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NYC local channels in Bucks County, PA

Discussion in 'Legislative and Regulatory Issues' started by PP123, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. PP123

    PP123 New Member

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    Jan 9, 2016
    Newtown, PA
    Appreciate this and all your other feedback. I'll see what can be done with the roof mounting situation and/or attic. Too bad there isnt a way to just get these channels from the cable or sat providers.. being a paying customer and all, I would have expected (hoped) that I am entitled to get the channels I want if I pay for them, especially if the providers are capable of delivering them (which they are)...too bad regulations (dictated by marketing/ money) come in the way...
     
  2. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    While I agree with you I understand what happens with this. DirecTV offers the Distant Network Signals (NYC and or LA local channels) to anyone who qualifies and those channels are available nationally. What happens every time the bill comes up to extend the DNS feeds and anyone wants to alter it to allow exceptions there is a hearing with the Committee for Technology where they bring in a rep from DirecTV or Dish, sometimes specific stations or companies that own stations, FCC and someone from the NAB.

    The NAB whines that the locals paid for the right to be exclusive in their local area and that they make their money from add revenue that is generated based on the fact that the commercials are reaching their audience in that area. When another signal is allowed in, that is not happening. NAB also says that due to emergency broadcasts, its better to get the stations you are supposed to get.

    I dont fully agree with that as stated above, my locals tend not to care about me as I am the only county in this state that they cover. The NAB also says that there should be no distant signals for anyone. the distant signals were designed for people who were missing one of the major affiliates in their market and they didnt want to be denied the right or watching programming due to no fault of their own. Per the NAB they dont care if there is no CBS in your market. They dont think you should get an out of market signal from any provider. That being said, someone usually asks them arnt they the same group that things that artists should not get paid for having their music heard on the radio? They tend not to answer that question.

    They are also the group (NAB) that claims there are less blackouts and that the stations dont need anyone stepping in to assist with any local channel negotiations either. Its usually brought up that there was a higher amount of blackouts from this than the last year and the NAB acts like its nothing. In the end the NAB dont care about customers. They care about themselves getting their money and that is it.

    It boils down to there are enough rich people that control the politicians so that there are never any changes. This is and was a huge reason why I persued the Significantly Viewed stations here. There was no stopping it if the significantly viewed stations and DirecTV both struck a deal and everyone in my county with DirecTV benefited form it. It was the ultimate win. We now have 2 in state locals from another DMA and no other provider in my county can say they even offer one. If you want in state locals, to know about bad weather before it gets here or better sports options to watch via locals, DirecTV or a huge antenna is the only way to get it in my county.

    Not to mention part of the fun of doing this was to stick it to the GM of the CBS and FOX stations in Pittsburg Kansas. That D-bag would never approve my waiver when we didnt have locals in my area. He said he would never do a deal with DirecTV because they lied to him in the past and that was that. I even offered to do the site test as I was pretty sure I would qualify for FOX. When digital became the standard, it wasnt really updated for a long time what the standard was for a site test for a digital signal which to me meant that the station could say the test failed for any reason and get away with it. Both parties had to agree to the tester and I am sure the station would not agree to anyone who would approve me.

    Eventually after submitting my own waivers myself on DirecTVs website and resubmitting the same day they were denied, I was granted them. I dont know if someone got sick of seeing my requests or I heard that they let their license with the company that maintains the waivers and it automatically approved me. Waivers for DNS feeds are a pain in the ass. The law is written that if a station does not reply to a waiver request after 30 days the waiver is considered approved. DirecTV says its 45 days but then refuses to approve it even if its not approved after 45 days. I think they dont want to piss off the local affiliate because eventually the contract will be up again and they dont want bad blood at the table.

    Any ways, sorry for the long version here. Getting out of market local channels is not super easy when you want someone else to provide them. This is why antennas exist. It is also one of those things that if you want something done about it, your gonna have to work on it yourself and push and work hard to hopefully get anything in return.

