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NAB: If Locals Available, No Distant Nets


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#1 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 06:10 AM

While the National Association of Broadcasters didn't come out completely against distant network signals delivered by satellite TV, the organization said in comments sent to the Federal Communications Commission last week that use of distant network signals should be a last resort.

NAB's comments were part of the FCC's look into distant network signals, including digital distant networks, which were authorized in the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA). Once the FCC rules are in place, satellite TV services would be allowed to offer customers digital distant network feeds, with restrictions.

NAB said the FCC should stick with a "if local, no distant" principle in determining eligibility for distant network signals. "Because local-to-local service is the desirable way to deliver network affiliates to satellite subscribers, and because distant network station signals are at best a necessary evil, the SHVERA pushes the DBS industry towards the former and away from the latter," the broadcast association said.

Part of the FCC inquiry scrutinizes the extent in which satellite TV companies will be allowed to deliver digital HD signals from large cities - such as New York City or Los Angeles - to smaller markets. NAB said in its comments the FCC should promise that a DBS company cannot "use the distant digital compulsory license as an inexpensive, large-scale substitute for digital local-into-local."

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

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#2 OFFLINE   capman

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 02:05 PM

well here it goes - - ( WAH !) :hurah:

#3 OFFLINE   BobaBird

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 04:07 AM

"Because local-to-local service is the desirable way to deliver network affiliates to satellite subscribers,

It is? Not to satellite customers who can't get national channels added because their DBS provider's bandwidth is clogged with "desirable" LIL.

and because distant network station signals are at best a necessary evil, ...

Wow, they really don't understand the people their members are supposed to be serving.* For many, distant nets are pure manna. Too many NAB member stations don't deliver proper picture and sound, and don't adhere to their affiliated network's schedule. Also, having a time-shifted distant net allows the viewing of more network programming.

* Yes, I realize this sentence is nonsense. The people matter only when the ratings come out and the NAB exists only to protect the interests of the member stations.
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#4 OFFLINE   gor88

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 11:57 AM

... For many, distant nets are pure manna. Too many NAB member stations don't deliver proper picture and sound, and don't adhere to their affiliated network's schedule. Also, having a time-shifted distant net allows the viewing of more network programming...


Well said, BobaBird.

I was smart enough to exploit a loophole in the distant qualification process in March 2004. We got a new FOX station on 9/30/2003, after not having one for two years in Jackson, MS, due to Pegasus Broadcasting flipping it to WB over a dispute. :mad: Unfortunately, the new owners thought it would be too cost prohibitive to add a MTS stereo encoder to the new station at the time. FOX35's audio is monaural, which sucks when watching sports in surround. I am told that the station is waiting on approval from the corporate office of a game plan to add MTS stereo. Who knows what will happen. Anyway, the distants database was not updated with this new FOX station until around 9/1/2004, about 4.5 months after the FCC granted WUFX full license.

Fortunately, since I "qualified" under DirecTV's distant qualification at the time, I am now grandfathered with my distant with no waiver at all (since I didn't "have" a FOX affiliate then). I watch NASCAR on FOX5 NY now (when races are on FOX) and love it. My wife finds it quite ironic that we have to watch a "Yankee" station to get the proper surround sound for a NASCAR race. :lol: :D

I hope the NAB doesn't win in their campaign to pull distants from those of us who are grandfathered. For crying out loud, we will lose it in 2009 anyway, if I remember correctly. Hopefully, by that time, the HD locals for Jackson, MS (DMA #91) will be available via DirecTV.

#5 OFFLINE   News Junky

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 02:25 PM

BobaBird,

Dito, my brother! Both you and gor88 should send copeis of these posts to your congressmen and both senators from your states. When we don't communicate they can only assume we don't care.

I agree with the NAB to some extent. Local-into-local should be given the highest priority. However not to the exclusion of other same network signals if within range. Require LIL if any and once LIL has been satisfied allow other signals and let the subcribers watch the channels they choose to watch. If he wants the watch the local station, great. If he wants to watch a DNS then let him make that choice provided the lil signal is an option.

