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SHVIA Hearings


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36 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 06:00 AM

The House Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee will hold a hearing for mark-up of legislation reauthorizing the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act Wednesday.

Satellite interests will be watching closely whatever bill surfaces from the subcommittee, given the recent Capitol Hill skirmishes between satellite TV giants DirecTV and EchoStar. Last week, EchoStar accused DirecTV of meeting with broadcast and film interests on crafting a bill, and it's expected legislation could address - and possibly restrict - EchoStar's use of a second dish to deliver a select set of local TV channels to certain markets.

Meanwhile, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on telecommunications policy and lessons learned from the 1996 Telecommunications Act Tuesday. That will be followed by another hearing that will look into the future of telecom policy scheduled for Wednesday.

http://www.skyreport.com (Used with permission)

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#2 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 02:43 PM

The House Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee will hold a hearing for mark-up of legislation reauthorizing the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act Wednesday.

Satellite interests will be watching closely whatever bill surfaces from the subcommittee, given the recent Capitol Hill skirmishes between satellite TV giants DirecTV and EchoStar. Last week, EchoStar accused DirecTV of meeting with broadcast and film interests on crafting a bill, and it's expected legislation could address - and possibly restrict - EchoStar's use of a second dish to deliver a select set of local TV channels to certain markets.

Meanwhile, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on telecommunications policy and lessons learned from the 1996 Telecommunications Act Tuesday. That will be followed by another hearing that will look into the future of telecom policy scheduled for Wednesday.

http://www.skyreport.com (Used with permission)


So does this mean that they may pass the bill so those of us who have the DN and waivers will be able to receive these channels after December 31st 2004?

And why would D* go after E* about having to use a 2nd dish? Who cares if they use a 2nd dish. Don't they already use a 2nd dish for 61.5? and if D* gets permission to use the Candian satellite at 71.5, won't that mean that we'll have to use a 2nd dish to get that satellite? So whats the big deal? What a waste of time and money.

#3 OFFLINE   scooper

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 03:49 PM

theratpatrol - you obviously DON'T understand the 2nd dish issue.

Some believe (among those , the NAB ) that the intention of SHVIA to allow locals / Must Carry was to require the DBS providers offer ALL of any DMA's stations on a single dish - notnecessarily the same dish as core programming, but that ALL stations were treated identically. This COULD mean that the stations can be on the same slot - even 61.5 / 148 - as long as ALL stations for a DMA were on the same slot.

What E* has been doing is putting the "major stations" (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, WB, UPN, primary PBS, maybe a couple of others if space allows) on the 119 / 110 spot beams, then putting the smaller stations off on the side slots. To "comply with the spirit of the law", they have been offering a free dish and installation of this 2nd dish.

This wouldn't be an issue if ALL of a DMA's stations were on the side slots - imagine putting all of Greenville/ New Bern NC DMA on 61.5 (as an example) - and leaving core programming at 119/110.
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#4 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 03:35 AM

theratpatrol - you obviously DON'T understand the 2nd dish issue.

Some believe (among those , the NAB ) that the intention of SHVIA to allow locals / Must Carry was to require the DBS providers offer ALL of any DMA's stations on a single dish - notnecessarily the same dish as core programming, but that ALL stations were treated identically. This COULD mean that the stations can be on the same slot - even 61.5 / 148 - as long as ALL stations for a DMA were on the same slot.

What E* has been doing is putting the "major stations" (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, WB, UPN, primary PBS, maybe a couple of others if space allows) on the 119 / 110 spot beams, then putting the smaller stations off on the side slots. To "comply with the spirit of the law", they have been offering a free dish and installation of this 2nd dish.

This wouldn't be an issue if ALL of a DMA's stations were on the side slots - imagine putting all of Greenville/ New Bern NC DMA on 61.5 (as an example) - and leaving core programming at 119/110.


No I didn't understand the 2nd dish issue, as I have D* not E*. But I understand now thanks to your post. Thanks! :)

#5 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 05:58 AM

More Fireworks Before SHVIA Hearing

More fireworks erupted Tuesday concerning the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA) and its reauthorization, a day before lawmakers were set to discuss the law (a hearing on the matter is scheduled for today on Capitol Hill).

The Digital Transition Coalition, which has EchoStar as a member, among others, sent a letter to Congress Tuesday on SHVIA's renewal and its ideas for the digital TV transition. In its correspondence, the group asked lawmakers to allow satellite TV companies to deliver digital distant networks into local markets where broadcasters are not transmitting a digital signal.

The move would help speed up the digital transition and benefit consumers who are unable to receive existing digital network TV because local broadcasters are not yet providing a digital signal, the coalition letter said.

