DISH Endorses Sinclair and NAB Free Antenna Giveaway

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by James Long, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    DISH Endorses Sinclair and NAB Free Antenna Giveaway

    Today, DISH endorsed Sinclair Broadcast Group, the National Association of Broadcasters, Antennas Direct and TVfreedom.org for their "Broadcast TV Liberation Tour" that is raising consumer awareness of free over-the-air (OTA) local TV. Antennas Direct reports it has handed out $1 million in free OTA antennas in 60 cities.

    "It's smart. The country's 90 million pay-TV customers, all of whom pay retransmission fees for local broadcast stations, are frustrated by rising costs and channel blackouts," said Warren Schlichting, DISH executive vice president of Marketing, Programming and Media Sales. "Complementing the pay-TV experience, which includes the increasing adoption of streaming services like Sling TV, Sony Vue, Hulu and Netflix, is good business and may drive a solution to the otherwise compounding problem of ever-rising retransmission consent fees for local TV."

    DISH has embraced this approach having distributed $7 million worth of OTA antennas to affected customers this summer since Tribune Broadcasting blacked out its stations from DISH customers on June 12.

    "Sinclair is on the right track for consumers and we'd encourage Tribune to follow its example," added Schlichting.

    Each year, the cost to carry local broadcast stations rises far beyond the rate of inflation, more than 225 percent over the past five years, leading to blackouts across the country that affect millions of subscribers of various pay-TV companies. According to SNL Kagan, a leading source on the media industry, broadcast fees burdening pay-TV consumers will reach an unprecedented $7.7 billion in 2016. These same rates, for channels available free over the air, were as low as $215 million in 2006, soared to $4.9 billion in 2014 and are expected to more than double to reach $11.6 billion in 2022.

    "While we continue to advocate for an overhaul of the system that guides these types of negotiations, and have been on opposite sides of the issue from TVfreedom in the past, it is heartening to see that we may agree on this point: TV viewers should have a choice on how to watch, and how much to pay for local TV," said Schlichting.

    Update on Negotiations Between DISH and Tribune

    DISH and Tribune continue to progress in retransmission negotiations, but Tribune continues to black out millions of DISH customers from 42 local stations in 33 markets.

    "Tribune is back at the table and we are making headway that I am hopeful will get these channels back to our customers soon," said Schlichting. "Regrettably, Tribune had stopped negotiating for five weeks, delaying a resolution. In the time since Tribune blacked out its stations, DISH has completed 10 local retransmission deals, one that covered more stations and more markets than Tribune. This can be done."

    Affected DISH customers can learn more about the negotiations and find ways to watch their shows and events by visiting DISHPromise.com.
     
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  2. fudpucker

    fudpucker Godfather

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    What we really need is for Dish and Directv to developer technology in which OTA is integrated into the receivers. Perhaps with a good OTA antenna somehow built into the dish. Ideally such that you could have OTA integrated in such that at those channels would be no different than any other channels. You could still get the locals via satellite, helpful for those who can't get good OTA.

    Suddenly the local network corps, such as Tribune, would have far less leverage for retransmission fees.
     
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  3. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

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    That's not really a universal solution. Unless your stations happen to be in the right direction corresponding to where the dish needs to be pointed at, or you happen to be close enough to the towers where the orientation of the antenna doesn't matter, an antenna attached to the Dish will only work for limited areas, usually just the areas where you would have no problem using a cheap indoor antenna for reception. Along with the CSR nightmare dealing with customers in the iffy areas where under normal conditions it works, but a gust of wind causes them to lose reception with that setup: "What do you mean I now have to pay extra for reliable reception of locals? You told me it's free with the built in antenna"

    There actually are clip on antennas (not sure if they made any for the current line of dishes though), but because of how limited situations are where they work reliably, they never really took off and I don't think they were ever part of any official installation. It also didn't help that things like minor ghosting, which was good enough to ignore on analog, is bad enough to kill reception with digital.


    Once you get about 25+ miles away from the towers, things like direction start to matter, further away than that you start needing antennas with higher gain, and if you're in an area where neighboring markets have stations on the same or adjacent channel, you're gonna need something highly directional the further away you are.
     
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  4. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Both have moved away from integration. I'd like to see something better than a single channel USB tuner. Something like the HD Homerun on a network (but with multiple tuners) would be good.

    Reception is the other half of the challenge ... but better access to tuners would be a good first step. Digital reception isn't trivial. Even my DISH delivered locals go out from time to time because their receive site cannot pick up a clear signal OTA from the stations - and one would expect that receive site to be better engineered than a home.
     
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  5. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Personally, I think Dish is telling the locals that the handwriting is on the wall. The broadcast nets are making the programming available through streaming sources, albeit not always timely and in the case of CBS not without ads yet.