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 05:40 PM

The broadcast lobby (aka NAB) is an evil empire that believes it should be able to determine what people should be able to get on TV. The prohibition on receiving distant stations is like being told you can't read the New York Times because you live in Chicago. Cable and satellite companies are compelled by law to carry local TV stations, yet those same stations are protected from having to compete with distant stations.

These onerous regulations will only have the effect of prolonging the decline of the broadcast TV dinosaur. Over the long run, newer technologies will make it impossible for them to defend their turf against competition.

#7 OFFLINE   SimpleSimon

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 10:15 PM

rcoleman:

I couldn't've said it any better. And in fact, I have said exactly that. :)

The NAB is just like the Buggy Whip Manufacturers Protection Society. :D
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#8 OFFLINE   News Junky

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 04:41 PM

Over the long run, newer technologies will make it impossible for them to defend their turf against competition.


Shhhhhh!!!! Tivo has a service that lets you download programs via the Internet "to your laptop" any where in the world called TIVO to go. A friend just sent me this. http://www.slingmedia.com/ They need to deceide if they want to be part of the 21st centuray or left behind for having no vision for the future.

The cardinal rule of business: Give the customers what they want. Customers are willing to pay something fair. I don't like communism and I don't like censorship. All pizza isn't the same if the toppings are different. All network station's aren't the same if the local programming is different.

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 07:38 PM

Yes, I've read about the Slingbox. It's an example of new technologies that will make it impossible for the broadcasters to prevent people from watching distant TV stations.

The broadcasters and the giant media companies always have the same approach to new technologies - instead of adapting their business model, they try to get the new technology outlawed. The "broadcast flag" is the latest example - they broadcast their programs over the public airwaves, free to anyone with a TV antenna, but they are afraid people will "steal" their programs and redistribute them. So their answer is to try to take away the fair-use rights of viewers to record programs for their own use.

The movie companies (some of them owned by the same companies that own the TV networks and some of the stations) are just as bad. Their answer to the VCR was to go to court in the early '80s to try to have it banned. They have since made billions of dollars from home video, but all they can see is that a few people are ripping them off.

#10 OFFLINE   exreno

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 07:26 PM

Let's see....If I want to buy the New York Times in San Francisco, No Problem. If I want to listen to a 50,000 watt L.A. radio station at night, No problem. But if I want to watch an out of town TV station.....YOU CAN'T DO THAT!

#11 OFFLINE   BobMurdoch

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 09:12 AM

Yes, if I buy the LA times I am depriving my local newspaper from being able to exercise their godgiven right to own what ads they forcefeed into me.

This is right up there with media sharing. I am prohibited from sharing a track I bought on a CD via a peer to peer network, but my local government mandates that I pay to support a library that will buy a book and then share it with as many people as they can without compensating the author for anything more than the first copy (um, didn't I do that when I bought the CD?) Sorry, old rant of mine. Kind of like Bill Maher and his high fructose corn syrup rants. Gotta work it into a conversation at least once a month or so.....
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#12 OFFLINE   tsmacro

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 10:45 AM

.....however you have to realize where this attitude is coming from. No one sold the NY Times, the LA times or any other newspaper "exclusive rights" to publish in any given area. The local TV stations did however pay to have "exclusive rights" to broadcast their network programming in their "area". So of course they'll act real defensive if anything threatens that. After all they have paid for the right to not to have to compete with anyone else offering the same product in their area. Like I said I don't agree with it but I do know why that's the way it is.

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 06:50 PM

.....however you have to realize where this attitude is coming from. No one sold the NY Times, the LA times or any other newspaper "exclusive rights" to publish in any given area. The local TV stations did however pay to have "exclusive rights" to broadcast their network programming in their "area". So of course they'll act real defensive if anything threatens that. After all they have paid for the right to not to have to compete with anyone else offering the same product in their area. Like I said I don't agree with it but I do know why that's the way it is.


They may have agreements with the broadcast networks regarding network programs, but keep in mind that they are using the public airwaves to operate their business. The restrictions on importing distant stations are the result of the money and political power of the broadcast lobby and nothing else.

#14 OFFLINE   kenglish

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 06:07 AM

More likely, those restrictions are to keep the stations operating and paying their bills.

