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EchoStar Rejected by High Court Justice, Must Halt Distant Networks

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by Chris Blount, Aug 22, 2006.

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  1. kstuart

    kstuart Icon

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    Actually, my main point is that if you call up all the poeople who will lose their Distant Network channels and say:
    less than 10% of the people will be able to answer correctly. (and only a fraction of those will actually do anything about losing them other than obtain their own local channels from Dish,cable, or OTA).
    My in-laws have Dish Network, and they have distants. So, I called them when this was announced, and it turns out that they didn't even realize they have the distants, and long ago, they bought the locals on a locals-only feed from cable for $12/month. They are definitely above average in intelligence, but like most people, don't understand anything technical outside their field.

    Here's another point:

    - Suppose you have sales people call all the Dish Network customers with Distants, and try to get them to switch to DirecTV in order to get Distants.
    - Then I have sales people call the same number of Dish Network customers without Distants, and try to get them to switch to DirecTV.

    I haven't the slightest doubt that the number who switch in the two groups will be equal. Human beings don't do such things for rational reasons, they do them because they are sold the idea.

    PS DNS is Domain Name Server.
     
  2. BobS

    BobS Legend

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    LIL is a statutory license under 17 USC 122, not 17 USC 119. It has nothing to do with this issue except as it is referenced as a bar to the applicability of the statutory license in 17 USC 119 (no distant where locals). Must carry and retransmission consent of locals are not germane.

    Well, yes if E* is issued an injunction to do X, then they must do X or Charlie goes to jail. But you are mistaken. Perhaps it is the nomeclature. The permission that Party A gives to Party B to do something that Party A has legal control over is a “license.” Now the piece of paper may be referred to as a contract but the fact is that both concepts are present. What I said was that the statutory license (that is a license forced by the government) is a substitute for the contract (and by implication license) between Party A and Party B. It is this STATUTORY LICENSE (I am shouting for emphasis) that 17 USC 119 controls. This STATUTORY LICENSE has restrictions. Violation of this STATUTORY LICENSE in the manner E* has been found to have done has the mandatory penalty of termination of this STATUTORY LICENSE. CBS-HD is not done by STATUTORY LICENSE. Therefore CBS-HD cannot be terminated by revocation of this STATUTORY LICENSE, just as ESPN or HSN cannot. Now it may be that CBS and E* may cancel the arrangement because of the termination of DNS but that is a secondary impact not a direct result of this case. The penalties for violation of 17 USC 122 are similar, but not identical to 17 USC 119.

    Here is the problem. A waiver is not the same as the statutory license. A waiver is a relinquishing of legal protections by the local affiliate. This is a step IN ADDITION to the license. Thus if you are in Grade B you are presumed to have service and the local affiliate is protected from importation. If the local affiliate waives its protection then you may use the statutory license to force the content owner (which typically is NOT the local affiliate) to provide you (via E*) network programming. If the local affiliate does provide a waiver (give permission), it does not matter what anybody else wants to do. Even if the subscriber owned the network and all the programming and E*, he could not get DNS without a waiver.

    I do not know what KRON does and does not "own." Apparently the agreements among the parites allow for this – KRON has OTA and CBS has DBS. Just because everything is legal does not mean it was done under a “blanket waiver.” Isn’t KRON an independent station? If so, a waiver wouldn’t be needed. I’m quite sure that CBS has legal authority to send what it does via DBS. If KRON were to sue, it would be under its syndication contract and not copyright law.

    I have no doubt you believe what you say. However, whatever the legal details, this issue has nothing to do with the statutory license under 17 USC 119 and thus could not be (directly) impacted by the recent court decision.
     
  3. Paul Secic

    Paul Secic Hall Of Fame

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    I couldn't care less if I lost netorks. To me network television is a crock.
     
  4. foghorn2

    foghorn2 AllStar

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    This topic is overblown. Some will suffer, most won't.

    D* people are the ones who are making a big deal over it and a few who will lose distants who will flock over.

    E* should just focus on adding more locals, more birds and more HD and all will be fine.
     
  5. DennyC

    DennyC Legend

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    I'm one long time DISH subscriber (since '96) that wil bolt to Direct the minute my distants are cut off-- and I know a LOT of people in similar situations that will do the same.

    Right now, I receive both coasts, plus the Phoenix locals, using a General Delivery address in western Arizona. I was a fulltime RV'er at the time I started using that address, but RV waivers hadn't been invented yet-- you just told DISH where you were (I used to give them a new address every time I changed time zones and minutes later all was right with the world). No locals back then, of course.

    Now I live in the Phoenix area in a fixed abode most of the year, but when I travel in the RV (as I am now-- I'm typing this from Berea, Kentucky) I rely on the distant network package. If DISH isn't able to supply them, I'll switch to Direct, get an RV waiver, and resolve both the distant network AND pending DVR issues. It'll be a costly move for me (I just had a $2000 dish installed on the motorhome that elevates and aims itself at both 110 and 119 with the push of a single button-- don't know yet what it will cost to convert that to Direct TV), but we watch the networks a lot when we're on the road; not having that capability is unacceptable.
     