    But the reality is that I'm learning to think like a "cord never" Netflix-type viewer and don't care if the show I'm watching was done a couple of years ago - it's new to me. I'm also realizing that there never was "must see TV", just a kind of "peer-pressure TV", you know like the so-called "around the water cooler" feeling you don't want to be left out. The "cord-never" approach let's you discover a really great Irish or New Zealand TV series on Acorn TV.

    A "skinny package" from Dish with OTA or without locals and streaming will be fine. Even for a retiree there aren't enough hours in the day or in a lifetime to watch everything and the local stations don't have much to offer that isn't available some other way.
     
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  6. Blowgun

    Blowgun DHMO User

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    I wonder if DISH, as we know it today, could survive if a lot of people went that way tomorrow, next week, 6 months from now. A year? They would need a lot more subs then they have now to mitigate the loss of those $89.99+ checks they receive each month. As was mentioned in here, subs are down. And DISH certainly won't volunteer to price themselves out of existence by baiting subs with cheap packages. I suspect they don't have to worry about that, as most people are not going to bite the worm.

    Cord-cutters remind me of the television version of doomsday preppers, only they are cutting the cord and living off the grid -- well, the TitanTV grid at least. Not everyone can do that sort of thing. And I think DISH knows that's not going to happen in any great degree, or soon. I've been hearing for well over a decade about the benefits of IPTV and how IPTV was going to revolutionize how people watch TV. Well, it hasn't happened. There are various reasons why I think streaming hasn't caught the imagination of the average television viewer.

    To start with streaming is a hodgepodge of prices from different vendors. Do I really want to bother subscribing to multiple services or would I rather receive one bill from DISH. Multiple streams, presuming you don't live by yourself or all watch the same thing, requires broadband for decent quality. Inflexible and out of touch companies like AT&T and Comcast to only name two, are obstacles that want your money only going to them and create limitations (two-tier system, data caps, etc) that they hope will discourage people looking elsewhere for television. They fight tooth and nail to keep it that way, along with the politicians in their pockets who love them who whine about the improved definition of "Broadband".

    The 2015 FCC standard for the term "Broadband" is 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. That means if someone has ADSL or even ADSL2+, guess what, technically you don't have "broadband" service anymore. A single Netflix stream uses between 3.5 to 5 Mbps, a UHD stream can use upwards of 25 Mbps. Twice that if two people are each watching something different. One connection serving an entire house of bandwidth eating services and connected devices. Oh great, I'm getting lag streaming M*A*S*H because my refrigerator wants to send a message to the grocery store that I'm out of milk and it keeps timing out. That sort of thing. I've read that there are many people upset with NBC's video streaming of the Olympics. Was it the servers that they had two years to prepare for or was it the lack of broadband Internet service of the people watching? I don't know, but it's a recent example.

    I applaud the people that want to or have cut the cord. If everything works out, that's wonderful. Maybe even drop DISH altogether and the money saved could be used to bump to a higher tiered Internet service, if available. One article I read refers to the FCC study and notes that "two-thirds of U.S. households lack the choice of more than one ISP at speeds of 25 Mbps or greater. Companies like AT&T and Verizon also don't like how this data highlights the fact they're giving up on rural America and many second- and third-tier cities, freezing broadband deployments and in some cases even refusing to repair aging infrastructure." That of course is bad, but some people would be happy just have Internet access. There are a lot of dark territories out there.

    Then again, we could all be part of a Luddite's nightmare. 'Martha, I had that dream again.' :)
     
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  7. Wilf

    Wilf Legend

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    I can echo phrelin - we have been watching only steaming for a few years and there is no way we would go back to ad infested tv. Twenty minutes of ads in a hour program is crazy absurd. Would you accept that in even a bargain price movie theatre?

    We are fortunate living in a rural part of Maryland with very good broadband (100 Mbps down). The lack of good broadband in other areas is a result of crooked politicians at the state level being bribed by the likes of Comcast and AT&T. Eventually that will have to change for economic reasons - businesses, schools, and health care can't thrive without good broadband these days.
     
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  8. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    With a DVR those ads are about 5 seconds long though. I'm not sure ads have ever really entered into the real reason people cut the cord. I think it's always price and selection of shows.
     
  9. mwdxer

    mwdxer Well-Known Member

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    I am surprised the programmers even allow DVRs. But without them, I doubt I would watch much commercial TV.
     
  10. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    "Never was" is a long time. There was a time where if you didn't know what happened last night on a popular show you didn't fit in. And while you probably could still perform your job functions, the social side of a work environment can be important. In recent years people would call that "networking". Making work friends who could help you complete your tasks and be your reference for the next project assignment or job.