"Consumers are being deprived the benefits of digital television because the broadcasters are failing to meet their obligations," the letter said. "There are more than 1,000 television stations, representing 61 percent of all broadcasters nationwide, which have not met their commitment to fully provide their DTV service. These broadcasters have either not constructed digital facilities within the deadlines or are serving only a fraction of the area for which they are required."

The National Association of Broadcasters fired back, sending a letter to lawmakers just hours after the Digital Transition Coalition letter hit Capitol Hill. The association said the satellite industry's "real motivation behind allowing distant digital signal importation has nothing to do with expediting the digital television transition."

The NAB letter brought up past distant networks litigation pitting satellite TV companies against broadcasters. "In the analog world, it took years of court battles and millions of dollars in litigation fees to convince satellite companies to stop illegally providing distant signals to ineligible subscribers," the broadcast association letter said. "Now, as Congress prepares to reauthorize the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act, the satellite industry asks that Congress repeat and worsen this debacle."

NAB also disputed the Digital Transition Coalition's numbers on DTV stations. It said there are 1,186 local stations on-air in digital in 205 markets that serve 99.6 percent of the U.S. population.

The House Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee will hold a hearing for mark-up of legislation reauthorizing the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act today at 10 a.m. EST.

http://www.skyreport.com (Used with permission)

#6 OFFLINE   jrbdmb

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 07:39 AM

Here is the draft version of the SHVIA reauthorization:

http://energycommerc...HVIRA.draft.pdf

Looks like the main changes are:
- All locals from a single dish
- Updates to waiver and testing procedures, including models used to determine unserved areas
- Start study to determine which digital TV customers will be unserved as of 1/1/2007
- Enable DBS to sell "significantly viewed" stations (outside its own DMA)
- If DBS provides local channels to a sub, they cannot also provide a distant network. (There may be an exception for owned-and-operated NETs.)

#7 OFFLINE   jrbdmb

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 07:40 AM

For anyone with nothing else to do, you can watch the hearing live:

http://energycommerc...4markup1261.htm

#8 OFFLINE   Adam Richey

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 08:08 AM

I like the significantly viewed idea. Although I doubt Dish Network will EVER carry WLFI (CBS) from Lafayette, IN, I would love to have that channel in my locals.
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#9 OFFLINE   TonyM

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 12:03 PM

I like the significantly viewed idea.


I like it too. Being 120 miles north of Minneapolis and 100 miles SSW of Duluth, some of the cable companies carry some networks from both areas(ABC & NBC). So it seems logical that Dish should be able too.

Or areas that don't have all the "Big 4"..I think that's what it will come to. If you don't have all of the Big 4 in your DMA, they'll import it in from the neighboring DMA.

#10 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 03:35 PM

It looks like the US House panel has approved the measure regarding the second dish issue.

http://www.forbes.co...rtr1351365.html

#11 OFFLINE   jrbdmb

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 08:28 PM

Other major item of interest: "In markets where satellite operators begin offering local broadcast stations, the bill gives subscribers 60 days to decide whether they wanted that service or prefer to continue receiving the signal of a distant broadcast network."

Looks like distant NETs days are numbered.

(Nothing mentioned about "significantly viewed" stations in th report.)

#12 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 03:38 AM

Other major item of interest: "In markets where satellite operators begin offering local broadcast stations, the bill gives subscribers 60 days to decide whether they wanted that service or prefer to continue receiving the signal of a distant broadcast network."

Looks like distant NETs days are numbered.

(Nothing mentioned about "significantly viewed" stations in th report.)


Why do you say they are numbered? From the way I read it you have 60 days to choose if you want your locals or DN, and can choose to keep the DN. I guess you're saying that you couldn't have both locals and DN?

#13 OFFLINE   jrjcd

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 05:39 AM

well, it's a pisser, bcause if you have your locals, you should also have the right to purchase DNs from a different time zone if you wish....
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#14 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 05:53 AM

The Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA) was brought before the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee Wednesday, and as expected the bill addresses the use of two dishes to deliver local TV to consumers.

The legislation, introduced by Subcommittee Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.), requires satellite TV providers to deliver local TV channels to the markets they serve via a single dish. The bill allows satellite TV companies to deliver local TV channels to one dish and other programming services to another dish, but prohibits the splitting up of local TV channel packages between dishes. Companies would have one year to comply with the proposed rule after signed into law.

The proposed mandate takes aim at EchoStar and its use of two dishes to deliver a number of local TV channels to consumers in select markets.

The bill also asks the Federal Communications Commission to study which consumers will not be able to receive over-the-air local TV stations in digital as of Jan. 1, 2007.

