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New LP rules


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12 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   chaddux

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 01:23 PM

I've seen some comments saying that the new legislations "encourages" LP carriage. I've read the actual text of the bill and it makes little sense. Can someone explain it? My local UPN was LP (previously an LP station with an LP repeater; now a barely full power station with an LP repeater) and now DISH is refusing to carry the station because they failed to make a timely carriage election. Would the new bill help out any with that or perhaps allow me to get Dallas UPN (not carried on the local cable system but the local UPN has rebroadcast arrangements with Dallas UPN)?
Chad

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#2 OFFLINE   dallas_axelrod

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 09:24 PM

I've seen some comments saying that the new legislations "encourages" LP carriage. I've read the actual text of the bill and it makes little sense. Can someone explain it? My local UPN was LP (previously a LP station with an LP repeater; now a barely full power station with an LP repeater) and now DISH is refusing to carry the station because they failed to make a timely carriage election. Would the new bill help out any with that or perhaps allow me to get Dallas UPN (not carried on the local cable system but the local UPN has rebroadcast arrangements with Dallas UPN)?


I don't think anything in the bill will help. The low power provision makes it easier for DISH to carry low power stations, but they do not require DISH to carry them. Nevertheless, this doesn't matter because you say that UPN is now a full power station. If it wanted, DISH could carry the station today. Since you say that the UPN is now a full power station, the station will have the opportunity to elect must carry at some point in the future. At that time, you'll get the station on DISH. You should check with the station owner to see when it gets to elect again.

#3 OFFLINE   chaddux

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 09:29 PM

I don't think anything in the bill will help. The low power provisions make it easier for DISH to carry low power stations, but they do not require DISH to carry them. Nevertheless, you say that the local UPN is now full power so it wouldn't apply in any case. If the local cable system isn't carrying the Dallas UPN then it's probably not a qualified signficantly viewed, and even if it was, there's no competitive incentive for satellite TV to carry the sation. Since you say that the UPN is now a full power station, the station will have the opportunity to elect must carry at some point in the future. At this point, you'll get the station on DISH. You should check with the station to see when it gets to elect again.


I'm not sure how the bill makes it "easier" to carry LP stations. It seems pretty easy right now: you get permission and put the signal up. As far as Dallas UPN, we did not have a UPN until recently and, before then, Dallas UPN was on the cable system. Whether it still qualifies is what I want to know. As far as competitive incentive, DISH is already carrying Dallas UPN so the incentive argument is moot. The incentive for them is to be able to charge something like 1.50/month to give it to customers outside the Dallas DMA. Since it wouldn't need another dish, that's a pretty good reason to make it available.
Chad

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#4 OFFLINE   dallas_axelrod

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 09:34 PM

I'm not sure how the bill makes it "easier" to carry LP stations. It seems pretty easy right now: you get permission and put the signal up. As far as Dallas UPN, we did not have a UPN until recently and, before then, Dallas UPN was on the cable system. Whether it still qualifies is what I want to know. As far as competitive incentive, DISH is already carrying Dallas UPN so the incentive argument is moot. The incentive for them is to be able to charge something like 1.50/month to give it to customers outside the Dallas DMA. Since it wouldn't need another dish, that's a pretty good reason to make it available.


The bottom line is that DISH Network or DIRECTV could carry the UPN station in your market because it is full power. It now chooses not to.

#5 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 01:04 AM

IMHO it is slightly HARDER to carry LPs since subscribers now must be within 35 miles (20 miles in big markets) in order to get an LP via sat.

Ob the full power question:
There is a specific window when a station becomes licensed when they MUST choose between Must Carry and Consent to Carry. Whatever they choose or if they fail to choose they are LOCKED IN until the next election period for the entire market. It's annoying because the legal people at the station SHOULD have followed the law and made their selection instead of letting a default happen. Hopefully there are not other laws that they are forgetting. :)

Not choosing Must Carry doesn't stop a station from being carried, but it does give the satellite provider the power to say no. Not a good position to be in unless you are one of the top stations in the market.

JL

#6 OFFLINE   joblo

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 06:08 AM

SHVERA 2004 does make it easier to carry low power stations.

Low power stations are specifically excluded from the LIL license by 17USC122(j)(5)(A).

Non-network stations, which include WB and UPN stations, are licensed generally by 17USC119(a)(1), without regard to power, but that license requires royalty payments.

SHVERA section 104 adds language to 17USC119 to license both network and non-network LP stations, excluding translators, within their local markets and/or up to certain distances, and provides a royalty exemption.

#7 OFFLINE   chaddux

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 04:22 PM

The bottom line is that DISH Network or DIRECTV could carry the UPN station in your market because it is full power. It now chooses not to.


Again, I know that. DirecTV is carrying it. DISH has chosen not to carry it because of the failure to make a timely election (a sad excuse in my opinion). The station will be making the election next year.
Chad

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#8 OFFLINE   JohnH

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 04:37 PM

E* will likely have enough problems meeting the One Dish thingy without adding stations they do not absolutely need.

