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