel News, the House Judiciary Subcommittee will hold a STELA hearing tomorrow (Tuesday), and the House Communications Subcommittee will hold a STELA hearing Wednesday. As the MCN article states, advisors from all sides of the issue are lining up to weigh in on what should be in the next STELA.

 

To sum it up, we don't know what's going to happen with STELA, but almost no one in the debate will care two cents about the Superstations. It would be a very nice surprise if they were still available in 2015.

 

Well I guess I disagree in some ways.  While I know the Super Stations are a little different, there was a hearing a few months ago where it was stated that if DNS channels were not allowed to continue, there were a lot of customers that would be affected.  If they allow DNS feeds to continue ( I would be surprised if they didn't) I do not see why they would not also continue with the Super Stations.  I dont think anyone on those panels wants to get the calls from customers that had their stations taken away because of some decisions someone else made for them.


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#25 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:54 AM

Below is a link to the video for the hearing that occurred today.

 

http://www.ustream.t...corded/38551431


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#26 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 02:13 PM

Well I just finished watching the entire hearing.  Every time I watch one of these I get mad at the NAB rep.  Anyone who can't see that the NAB does not care about paying customers is blind.  I understand that allowing a station to be imported during a blackout does violate the exclusive rights of the local station but I do not think it is in turn fair to encourage customers to leave their current provider for another to get the desired station.  The guy from the NAB kept referring to the recent CBS issue with Time Warner and just kept saying that they were never off the air and were available via antenna.  What does that say to people like you and me who pay for a reliable signal for that local channel?  To me it says that the station and the NAB don't give a crap about me.  If I want their content I am already paying for, I should do something different to get it.  No regards for contracts in place or the price of an antenna not to mention what it takes to properly install one and an appropriate height to get a proper signal. 

 

The NAB just makes me sick.  At least Dish and other Cable providers that had reps at the hearing all seem to say, we will continue to pay and can make the new adjustment that goes into affect retroactive to resolve the problem.  The NAB just wants to keep control and not help give anyone else any power in negotiations.  Not to mention the NAB things DNS feeds should go away even for customers that do not have an affiliate presence in their DMA for one or more of the big 4 (ABC,CBS, FOX, NBC).  So from my perspective, the NAB cares enough to tell you to leave your provider if needed, get an antenna to get the signal for free and hope you can get the signal.  If you can't guess its back to paying a different provider to get the content. 

 

The one thing I was hoping to hear more on was the orphan county issue.  While it did get brought up a little, it was usually specific to one persons (person speaking) area.  I want to know what they intend to do with the issue as a whole.  For me, yes I live closer to the DMA that serves me currently but I do not live in either state that provides me with those local channels.  I know I am missing in state content and in state sports because of it.

 

It is also worth mentioning that one person had a great comment on the fact that the DMA rule does not really work properly.  The point being made in the hearing was that Neilson does not take anything into account other then viewing habits.  That is a great point.  The fact that most people in my county view the Joplin/Pittsburg DMA to me is irrelevant.  I bet if they were given the option of the closest in state DMA (Tulsa), they would jump at the opportunity.

 

We do need changes and I think we need Congress to do it.  TV stations should not be allowed to raise rates between 50-250 times the previous amount.  I know as a employee of the company I work for, it would not go good if I asked for a 250% increase in pay the next time I was in line for a raise.  With people wanting other markets local channel's why don't they just make it where we can get another DMA's locals as long as we are willing to pay double the price for local channels?  This way it would be fair to the local market as they still get their money from me as a paying customer.


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#27 OFFLINE   FTA Michael

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 02:55 PM

The stations have the cable/satellite systems over a barrel. Of course they are going to fight any attempts to change that situation.

 

I am frequently amused by the NAB when it says that each station is a vital lifeline serving the community, and that if the local cable system doesn't play ball, it'll go dark. NAB president Gordon Smith once said that in consecutive sentences! (Mind you, he put it much better and more diplomatically than that, but still.)

 

But I suppose we need to steer back to our main topic. Did anyone at that hearing even mention superstations?


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#28 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 03:42 PM

They can ask all they want but in some situations stations can be considered significantly viewed and are not subject to blackout restrictions and are not required to be shut down due to a in market affiliate.


Superstations only count as significantly viewed in the areas where they have been listed as significantly viewed. Which is a relatively small footprint compared to national distribution as a Superstation (where they are subject to blackout/deletion). When carried in market they are carried as local-into-local stations under those rules.
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#29 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:08 PM

To me it says that the station and the NAB don't give a crap about me.  If I want their content I am already paying for, I should do something different to get it.  No regards for contracts in place or the price of an antenna not to mention what it takes to properly install one and an appropriate height to get a proper signal.


What contracts in place? Channels leave when there is no contract. The contracts are no longer in place.

Please make no mistake ... the NAB is the "National Association of Broadcasters" - not the national association of broadcast content viewers. Their job is to represent the best interest of the broadcasters - not us. They are doing their job.


