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Dish sues FCC over PBS-HD requirement

Discussion in 'DISH™ High Definition Discussion' started by HarveyLA, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. Jul 6, 2010 #41 of 232
    HarveyLA

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    Doubt if a specific answer is forthcoming on that one! But shortage may not be the right word. Congress clearly thinks there is extra capacity available. Dish is not about to reveal this kind of information. The recently activated Echostar 14 has added spotbeam capacity. Some of that will go to meeting the earlier FCC formula that requires 30 percent of markets in HD (all stations in a market, not just noncoms) by early next year. That's an increase of 15% over the benchmark they reached early this year (by adding very small markets).

    To reach 50 percent of market for HD noncoms by the end of this year, means an additional 20 percent beyond the above requirement, or roughly 40 additional PBS locals in HD, assuming Dish can continue to target smaller markets with just one noncommercial station each.

    Another spotbeam satellite is due for launch next year.
    PBS viewers in large markets will no doubt have to wait it out to the bitter end! Another year and a half if Dish's FCC lawsuit fails.
     
  2. Jul 7, 2010 #42 of 232
    HarveyLA

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    http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/454484-DISH_Gets_July_22_Day_In_Court.php

    Court date set for July 22- John Eggerton in Broadcasting & Cable

    According to DISH Network, a Nevada court has set a July 22 date for a hearing on DISH's argument for a temporary injunction against FCC enforcement of the HD carriage mandate in the satellite reauthorization bill.

    DISH filed for an injunction last week in Nevada, where it is incorporated, because it is facing a July 27 deadline for coming to carriage terms with 30 noncom stations or triggering a speeded-up (by the end of next year) timetable for carriage of all noncommercial signals in any market where it carries any stations in HD.

    DISH's bone to pick is not with the FCC, which is required to enforce the law, but with the legislation that it argues puts a thumb on the scale in favor of a particular type of programming.

    DISH says the mandate violates its First and Fifth Amendment rights and has already put a crimp in business plans it based on the 2008 FCC timetable for phasing in HD carriage of all local TV stations, including noncoms, by 2013.


    ______________________________________
    July 27 is not actually a "trigger." The law is in effect. July 27 is the deadline for bypassing the law with a private agreement, which has not been reached in several years of negotiations between Dish and APTS. For more on this, see the first post in this thread.
    The "30 noncom stations" language in the law actually refers to APTS because that is the only organization representing that many stations. It actually represents most if not all of the noncommercial stations.
    If the temporary injunction is denied, Dish will have five days left to reach a private agreement. Any bets on that?
     
  3. Jul 7, 2010 #43 of 232
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    A funny thing about Congress ... they are experts in everything - after the fact. They are the ultimate pointy haired bosses.

    I don't believe Congress would understand the information. They don't understand simple statements such as "we can't do that". Even if they were given all of the proprietary information available I'm sure they wouldn't be any smarter than Internet junkies second guessing. (The proof of that is the moronic "drop porn" suggestion from the congresswoman from California. Dropping 12 SD channels isn't going to provide room for all the HD channels required.)

    It won't be just PBS viewers waiting if the lawsuit fails. Don't expect any new HD locals outside of markets that already have them.
     
  4. Jul 7, 2010 #44 of 232
    runner861

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    The statement by Rep. Ashoo about dropping pornographic channels was a political comment made to her audience at the time. However, I wish that the insults on the board would stop. Some people will find the adjective used to describe her comment insulting. It is actually in the same category as the use of the term "retarded," another term which is outdated and insulting and demeaning. An easier, more effective way to confront the comment would be to simply state that you disagree with it, and why.

    But, if Dish really lacks the capacity, then dropping those channels, along with other cuts, will have to be on the table. As far as Congress not understanding the capacity information, some members would, some wouldn't. That is the system we have. Just like in a trial, sometimes the judge and/or jury understands the issues, sometimes they don't.
     
  5. Jul 7, 2010 #45 of 232
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    If it makes you feel better read that word as "utterly stupid and ill informed". If you have other terms that apply to her comment feel free to read them in in your own mind as well. I am not a doctor so I am not using the term in the clinical sense.

