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Another reason today's DMAs are all wrong


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28 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   FTA Michael

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 08:40 AM

That's incorrect. Nielsen determines DMA assignments based upon viewership levels, but only terrestrial broadcasts (not cable/satellite retransmissions) are included in their equations.

Then why are non-contiguous chunks of Nebraska and Wyoming part of the Denver DMA? They got repeater stations up there? Or did it have something to do with the historic availability of Denver stations on cable and C-band?
Yes, FTABlog is active again. Why do you ask?

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#22 OFFLINE   SR0655

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 12:19 PM

Then why are non-contiguous chunks of Nebraska and Wyoming part of the Denver DMA? They got repeater stations up there?

Yes, I've read that this is due to the aggressive placement of translator stations in areas that lacked adequate local coverage.

In years past (particularly prior to the changeover from Arbitron's ADI system), the Denver stations' territory also extended to counties in Kansas, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota and Utah.

#23 OFFLINE   swing

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 03:02 PM

That's incorrect. Nielsen determines DMA assignments based upon viewership levels, but only terrestrial broadcasts (not cable/satellite retransmissions) are included in their equations. Otherwise, the determinations would be based largely upon themselves (a nonsensical feedback loop).


Actually it is a nonsensical feedback loop. The reason being because majority of TV HHs (90%) are watching network programs via cable or satellite, and the 10% of over-the-air viewers determine what's 'significantly viewed' for the majority, or the 90% of cable/satellite viewers. But, back in 1972 when the term was made, over the air viewership may have been more relevant.

The term 'significantly viewed' is exclusively based upon over the air viewership levels and is basically an FCC term, not a Nielsen term. It's a term used in application of local vs. distant station for network nonduplication and syndicated exclusivity purposes related to cable carriage (and now satellite carriage). A significantly viewed station isn't subject to network non-duplication and syndicated exclusivity, and the cable company doesn't pay a distant network feed royalty. For example, in Howard and Carroll County MD, Baltimore stations WMAR, WBAL and WJZ cannot enforce either because D.C. stations (WJLA, WRC and WUSA) are significantly viewed over the air.

Nielsen's DMA determination, on the other hand, isn't exclusive to just over the air viewership. Nielsen is under no rules set by statute or the FCC, and can determine an area to be a DMA or not.

For example, in St.Joseph, MO majority of viewership goes to Kansas City stations. However, the one station ABC affiliate of St.Joseph which purchases Nielsen rating services enables Nielsen to create a single station DMA for this sub-market area.

#24 OFFLINE   swing

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 03:24 PM

WPVI 6 did make the significantly viewed list. It is up to the providers to offer it. I expect the providers won't really be responsive though.

If you want more Philadelphia stations in Ocean County one day without "moving", I'd suggest as many letters as possible to be written to the FCC, GM and Head of Engineering at KYW-TV, WCAU-TV, WTXF-TV, WPHL-TV, telling them about cable viewership being extended on cable beyond DMA, and not in satellite for Ocean County.

Their parent companies (Viacom, NBC, Fox, Tribune) have leverage with the satellite providers, they co-own the NY stations and neither city competes, NewsCorp owns WTXF. The Philadelphia stations do their billing for local advertising efforts based on number of HH they reach. Their cable coverage reaches over 3 million TV HH. Southern Monmouth and Ocean itself are over 250,000 TV HH.

I guess the satellite companies would rather spend thousands on uplink costs for launching locals in DMAs 150-210, neglecting the chance of basically turning on a switch for Philadelphia stations in Southern Monmouth-Ocean. I guess their attitude is that area is already covered.

The stations will be more than co-operative to do any agreement as they would want the enlarged coverage area and already are 'significantly viewed' clearing any programming rights issues.

#25 OFFLINE   SR0655

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 05:35 PM

Actually it is a nonsensical feedback loop.

You might believe that the system is highly flawed (and I concur), but that isn't what I meant by the phrase "feedback loop." Think of what happens when a microphone is placed near the corresponding speaker.

Nielsen's DMA determination, on the other hand, isn't exclusive to just over the air viewership. Nielsen is under no rules set by statute or the FCC, and can determine an area to be a DMA or not.

I'm not referring to the process under which DMAs are created. I'm referring to the process under which counties are assigned to existing DMAs.

#26 OFFLINE   SR0655

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 05:37 PM

WPVI 6 did make the significantly viewed list.

Indeed, and that's quite perplexing. WPVI certainly is popular in Ocean County, but so are several other Philadelphia stations.

It is up to the providers to offer it. I expect the providers won't really be responsive though.

While I'm fairly certain that DirecTV and Dish Network would jump at the opportunity to offer Philadelphia stations within Ocean County, I doubt that they'll bother adding WPVI alone (a decision that wouldn't draw many new customers, but probably would generate a great deal of confusion among both existing and prospective subscribers).

If you want more Philadelphia stations in Ocean County one day without "moving",

I already have "moved" to a white area in the New York City DMA (allowing me to receive the four Los Angeles DNS stations while retaining DirecTV's complete New York City channel assortment), so this situation doesn't apply to me at the present time. If, however, I end up losing the Los Angeles stations, I fully intend to maximize my viewing options. I need to remain within the New York City DMA (to ensure qualification for its sports channels), but I would select a county in which a decent selection of out-of-market stations have been deemed "significantly viewed" by the FCC (assuming that DirecTV opts to provide them). Ideally, this would be my own county.