Not to mention the NAB things DNS feeds should go away even for customers that do not have an affiliate presence in their DMA for one or more of the big 4 (ABC,CBS, FOX, NBC).


It does not serve the networks to be missing in any market ... but they are free to negotiate any deal that they wish to distribute their channels (as long as it doesn't conflict with their agreement with local affiliates). The Distant laws force the issue without the network's or station's permission. Somewhere along the line congress decided that people somehow have the "right" to receive network programming if there is no local affiliate --- yet that "right" fades when the local affiliate chooses not to be carried or the carrier decides not to carry a distant (where permitted).

That is something I'd like to work out. Either take away the right to a network where there is no affiliate or expand the right so all affiliates MUST allow carriage under a statutory fee structure.
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#30 OFFLINE   shadough

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 06:16 PM

Am officially signed up as a "Super sub".  As well as AAD.  I think I qualify for the Supers becuz I live in a rural area.  I can't pick up a single station OTA (cept maybe at night or during Tropo), an I do have a big ANT on the roof (mind you it was designed for the Analog days, back when I actually could pick up something).  If I try using an address thats closer to DC (ie: somewhere in NoVa), on the dish.com website local station 'qualifier', its a NO for Supers.  So I guess I'm thankfull for that.

 

And yes I know you've got the NY DNS Josh from D*, but we have the NY locals too here on E* (granted its thru a 3rd party A.A.D.).  And allthough you may have the LA DNS, we've got the SF DNS (from AAD).  I think I'd rather have LA but I'll take SF.  At least SF has 2 football teams, LA has none.  Unless you count the new L.A. Kiss?!?!  =)  Kinda nice to see all the 9ers games, Giants games, Jets games and the occasionaly Raider game (as long as they arn't blacked out).   Which begs the question, do these proceedings affect AAD at all??  I know they're kinda circumventing the rules as they are now, being that they dont provide ANY LIL (local in local), just distant.


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#31 OFFLINE   SeaBeagle

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 08:12 PM

This all started with some winey judge in Florida illegalizimg. distant locals to markets not pe IFC to that location. I still can not figure out his reasoning for this. I guess that old tree knot did not have anything better to do.

#32 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:18 PM

The stations have the cable/satellite systems over a barrel. Of course they are going to fight any attempts to change that situation.

 

I am frequently amused by the NAB when it says that each station is a vital lifeline serving the community, and that if the local cable system doesn't play ball, it'll go dark. NAB president Gordon Smith once said that in consecutive sentences! (Mind you, he put it much better and more diplomatically than that, but still.)

 

But I suppose we need to steer back to our main topic. Did anyone at that hearing even mention superstations?

 

Actually they did on a few occasions.


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#33 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:20 PM

Am officially signed up as a "Super sub".  As well as AAD.  I think I qualify for the Supers becuz I live in a rural area.  I can't pick up a single station OTA (cept maybe at night or during Tropo), an I do have a big ANT on the roof (mind you it was designed for the Analog days, back when I actually could pick up something).  If I try using an address thats closer to DC (ie: somewhere in NoVa), on the dish.com website local station 'qualifier', its a NO for Supers.  So I guess I'm thankfull for that.

 

And yes I know you've got the NY DNS Josh from D*, but we have the NY locals too here on E* (granted its thru a 3rd party A.A.D.).  And allthough you may have the LA DNS, we've got the SF DNS (from AAD).  I think I'd rather have LA but I'll take SF.  At least SF has 2 football teams, LA has none.  Unless you count the new L.A. Kiss?!?!  =)  Kinda nice to see all the 9ers games, Giants games, Jets games and the occasionaly Raider game (as long as they arn't blacked out).   Which begs the question, do these proceedings affect AAD at all??  I know they're kinda circumventing the rules as they are now, being that they dont provide ANY LIL (local in local), just distant.

 

Well if DNS feeds are not re-approved, I dont see how ADD can still offer them either.


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#34 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:53 PM

Which begs the question, do these proceedings affect AAD at all??  I know they're kinda circumventing the rules as they are now, being that they dont provide ANY LIL (local in local), just distant.


If the distants rules are not renewed at the end of next year the authority for AAD to carry distants will cease to exist. DirecTV and DISH will also lose the ability to carry distants. Yes, this affects all satellite carriers.

I suspect if what we consider distants (complete markets offered from the east or west coast, AAD style) goes away Congress will expand on the Significantly Viewed side of the rules to allow neighboring market stations to be carried when no in market affiliate is available.

The real fixes needed (in my opinion) are 1) statutory license rates similar to what is paid for distants and superstations - with all stations in each market considered "must carry" and all who claim rights getting payment and 2) distribution via satellite to any community that is predicted to receive the signal over the air, plus the entire home market of the station. It is wrong for satellite viewers not to be able to receive via satellite signals that they can receive OTA and via local cable operations. In many communities the law prevents satellite carriage of local channels that are required to be carried on cable. The requirements should be the same.

