Distant Networks: STELA reauth, DNS and LiL

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by slice1900, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member

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    Well, I called within minutes last May 31 when they were pulled. CBS and ABC remained off. They "weren't able to" turn them back on was what I was told. Uh huh. I bet.
     
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  2. James Long

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

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    Technically if a code can be present a code can be added ... but there is no guarantee that there is a place in the CSR's UI where they can add every code. Perhaps a supervisor has more access, but getting the right code in the right place to turn a channel on isn't guaranteed. It could get to the level of needing to hack their database and I don't see them doing that.

    Still a customer? I guess all it cost AT&T|DIRECTV was whatever you were paying for the channel ... maybe lose a couple points on their JD Power satisfaction score.

    I had a similar problem with Verizon. A plan was removed from our company's account and it was no longer available in their list of plans that could be added. But the code was still in the system (and on one of our other plans). We found the right level of supervisor who could add the plan by code number instead of drop down but they didn't know the code. Once we got the right code and the right access we got our plan back. But it took a few hours on the phone. And it would not have worked if no one had the access or no one knew the code. It is easier to take away "not currently available" options than to add them.
     
  3. BrucePadgett

    BrucePadgett AllStar

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    In my case, customer retention wanted to turn ABC back on, but didn’t have the code. But they tried mightily anyway. When I then dealt with the President’s Office, it was strongly implied they did indeed have said code. Unfortunately, they would not implement it as I no longer qualified for ABC, since my grandfather status was permanently removed when the network was dropped from my programming. No specific statute of the new agreements with the networks was cited when the President’s Office made its decision.

    And so it goes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  4. FarNorth

    FarNorth Godfather

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    I'm on the phone with DTV CS right now. I'm in Anchorage, Alaska and the only CW affiliate I get transmits in SD and I don't get PBS at all.

    The little girl in the PI does not understand. There is a rooster crowing in the background. No, I'm not kidding.
     
  5. dishrich

    dishrich Hall Of Fame

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    DirecTV Spinoff Gets FCC Approval | Multichannel News
    Note this part re: last 12 markets w/no LIL:
     
  6. joshjr

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    It would be pretty harsh to make that a requirement. I hate to say it but the channels in those 12 markets just want a hand out. They refuse to assist in getting their signal to its own customers. Why should it be DirecTV's responsibility to do their work for them to make that happen and then pay a pretty penny for it on top of that? Seems like a no brainer to me. Those 12 markets should be asking DirecTV what can we do to help make it happen or our market. I guarantee you if it was my market, I would be putting pressure on the locals. They are the ones with the responsibility to me. Its the business they are in to provide the needed signals to get their channel. My guess is they are satisfied with the current ways that is available and do not want to spend any of their own money to make that any better. Wonder why that is.
     
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  7. James Long

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

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    The Affiliates Associations contend that because DIRECTV does not provide local-into-local television service in 12 of the DMAs in which it operates, the Commission should require New DIRECTV to provide local-into-local television service to all 210 Nielsen DMAs. The Affiliates Associations argue that, without such a condition, New DIRECTV will have weakened incentives to serve local communities because of the reduced role that AT&T will play in its ownership. The Applicants respond that this issue is unrelated to the proposed transaction, and that the Commission has denied similar requests from broadcasters in prior transactions involving DIRECTV. The Applicants maintain that the proposed transaction would not affect its incentive or ability to provide local-into-local service. In reply, the Affiliates Associations assert that the cases cited by Applicants were wrongly decided, but also seek to distinguish them from the present transaction.

    The Applicants are correct that the Commission has previously denied similar requests with regard to DIRECTV. We agree with the Applicants that nothing in the record indicates that the proposed transaction would reduce New DIRECTV’s incentives to carry local broadcast channels. The Affiliates Associations have not offered evidence or established a credible theory by which the competitive pressures DIRECTV faces to imitate or differentiate itself from other MVPDs in those markets would change as a result of this transaction. Accordingly, we decline to adopt the Affiliates Associations’ proposed condition.

    (From the FCC decision - emphasis added.)
     
  8. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    I completely agree that it would not reduce incentives to carry local broadcast channels either. I watched all those hearings on DNS and DirecTV asked why the channels themselves did not have any obligations to assist with the poor signal. I believe they said those channels didnt even cover 60% of their own market via OTA. They didnt wanna supply any help getting the signal to DirecTV either. Its a joke. Cant just blame DirecTV here. The locals have responsibility here as well. If they want the deal done, they should be asking what it would take to get it done. Seems like they just wanna play the victims here when its not warranted in my book.
     
  9. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Those are all small markets, and the stations probably make very little revenue. If they don't have money to spend on increasing their OTA carriage by building taller towers (or setting up repeaters for the ones in mountainous areas) then they also don't have the money to assist Directv in getting those channels.

    There's a reason why most of those markets don't have all four network affiliates - it is hard to eke out a profit in such small markets.
     
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  10. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah I agree. I just don’t like that the locals expect DirecTV to bail them out at DirecTV’s expense. I think that is shady to say the least. Love to see the locals launched but as a business, I understand both sides and feel that DirecTV should have to foot the bill to make it happen. Either meet in the middle or don’t but that’s up to the locals.
     
  11. James Long

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

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    And yet in all markets DISH found a way. Perhaps they were more highly motivated. :)

    "We can't receive your signal" seems like an excuse more than an explanation. I agree with the satellite providers stance that they are helping local stations reach their entire protected DMA and I wish it was more of a partnership.
     
  12. bjlc

    bjlc Icon

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    yeah well I want my distant networks back..
     
