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Guest Message by DevFuse

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SHVIA Mccain Bill PASSED!!!


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#101 Guest_rcoleman111_*

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 08:13 PM

You stated lies in earlier posts. You still have not cleared up the claims you made.

JL


Once again you are incorrect, but I will state the facts one more time.

As to your assertion that I should “yell at the networks” about the issue of distant stations, that is absurd. I have never read any of the contracts between TV networks and affiliates (I doubt that you have, either), but it really doesn’t matter whether the networks could allow satellite operators to carry distant signals. Like anything else that involves use of the public airwaves, this is under the umbrella of federal laws and regulations. There is no question that Congress has the power to determine whether or not consumers are allowed to receive distant stations. Federal law would override any agreements between the networks and affiliates.

An example of this type of regulation is the 1996 telecom law, which empowered the FCC to enact regulations that overrode all existing homeowners’ association covenants that were preventing many people who lived in covenant-controlled communities from subscribing to satellite TV. These covenants were perfectly legal at the time, but they were stunting the growth of satellite TV as a competitor to cable at a time when there was widespread anger over rising cable bills. The FCC regulations that were put in place as a result of that law made those covenants unenforceable. Based on your earlier suggestion that I should “yell at the networks” about the rules on distant stations, I suppose your solution to the problem of homeowners’ association covenants would have been to “yell at your homeowners’ association”. That would have accomplished nothing and, without federal regulation, satellite TV could not have become the competitor it is today.

Another example is the “must-carry” legislation that was passed by Congress a few years ago. Until that time, cable operators had complete discretion as to whether or not they carried local TV stations. They could choose to carry some of the local stations, all of them, or none of them. The “must-carry” law required cable operators to carry every TV station in their markets. Without this legislation, the broadcast TV industry would probably be a dinosaur by now instead of an industry that has the money and political influence to buy legislation that sets the rules as to what choices consumers will have. Because of the limited bandwidth of cable systems at that time, many cable operators had no choice but to remove existing cable channels in order to make room for local broadcast channels, some of which were low-powered UHF stations which few people even cared about.

Until 1999, it was illegal for satellite operators to even carry local TV stations. Only people who lived outside of what was considered the broadcast range of the local stations could even get distant network feeds on satellite. That changed when the broadcasters went to court and forced the satellite operators to disconnect the distant feeds for viewers who didn’t “qualify” to receive them. The passage of legislation to allow satellite operators to carry local stations was not the result of people “yelling at the networks” – it was the result of congressmen and senators being swamped with complaints from angry satellite subscribers whose distant networks were being cut off and who couldn’t understand why they shouldn’t be allowed to purchase those distant stations.

In passing legislation to enable satellite TV to carry local TV stations, Congress again bowed to the money and power of the broadcast industry and included rules that prohibited consumers who were in the DMA for local stations from receiving distant network feeds, in addition to applying the burdensome “must-carry” rules to satellite TV. As a concession to people who were already receiving distant network feeds (and to silence the outcry from angry constituents), the legislation allowed those who were already receiving distant feeds to be grandfathered for five years, or until the end of 2004.

While I have not read the new legislation, it is foolish to believe that a bill which is being praised by the broadcasters is anything but store-bought legislation. From what I have read so far, the new law will simply perpetuate the system we have now, in which consumers who already have distant networks will be able to keep them and those who do not have them will be denied that choice. As to your assertion that it “opens the door to digital distants”, I really don’t see how that is going to happen. If you do, then please feel free to enlighten me.

#102 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 09:27 PM

I have never read any of the contracts between TV networks and affiliates, but it really doesn’t matter whether the networks could allow satellite operators to carry distant signals.

Your eyes are closed to the debate then, since you ignore the facts at hand.

While I have not read the new legislation,

That makes you an expert on the law! Silly boy. You speak from a position of ignorance!

Write a few hundred more errant words. Now we know you're just repeating what you heard elsewhere, and getting it wrong as well!

JL

#103 Guest_rcoleman111_*

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 09:59 PM

Your eyes are closed to the debate then, since you ignore the facts at hand.That makes you an expert on the law! Silly boy. You speak from a position of ignorance!

