Distant Networks: STELA reauth, DNS and LiL

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

  1. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Directv apparently has pricing plans/contracts specific to aircraft - that's one of the reasons why the plan to shut down MPEG2 SD at the end of this year had to be pushed back. There were contracts for aircraft and oil rigs that went beyond that date that didn't permit them to shut down that service yet.

    The government may have some sort of special deal with Directv that covers a lot of ground. Stuff like government buildings in cities can easily get cable, but military bases aren't necessarily located where that's feasible (think remote airfields, missile silos etc.) so satellite would be pretty attractive for those markets.
     
  2. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    The law does not mention boats and aircraft but service has been provided and DIRECTV still refers to boats and aircraft on their website. I assume their lawyers know what they are doing.
     
  3. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    I believe DIRECTV could easily cover every market. It’s if they want to spend the money too... I don’t believe the space way sat is dying anytime soon... so there are definitely ways even if they don’t have space on d11-d14...
     
  4. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    NFL SUNDAY TICKET IN CUBA military bases with no locals channel black outs?

    White house tv with all sports packs with NO BLACK OUTS?
     
  5. cpalmer2k

    cpalmer2k New Member

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    I can remember back when the 2000 election occurred DirecTV caught some flack because they opened up all the local channels (this was before spot beams- boy those were the days!) for the Gore Campaign headquarters so they could watch the local channels from various states around the country.

    EDIT: Here is the story...
     
  6. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Using the Spaceway is problematic because of its wide "transponders" that step on multiple standard frequencies so I'm not sure it will really be an option for them. And while it may have some life left it won't last as long as the rest of their fleet so it would only be a short term solution.

    Maybe they could make it work as a bridge until they drop MPEG2 SD and have tons of extra bandwidth when dedicating a few national transponders to those markets won't be a big deal - though I really don't think it would be a big deal even today. I think they could get by with two national transponders doing MPEG4 SD for the markets that D14 doesn't have unused dedicated beams for. They are using more than two transponders for 4K right now, so if they need room they can begin moving 4K to reverse band...
     
  7. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Sometimes the truth can be inconvenient. The limit of two affiliates of each network per day would have been a problem for a legal residential customer. But the campaign wasn't a household, let alone an "unserved household". It would have been considered commercial viewing. Which is "outside of the law". I won't make the jump to "illegal" ... but DIRECTV would have needed to rely on other permission to deliver the signals than the distants legislation. If anyone complained.
     
  8. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

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    Can others chime in if you get information that would clear this up, is it possible that unless there is a deadline in the bill for Directv/Dish to cease offering DNS to grandfathered accounts, Directv will not bother with shutting those down?
     
  9. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

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    I think he was referring to the grandfathered DNS accounts, to be honest I don't even know why they offered the Los Angeles stations to east coast people who lived too far away from their local stations, for example in the 90's if you lived on eastern Long Island, you would qualify for DNS but why LA and NYC, why was it not just NYC national feeds?

    Well if I they shut them down it will be one less thing tying me to Directv, they are valuable in getting out of market NFL games.

    Update: Also is it possible that unless this new bill actually declares that people receiving DNS under the old rules can no longer receive them, would it not just be assumed that if you signed up under the old law, you will still get them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  10. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    The wording of the proposed bill removes the text that allows waivers and grandfathering from the law. If the final bill is worded the same, grandfathering and waivers will be gone. People who continue to get distants will only be people who remain qualified due to remaining an unserved household.

    The final bill may be worded differently. But at this point, grandfathering and waivers die within 120 days of enactment.
     
  11. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

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    OK that is bad news but can you comment on this angle, if it is removed from the final bill, could you see Directv ignoring it and deciding not to turn off DNS for the grandfathered accounts? Maybe it is false hope but since there is no language addressing the issue directly, why couldn't Directv just leave the grandfathered DNS accounts alone?

    Also do you know when the final bill will be available to read?

    And is it possible that a senator could add in an amendment that would deal with the non-RV accounts or would that require the bill to go back to the House for another vote?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  12. cpalmer2k

    cpalmer2k New Member

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    DirecTV can't, and isn't going to violate federal law. In the past as I understand it the law allowed those customers who had grandfathered DNS to keep it, or choose to take their assigned local channels if they were carried by DirecTV/Dish in their area. This provision of the new law essentially takes away the grandfathering because it requires both Dish & DirecTV to carry locals in all markets. Instead of giving those subscribers a choice they're saying now "your local channels are available, you have to watch them". I'm sure this is a concession to the NAB who wants everyone watching their "local" channels as much as possible. There is zero chance of any changes at this point in time. This bill has to be passed & signed by the deadline on the 20th, so both houses of Congress are going to pass it and send it to the White House without most members even reading it...
     