I don't see how they can provide the Dallas UPN to your Market it the cable does not consider it significantly viewed.

#9 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 06:40 PM

SHVERA 2004 does make it easier to carry low power stations.

It makes it easier NOT to carry them as well. There is no MUST CARRY choice. Satellite providers can pick and choose LPs at will.

SHVERA section 104 adds language to 17USC119 to license both network and non-network LP stations, excluding translators, within their local markets and/or up to certain distances, and provides a royalty exemption.

No or, just and.

LPs can be provided to subscribers with regular locals:
1) to unserved households (outside the grade B of all stations of the network in question)
2) to anyone within their own local market (if it is a non-network station)
3) to anyone within 35 miles of the transmit tower AND in that same market (if it is a network station in all but the top 50 markets)
4) to anyone within 20 miles of the transmit tower AND in that same market (if it is a network station in one of the top 50 markets)

LPs *cannot* be provided if they repeat more than two hours a day of another station. (I wonder how this will apply to stations that simulcast another station's newscasts?)

Satellite providers do not have to pay royalties within the 35/20 mile radius but DO have to pay royalties for ALL subscribers outside the radius.

JL

#10 OFFLINE   joblo

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 05:31 AM

It makes it easier NOT to carry them as well. There is no MUST CARRY choice. Satellite providers can pick and choose LPs at will.

I don’t follow your logic here. There WAS no MC before. So this aspect remains unchanged. So you might argue that they are not easier to carry, but not that they are “easier NOT to carry”. Or are you thinking of some practical implication here that I am not considering?


No or, just and.

Ok, yeah. When I read it initially, I noticed that the superstation licensing clause applied to the entire local market, but as I said before, that already existed, and on rereading it I note that the royalty exemption, which is the only functional change for superstations, has the mileage limits on it.


3) to anyone within 35 miles of the transmit tower AND in that same market (if it is a network station in all but the top 50 markets)
4) to anyone within 20 miles of the transmit tower AND in that same market (if it is a network station in one of the top 50 markets)

Actually, not the top 50 “markets”, as the term is generally used everywhere else in the statutes, but rather the top 50 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA) as of the 1980 census.

Must be some congressional district(s) that fare better with that definition than the more obvious DMA. As one example, I note that New Brunswick-Perth Amboy-Sayreville, NJ, was SMSA #66 in 1980.


LPs *cannot* be provided if they repeat more than two hours a day of another station. (I wonder how this will apply to stations that simulcast another station's newscasts?)

Well, the title of that paragraph is “No applicability to repeaters and translators”, so I doubt it’s meant to apply to that. Anyway, if there’s so much as one local commercial per program, one could argue that the station does not retransmit “the programs and signals of another television station”.

You have to remember that as a practical matter, the finer points of all this don’t matter a hill of beans until you get into court. I think the satellite companies, E* especially, will do whatever they think they can defend in court, until a judge tells them they can’t.

#11 OFFLINE   chaddux

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 04:14 PM

I don't know about that last thing about LPs saying they *cannot* be provided if they repeat programming of another station. DirecTV is currently carrying an LP station that is a 100% repeat of another station (and the stations are not owned by the same company).
Chad

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#12 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 06:56 PM

I don’t follow your logic here. There WAS no MC before. So this aspect remains unchanged. So you might argue that they are not easier to carry, but not that they are “easier NOT to carry”. Or are you thinking of some practical implication here that I am not considering?

I'm considering the WAHHHH factor where a satellite provider decides to carry one LP and not another and the second LP starts screaming about unfair treatment there is now a law giving the satellite provider expicit permission to say no.

Actually, not the top 50 “markets”, as the term is generally used everywhere else in the statutes, but rather the top 50 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA) as of the 1980 census.

Interesting.

You have to remember that as a practical matter, the finer points of all this don’t matter a hill of beans until you get into court. I think the satellite companies, E* especially, will do whatever they think they can defend in court, until a judge tells them they can’t.

And then the next SHVERA comes along and corrects the interpretations made. The "single dish" provisions in SHVERA are a direct response to one carrier's habit of putting less prefered stations (in their sole judgement) on harder to view satellites. It wasn't explicitly disallowed - until (18 months from) now. :D

I don't know about that last thing about LPs saying they *cannot* be provided if they repeat programming of another station. DirecTV is currently carrying an LP station that is a 100% repeat of another station (and the stations are not owned by the same company).

That's under today's law (or lack thereof). The new statute does not extend permission to carry LP repeaters. But it does not apparently explicitly ban them.

JL

#13 OFFLINE   chaddux

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 07:22 PM

That's under today's law (or lack thereof). The new statute does not extend permission to carry LP repeaters. But it does not apparently explicitly ban them.

JL


I didnt figure DirecTV would be forced to drop a local station based on a technicality.
Chad

"The problem with the gene pool is that there aren't enough lifeguards." - Catbert, Evil Director of Human Resources




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