Write a few hundred more errant words. Now we know you're just repeating what you heard elsewhere, and getting it wrong as well!

JL


Incorrect again. You asked for facts and you can only respond with insults.

#104 ONLINE   chaddux

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 11:47 PM

Incorrect again. You asked for facts and you can only respond with insults.


Maybe your local NBC affiliate will clarify the law during the last five minutes of your favorite program. Oh wait, that's reserved for Levi's Call/Amber Alert. Nevermind! :D
Chad

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#105 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 11:09 AM

Incorrect again. You asked for facts and you can only respond with insults.

You have no facts. Just the misinterpreted quoting of others.

Read the bill. Pull your head out of the sand. Learn something before claiming to have the facts.

JL

#106 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 02:51 PM

Like anything else that involves use of the public airwaves, this is under the umbrella of federal laws and regulations. There is no question that Congress has the power to determine whether or not consumers are allowed to receive distant stations. Federal law would override any agreements between the networks and affiliates.

I'll get back to this; this may be the issue that justalurker has issues with. I certainly do.

An example of this type of regulation is the 1996 telecom law, which empowered the FCC to enact regulations that overrode all existing homeowners’ association covenants that were preventing many people who lived in covenant-controlled communities from subscribing to satellite TV.

Not quite the same argument. The government restricted the rights of any covenant that reduced freedom of choice for communications services. This law did not seize the property of the covenant; it removed the right of an association to prohibit communications choices.

Another example is the “must-carry” legislation that was passed by Congress a few years ago.

Regarding cable "must-carry", the law was put in place to keep a cable company from being a gate-keeper. Sure, the law may have seized some bandwidth from cablers, but the law, when challenged to Supreme Court scrutiny, barely passed. It was determined that the importance of carrying all local channels was more in the public interest than leaving the choice of channel carriage to the cablers.

The passage of legislation to allow satellite operators to carry local stations was not the result of people “yelling at the networks” – it was the result of congressmen and senators being swamped with complaints from angry satellite subscribers whose distant networks were being cut off and who couldn’t understand why they shouldn’t be allowed to purchase those distant stations.

That is because, unlike the cable must-carry law, local channels weren't authorized for satellite. The need to replace the SHVA (the law that allowed those that qualified networks from distant locations) resulted in the SHVIA, the law that allowed local-into-local channel delivery. It was also Charles Ergen's bailiwick; the CEO of Echostar felt the only real way to grow and compete with cable was to have the right to carry local channels. The problem with that line of thinking is that the satellite companies would also be saddled with many of the regulations that apply to the cablers.

While I have not read the new legislation, it is foolish to believe that a bill which is being praised by the broadcasters is anything but store-bought legislation.

You do have a point here.

From what I have read so far, the new law will simply perpetuate the system we have now, in which consumers who already have distant networks will be able to keep them and those who do not have them will be denied that choice.

The problem here is that there is currently a system where these ideas are in place: cable. Satellite delivery of local channels will soon mirror that of cable. And that is what the content providers (read networks) want.

Now, back to the original problem:

Like anything else that involves use of the public airwaves, this is under the umbrella of federal laws and regulations. There is no question that Congress has the power to determine whether or not consumers are allowed to receive distant stations. Federal law would override any agreements between the networks and affiliates.

The problem is that unlike must-carry, the contracts between affiliates and networks have value. They are property.

The Constitution protects property from being seized without due compensation. A law that allows one to pick any of 210 network affiliates, or any of 1600 local channels, would effectively seize the property of any given television station without compensation. This would be counter to the "takings clause" of the Fifth Amendment. This would be the same argument used by Time-Warner to nullify the "must-carry" law for cable; this is the same right used by Echostar to stop implementation of "must-carry" on satellite. Both objections failed.

And it is the main reason that the business model used by television since the 1950's is still in play today.

#107 ONLINE   James Long

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 04:47 PM

I'll get back to this; this may be the issue that justalurker has issues with. I certainly do.

It is the same issue that you and I went a few rounds on a while back ... Now we understand each other it is good to pass it on! :D

If the networks wanted to they COULD broadcast a national feed with all of their programs on it. The only restriction they have on providing that service is their own agreements with their own affiliates. They have agreed with their affiliates NOT to offer such service.