  13. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

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    Do you know what date the SD shutdown was pushed to?
     
  14. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

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    I've seen them technically violate federal law, relative lost grandfathered DNS because Retentions rep cancelled service and started a new account, email to Directv VP and the DNS were restored, old account status with 1999 sign up date was not, technically that was not allowed under the law.

    Pure speculation but unless Directv was forced to prove it, why risk losing 500,000 to 800,000 grandfathered subscribers by pulling their DNS, maybe that was the reason they would not provide Congress with a definitive grandfathered subscriber count when asked in the spring of 2019.
     
  15. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    They can't, even if the FCC decided to ignore them they'd be sued for copyright violations by the networks (who own the NYC/LA channels they distribute via DNS)
     
  16. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    No, the (well connected) person who told me about the deadline being pushed back and the reason why didn't have a definite date. Sounded like it will be sometime in H2 2021, but I wouldn't treat that as fact. I'll probably try to check back with him in a few months and see if there are any updates, or at least a solid planned date.
     
  17. GordonGekko

    GordonGekko Active Member

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    Thank you, appreciate it if you can keep us updated on this thread.
     
  18. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    One of those cases when restoring the service was the right thing to do. The law doesn't say that the customer needs to have a "1999 sign up date" on their account.

    Here is one of the paragraphs relating to the oldest grandfathered customers (proposed to be stricken by the new law):
    "(e) MORATORIUM ON COPYRIGHT LIABILITY.—Until December 31, 2019, a subscriber who does not receive a signal of Grade A intensity (as defined in the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission under section 73.683(a) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on January 1, 1999, or predicted by the Federal Communications Commission using the Individual Location Longley-Rice methodology described by the Federal Communications Commission in Docket No. 98–201) of a local network television broadcast station shall remain eligible to receive signals of network stations affiliated with the same network, if that subscriber had satellite service of such network signal terminated after July 11, 1998, and before October 31, 1999, as required by this section, or received such service on October 31, 1999."

    Not complying with the law would put ALL of the distant subscribers (including short market subscribers and RV/truck subscribers) at risk. I thought the estimated number of people receiving distants (not just grandfathered) was 500-800k? That number includes DISH's short market subscribers.

    I'm not sure why DISH and DIRECTV refuse to give numbers. They are required to give an accounting to the Copyright Office of how many customers are receiving service when they pay the statutory rate for the carriage. § 119 (2)(C)
    "(ii) MONTHLY LISTS.—After the submission of the initial lists under clause (i), the satellite carrier shall, not later than the 15th of each month, submit to the network a list, aggregated by designated market area, identifying (by name and address, including street or rural route number, city, State, and 9-digit zip code) any persons who have been added or dropped as subscribers under clause (i) since the last sub-mission under this subparagraph.
    (iii) USE OF SUBSCRIBER INFORMATION.—Subscriber information submitted by a satellite carrier under this sub paragraph may be used only for purposes of monitoring compliance by the satellite carrier with this subsection."

    Paragraph (3) of § 119 covers markets where customers had distants and locals were added. Subscribers as of October 2004 were allowed to keep distants until they subscribed to locals. The 2010 law allowed customers to add locals and not lose distants "until such time as the subscriber elects to terminate such secondary transmissions".

    I expect that there are few 1999 grandfathered customers and more 2010 grandfathered customers (including 2004 granfathered customers who did not add locals until 2010). All of DISH's customers would be non-grandfathered. The secret they are keeping (other than the required monthly report to the copyright office) is how many subscribers are short market and how many subscribers are RV/truck.
     
  19. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    "In recent years, one of the biggest cost issues affecting the escalating TV bills of American consumers has been the massive increases they’ve been forced to pay in order to receive local broadcast television, television that is available over-the-air for free. Since 2006, retransmission fees charged by local broadcasters have skyrocketed from $200 million to $11.7 billion in 2019 – an increase of more than 5,000%, nearly all of which has been passed on to consumers in the form of higher bills. Rather than address this problem, Congress has instead bowed to further demands from broadcasters to eliminate a law called STELAR, removing hundreds of thousands of consumers’ access to broadcast channels they receive today. Make no mistake, when the screens of those consumers go dark, the sole reason will be that Congress did not act to protect them." (Emphasis added)

    No exact numbers from AT&T, but I assume they are referring to grandfathered customers. Customers in the twelve markets will get their own network channels (and non-network stations) that they currently do not receive. The biggest impact would be felt if AT&T|DIRECTV decides not to cover the 12 markets and all distant service is cut off. That is a decision for AT&T|DIRECTV to make.
     

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