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House Passes Sat TV Bill, Lawmakers Take Aim at DISH


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#1 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 05:08 AM

By a voice vote, the House on Wednesday approved key satellite TV legislation, parts of which have must-pass provisions for the industry.

Most critical were provisions granting satellite TV compulsory license permits to offer superstations and distant network signals to consumers. The compulsory license was set to expire Dec. 31, but the legislation passed by the House provides for a five-year extension, to Dec. 31, 2009. The license was part of the landmark Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA) passed in 1999.

Also, the House bill would allow satellite TV to broadcast certain "significantly viewed" channels from neighboring TV markets to areas served with satellite-delivered local TV packages. The House version also includes a provision allowing DBS platforms and other affected parties, such as content providers, to privately negotiate royalty rate increases, allowing for the industry to bypass a CARP (copyright arbitration royalty panel) process.

The more controversial part of the bill focused on a ban for the delivery of local TV signals to two dishes. The legislation, if signed into law, will require satellite TV providers to deliver analog local TV signals for a particular market to one dish, and forces the removal of a two-dish/local TV solution for those analog signals one year after the law's enactment.

The two-dish/local TV solution has been employed by EchoStar, which uses a second dish for reception of a certain number of local TV channels in select markets. And lawmakers discussing the legislation on the House floor took aim at the company and its two-dish/local TV practice.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said EchoStar's two-dish practice is discriminatory since it places less-viewed channels, such as public, religious or Spanish-language stations, on a second dish. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) didn't mention EchoStar by name during his remarks on the House floor, but complained that one satellite TV company was putting a number of Spanish-language stations in his home state on a second dish.

In a statement, EchoStar said it's disappointed that the House legislation "includes many provisions harmful to consumers. The current bill would potentially force the installation of millions of second satellite dishes that consumers neither want nor need, benefiting only broadcaster special interests in other markets."

EchoStar also criticized the bill for not addressing "digital white areas," which would allow satellite TV to deliver digital distant network feeds to consumers not served locally by digital broadcasts. "Where local broadcasters fail to invest in the equipment necessary to allow consumers to view digital channels off air, a digital white area would allow those consumers to receive high definition distant networks by satellite, providing millions of consumers the only current path to participation in the HD revolution," EchoStar said.

"We look forward to a final law that includes provisions in the Senate Commerce bill, which would allow rural consumers to receive a distant digital network signal via satellite and allow a longer period of transition to address the two-dish issue," EchoStar added.

In a separate statement, DirecTV President and CEO Mitch Stern said, "This legislation will make the video marketplace competitively more robust by allowing us to carry the same out-of-market 'significantly viewed' stations that cable operators already offer. We are also pleased that this legislation clarifies that 'carry one carry all' means that satellite providers may not split local stations between two dishes. We look forward to working with the Senate to ensure passage of this important legislation."

The next step is a vote in the Senate. At the moment, there's no news concerning a Senate vote on a satellite TV bill, and there's speculation that the Senate and House may adjourn at the end of the week without Senate passage of the key legislation. However, some expect the Senate to come back for a lame-duck session after the Nov. 2 election, possibly Nov. 15, and keep working on the legislation.

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

Here is Echostar's reaction:

http://www.corporate...&item_id=627539

Here is DirecTV's reaction:

http://phx.corporate...7565&highlight=

...Ads Help To Support This SIte...

#2 OFFLINE   waltinvt

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 11:50 AM

<snip.....>
The next step is a vote in the Senate. At the moment, there's no news concerning a Senate vote on a satellite TV bill, and there's speculation that the Senate and House may adjourn at the end of the week without Senate passage of the key legislation. However, some expect the Senate to come back for a lame-duck session after the Nov. 2 election, possibly Nov. 15, and keep working on the legislation.

That way they can "work" on it without worrying about votes. People need to contact their senators and express to them that they WILL be watching how they come down on this issue even if they do hide it until after the elections. In fact we should be nagging the sh*t out of them to put this to a vote before Nov 2nd.

WaltinVt

#3 OFFLINE   AJ2086

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 07:32 PM

Most critical were provisions granting satellite TV compulsory license permits to offer superstations and distant network signals to consumers. The compulsory license was set to expire Dec. 31, but the legislation passed by the House provides for a five-year extension, to Dec. 31, 2009. The license was part of the landmark Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA) passed in 1999.


So this means I will be able to get NY locals like on all the cable systems in my area?
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#4 OFFLINE   bhroam

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 03:26 PM

Legislation like this makes it somewhat obvious whose lobbists paid for this bill...

I'm a big fan of legisiation which levels the playing field... One of the major reasons I went with Dish back in 1999 was because they had the super stations. I'm a fan that DirecTV can get them now. Allthough this bill seems to help direcTV quite a bit and it hinders Dish. I'm upset at legislation which does that.

I've never understood why legislators are so against Dish's 2 dish policy. They put some of the less watched stations on a wing satellite and will come out and install a 2nd dish for free if you want it. This means anyone who wants them can get them with aditional equipment costs.

The only people I can see who don't like this are the stations which get put on the wing. It means people won't surf by their station and watch something randomly. As being someone who got the 2nd dish put up... I never do this.

Time to call up my senators and tell them to fix this.