If a TV station wanted to they COULD broadcast as a national feed, as long as they did not violate any market exclusive agreements made with their program providers.

The proof in this is the legally offered feeds on SkyAngel ... many of them being broadcast TV stations. It should be OBVIOUS that SkyAngel is not breaking the law in this respect. One could also point to the "Superstations" on E*, but most are offered under specific clauses in the law because they were superstations in 1991 and 1998. SkyAngel does not broadcast classic superstations, but more modern ones. (Technically every non-network station rebroadcast by satellite is a superstation, but that gets too confusing.)

Our young padiwan seems to want congress to force the market to do his bidding. I do not know from where he earns HIS income, but if I were in business I would not want congress taking away my profits and property.

Imagine this: Mr Coleman runs a burger stand. Ho would Mr Coleman like it if the government came by and confiscated all of his burgers? Would he like it even less if the government's compensation for those siezed burgers was paid to another burger vendor in another state? Even though Mr Coleman and the out of state vendor have signed an agreement not to compete with each other? Would Mr Coleman enjoy this kind of infringement?

JL

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 01:10 AM

You could just as easily make the argument that the 1996 regulations that overrode homeowners' association covenants constituted "takings" where the rights of other homeowners were concerned. There is no legal precedent to support the theory that allowing importation of distant signals would be considered a "taking" under the constitution. Also keep in mind also that until Congress passed the "must-carry" law, it was perfectly legal for cable systems to retransmit local signals without any compensation to the owners of the content. The theory that importation of distant signals would constitute "taking" under the Constitution is just that - a theory.

As to the comment about market forces, that didn't come into play when Congress forced cable system to carry local TV channels. It was a federal mandate that overrode market forces by requiring cable systems to carry all local channels in their markets. Cable operators challenged the rules on constitutional grounds (in this case the first amendment), but the courts ruled there was a "substantial public interest" in upholding the statute. There is no reason to believe they would do otherwise in the case of distant signals. The broadcasters are using the public airwaves to run their business and they are subject to federal regulation.

In addition to the above, you still haven't explained how the new law "opens the door to digital distants" as you indicated in your earlier post. I have asked this question several times now and you still haven't answered it. You are trying to make the case that Congress couldn't allow consumers to get distant stations even if they wanted to, yet you are suggesting that they would do exactly that in the case of "digital" signals.

As to the rest of your message, you are back to hurling insults and making personal attacks instead of arguing your case. The immaturity of your "young padiwan" comment (not to mention all the insults and name-calling in your previous posts), in conjunction with the fact that you seemed to have no prior knowledge of the '96 telecom law, "must-carry", or any of the other laws that have been passed over the years, and that you couldn't address any of these issues on your own would seem to indicate that you are the one who is younger than you are letting on.

#109 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 08:05 AM

Evidently Mr Coleman is a write only device that refuses to read.

In addition to the above, you still haven't explained how the new law "opens the door to digital distants" as you indicated in your earlier post. I have asked this question several times now and you still haven't answered it.

We've been waiting for you to support your arguments. Still waiting. Probably will still be waiting next week (assuming we continue to care about any potential contributions you might have).

Under the old law digital signals were left in the same quagmire that analogs were once in. Undefined by SHVA and SHVIA, they could only be carried based on direct negotiations between the parties involved. But now we have a law that, for the good of society, trumps the copyright and territorial restrictions that the networks and affiliates have placed on their signals - opening the door for digital distants.

What you suggest might be good for you, but would it be for the good of society? Think outside the box. Not just what YOU want to keep YOU happy but what is best for all parties involved - including those with market exclusive contracts. Be selfless not selfish!

JL

#110 ONLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 03:13 PM

Even I know that history is only a barometer of things to come...

However, what has been failed to be mentioned is that network (not distant, not local, just network) service is one of the prime reasons for the growth of the multi-channel world.

One of the most compelling arguments for networks having the ability to control the distribution of their content:

During consideration of the 1992 Cable Act, Broadcasting (later Broadcasting & Cable) --a major industry newspaper--noted a survey conducted by the Roper Organization which supported the broadcasters claim that the "cable operators [were] making money on the backs of the network's [sic]." In this survey, two-*thirds of all cable subscribers said that they would cancel their subscriptions if the three major networks were not carried. Eighty*-four percent said that their subscription rates should at least be cut in half.

