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Local channels

Discussion in 'Legislative and Regulatory Issues' started by Taylor, Mar 23, 2005.

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  1. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Here is my situation:
    I live in the Harrisonburg DMA and based on zip code, I am not allowed to receive local stations through DirecTV. When I asked to get the distant feeds, they said I needed a waiver from 5 stations because they are local to me. Makes sense so far.......

    What I don't understand is that 3 of these 5 stations are being broadcast by DirecTV over satellite. If I need a waiver because they are local, why can't I just receive those stations?

    Any help clearing this up would be appreciated. DirecTV has been no help explaining this to me.

    On another note...... The FCC website says that waivers not answered after 30 days are considered "granted." DirecTV says that their policy is 45 days. I don't think I can trust them with anything they tell me.
  2. News Junky

    News Junky Icon

    Mar 16, 2005
    I might be wrong but DirecTV is required to offer you the Harrisonburg local stations if they in fact carry them. What they cannot do is offer you New York, Los Angeles or any other city's local station as long as you're in the Harrisonburg TV market even if you have waivers.

    Its wierd and complicated.
  3. Greg Bimson

    Greg Bimson Hall Of Fame

    May 5, 2003
    You'd better believe it...
    Ok. It does make sense...

    1) You reside in a market where DirecTV does not provide local channels, the Harrisonburg DMA. Therefore, in order to receive an "out-of-market" feed, DirecTV must request waivers from any station that says you can receive their signal with an antenna.
    The Harrisonburg DMA consists of 2 full power stations: WHSV, ABC channel 3; and WVPT, Virginia's Public Television, broadcasting on channel 51. Since DirecTV does not carry the stations in your local market, the other three stations must be out of your market. The process for significantly-viewed has not made it onto DirecTV or Dish Network at this time, so you are unable to receive these channels from a neighboring market.

    I'm curious as to which channels you believe are local to you.
    Because DirecTV (and Dish Network) do not submit the waiver request the moment you ask for it. They normally process a load of them at a time. So, it can take up to 15 days for DirecTV (and Dish Network) to process a waiver request to Decision Mark (a company that specializes in television broadcast coverage).
    No, if Taylor receives waivers from the stations that broadcast in his/her area, s/he will have the ability to receive the New York and/or Los Angeles network channels from DirecTV. This is because DirecTV does not carry the Harrisonburg channels.
  4. SamC

    SamC Hall Of Fame

    Jan 20, 2003
    Its a hole in the law, and one the Congress did not fix.

    First, you have the idea of "local into local". Meaning that DBS has the right to carry your local stations to you, based on a map that is based on county lines. You live in the Harrisonburg DMA and DBS could offer you the Harrisonburg stations. But, because of economics, the market being too small, DirecTV chooses not to offer locals in the Harrisonburg DMA.

    OK, now you need to qualify for "distants". To do that you have to be outside the reception range of a station of that particular network, called a "Grade B Contour". Or get a waiver from that station. Your home is inside the Grade B of 5 stations, three of them being in neighboring DMAs.

    IMHO, the next time they rewrite the law, DBS should be allowed to simply offer you any channel that you are within the Grade B of, or any channel that a cable company in your same county carries.
  5. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    I understand that I would need to get a waiver from my local stations in the Harrisonburg DMA. DirecTV has said that I need a waiver from stations broadcast from Washington DC. I read on another website that the DMA is only a guideline as to what local channels to offer people.

    I also emailed Neilsen Media about the DMA and they said that if a network is not part of my DMA (ie FOX) then I should be able to receive stations from a DMA close to mine.
  6. joblo

    joblo Godfather

    Dec 10, 2003
    Staunton, VA is served by translators for WTTG-FOX-5 in DC, WUSA-CBS-9 in DC, and WVIR-NBC-29 in Charlottesville, VA.

    These stations could be provided as part of locals service if the H'burg stations were also provided, but carry-one-carry-all rule for local service precludes them from offering you just these three channels, even if they are already uplinked for other markets.

    They could, however, make just these three stations available as distants if the stations granted station-specific waivers for their own signals.

    However, as far as I know, D* policy is to offer only NY/LA stations as distants, which significantly reduces the likelihood of waivers being granted.
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