  13. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    Dish was more motivated. They had their DNS yanked for giving it to people who didn't qualify. Dish complained so much about getting DNS back that they were finally told they could have it back if they provided locals in all DMA's. If it was not for that, Dish would have never done it either. Makes me wonder how any local could tell someone were sorry our signal is so weak that you cant get our channel and we refuse to work with DirecTV to help them get it but if you want our channel call DirecTV. The locals in those 12 markets care enough to not fix their OTA issues and make it someone else's problem. If there is one thing I don't handle well its when someone makes their problem someone else's. I would prefer DirecTV offer all DMAs as well but not go in the hole in the last 12 at their own expense just so those markets can profit from it. Seems like a no brainer to me. If the locals wanted a deal done, they would be trying to figure out how to make it work with DirecTV. Instead they played their hand in the DNS bill last year. They got the lawmakers to sunset the bill thinking that if DirecTV was forced to not offer DNS there and had to negotiate with them, that they had DirecTV over a barrel. DirecTV said you can figure out your own problem and the locals there don't like it.

    Since DirecTV will have to launch all locals in the market if they launch any in the remaining 12, I don't see that happening unless the channels really work with them. The channel owners would gain from more viewers. They either thing that gain is minimal or don't care and hold the customers in their area hostage in the situation. This is no different than locals going dark because someone wont pay their price. Its the reason why I always blame the channel and also why I don't change providers over channel disputes either.

    The TV market will be forced to change a lot over the next 10 years. The bills for TV service just keep rising and people will only take so much. I find it mind blowing that local's made their business model work for years off of selling ads but then figured they could charge for their channel and still cant make it work. My opinion is that the locals are greedy and it is why we see a record number of blackouts every single year or darn near it. As an avid TV watcher, I hate to say these things but I believe them to be true. Should be interesting to see how we watch TV 10 years from now.
     
  14. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    I have them all but CW. We have a CW in the market but DirecTV does not offer it. Every time I call or email the local CW to ask when they are coming to DirecTV, I get we don't have a clue. Really, who would?
     
  15. James Long

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

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    There are legal limits as to what local stations can do to get their signal carried on satellite. Paying to deliver a usable signal to the satellite company's receive point is allowable. Beyond that, they cannot offer financial assistance to the satellite carrier. A local station cannot pay for carriage.

    Thanks to the law local stations have two options: Consent to carry and Must carry. Choose must carry and the station is carried for free. Choose consent to carry and the station can negotiate a price (or could choose free). Unfortunately stations air networks and the networks demand payment when their signals are picked up by cable and satellite via local stations. What (in my opinion) should be a cooperative effort to reach as many homes as possible with the signal has turned in to a money grab. I don't mind seeing rural stations that are struggling to stay on the air grab some money ... it is the cut to the network that annoys me more.

    Asking a struggling local station to pay to get their signal on DIRECTV? Seems counterintuitive.



    I would like to see a system where DISH and DIRECTV would be required to carry all local stations, pay only a statutory copyright fee, and not be subject to the stations and networks setting exorbitant fees. Yeah, nobody happy and no way Congress would ever pass that law. So we are stuck where we are.
     
  16. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    That is an interesting idea. I kinda thought a decent discount in the monthly fee per sub for DirecTV having to do the bulk of the lifting to get those channels going. I would be open to seeing how your idea would truly work. Something is gonna happen. The market can’t sustain the crazy way it’s going for TV prices.
     
  17. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    They charge because the networks charge them. I don't know what the balance is between the two, but the networks have been raising what they charge affiliates for years to pay for escalating sports rights among other things.
     
  18. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    Understood. I’m not against that locals making money. I just can’t understand how they have massively increased the mo eg they take in with a 2nd revenue model and still have massive increases. Blackouts tick me off. What would the locals do if everyone went OTA?
     
  19. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Like I said I don't know how the contracts between the networks and the affiliates work. But it would make sense for several reasons that they only charge them per retrans viewer, not per overall viewer. With the biggest reason being there is no way to measure their OTA viewership, while they know exact retrans viewership.

    If that's the case, "everyone going OTA" would mostly hurt the networks. It would probably hurt the locals some - I doubt they charge exactly what they pay the networks, but it wouldn't hurt nearly as bad as losing ~$5 per viewer per month would if they were taking the entire hit themselves.

    Another hint is the fact that other than Dish NO MVPD has EVER supported customers picking up locals via antenna and getting a discount from their provider. And Dish just so happens to have the biggest problems with retrans renewals.

    I mean, you'd think with locals now accounting for about $20/month of everyone's bill (I'm over $21/month currently) that for the cost of a $25 ATSC dongle that plugs into your cable or satellite box via USB you'd let the tens of millions of customers who can easily pick up their locals OTA do so and save money while saving the provider retrans fees. You'd gain massive leverage in retrans negotiation if both sides knew a blackout would only affect a minority of customers.

    The only conclusion I can reach from the utter absence of this alternative is that the station owner groups really push back hard against this. If they told Directv "OK, you can pay $5 per subscriber, or you can pay $8 per subscriber who pays for locals" maybe that's why Directv only grudgingly supports the LCC as a stopgap solution to retrans blackouts, and won't even allow customers to buy one otherwise. Maybe Dish negotiated the station groups down to $6 on such a deal after a two month blackout, and that's why they are the only one to offer such an alternative.
     
  20. JoeTheDragon

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    and sinclair broadcasting says if you want bally sports / the cubs you must take our locals. And soon we may add NBC sports as well.
     

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