    Perhaps as the world has shifted to a "don't take a vacation or you will lose your job" mentality knowing what happened on some time wasting fictional or reality show is either less important or a negative. Standing around the watercooler is loafing more than it ever has been before. But the moments of "off topic" human interaction can be helpful. Chatter before a meeting begins or during breaks in a working process.

    If you have not been around a "water cooler" in a while perhaps the memories have faded. Or you worked in an "all business" environment where "water cooler" moments were impossible.


    DISH (and DIRECTV and the other competition) are not the same as we knew them 10 years ago. I do not expect them to remain the same. Trying to be 2001 DISH, 2006 DISH or 2011 DISH would kill them (the same applies to the other companies). It is an industry where evolving the product is required.

    DISH's evolution includes the SlingTV streaming service and now "skinny bundles". AT&T|DIRECTV will soon be following suit with their OTT service.

    One also has to remember that a lot of the money that DISH collects are fees paid to their programmers. When one buys a "skinny bundle" that leaves out a channel that channel doesn't get their monthly fee. DISH needs to have enough of a markup to pay for their infrastructure - and as the subscriber count drops averaging out the infrastructure costs (satellites, uplink centers, people) across less subscribers will be necessary. But smaller bundles saves DISH money as wall as their subscribers.
     
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  11. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Frequently I think I don't communicate well.

    When I said "Dish is telling the locals that the handwriting is on the wall" I was thinking in the back of my mind about the Locals Pack add-on.

    I think Dish is telling us that they can make money on the $34.99/month fee for the Flex Pack™ which "has over 50 channels including 30 of the top rated channels."

    I think they are also telling us that they can't make money on less than the $10.00/month fee for the Locals Pack™ because of the affiliates of the four of the top rated channels (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC), plus two other somewhat popular channels from which you can stream all their network programming for free (PBS and The CW), plus whatever other locals are in your area that most don't watch (I'm ignoring the Hispanic live audience which at times is larger than that watching one or more of the top 4).

    In other words, if you drop the locals and the ESPN/Disney cable channels you have saved $20-$25 a month and most of that is not Dish's share.

    ABC, Fox, and NBC have put their content on Hulu. I think Dish is saying to the local channels (remember they are not ABC, Fox, and NBC as even the O&O are subsidiaries): "Hey there, have you noticed your network is abandoning you for a reason?" At least CBS All Access from the beginning provided live streaming of local channels, sort of, which at least offers a pretense that local channels mean something.

    I personally think the handwriting is on the wall and Dish is telling the locals owners negotiators to wake up. And they're doing it by offering up OTA antennas which is, interesting enough, the only reason until now many of the locals haven't sold all that bandwidth (which may be their only asset of value in the long term).

    I think by 2020 the "channels" business will be quite different than today. Which brings me to...

    What I've discovered is that if I think of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Acorn TV, etc. as channels like CBS, AMC, FX, etc. I really can begin to wrap my mind around how the change is occuring.
     
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  12. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    $29.99 for the core package without locals is still profitable enough. One must remember that every advertised package is simply a way to approach a customer and sell a higher cost package. DISH's "most popular" package is AT 200. Yet AT 120 and now Flex Pack low end prices lead the advertising.

    $10 for locals. The infrastructure costs do not go away with the subscribers. DISH still must receive, backhaul, uplink and support spotbeam satellites to enable delivery of locals whether they have one subscriber in each market or a million. The "cost savings" for DISH is that they don't have to pay the carriage fees ... but there is still a lot of costs behind the scenes.
     
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  13. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    I agree and the "handwriting on the wall" to Sinclair is there is a limit to carriage fees for locals. The fact is carriage fees from OTA viewers are $0 as was the intent and tradition in the local broadcasting industry.

    If the locals don't attract the younger generation away from Hulu and CBS All Access, or worse drive old codgers like me to Hulu and CBS All Access, there won't be enough subscriber money to support that delivery infrastructure for Dish. And the carriage fee revenue going to the locals will drop drastically.

    IMHO locals have to offer something other than high carriage fees and network shows or their only viewers will be people who watch daytime TV OTA. Yeah, I know that's an overstatement but none of these folks operate with high net profits. The networks with their own production companies don't care what way the eyes get to their shows and aren't going to have a lot of sympathy for Sinclair and other owners.

    By 2020 the future of all this will be clearer. Right now the trends certainly don't suggest huge revenue increases for the satellite/cable TV industry nor for local TV stations.
     
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  14. Wilf

    Wilf Legend

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    I find it intolerable to watch tv with ads, even with ad skipping. It is just blissful to watch Netflix without the ad interruptions. I know I am not alone.
     
  15. Wilf

    Wilf Legend

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    In a fully networked world, it does not really make sense for every local station to be broadcasting the same tv programs - some communities already have their own streaming "channel" for local stuff. In the grand scheme of things, I suspect costs would go down if CBS broadcast their programs to the world over broadband.
     

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