However, if they could just NATIONALIZE the entire media and give us everything for FREE (well, at least just pay for it all through our taxes), it wouldn't matter if individual stations have any viewers or make any money.

#15 OFFLINE   News Junky

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 11:39 AM

.....however you have to realize where this attitude is coming from. No one sold the NY Times, the LA times or any other newspaper "exclusive rights" to publish in any given area. The local TV stations did however pay to have "exclusive rights" to broadcast their network programming in their "area". So of course they'll act real defensive if anything threatens that. After all they have paid for the right to not to have to compete with anyone else offering the same product in their area. Like I said I don't agree with it but I do know why that's the way it is.


I don't think so. ABC and NBC networks pay the local stations to be affiliates, not the other way around. With FOX and CBS no money is exchanged as far I know.

Local newspapers do buy rights to AP and UPI stories and photos plus colums and comic strips. Local TV stations are just being anti-free speech.

#16 OFFLINE   News Junky

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 01:40 PM

Clearification: They are protectionists over being principled proponents of an unabridged electronic news media. What they don't seem to realize is they would benifit most if we lived in a country where there were no restrictions on what TV station the American people were permitted to watch.

#17 OFFLINE   Spruceman

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 07:25 PM

What the NAB wants is to pursue an economic model similar to that Mussolini had prescribed for Italy in the 1930s, and what was once tried in the USA in the '30s (Natl Industrial Recovery Act) but much of which was thrown out by the courts. If your local affiliate wants your eyes and ears, all it has to do is to DO ITS JOB using state of the practice equipment and procedures as an affiliate and provide good local programming during non-network hours -- e.g., a good 6 and 11 PM newscast, etc.

#18 OFFLINE   News Junky

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 06:44 AM

If your local affiliate wants your eyes and ears, all it has to do is to DO ITS JOB


I’m not complaining about the job my local affiliate is doing. I think they do a very good job especially the NBC and ABC stations. The quality they produce is superior to many larger markets. What they cannot do is offer me in-depth local coverage things going on in other cities. If you live in San Diego but want to keep up with the happenings in Los Angeles for whatever reason, the censorship lobby and their proponents suggest you address that problem by relocating to Los Angeles.

This is 2005. Technological advancements are in place to lift the line-of-sight restrictions that have historically limited the reach of broadcast television. Instead of getting behind the new opportunities to allow regional superstation status to nearly every local TV station in America, the powers that be have instead dug in their heels to restrict the opportunities these advancements have made available. Its both frustrating and bewildering. Imagine a modern world with the amazing technology of the Internet and all the possibilities it brings to bring the entire world into your home. Not so fast! Local traditional BBS servers feel threatened so they unify and get congress to restrict the Internet so that you can only visit local websites that are hosted in your local area under and entire list of justifications. This is what has happened to satellite TV.

#19 OFFLINE   Jeff McClellan

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 11:01 AM

What I think is a hoot is that with a great UHF antenna and preamp, I can pull in 4 different DMAs. Digital that is. Guess thats against the law to.

#20 OFFLINE   News Junky

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 02:18 PM

What I think is a hoot is that with a great UHF antenna and preamp, I can pull in 4 different DMAs. Digital that is. Guess thats against the law to.


I won't tell anyone. I just don't get this "lets stay in the stone age as long as possible" mentality.

BTW: Thanks for the great idea! Question: I'm not digital just yet (waiting for the prices on equipment to come down a little more) but how many miles away is the most distant market you can get?

#21 OFFLINE   Tower Guy

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 07:24 AM

What I think is a hoot is that with a great UHF antenna and preamp, I can pull in 4 different DMAs. Digital that is. Guess thats against the law to.


No, it's not against the law to watch anything that you can receive. What is against the law is for someone to receive those signals and retransmit them to you. They can't because they don't own the copyright to the programming. The TV stations have purchased the programming rights to anywhere that their over the air signal can reach. Retransmission by a third party to another area is not in the program rights contract and not allowed by law.

You're lucky to be in an area where you have can make your own choice of programming, so no complaining allowed, I'm jealous. My antenna on a 120' tower can't get much outside of Albany.