    There was another option not to long ago that might be worth reading up on. The below company wass offering NYC locals to people for a monthly subscription fee. I know they lost in court though and suspended service. It appears now though that they were bought by TiVo so they must of thought they could do something with it. Might look into that more and see what came of that and if there is a new option there that would work for you. Dont forget slingboxes as well. There are options. Its a matter of how much you are willing to spend and or how much time you are willing to spend to get what you want.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aereo
     
  3. James Long

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

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    Michiana
    Under current law the customer is considered served if there is an in market affiliate. If Bucks County PA has a local affiliate there can be no distant of that network. Limited grandfathering is allowed for customers who got the service when they qualified but every time the law is adjusted less people qualify. The best one can expect is that congress scratches out the old expiration date for distants and writes in a new one. Expecting congress to lift restrictions on distants is vain.


    Aereo offered several markets before they were shut down for copyright violation but they never intended to offer distant stations. They limited their services to people within each DMA, so unless the customer committed fraud Aereo would not sell NYC locals to customers outside of the NYC market. (The same applied in the other markets they served.)

    What got them shut down was not getting permission from the stations for their content. On satellite and cable stations have been given the right to refuse rebroadcast or the right to demand rebroadcast. Stations choosing the right to refuse (consent to carry) usually ask for something in return. Money is common. Aereo did not ask for permission to rebroadcast the local signals, let alone give the stations anything in exchange for such permission.

    Perhaps under new ownership Aereo will return and operate within the law. But their service was not distant channels. They did not offer NYC locals to Bucks County PA and if they follow the laws set forth for cable and satellite they never will.
     
  4. cpalmer2k

    cpalmer2k New Member

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    May 24, 2010
    After looking over DirecTV's significantly viewed list it doesn't appear that the NYC stations are provided as SV'd in any part of the Philadelphia market according to their listings. Cable companies might provide them, but it doesn't look like DirecTV does. The only place I can find any of the NY affiliates being Significantly Viewed stations is in the New Haven, CT market and even then not all of them are.
     
  5. PP123

    PP123 New Member

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    Jan 9, 2016
    Newtown, PA
    Thanks! I actually have an apartment/ address in the NYC area as well so perhaps that can help in some way with the Aereo suggestion. I just wanted some way to get in Bucks county as well (unfortunately SlingBox wasnt a viable option since the TV is in use at the location as well).
     
  6. cpalmer2k

    cpalmer2k New Member

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    May 24, 2010
    You mentioned you have Verizon as your TV provider at your location, I assume you're using cable at the NYC apartment location as well?
     
  7. James Long

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

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    BTW: Aereo is out of business (as noted, their legal concerns were greater than where they provided service).

    Without the stations being on the current "Significantly Viewed" list for your county DIRECTV cannot provide the stations (unlike a cable operator who can provide stations that are not on the SV list but generally doesn't unless they are close stations). Even when stations are on the list carriage is not required by satellite (but is required by cable).

    We could use an overhaul of the laws that cover retransmission by cable and satellite but that will not be soon in coming. These "cable can/satellite cannot" "cable must/satellite cannot" type of disparages will continue. In your situation it appears no one is providing NYC to your county. Which certainly does not encourage other carriers to compete by adding NYC locals (if allowed by law).
     
  8. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    I dont think this is true. Where I live, three of the big four from the next closest DMA (Tulsa) are on that list for my county and the cable company in town carries none of them. They used to but have not carried even one in the last year or maybe even two years. I do agree that the laws/rules are different for cable versus satellite and that is unfair. Hopefully that changes in the future.
     
  9. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    What is/was unknown here at least on my part was how Aereo handled significantly viewed. I am unsure if they were able to offer stations that were on that lsit in neighboring DMA's. Also there were other reasons Aereo was being discussed but not to violate anything. We do not encourage that on this site.
     