Bhroam

#5 OFFLINE   beasst37799

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 06:37 PM

So this means I will be able to get NY locals like on all the cable systems in my area?

u should be able to get ny locals now . remember some of those supposed ny local channels are cable channels that sat doesnt carry . Such as news 12 , the metro networks
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#6 OFFLINE   AJ2086

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 08:25 PM

u should be able to get ny locals now . remember some of those supposed ny local channels are cable channels that sat doesnt carry . Such as news 12 , the metro networks


Yea I knew that, but I mean like WLNY and WWOR, you know the non Big 4 networks from NY.
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#7 OFFLINE   beasst37799

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 08:45 PM

um WWOR is upn 9 and wlny is channel 55 i have the ny markets and i get them over the sat.U didnt say which sat carrier u have
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#8 OFFLINE   RaceTrack

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 08:53 PM

So this means I will be able to get NY locals like on all the cable systems in my area?


I wish, Its so uneven around here because cable carrys 4 channels from the other dma round my own area.

#9 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 09:06 PM

He does not live in NY. He lives in another market.
I never cared for all the signatures that insult posters with other points of view.

#10 OFFLINE   hancox

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 10:14 AM

He does not live in NY. He lives in another market.



You are correct. What's happening here is probably one of the areas that most need this provision to pass..

In CT: Everywhere in CT EXCEPT Fairfield County is in the Hartford/New Haven DMA. I'm assuming AJ2086 counts here, and cable gives him some (but not all) of the NY locals.

In Fairfield County, CT: You're in the NY DMA. You get NY locals. What doesn't help is that (of course) the CT locals all say "CT's station for xxxxx" I'm assuming beasst37799 lives in Fairfield County, as do I.

I'm pressing my rep / Senators to fix this. NOW! :mad:

#11 OFFLINE   beasst37799

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 04:29 PM

No im actually in nj i was assuming that aj was in the Ny dma my mistake
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#12 OFFLINE   AJ2086

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 07:17 PM

No im in the Hartford/New Haven DMA, I should have mentioned that in my original post. I used to live in the NY DMA part of CT and I miss the NY DMA locals, right now I have Fox, NBC, and ABC as distants but I would love to get all of them as part of my local package. Maybe they will have the standard locals that we have now and like an "extended locals" where you get the neighboring DMA's for more.
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#13 OFFLINE   Steveox

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 11:33 PM

Does that mean can i get baltimore channels when i live in florida? Does that mean if dishnet customer service wont put baltimore channels can i take them to court?

#14 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 09:42 AM

No, Steve, you will not be able to get Baltimore channels because of the new law. You might be able to get some extra local channels from Florida in neighboring markets, but not channels from Baltimore.

#15 OFFLINE   gor88

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 11:37 AM

Also, the new law does not force the satellite providers to carry significantly viewed channels in neighboring markets. It simply grants permission for them to do so, if the providers wish to. The main reason for the law is to allow the providers to legally add out of market locals for smaller markets missing one or more major channels (typically ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and PBS, but could also include WB and UPN). This is becoming a serious issue as most of the markets with all of the big 5 will already be online with both Dish and DirecTV by year's end, leaving only "partial" markets left to add.

Since cable does tend to provide locals from outside the DMA, DirecTV and Dish could take away competitive advantage by offering extra channels either for free or at a modest fee.

#16 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 12:08 PM

I live outside of DC and it si not even clear that I will be able to get Baltimore locals. BTW they are not REQUIRED to sell you any loclals. they are just ALLOWED to.
I never cared for all the signatures that insult posters with other points of view.

#17 OFFLINE   Steveox

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 02:57 PM

I dont think thats right. Im originaly from baltimore and i was born there and i should know whats going on in my city any my state. I wanna keep up with Baltimore sports and know what trades the orioles or the ravens make. I think they should allow people who were from that city and state to see whats going in their ex hometown.

#18 OFFLINE   gor88

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 03:25 PM

Steve,

You have to consider that Baltimore locals are on 105. The satellite there (AMC2) is gong to be replaced with AMC15 sometime later this year. AMC15 has spotbeams, so there is a possibility that Baltimore may move to a spotbeam and be unavailable anyway. In fact, I would bet that many of the 105 locals will be on spots once AMC15 is in place.

It would be nice to get locals from anywhere, but spotbeams are necessary to allow the needed bandwidth to offer locals to as many markets as possible.

#19 OFFLINE   Chris Freeland

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 04:42 PM

Steve,

You have to consider that Baltimore locals are on 105. The satellite there (AMC2) is gong to be replaced with AMC15 sometime later this year. AMC15 has spotbeams, so there is a possibility that Baltimore may move to a spotbeam and be unavailable anyway. In fact, I would bet that many of the 105 locals will be on spots once AMC15 is in place.

It would be nice to get locals from anywhere, but spotbeams are necessary to allow the needed bandwidth to offer locals to as many markets as possible.


I doubt any of the current locale's on 105 will go to the spotbeams their, maybe to E10 once it's up late next year. The spotbeams on 105 are Ka band, they will likely be used for broadband and or possibly HD locals, but I doubt any SD locals will end up their.

#20 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 10:07 PM

If you really must get information about Baltimore, Steve, look no further than sunspot.net, the portal for the Baltimore Sun newspaper. You could even look up any of the television stations' websites.

But to expect a handout from the government simply to get hometown local channels to you?




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