There is no reason to believe that the networks should have had the ability to charge for carriage/retransmission. Just because, dating back to Fortnightly, copyright law didn't apply to cable retransmission of network TV, doesn't mean things won't change. Usually, things get changed for worse, as the industry gets larger.

Sure, it may be theory that allowing distant networks would cause the broadcasting industry to go to court to nullify a law that would fundamentally destroy their revenue process. However, if the government ever passes a law that fundamentally diminishes the value of your business, I'd bet that you'd be filing a lawsuit to get the law declared unconstitutional.

Since the license to transmit programming is given by the FCC to cover only a specific area, and the coverage of these local channels is also codified to limit cable to retransmit over a specific area, why should satellite be able to transmit unconditionally over a national area? Just because it is satellite?

The SHVERA will now allow DBS to mimic the rules placed upon cable regarding local channel delivery. Tell us why DBS companies should deserve more.

#111 OFFLINE   BobMurdoch

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 03:24 PM

Because they are a national service with technology limitations which preclude them from easily offering what local cable monopolies do.

If local markets had to be taken away to satisfy the law, do you think that the "law" wouldn't be modified?

Laws are normally developed to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people, while also balancing these rules to insure that certain individual rights are maintained. When these individual rights are not in sync with the "state", they are usually bypassed for the greater good (laws like Eminent Domain come to mind). Even if it does mean that property values are diminished. This tug of war between the "state" and the individual will continue forever. In some cases the state will do better, in others the individual will do better. The NAB has won many rounds against the satellite companies in protecting their kingdoms through legal means, but has also lost a few, most notably to XM/Sirius who were able to easily shoot down their attacks on their traffic and weather offerings as well as their ability to ignore FCC guidelines as far as "indecent" content goes.
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#112 ONLINE   AzDave

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Posted 16 January 2005 - 09:45 PM

If you are a satellite customer and like Distant Networks. go to the link provided.

If you area satellite customer and like local channels also go to the link provided

If you are a satellite customer and like you local channels but think we should also be provided as many distant nets as possible. Go to the link provided!

If you are a satellite customer who wants freedom of choice. go to the link provided.

If you area a cable subscriber that want freedom of choice follow the link provided.

find out the real truth and then do something about it!!

http://www.congress....g&mailid=custom

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 01:32 AM

That link doesn't work, but at least someone agrees that freedom of choice is a good idea.

#114 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 11:33 PM

That link doesn't work, but at least someone agrees that freedom of choice is a good idea.

Except when it comes to corporate America ... they don't get a free choice.

JL

#115 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 08:55 AM

No one is saying that freedom of choice is a bad thing. However, in a capitalist society, shouldn't the networks, which are so near and dear to many people, be allowed to distribute their programming as they see fit? Shouldn't the networks have the same freedom of choice?

#116 OFFLINE   BobMurdoch

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 01:02 PM

No, the rights of the consumer should also be taken into account. Because they are using OUR public airwaves to transmit their programming to us. It needs to be a better balance.
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Henry David Thoreau Walden (1854)

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#117 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 01:51 PM

Sure, but aren't both DirecTV and Dish Network using OUR public airwaves to transmit their programming to us? And aren't cable companies receiving more than 90 percent of the programming they rebroadcast from either terrestrial or satellite transmission via the same airwaves that are licensed by the FCC?

Would you like the government to step in and control the media?

#118 ONLINE   BobMurdoch

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 02:18 PM

No, but I do want to make sure that the government steps in and makes sure that a handful of media companies don't control it either (witness the NAB trying to get a law passed prohibiting XM and Sirius from offering Traffic and Weather for local cities..... complaining that "local" broadcasters were unable to compete.... um.... my localradio stations had a LOT more local content until "big media" came in and gobbled them all up and made them all sound identical.)
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#119 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 03:07 PM

The NAB is not "a handful of companies". They are most of the companies that are in the broadcasting media, save the TV networks themselves. However, you are still correct.

