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NAB says it's time to stop selling distant signals

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by FTA Michael, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Geronimo

    Geronimo Native American Potentate DBSTalk Gold Club

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    The supers and distant nets are covered in differnt parts of STEL> Nothing in the original article stated that tehy have come out against the superstations. Do you have something to indicate that they did?
     
  2. CeeWoo

    CeeWoo Godfather

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    Heck, I just wish I could get the same 'distants' than our local cable company (Charter) has. I'm in Central WA State and have Yakima networks, Charter has that as well as the Seattle networks
     
  3. Geronimo

    Geronimo Native American Potentate DBSTalk Gold Club

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    According to this link the NAB has specifically stted they are not discussing superstations.

    http://www.copyright.gov/docs/section302/comments/initial/042511-nab.pdf

    "The nationally distributed superstations are also subject to an exemption from the retranmission consent requirement of the Communications Act. NAB does not object to the retention of that exemption in connection with any enactment of tyhe limited statutory license propsed here."


    As I said before this happens periodically. Someone looks at the language of current or proposed law and decides that the superstations will go away. So far they have always been wrong.

    I do agree thought hat when STELA expires the statutory license will either be extended or it will end. I just don't agree that any reference to distant nets includes the superstations. they are two separate things.
     
  4. James Long

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

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    I hope that they still feel that way. We still have a couple of years to go before the license MUST be extended or the channels be lost.
     
  5. joetex

    joetex Cool Member

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    Thanks James, I guess that although I consider myself a baseball & football fan, I could count the number of games on one hand that I have watched from the San Francisco locals on one hand in all of the years that I have had AAD and I have been with them since they first started offering SF locals. I just enjoy watching news from another area every now and then as a way to break up the monotony of my own local news. Can't see why the NAB would be upset over that.
     
  6. sregener

    sregener Godfather

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    That would be awesome. My understanding is that satellite is already allowed to carry "significantly viewed" channels, but neither satellite company does so. Part of the issue is that pesky "this channel is currently blocked" screen that cable companies have to put up when a distant channel is showing a syndicated program a more local channel has exclusive rights to. The complexity of setting that up is probably the kicker.
     
  7. kenglish

    kenglish Icon

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    Another problem may be the spot beams and how the stations are received.
    A station may be "significantly viewed" within a particular DMA (for instance, Columbus, GA being watched in parts of the Macon DMA), but it would be difficult to receive them at the local satellite POP. In that case, the station would be expected to pay for importing that signal to the pickup point (via microwave, fiber, or an extensive/expensive receive antenna system).
    In those cases, the SV station may not feel the expense is justified.
     
  8. Geronimo

    Geronimo Native American Potentate DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Again my point is that people are assuing that the situation with distant nets applies equally to the supers. It does not.
     
  9. Geronimo

    Geronimo Native American Potentate DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I am not sure that there would be anu point to a station getting its signal to a different PoP. Once it is at one PoP it is uplinked and the satellite provider could use it as it wishes. Exvellent point thogh that just because markets are adjacent does not mean they necessarily are on the same spotbeam------and they may not want to "waste" bandwidth by putting a given station on two spotbeams to serve a limited mark
     
  10. James Long

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

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    An offering "where technologically possible" would work. While the satellite providers should be designing their spot beams to cover entire markets there are a few supersized markets that are hard to cover and small spotbeams that don't cover the market they are intended to cover. The current law makes allowance for such technical problems carrying locals.

    If a customer can get the station via cable (possibly forced cable carriage via the cable version of the significantly viewed station) then it should be able to be offered to that customer via satellite. If the satellite carrier's spotbeams cannot reliably deliver that out of market signal to that customer then they would get a pass on carriage. (Significantly viewed should mean the same thing on satellite as it does on cable.)
     
  11. joblo

    joblo Godfather

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    Great catch! I looked at those pages several times before I noticed that footnote. (#29 on pp. 18-19)

    So I stand corrected re the NAB’s desire w/r/t the nationally distributed superstations, at least as of 2011. And I must admit, I’m a bit surprised, especially given their insistence on applying retrans consent to DNS in the same document.

    Still, my original point stands that Congress is unlikely to continue the superstation license by itself. The Copyright Office has been in favor of phasing out all statutory licensing for years, most especially that which requires them to collect and disperse royalty payments. You can see that bias clearly in their 2011 report required by STELA (which takes into consideration the NAB comments you cited), and in their 2008 report required by the previous revision of the law in 2004:

    http://www.copyright.gov/docs/section302/
    http://www.copyright.gov/docs/section109/

    To me, the most interesting thing in the NAB’s 2011 comments is that they actually favored continuing the DNS license for short markets. The testimony cited in the Eggerton article suggests that position might have changed since 2011.

    Well, yes and no. Dish is still offering superstations, yes, but not everywhere. In many parts of the country, some or all of those stations have been gone for years.

    As the NAB comments explain, superstations, unlike DNS, are subject to syndex and network non-dup deletions, and Dish’s policy has been to drop either the CW supers or non-CW supers or both, as applicable, whenever any local station makes a syndex or network non-dup claim.

    This is why you don’t see the NAB complaining about superstations, per se, because they really don’t represent any threat at all to the local stations the NAB represents. In fact, Dish’s superstations could disappear entirely, without any changes to the law, if enough local stations made syndex/non-dup claims.

