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FCC Bureau Moves on 61.5-Degree DBS Issues

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Chris Blount, Dec 6, 2004.

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  1. Dec 6, 2004 #1 of 11
    Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    The International Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission moved on issues concerning DBS spectrum last week, restricting use of a portion of one orbital location used by a handful of companies.

    At issue is two unassigned DBS channels at 61.5 degrees, an orbital location used by EchoStar and VOOM from Cablevision and Rainbow DBS. Also, Dominion uses an EchoStar satellite to deliver its services from the orbital location, and has a license for DBS capacity at the slot.

    The bureau released an order Friday that would prohibit companies with DBS operations at orbital locations capable of providing DBS service to all 50 states from acquiring, owning or controlling two channels currently available for licensing at the 61.5-degreee orbital location for four years. The order also covers any subsidiaries and entities those companies with full-CONUS operations control, the order said. Also, the bureau order would prohibit those same companies from leasing the channels during the same period.

    "Because these channels are the only remaining unassigned DBS channels in the 12 GHz DBS band that could provide service to the Eastern half of the continental United States, we conclude that such a restriction on eligibility to use them will serve the public interest by helping to promote the development of an additional provider of DBS services," the bureau said in its order.

    The bureau said Rainbow DBS, the licensee of 11 channels at 61.5 degrees, supported adoption of the eligibility criteria, and apparently the Cablevision unit had proposed the idea to the commission. However, EchoStar, which also is the licensee of 11 channels at the orbital location, opposed adoption of eligibility restrictions for the license for the two available channels, the bureau said.

    http://www.skyreport.com (Used with permission)
  2. Dec 6, 2004 #2 of 11

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    So exactly how is a company with 2 and only transponders supposed to compete with *anything*? How are they supposed to *develop* anything when they'll have, what, 20 channels tops to sell? or perhaps just 5 or so HDTV?
  3. Dec 6, 2004 #3 of 11

    kenglish Icon

    Oct 2, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    They could build an advertising-supported network of, maybe 10-12 channels. Any old DISH or DirecTV 18" dish, together with a $150 FTA receiver, would work for viewing.

    Might be a great way to add some regional nets, some ethnic programming, or even some right-of-the-left, but left-of-the-right "semi-political" programming.

    Of course, they could also do scrambled stuff, and charge for it, but that would add a lot of expensive infrastructure.
  4. Dec 6, 2004 #4 of 11

    wcswett Godfather

    Jan 7, 2003
    Well, Sky Angel doesn't have too much more than that. I could see another specialty package, particularly ethnic or educational, created at that location and delivered under contract by EchoStar or Voom.

    --- WCS
  5. Dec 6, 2004 #5 of 11

    JohnH Hall Of Fame

    Apr 22, 2002
  6. Dec 6, 2004 #6 of 11

    LauderDave Mentor

    Jan 5, 2004
    With orders like this, combined with the fact that the FCC already turned down E*'s attempt to buy D*, it sure seems like the FCC is determined to promote competition in the DBS realm. Did the piece mention that Cablevision supported the measure? And does anyone really expect them to keep propping up that money pit Voom? So, naturally they're looking out for their core business. The heavy handed lobbying of the cable industry is apparent in a number of the FCC's decisions over the last couple of years in reference to DBS providers. When will the FCC do something about the lack of competition in cable, since it's so worried about satellite competion?
  7. Dec 7, 2004 #7 of 11

    BabaLouie AllStar

    Apr 2, 2004
    If I had some $$, I would love to get involved in putting something like this together--a platform for a few channels: educational, special interest, news, old classic tv shows, movies, kid's stuff, maybe some independent documentaries, sports programming, and new avenue for lower-budget original programming. It would be free to the viewer, and advertiser supported. Some of the channels could eventually go to HD. An alternative to what's out there already, but at the same time, a good addition to what's out there.
  8. Dec 7, 2004 #8 of 11
    Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

    Apr 14, 2002
    That sounds pretty good. I bet one could even get away with charging a small fee for certain channels to receive them if it comes down to it and the cheap service would attract many to it, but offer several for free as well with the money generated from advertisement.
  9. James Long

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

    Apr 17, 2003
    SkyAngel doesn't have ANY more than that. All of their channels are hosted on two transponders. They may "use" another transponder if the "a la carte" family friendly TV offering is started up. It would be E* channels sold to SA customers in a mini-pack.

    I don't know what kind of nitch is available, but as long as the powers that be won't sell the spectrum to any of the current satellite providers it's open for whomever wants to make a grab.

    BTW: SkyAngel remains elligible for the bandwidth, as their current spectrum assignments do not cover all 50 states. :D

  10. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Let Michael Moore get a couple more hack documentaries in the can, and we could have the "ABC" (Anti-Bush Channel), a 24/7 political rant against W. :D

    (Word has it Jeb is considering running for the top job in 2008. The Bush dynasty (die-nasty?) rolls on...
  11. Foxbat

    Foxbat Legend

    Aug 1, 2003
    It's called FSTV, channel 9415.
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