And of course, numerous friends and acquaintances of mine are either stuck with Comcast or stuck without the Philadelphia stations.

I'd suggest everyone in the county to write letters

I fully intend to, and I'll urge the aforementioned friends and acquaintances to act in kind.

to the FCC, GM and Head of Engineering at KYW-TV,

Sister station WPSG-TV shares the same headquarters and management.

WCAU-TV, WTXF-TV, WPHL-TV, telling them about cable viewership being extended on cable, and not in satellite for Ocean County.

WHYY-TV is popular in my area, and I suspect that a few of the other Philadelphia DMA stations might be popular in southern Ocean County.

#27 OFFLINE   Maphisto's Sidekick

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 07:39 PM

I already have "moved" to a white area in the New York City DMA (allowing me to receive the four Los Angeles DNS stations while retaining DirecTV's complete New York City channel assortment), so this situation doesn't apply to me at the present time. If, however, I end up losing the Los Angeles stations, I fully intend to maximize my viewing options. I need to remain within the New York City DMA (to ensure qualification for its sports channels), but I would select a county in which a decent selection of out-of-market stations have been deemed "significantly viewed" by the FCC (assuming that DirecTV opts to provide them). Ideally, this would be my own county.


FWIW, a few interesting "moving" locales would appear to be:

Hunterdon Co., NJ (23 stations, double up on ABC/CBS/NBC/Fox/UPN):
NYC 2/4/5/7/9/11/13/21/25/31/39/41/47/50/55/62/68
Philly 3/6/10/29/57

Mercer Co., NJ (23 stations, double up on ABC/CBS/NBC/Fox/WB/UPN):
Philly 3/6/10/12/17/23/28/29/35/39/48/53/57/61/62/65/69
NYC 2/4/5/7/9/11

certain towns on Long Island (22 stations, double up on ABC/CBS/NBC/WB):
NYC 2/4/5/7/9/11/13/21/25/31/39/41/47/50/55/62/68
Hartford 3/8/20/30

...and moving outside the New York DMA....

certain towns in Windham Co., CT (14 stations, triple up on ABC/NBC/CBS):
Hartford 3/8/18/20/24/30/59/61
Boston 4/5/7
Providence 6/10/12

#28 OFFLINE   SR0655

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 10:50 PM

FWIW, a few interesting "moving" locales would appear to be:

FYI, you omitted (but included in your counts) WMBC-TV 63 (a Newton, NJ independent station that's part of DirecTV's New York City local channel lineup).

Hunterdon Co., NJ (23 stations, double up on ABC/CBS/NBC/Fox/UPN):
NYC 2/4/5/7/9/11/13/21/25/31/39/41/47/50/55/62/68
Philly 3/6/10/29/57

This is my most likely selection (should I lose access to the four Los Angeles stations).

Mercer Co., NJ (23 stations, double up on ABC/CBS/NBC/Fox/WB/UPN):
Philly 3/6/10/12/17/23/28/29/35/39/48/53/57/61/62/65/69
NYC 2/4/5/7/9/11

That's a comparable package, but Mercer County is in the Philadelphia DMA. A member of my family is a New York City sports fan, so the availability of the three New York City regional sports channels (without any blackouts) is a high priority.

My sister, however, lives in Mercer County, and the addition of the above New York City stations would eliminate her main reason for not switching from cable to DBS.

certain towns on Long Island (22 stations, double up on ABC/CBS/NBC/WB):
NYC 2/4/5/7/9/11/13/21/25/31/39/41/47/50/55/62/68
Hartford 3/8/20/30

This is an interesting option (given the novelty of receiving Connecticut stations), but a redundant Fox station is of the most use to me (due to the NFL-related preemptions that sometimes affect only certain markets). Also, I might not be within range of DirecTV's Hartford spot beam (from the relatively uncharted 7S satellite in the 119° W slot).

...and moving outside the New York DMA....

certain towns in Windham Co., CT (14 stations, triple up on ABC/NBC/CBS):
Hartford 3/8/18/20/24/30/59/61
Boston 4/5/7
Providence 6/10/12

That wouldn't work for me (for several of the reasons outlined above), but it promises to be a highly attractive package for many people.

In the county to which I "moved" (Ulster, which is in the New York City DMA), the CBS, ABC and Fox stations from the Albany, NY DMA (WRGB-TV 6 in Schenectady, WTEN-TV 10 in Albany and WXXA-TV 23 in Albany) are listed as "significantly viewed." I would enjoy receiving these stations (regardless of whether I'm permitted to retain access to the Los Angeles stations), but I doubt that I'm within range of the applicable spot beam (again from the relatively uncharted 7S satellite in the 119° W slot).

#29 OFFLINE   onegojoe

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Posted 28 February 2005 - 11:04 AM

In 60 days will the new stations that have been selected as significantly viewed in the FCC tables become part of the LIL channels line up?




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