    Feel free to answer the question of how dropping 12 SD channels (of any content) of ConUS coverage will help provide the spotbeam carriage of individual PBS stations to hundreds of markets. As far as dropping more programming, the suggestion just supports DISH's contention that the government is trying to control the content of their service. It would be best if the government would stay away from making suggestions on what should or should not be cut from a companies product line.
     
  6. Jul 7, 2010 #46 of 232
    runner861

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    We don't even know if Dish really has to cut anything, or what Dish's motivation is in this lawsuit. The government is not telling Dish it has to cut anything. Dish, not you, not me, has to make that decision. I am just kicking ideas around on a discussion board.

    Show me where in STELA the law states that any programming has to be cut. STELA is mandating carriage of certain public stations on a timetable, one either prescribed in STELA or one agreed to between Dish and PBS.

    Let's wait and see if Dish's First Amendment arguments are substantive, or frivolous.

    Please don't overstate the case, such as by stating, "It would be best if the government would stay away from making suggestions on what should or should not be cut from a companies product line." There are no restrictions on capacity, or suggestions or requirements for cuts, in STELA. STELA is merely requiring that a taxpayer-supported broadcast be made available to satellite subscribers.
     
  7. Jul 7, 2010 #47 of 232
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    The last I checked, Rep. Ashoo was part of the government. Perhaps she won't be next year, but as long as she is part of the government she should restrain herself from making uneducated comments about issues she obviously does not understand, regardless of the immediate audience. We have the Internet ... there is no such thing as a political comment to a small group of people.
     
  8. Jul 7, 2010 #48 of 232
    runner861

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    Perhaps you should send her a letter. She may respond and you could gain a greater insight into what she was saying and what her opinion is on the satellite/PBS situation.
     
  9. Jul 7, 2010 #49 of 232
    HarveyLA

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    http://www.multichannel.com/article...e_Approves_Satellite_Reauthorization_Bill.php

    In view of the current discussion, the following from October 15, 2009 is particularly interesting. Note the comment of Rep. Eshoo at the end, that "Dish in its negotiations had already said it could speed up the HD rollout."

    The bill was still being revised at that time. Note that the deadlines quoted here were later pushed back a year to the end of 2010 and the end of 2011. John Eggerton writes:

    The bill includes an amendment, approved in the markup, that would require Dish to deliver public TV stations' HD versions on an accelerated timetable. The FCC already has a phased-in schedule that would require carriage of all HD signals by 2013. But the amendment would require 50% carriage by 2010 and the balance by 2011.

    Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va), chairman of the Communications Subcommittee, somewhat reluctantly opposed the amendment, which passed 31 to 20 on a mostly party line vote. He said he was concerned that Dish would not be able to deliver local into local in all 210 markets and meet the accelerated HD schedule given current satellite capacity constraints.

    Republicans speaking up to oppose the amendment included Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), ranking committee member, who said that consumers should be making the decision, and have the choice to go with DirecTV, which offers HD noncom signals in 152 markets--Dish only carries them in Hawaii and Alaska per a government mandate in an earlier satellite reauthorization.

    Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) agreed that consumers could vote with their feet and switch services.

    The bill's sponsor, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), countered that noncommercial stations and Dish had been negotiating for three years without success and that the government needed to step in to spur the process. She said if the two sides could come to an agreement before the bill passed, the amendment would "melt away." She said that Dish in its negoatiations had already said it could speed up the HD rollout.
     
  10. Jul 8, 2010 #50 of 232
    prm1177

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    You know I wonder if part of the PBS issue is a demand to carry all of each local stations' sub-channels. Right now they carry only the main broadcast channels in SD.

    PBS is a tough call since any variation in programming between the stations are usually differences in Pledge Weeks.:)
     
  11. Jul 8, 2010 #51 of 232
    Michael P

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    You may be onto something. The subchannels are plentiful on both PBS stations in my market, albeit all SD. Some are retransmissions of national feeds, so E* could put up a conus feed for those. However there are also regional subchannels such as the Ohio channel that carries the governmental proceedings here. Fortunately the 2 PBS channels in my market finally dropped the duplication on that subchannel. The "secondary" PBS channel (WEAO-49) carries V-Me and The Arts channel instead, which are already carried on E*.