  6. BobS

    BobS Legend

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    Why are you using a general delivery address in western AZ? You live in Phoenix (=PHX locals) and you are an RV'er (=DNS). Are you that far out when traveling? Right now you probably can pick up Lexington OTA.


     
  7. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    But if you want to keep up with the water cooler conversation, you pretty much need to be watching Lost or American Idol. It isn't about quality, it is about broad access and marketing.
     
  8. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    IF there was a legal way to pay for distant networks... I might actually be interested in doing that... for places I used to live, or somewhere far away just out of curiosity. Of course the network programming would be the same, so the only reason I would be interested would be for the "local" news and programs specific to those markets. Which again points to the oddness of people being so mad at their locals and hating them, and not realizing that their locals are someone else's distants!

    I also imagine there may be a lot of others like me who would have a similar interest if they could do so legally... BUT, I would be willing to bet that the actual number of people who find the lack of distants to be an absolutel deal-breaker would be a smaller number than some in the forums seem to think. Sure, probably a lot of disappointment... but I can't imagine but a small number actually having this as their primary driving force for TV needs.
     
  9. DennyC

    DennyC Legend

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    Because it works, and has for almost a decade. Why rock the boat? When all this nonsense about DMA's and white areas and RV waivers started, I watched a lot of people try to comply with the rules-- and end up losing their distant nets as the result of their efforts. I did nothing, and still have mine (well, at least I do today....).

    I can do without the Phoenix locals (they're available OTA or on cable at our Phoenix home), but I can't do without the distant nets-- we spend a LOT of time traveling in areas where there's little or no OTA reception. Here in Berea, I'm able to get extremely poor reception of most of the Lexington nets, but at our last stop (Franklin, Kentucky) I was able to receive only one OTA station (a CBS broadcast from somewhere), and next week we'll be heading to Opelika, Alabama-- an area that doesn't qualify for distants or locals, yet has no OTA reception.

    It's just easier to just watch distant nets as we travel, rather than try to figure out what, if anything, is available OTA each night. If DISH loses the capability to provide that service, we'll have no choice but to switch to Direct.
     
  10. minnow

    minnow Legend

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    I get a kick out of some of you guys that attempt to marginalize the effect the loss of DNS will have. Obviously from your carefree comments, you don't rely upon DNS for the basic networks. I can assure you that those of us E* customers that currently get DNS and can legally get them from Direct will do so. This is an important issue for many of us regardless of how some you attempt to trivialize it.
     
  11. boylehome

    boylehome Hall Of Fame/Supporter

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    This is a good assurance. Those who can legally get distant network channels will benefit by going to Directv. From what I understand, Directv is legally doing business respective to DNS. The day the the DNS switch is turned off at E*, I wonder what E* will do to sweeten the pot so to keep those legitimate DNS subscribers?
     
  12. BobS

    BobS Legend

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    I don't think anybody who has a RV situation has had a problem. If you do switch to D*, I don't think the setup you have will be accepted. They will insist on the RV paperwork. You are completely legit - there is no need for you to play an address game - that's what I couldn't understand.

    Make perfect sense. That is why there is an RV exception. Forgive my ignorance but do you only have reception when stopped or do you have some sort of tracking mechanism that allows the non-driver (only, I hope!) to watch DNS? (Incidentally this is why I though OTA made more sense - no problem watching while on the go).

    Incidentally, this is why the QUOTE function can be a problem. You cannot respond sectionwise without cutting/pasting the quote tags and you need to write something outside the quoted area to process. I don't think this makes it any clear who said what.
     
  13. AllieVi

    AllieVi Hall Of Fame

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    I agree. Those of us in urban/suburban areas won't lose network programming - we'll just have to be satisfied with our local provider.

    Satellite subscribers in rural areas with no locals will be affected. If DISH can't deliver the networks, those people will be motivated to switch. It's hard to say how many customers will be affected, though. AFAIK, DISH doesn't provide such statistics.
     
  14. Greg Bimson

    Greg Bimson Hall Of Fame

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    And I never said they were germane.

    Let's say a few local broadcasters haul Dish Network into court. They feel that there are entirely too many subscribers "moving", and would like to have the practice stopped. Then, the courts feel that so many of Dish Network's customers are moving that the courts issue an injunction against the local channel license.

    Local channels either choose retransmission consent or must-carry. If must-carry is chosen, of course the local channel license was used. However, if retransmission consent is used, the local channel license is also in the contract. With my example, if the courts issue an injunction, all local channels are gone.

    Just because there is a contract between Party A and Party B doesn't mean there aren't any government given licenses involved. After all, all local channels are under the license given in 17 USC 122. So when this is stated:
    When I hear that CBS-HD is not done by statutory license, I must ask:

    1) Everyone realizes that all local channels and their contracts refer to the license given in 17 USC 122, which means if an injunction ever comes to pass on that license, all local channels are shut-off even though there is a contract between the local broadcaster and Dish Network?

