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.