  10. James Long

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

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    Perhaps oversimplified ... the reason for Significantly Viewed (long before satellite) was to get cable systems to carry local channels that had significant viewership in their communities. The station would prove that they were watched (via OTA antenna) a certain percentage of the audience in that community. They would be added to the list and consider a local station for cable companies in that community.

    Unlike satellite, cable companies do not have to carry every local station in their market or community. The number of local stations required is based on the size of the system. Smaller systems may reach that quota before getting to the SV stations. Cable is generally not required to carry stations that do not reach their local receive facility - which may not be in the community served. So "cable must" has a couple of caveats.

    When Congress applied the SV list to satellite they made carriage completely optional. Satellite must offer carriage to every station within a DMA but is not required to deliver stations from other DMAs - and are forbidden from delivering stations from other DMAs unless they are on the SV list or fit the narrow definition of a distant (in markets where there is no other affiliate of that network).

    Certainly not a level playing field.


    The way their business ended it turned out that they were not able to offer any stations in any DMA. But the point of my previous post was that Aereo never attempted to deliver distant stations (under the legal definition of an out of market network station). They also never attempted to deliver significantly viewed stations.

    The only stations that Aereo ever attempted to offer were local-into-local. Their service, if it still existed, would not help anyone outside of each local market they served. Aereo made a point of not selling NYC locals outside of the NYC local markets. The same followed for their other markets. Local-into-local.

    Since they are no longer in service and their service model has been deemed illegal (they carried local stations in their own market without asking permission) they really are of no help for the problem expressed in this thread.
     
  11. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    No but it was worth mentioning since they did get bought by TiVo they would not of wasted their money obtaining them if they didnt see some value there. Who knows. Maybe it will come back in one form or another. Also I agree with you on the non level playing field between Cable and Satellite. Everytime the renewal is up for the DNS feeds they sweep the other issues back under the rug. That can only happen so long. There are issues that need to be addressed one of these days. Alot of those laws are severly outdated.
     
  12. James Long

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

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    I believe the value is in the technology ... receive antennas, DVRs and transmission to viewing devices. The problem with Aereo was permission. A company "playing by the rules" that gets permission from the broadcasters (and likely pays their extorted prices) will do better. The question will come down to what type of system this is ... it isn't satellite or cable, so what are the boundries for must carry and must offer carriage? A question any new service must answer.

    One issue that has come up is that the stations object to being streamed. Even those who have signed licensing agreements to cable and satellite for delivery via their systems have objected to the same cable and satellite partners streaming their content.

    While one may argue that "personal streaming" is ok, just as personal VCR and DVR recording and playback have been supported by the courts, giving permission for re-transmission is more complicated than what is legal. If a broadcaster does not want their content streamed to portable devices then they can refuse to allow a carrier to retransmit their signal at all unless the carrier does not retransmit to portable devices.

    This affects DISH service where local stations may not be available via Hopper w/Sling even though they are being slung from the customer's home. The local station can make "no slinging" a part of their contract. (It would not prevent a separate consumer slingbox from being used.)

    So Tivo may be able to cut deals with stations that will allow them to deliver local signals over the top (OTT) to Tivo equipment installed in a home, but would not allow Tivo to deliver the signal to portable devices. Tivo could still use Aereo's technology (although the DVR technology would probably not be needed). They would just need to deliver the channels within the rules that the local channels agree to.
     
  13. Ele Jones

    Ele Jones New Member

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    Sep 23, 2018
    I moved from North Jersey to S Jersey Delaware Valley Region with my Directv. I still had all my NYC channels when I hooked up, for a week. Then I came home one day and had all Philly channels. I called Directv, and asked why I couldn't have my NY channels instead of Philly's. They told me it was because of FCC rule. I couldn't have NY in Philly region.
     
  14. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    Can you post your zip code and county? Antenna a possibility for you? Pretty sure the AM21 still exists so you could DVR off one straight to you DirecTV equipment. With the zip and county, I will look and see what I can find.
     

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