    An speaking about WEAO, it is in 2 DMA's (Cleveland and Youngstown, as WNEO-45) 100% the same feed, so there is a savings there (I bet the SD feed for the 2 DMA's are the same transponder since the 2 DMA's are in the same geographical area (Northeast Ohio).
     
  12. Jul 8, 2010 #52 of 232
    Bigg

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    Two points:

    1. For Phrelin and the five other people who don't currently get PBS in HD, why can't they throw up WNET, WGBH and a couple of other big city PBS'es on CONUS and call it done? Some of the local ones, like WEDH (Connecticut) are going significantly downhill, while big ones like WNET aren't. For people in the situation, getting basic cable with clear QAM won't kill you.

    2. For the other 13 million people, stop complaining, get off your lazy @$$es, put up an antenna and get the signal at a much higher bitrate without re-compression, and double the number of tuners on your 722/922.
     
  13. Jul 8, 2010 #53 of 232
    Greg Bimson

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    Because the law states for every market in HD on Dish Network, the markets must have the non-commerical channels in HD by the end of 2011.

    And the law is the law, unless someone can get it declared unconstitutional. That doesn't happen very often.
     
  14. Jul 9, 2010 #54 of 232
    RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    I would but WHYY is in VHF-land and is a pain in in the gluteas maximus to pick up.
     
  15. Jul 9, 2010 #55 of 232
    HarveyLA

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    2. For the other 13 million people, stop complaining, get off your lazy @$$es, put up an antenna and get the signal at a much higher bitrate without re-compression, and double the number of tuners on your 722/922.

    Here in Los Angeles, we have many homes in canyons where there is no off-air television reception at all.
     
  16. Jul 9, 2010 #56 of 232
    articos

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    I'm one of them, and I'm not even in a canyon. My entire neighborhood just happens to be blocked from line-of-sight to Mt. Wilson. No signal ota, period. So, yes, I - and many others - would appreciate it if Dish and PBS would make the deal for carriage to be able to get KCET-HD sooner rather than later.
     
  17. Jul 9, 2010 #57 of 232
    phrelin

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    There are regions in California geographically larger than the State of Connecticut that don't get OTA or have access to basic cable. And basic cable doesn't get me HD from Comcast.

    Had Charlie understood the big picture related to PBS as well as he understands satellite technology, he wouldn't be in this bind as he would have simply negotiated PBS station-by-station as part of turning on HD for the big four in each DMA over many years now. The one problem Dish is saddled with now is just how much his personal interests are reflected in its choices. Dish has fishing, tennis, and lawsuits.
     
  18. Jul 9, 2010 #58 of 232
    HarveyLA

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    The APTS has issued its response to the lawsuit.
    http://www.apts.org/

    Not much new- basically a recap of what's already been posted here.

    Here are a few quotes:

    The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) expressed disappointment, but not surprise, that DISH Network filed a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order in the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, against the FCC's enforcement of the STELA provision.

    The U.S. Department of Justice is defending the FCC in this litigation. APTS will file an amicus brief addressing the need for the STELA provision in order to prevent further discrimination by DISH against public television HD programming. A court date is set for July 22, 2010.
    ______________________________________________________________
    Amicus briefs are filed by parties with an interest in a case, but not directly involved. Their brief becomes part of the court record.

    Isn't it interesting that the Dish customers who want PBS-HD (and all Dish customers) are funding Dish's legal costs to try and postpone this service. They are also paying for the government's side, of course, as taxpayers.
     
  19. Jul 10, 2010 #59 of 232
    articos

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    Not to mention basic cable defeats the purpose of having satellite in the first place. Plus, in CA, basic cable is not priced 'basically' - esp. with fees and taxes added - for intermittently adequate service.

    That is one of the top satellite quotes of all time. Well played, sir. :up:
     
  20. Jul 11, 2010 #60 of 232
    RLMesq

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    Three words for you... Austin City Limits.

    Getting one of the best music shows, ever, in HD would make my day.
     

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