#22 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 04:50 PM

I’m not complaining about the job my local affiliate is doing. I think they do a very good job especially the NBC and ABC stations. The quality they produce is superior to many larger markets. What they cannot do is offer me in-depth local coverage things going on in other cities. If you live in San Diego but want to keep up with the happenings in Los Angeles for whatever reason, the censorship lobby and their proponents suggest you address that problem by relocating to Los Angeles.


I totally agree, if they’re going to have all the local channels on satellite, you should be able to at least subscribe to other cities newscast if you want to keep up on what’s going on “back home.”

This is 2005. Technological advancements are in place to lift the line-of-sight restrictions that have historically limited the reach of broadcast television. Instead of getting behind the new opportunities to allow regional superstation status to nearly every local TV station in America, the powers that be have instead dug in their heels to restrict the opportunities these advancements have made available. Its both frustrating and bewildering. Imagine a modern world with the amazing technology of the Internet and all the possibilities it brings to bring the entire world into your home. Not so fast! Local traditional BBS servers feel threatened so they unify and get congress to restrict the Internet so that you can only visit local websites that are hosted in your local area under and entire list of justifications. This is what has happened to satellite TV.


Yup, if I’m able to get cell phone service inside of my home, then I should be able to receive all of my OTA HD local channels inside of my home.

However, if they could just NATIONALIZE the entire media and give us everything for FREE (well, at least just pay for it all through our taxes), it wouldn't matter if individual stations have any viewers or make any money.


You know, maybe its time for these so called "national networks" to go national like CNN, ESPN, etc. Or if a person can't get their local OTA HD channel via antenna, at least go “national” during primetime or during major sporting events that are broadcasted in HD.

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 09:51 PM

No, it's not against the law to watch anything that you can receive. What is against the law is for someone to receive those signals and retransmit them to you. They can't because they don't own the copyright to the programming. The TV stations have purchased the programming rights to anywhere that their over the air signal can reach. Retransmission by a third party to another area is not in the program rights contract and not allowed by law.

You're lucky to be in an area where you have can make your own choice of programming, so no complaining allowed, I'm jealous. My antenna on a 120' tower can't get much outside of Albany.


Keep in mind how cable TV got started. It wasn't to broadcast TV signals into local markets that could receive those signals over the air. It was to extend those signals into fringe areas and areas that were out of range of the TV stations. No permission was needed for retransmitting broadcast signals until the broadcasters started lobbying Congress for legislation to protect themselves from competition. It was only when newer technologies allowed broadcast signals to be transmitted over greater distances (i.e., to distant cities where there were TV stations) that the broadcasters started claiming it was a "copyright" issue.

The broadcast industry has a history of buying influence in Congress and getting legislation passed that protects them from competition, but they are fighting a losing battle. As newer devices like the Slingbox become widespread, they are going to find it impossible to prevent people from watching distant TV stations.

#24 OFFLINE   TNGTony

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 01:14 AM

Ummm...actually, the TV stations fought cable tooth and nail until congress passed laws that allowed specific exceptions to the copyright laws to allow cable compnies to continue infringing on copyright owners' rights. Yes the fight hit a fever pitch with satellite delivery, but the fight was already a decade old (thanks to WTBS or whatever the station was called just before it changed to WTBS) when the SHVA and the cable communications act of of 1984 was passed. There was also a previous version which also addressed distant signals but not as strictly.

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 03:31 PM

Ummm...actually, the TV stations fought cable tooth and nail until congress passed laws that allowed specific exceptions to the copyright laws to allow cable compnies to continue infringing on copyright owners' rights. Yes the fight hit a fever pitch with satellite delivery, but the fight was already a decade old (thanks to WTBS or whatever the station was called just before it changed to WTBS) when the SHVA and the cable communications act of of 1984 was passed. There was also a previous version which also addressed distant signals but not as strictly.

See ya
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Ummm, actually what I stated is correct. When cable TV came into existence, it was to bring TV signals to areas that couldn't receive the signal, and no permission was required until Congress started passing laws to protect the broadcasters. Until about 15 years ago, cable companies were able to retransmit signals into areas that could already receive those signals without needing permission from the TV stations.




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