    2) CBS does not own all of the programming shown on WCBS and KCBS. So when Dish Network and CBS signed the agreement for carriage, was anyone present in the room to know if the license given by 17 USC 119 was in the contract?

    To point 2), I believe the license is in the contract, as it is the only real way CBS could clear the copyrights on the programming they don't own on WCBS and KCBS.

    You all can fight with me about this.

    Think about it. I am sitting in range of a CBS affiliate owned by CBS (WJZ Baltimore) and another owned by Gannet (WUSA DC). If I receive my HD waiver, I can get WCBS from New York.

    But that waiver is only being requested of the DC station, as the Baltimore station has already given its "waiver". If the DC station issues the waiver, I get the CBS-HD distant. But I am now DEFINITELY using that license, and my CBS HD will be revoked once the distant network license is terminated.

    Is the contract between CBS HD and Dish Network looking more and more like a "blanket waiver" under the terms of 17 USC 119 now?
     
  15. James Long

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

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    Sept 1999: 879,808 subscribers including 331,586 former PrimeTime 24 subscribers
    April 2002:
    Of the 898,847 ABC subscribers, 50.9% (457,584) were predicted to receive a Grade B or better signal from an ABC station; 28.5% (255,980) of those were Grade A.
    Of the 864,494 CBS subscribers, 55.7% (481,659) were predicted to receive a Grade B or better signal from a CBS station; 28.2% (244,022) of those were Grade A.
    Of the 993,490 Fox subscribers, 38.7% (383,987) were predicted to receive a Grade B or better signal from a Fox station; 25.8% (256,741) of those were Grade A.
    Of the 867,240 NBC subscribers, 56.4% (489,315) were predicted to receive a Grade B or better signal from an NBC station; 29.6% (256,503) of those were Grade A.​
    While less than one million of our subscribers purchase distant network channels from us, termination of distant network programming to those subscribers would result, among other things, in a reduction in average monthly revenue per subscriber and free cash flow, and a temporary increase in subscriber churn.​

    Looks consistant at just less than a million subscribers. No breakdown of rural in the current figure but the court decision data is only a couple of years old. None of the customers receiving Grade B or higher would be able to get distants via D*. We're talking less than half a million before eliminating those who live in markets with network locals.
     
  16. James Long

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

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    I believe that it is clear that 17 USC 119 is for distants and 17 USC 122 is for "within local markets" - LIL.
     
  17. kstuart

    kstuart Icon

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    One of the points people miss is that while out of 850,000, 480,000 receive a Grade B signal, but it doesn't state how many are still subscribing to distants, despite locals being available by Dish (and probably DirecTV as well).

    As stated in the thread, many people enjoy having two different channels of each network, so that when one pre-empts due to a car chase, weather report, or sports overtime, they can just watch the network show on the other channel.

    All those people will simply be told that they can no longer get NY or LA, but they can get their local channels on Dish, and will do so. (And all the grandfathered people already lose that status if they move from one DBS provider to another.)

    The only important statistic is - how many Dish subscribers are in the areas that still don't have locals by satellite ?
     
  18. James Long

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

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    Less likely on D* (they have less markets). The 'special offer' from D* only covers 10 markets. The important part of the numbers given is how many people receive distants without a Grade B signal ... these are the only people who will be able to go to D* and get distants (without going back through the waiver process).

    It would be nice to see how many of the "850,000" or "less than one million" distant customers have LIL available. E* does have a lot of markets covered.
    I wouldn't call it the only important statistic.

    E* does claim (Tech Chat on August 14th at 6mins into program) that they cover 96% of the TV households in the US with LIL service. (Obviously that isn't the subscriber count.) They need to bring that up to 100% ASAP.
     
  19. odbrv

    odbrv AllStar

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    Unfortunately, D* has fewer local markets. When I lose my grandfathered distants, I will not go to D* unless they can guarantee me distants. D* does not carry my locals. In addition , It will cost over $800 for me to match my equipment with D* to get less HD. I guess I will stay with E* and save $11.98 per month and have to put up with poor local PQ. Now if I lose the right to use my DVRs, that will be a more impacting decision maker.
     
  20. kstuart

    kstuart Icon

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    That jives with my very very rough estimate based on Tony's DMAs covered by Dish Chart that over 97% of households have Dish locals available.

    A lot of the remaining ones are the smallest DMAs, averaging only 65,000 households. I think some of them are small due to broadcaster politics, rather than always being due to remoteness. This is because they are likely to be the ones with the least number of existing Dish subscribers, as well as the smallest ones. Once you get to 96-97%, you're going to have covered the smaller DMAs that happen to have a higher Dish subscriber base.

    Anyway, roughly 350,000 without Grade B. I think that due to the above, saying that 4% don't have Dish locals available is a high figure. Rounding up, that makes 15,000 subscribers.

    Some of those, like my in-laws, are going to already be subscribers to locals-only cable package or may do so now.

    I think that Dish will lose more customers to DirecTV due to the delay in adding Setanta Sports than due to losing the Distants.
     
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