I beg to differ. When I started with C band back in 1987 you dealt with the programmers themselves. I dealt with HBO, Showtime/Viacom, Disney etc directly. In the early 90's 3rd party packagers came on the scene and was the ones tied into the GI/Motorola computer for authorization and took your money and gave it to the programmers. I actually could get a commercial receiver now then call Viacom and get it subscribed (just like Direct does) if I was willing to pay the fees of being a provider with subscribers and the minimum amount needed to be a distributer of services.