And as far as superstations ... I don't see the point. Someone else is going to have to come up with a rationale to keep them. And either the rules need to be expanded so any station can become a superstation (preferably with the station's permission) or someone needs to explain why those stations are so special they they get to be carried nationally while others can't (under that particular law).

(Any station can negotiate national carriage with a cable or satellite company - as long as they own the rights to rebroadcast their content nationally.)


This all started with some winey judge in Florida illegalizimg. distant locals to markets not pe IFC to that location. I still can not figure out his reasoning for this. I guess that old tree knot did not have anything better to do.


It started with satellite broadcasters (C Band and then DBS) picking up a few network stations and reselling them nationally. They were sued and the courts agreed that the satellite broadcasters had no right to rebroadcast OTA signals without the station's permission. Then congress stepped in and made it legal under certain circumstances.

The carriage laws are generally PERMISSIVE. Without them we'd be back at the court's decision ... no retransmission of local stations, distant stations or superstations.
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#35 OFFLINE   Don M

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 11:54 PM

Like several others here I chose DISH over 10 years ago because of the Superstations. I nvever received any survey or other communication from DISH concerning whether to keep them or not. I do not want to see them go.

#36 OFFLINE   djlong

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:44 AM

The NAB represents the broadcasters.

 

The broadcasters serve their customers.

 

The customers are the ADVERTISERS.  The product consists of the eyes and ears of the viewers.

 

The NAB claims they support the community and stress the word "local" all the time.  Yet how many times do you hear of a station being sold to a conglomerate and the first thing they do is fire all the local talent, replacing it with packaged, syndicated product in the name of "cost savings" (which would be necessary if they didn't just take out a multi million dollar mortgage to buy the station).

 

We heard this when they (the NAB) were screaming at Sirius and XM.  They lied then and they lie now - nothing has changed.



#37 OFFLINE   FTA Michael

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:51 AM

Here's the blow-by-blow account of yesterday's STELA hearing by Broadcasting & Cable's John Eggerton, the hardest-working man in Washington. IMHO, this might be of sufficient interest to Dish viewers in general to start a separate STELA reauthorization thread without a Superstation title, but I'll leave that question to the fine folks who work here.

 

http://www.broadcast...ELA_Hearing.php


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#38 OFFLINE   SeaBeagle

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:12 PM

It started with satellite broadcasters (C Band and then DBS) picking up a few network stations and reselling them nationally. They were sued and the courts agreed that the satellite broadcasters had no right to rebroadcast OTA signals without the station's permission. Then congress stepped in and made it legal under certain circumstances.

The carriage laws are generally PERMISSIVE. Without them we'd be back at the court's decision ... no retransmission of local stations, distant stations or superstations.[/quote]

I would think the owner of any TV station would be glad to have anyone in the whole country view the station. Look at all the radio stations that we can listen to with any problem. Anywhere from California to New York and the whole world. TV should be the same way.

#39 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:45 PM

It started with satellite broadcasters (C Band and then DBS) picking up a few network stations and reselling them nationally. They were sued and the courts agreed that the satellite broadcasters had no right to rebroadcast OTA signals without the station's permission. Then congress stepped in and made it legal under certain circumstances.

The carriage laws are generally PERMISSIVE. Without them we'd be back at the court's decision ... no retransmission of local stations, distant stations or superstations.


I would think the owner of any TV station would be glad to have anyone in the whole country view the station. Look at all the radio stations that we can listen to with any problem. Anywhere from California to New York and the whole world. TV should be the same way.


In general I agree ... the extra distribution helps, even if all it does is provide additional eyes for the infomercials and national focused advertising. The stations do not get paid directly for their carriage ... the content owners can file a claim against the statutory licensing fee pool to compensate for the use of their copyrighted material.

Content has become more controlled ... WGN and WTBS bowed out of the superstation game and became real cable channels to avoid rights issues and be able to be paid directly for their content.

I don't see superstations making a ton of money off of their out of market carriage (unless they go the route of WGN and WTBS). Carriage is not the worst thing in the world ... but with no direct payment it isn't a cash cow.
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#40 OFFLINE   SeaBeagle

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:38 PM

In general I agree ... the extra distribution helps, even if all it does is provide additional eyes for the infomercials and national focused advertising. The stations do not get paid directly for their carriage ... the content owners can file a claim against the statutory licensing fee pool to compensate for the use of their copyrighted material.

Content has become more controlled ... WGN and WTBS bowed out of the superstation game and became real cable channels to avoid rights issues and be able to be paid directly for their content.

I don't see superstations making a ton of money off of their out of market carriage (unless they go the route of WGN and WTBS). Carriage is not the worst thing in the world ... but with no direct payment it isn't a cash cow.


Look at it like this they still make the same monies if the station was not nation wide. It gives the local market exposure. Free advertising of he location.




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