    This is also why Dish is unlikely to ever offer those stations in HD, because doing so might lead many more stations to make syndex/non-dup claims, thus rendering them unprofitable.

    But note that while the NAB, correctly, does not see the supers as a threat to local stations, rights holders have generally argued that superstation royalty payments are below market value, so there will always be pressure to discontinue that license.
     
  12. joblo

    joblo Godfather

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    SV doesn’t work on satellite because it is subject to retrans consent, and many stations are likely prohibited by affiliation or syndication contracts from granting such consent outside their own DMAs.

    Note that the distant “superstations” license really applies to all out-of-market “non-network” stations, and yet nobody uses it except for the special half dozen. That’s because those are the only ones with a grandfathered exemption to retrans consent.

    If the NAB and the Copyright Office get their way and the retrans consent requirement is applied to DNS, then DNS will also be severely curtailed, if not ended.
     
  13. sregener

    sregener Godfather

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    I'm confused. Retransmission consent is different from must-carry. Must-carry states that a channel must be carried at no cost if a full-powered station wants carriage. Retransmission consent means that a station withholds the signal until they have a signed contract with the providers laying out compensation. Almost no network full-power station in the US uses must-carry. I find it hard to believe they would do so with cable providers outside their official market. Thus, they must be entering into retransmission consent contracts with those cable companies, and if they can do that, what makes satellite different?
     
  14. Rickt1962

    Rickt1962 Legend

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    LOL I miss those days ! I remember putting the Sat Reciever in scan mode and manually holding the toggle switch as my Dish would turn slowly till i could see channels starting to show up on the screen ! If I remember I think G4 was my favorite
     
  15. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    "Significantly Viewed" was originally designed as a mechanism that was beneficial to both the station and the cable operator. As an example, take the west-central Connecticut region between the NYC DMA and the Hartford/New Haven DMA. While portions of that region are in the Hartford/New Haven DMA, the NYC stations are "significantly viewed" as well, and can be received OTA. If a cable operator only had the "in-market" signals available, it would be at a disadvantage in selling its service. At the same time, carriage on the cable system makes reception easier, enlarging the station's potential audience and potentially improving it's ratings.

    The problem is that almost all SV arrangements are historical. They arose back when most stations were eager to be carried on cable. Now, the dynamic has reversed and the stations see their content as a valuable product and extract as much money from cable operators as possible. I'd be surprised if any channels have been added to cable system under SV in the last 5 or 10 years.

    Because of this changing dynamic, SV has been a moot point for satellite. It simply has not been worth the hassle (contractual or technical) for satellite to pursue SV authorization.

    On the original point...

    If the NAB wants the market to rule, then why not let the market lead? If a network is available, whether by primary or sub channel, then that one must carried and delivered via satellite (IOW the current rules). However, if the network is not available, satellite may import another from a different market.

    To say that the capacity is there to deliver all networks everywhere is specious unless it is actually being used. If it is "just a matter or contract negotiation" then it is up to the NAB's members to do the negotiations. Until they do, it should be the right of anyone that can deliver the network in question to the unserved viewers to do so.
     
  16. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    I dont think this is true at least not completely true. Stations considered significantly viewed in specific counties are because they can be viewed OTA and Cable is not required to carry those channels.
     
  17. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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  18. Geronimo

    Geronimo Native American Potentate DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Thanks joshjr. A great find!
     
  19. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    I watched it and then called a FCC contact to ask additional questions. This is a topic of great interest to me. They should of had a DirecTV rep there to answer questions. I think alot of the DNS stuff applies to them more so than Dish. The lady for the NAB can just shove it. She basically does not care anything about people in short markets. Her examples do not apply to everyone. There are short markets and people that would lose out STELA is not extended. Dont act like it wont!!!! She shocked me at her narrow minded views of things. I would of asked her point blank about customers missing out on programming for being in short markets that do not have an alternative. They stated there were 21 short markets. Thats enough to do something about it.

    She hated Mr. Dodges view, that people in orphan counties should be able to pick one in state channel to get the in state programming. She also didnt like it when he said he thought that the retrans agreements should be on a more level playing field. He stated the programers had the upper hand and she obviously just thought there should be no changes to that. She represents the group that holds the providers hostage. Of course she dont want to see changes to that. I just really didnt care for about anything that came out of her mouth.

    Not to mention the lady that basically represented PBS. They already had their day. There was nothing really new there for them. I can not wait till the next one of these. They are always very interesting. Its time we get the changes right and dont just extend the existing agreement. We have until 12-31-14 to get it right this time.
     
  20. James Long

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

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    Cable is required to set aside a certain amount of their channel lineup for local stations. The number varies depending on the number of channels that they carry. Once they hit that quota they do not have to carry other stations. So the "requirement" to carry (or offer carriage, since stations can refuse) is not the carry one/carry all in a market like satellite. In other words, there can be channels that they are not required to carry.

    However in filling that quota, if they have slots available and have not met their requirement a station that can prove that they are significantly viewed in a specific defined area (could be a county or city ... even a township) can make the cable operator carry their channel.

    For cable, the Sigificantly Viewed designation is a wake up call for the cable operator to consider the channel a local channel that people actually view in the area in question. "Hey, we're here, and enough people actually watch our channel that you should have it on your cable system."

    For satellite it is more of a may carry maybe. I'd like to see that changed.
     

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