I don't want the government to dictate content. Pay radio, other than not being able to use local repeaters for locally delivered content, should not be held to the same standards as free broadcast radio, simply because the consumer pays for it.

That is a far different cry than having a law passed that allows for in-market rebroadcast of terrestrial television broadcasts. With one of the quotes I provided above, people expect their multi-channel carrier to rebroadcast their local television, and would demand to pay less if the local channels were removed from the lineup. With passage of the SHVIA in 1999, DBS has blown up from 11 million subscribers upon passage of the SHVIA to over 23 million subscribers at the end of 2004. Did the DBS companies addition of the networks double the subscriber base after 5 years? Was the addition of local channels the main reason DBS has become a viable competitor to cable?

Terrestrial broadcasters are happy to keep rebroadcasts of their signal limited, simply because everything in their world is still based upon the 1950's technology that many on this thread have complained about. What makes this even worse is that we are on the cusp of the next technological advance in television in the form of Digital TV, and we are still using 1950's terrestrial broadcasting in order to move the transition forward. It is called localism; even today, using the 1950's era transmission, it still carries the most popular programming in the nation.

If local channels, including the network programming, is that important to both cablers and DBS companies, shouldn't the networks and local broadcasters have input as to how their programming is distributed?

Local channels and networks have been fighting this battle since Fortnightly in the 1960's. For the past almost 50 years, carriage issues (as well as deregulation) have been tilting towards the local broadcasters. It won't change by a push from consumers. If you wish to believe it will, go take a look at the SHVERA again; the broadcasters have shown their power as an industry by getting Congress to tighten rules they believe are counter to their best interest for both distant analog networks as well as distant digital networks.

#120 OFFLINE   olgeezer

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 03:12 PM

One thing the local broadcasters are happy about, and it may provide some of the impetus for their change in relationship with the cable services, is satellites willingness to pay for the broadcasters signal.

#121 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 19 January 2005 - 05:14 AM

No one is saying that freedom of choice is a bad thing. However, in a capitalist society, shouldn't the networks, which are so near and dear to many people, be allowed to distribute their programming as they see fit? Shouldn't the networks have the same freedom of choice?

The networks ARE distributing their programming as THEY see fit! They are signing market exclusive contracts with affiliates across America. No act of congress requires their contracts to be market exclusive. That was THEIR free choice.

Would you like the government to step in and control the media?

They already do. The first amendment still applies, but the government is there allowing some to broadcast while denying others. Nobody broadcasts in the US without the permission of the government unless they are broadcasting illegally. (Fortunately the government has granted plenty of permission, within certain rules.)

I do not believe stations should be paid for secondary transmission by satellite of their signals within their own assigned coverage areas. Specifically because it is illegal for satellite companies to charge for more than the reception of the broadcaster's signal (if special means are required). Level the playing field.

JL

#122 OFFLINE   Greg Bimson

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Posted 19 January 2005 - 10:43 AM

The networks ARE distributing their programming as THEY see fit! They are signing market exclusive contracts with affiliates across America. No act of congress requires their contracts to be market exclusive. That was THEIR free choice.

Yep. As well is should be. The business relationship has evolved for fifty-plus years.

Originally Posted by Greg Bimson
Would you like the government to step in and control the media?

Originally Posted by justalurker
They already do. The first amendment still applies, but the government is there allowing some to broadcast while denying others. Nobody broadcasts in the US without the permission of the government unless they are broadcasting illegally. (Fortunately the government has granted plenty of permission, within certain rules.

No, this isn't "control", as in controlling the distribution and the content. The government does control the entities which get licensed, in the form of regulation, but that is about all.

I do not believe stations should be paid for secondary transmission by satellite of their signals within their own assigned coverage areas. Specifically because it is illegal for satellite companies to charge for more than the reception of the broadcaster's signal (if special means are required). Level the playing field.

Please explain. My point is that if the local stations are now responsible for helping to double the amount of DBS subscribers, then the local channels should be compensated for helping to draw subscribers to DBS. I am not sure what "to charge for more than the reception of the broadcaster's signal" means.

#123 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 19 January 2005 - 08:13 PM

Stations are prohibited by law from paying a satellite carrier for carriage.
The exception is that stations can pay to get a clean signal to the uplink, if needed.

JL




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