The National Association of Broadcasters and its president, Eddie Fritts, praised the legislation. "We are particularly pleased the subcommittee moved decisively to end EchoStar's two-dish practice and rejected an ill-guided proposal to allow distant digital signal importation," he said.

EchoStar said it's disappointed "that the powerful broadcaster special interests successfully included a number of provisions in the draft legislation that are bad for competition and bad for consumers."

The company added, "We look forward to better educating Congress about the consumer benefits that are possible, particularly with respect to the two-dish issue. Congress challenged the satellite industry to provide local network channels and more effective competition, to the greatest number of markets as quickly as possible. EchoStar rose to the challenge and today provides local channels in 117 markets. This would not have been possible without a two-dish solution that is seamless to consumers."

EchoStar said it's optimistic the legislation will change "when Congress better understands the consequences of these issues."

Richard DalBello, president of the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association, said the bill "has a lot to offer the broadcasters but very little for consumers and the satellite industry. It seems to me that Congress is missing a great opportunity to expand consumer choice and increase competition."

SBCA said it's especially concerned with the removal of a grandfather clause that currently allows some consumers to receive distant network signals. And it expressed disappointment with the missing distant digital networks proposal, which would allow consumers to get satellite-delivered digital distant nets if they cannot get a local broadcast digital signal.

Still, SBCA said it was encouraged by the support from lawmakers for the role satellite TV could play in providing high-def and digital services to consumers who live in "digital white areas." Said DalBello, "The subcommittee took an important first step today. I hope as we move from the subcommittee to the full committee, discussion on the proposal to allow satellite carriers to offer an HD distant signal to digitally-unserved customers will continue to move forward."

http://www.skyreport.com (Used with permission)

#15 OFFLINE   MikeSoltis

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 06:11 AM

EchoStar said it's disappointed "that the powerful broadcaster special interests successfully included a number of provisions in the draft legislation that are bad for competition and bad for consumers."


Congress doing something bad for consumers? What a shock.
This legislation continues to be a thinly disguised law to protect the "Local" broadcasters, most of which are owned by companies which own more than one station anyway. Anyone who thinks otherwise and holds any hope for the gov't doing ANYTHING which might benefit the consumer is living in a land of make-believe...
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#16 OFFLINE   jrbdmb

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 06:54 AM

Why do you say they are numbered? From the way I read it you have 60 days to choose if you want your locals or DN, and can choose to keep the DN. I guess you're saying that you couldn't have both locals and DN?

OK, I overstated it a bit ... but since almost all major markets have locals, and I suspect that *most* subs will pick locals over distants, the number of distant NET subs will decrease dramatically after this passes.

#17 OFFLINE   Chris Freeland

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 07:33 AM

We have the best Congress that the NAB can buy. :(

#18 OFFLINE   Jacob S

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 04:56 PM

They might as well eliminate distant networks if Dish is able to provide a neighboring DMA's locals to an area. It is a wonder that they have not made that mandatory. I imagine Dish will provide the unserved local markets a neighboring DMA if permitted until that DMA is put up. This would give everyone access to the networks even if it means it is a little distance away.

#19 OFFLINE   SamC

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 06:35 PM

IMHO,

We have been down the path of "I want NBC from 47 different cities and I have a right to it" many times. The simple answer is no, you have no such right.

I think the following would be a good basis for the future:

- DBS should have the right to carry significantly viewed stations.

- DBS should have the right to carry any station for which the viewer is within the Grade B.

- Only one station, per network, should have veto rights over waiver requests.

- If a local station is not broadcasting in digital at 100% of its power and in HD when the network provides HD, DBS can carry an distant digital HD.

- When all of the "Big 4" stations in a DMA are from one state, those parts of the DMA in other states can get additional locals from their state's of residence.

- Any local station which carries programming that is 95% or more duplicated by a national cable channel (Pax, Daystar, etc) is not eligiable for must carry.

- Any white area resident can get distants from any place that his dish can see the spot for.

- UPN and WB should be treated as networks for distant purposes. If the DMA does not contain these, they can be suplemented.

- If a local station does not carry a particular network show, DBS can unscramble the NY or LA feed for that time period for all customers.

- Waiver requests should work in reverse. Viewers should get distants upon request, and then it would be up to the local NABandit to protest and try to have these taken away.

- A waiver denial must be signed on by the station engineer. If it is proven that he signed in bad faith, which is to say he signed a denial where no reasonable person could believe that an appropriate signal can be received, he should lose his FCC card and the station should be fined.

Pipe dreams, I know.

#20 Guest_jericho29_*

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 12:14 AM

So can someone tell me if I will lose my distant networks? I live in an area where I qualify for Distant Nets because I'm far enough away from my DMA stations broadcast towers (Tulsa). Will I end up losing my Mountain and Pacific time zone channels?




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